Jazz 91.1 Program Highlights

I'm Talkin' Jazz

Sunday at 8am


Lyricist/Vocalist Jon Hendricks with Chris Cortez


Bassists Victor Wooten & Marcus Miller with Jesse "Chuy" Varela


Pianist Connie Crothers with Dick Conte (KJAZ Archive)


Drummer Michael Benedict with Alisa Clancy


Vocalist Mary D'Orazi & Pianist Marcos Silva with Michael Burman


Have You Heard with Patrick Wolff

Monday at 9pm


Barbara Donald
One of the most commanding of the avant-garde trumpeters, Barbara Donald came to prominence in the 1960's, when her fiery solos and powerful sound combined with her then-husband Sonny Simmons to produce some pivotal records. She released several fine albums as a leader in the 1980s before health problems caused her to slow down, but her voice and contribution is one that deserves far greater recognition.


Lucky Thompson
In the 1940's, tenor saxophonist Lucky Thompson shaped a highly personal approach to bebop. In the ‘50s, he developed a strong voice as a composer. In the ‘60s, he explored a whole new style of playing on the soprano saxophone. In the ‘70s he quit playing altogether, and missed some of the late-career accolades enjoyed by his contemporaries, but his music is as creative and beautiful now as it ever was.


Andrew Cyrille
From his early work with Cecil Taylor in the 1960s through his current appearances lighting up the performances and recordings of rising stars, Andrew Cyrille has been one of the leading percussionists in the free idiom. His playing shows a level of structure, control, and dynamics that are rare among free players, and his technical skill is hard to match. His versatility and dedication have kept him on the front lines of jazz progress for half a century.


Julian Lage
One of the true prodigies in jazz, guitarist Julian Lage has been performing and recording since a very young age, but over the last few years, his voice as a composer has deepened and matured to the point that he is appreciated as one of the greats of modern improvised music.


Frank Wright
Its Halloween- are you ready to summon some spirits and maybe get a little spooked? Frank Wright was a tenor saxophonist in the avant garde tradition. Like Albert Ayler, another pioneer in this style, he was from Cleveland, but his playing was so far over the top that he could make even Ayler sound sleepy at times. He thrived in the European expatriate scene in the 1970s and 1980s, and his recordings still set the bar for intensity in this idiom.


Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride

Tuesday at 9pm


Moran Plays Monk
Jason Moran defies the constraints of history itself in this celebration of “the first pianist who made me want to be a pianist.” Using archival footage, interviews, and live music, Moran re-imagines the classic Monk At Town Hall concert from 1959 to paint a portrait of one of the unique and influential musicians in jazz history. Backed by The Big Bandwagon, Moran performs his tribute to Thelonius Monk live at the Kennedy Center.


Spaces (New Work from Wynton Marsalis)
Wynton Marsalis presents his new work for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra entitled Spaces. Each movement corresponds to a different animal in the animal kingdom.We explore Wynton’s process of writing, drawing on different mythology and origin stories. Wynton also chose to include dancers Jared Grimes and Lil Buck in the performances, introducing another interpretation to the “space” around the orchestra. Along with the music Jazz Night in America will trace the intertwined history of jazz and dance.


Oliver Jones Live from The Montreal Jazz Festival
Oliver Jones is the most famous living jazz musician you’ve probably never heard of. This celebrated Canadian pianist was the protege of Oscar Peterson and he's done much to spread the gospel of Canadian jazz in his 81 years. He marked his retirement this year with a special trio performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival and we were there to bid him farewell. We’ll feature his final trio performance in Montreal, an interview with Cecile Peterson, the daughter of Oscar Peterson, and learn about some of Montreal's rich jazz history.


Herbie Hancock’s New Band
Herbie Hancock always seems to be on some kind of voyage. Whether that’s sitting in a eleven-keyboard cockpit or forming new bands of musicians that push his possibilities and the boundaries of jazz. Jazz Night in America host Christian sits down with Herbie to discuss his journey in technology through the years. Our concert features Herbie with Lionel Loueke on guitar, James Genus on bass and Trevor Lawrence Jr. on drums. The most recent member of the group is Flying Lotus/Kendrick Lamar collaborator Terrace Martinon keyboards, and alto saxophone.



Wednesday at 9pm


Chucho Valdés
At one time, pianist Jesus “Chucho” Valdés was banned from performing in the United States. Today, he enjoys performing and teaching here as well as in his native Cuba. Valdés is a world-class innovator in Latin jazz. In 1973 he founded Irakere, a group that introduced a new fusion of African traditional music with Cuban jazz. On this Piano Jazz from 2000, Valdés and host McPartland share a love of pianist Bill Evans, and in tribute they create their version of Waltz for Debby. Valdés treats listeners to his composition Claudia.


Jackie and Roy Kral
Roy Kral (1921 – 2002) was working in Chicago with the George Davis Quartet when he met Jackie Cain (1928 – 2014). They formed a duo, Jackie and Roy, and the rest is history. The vocal and piano duo blended witty lyrics and unusual melodies with a light modern jazz feeling. These dear friends of McPartland’s were her guests for Piano Jazz in 1992. A sophisticated and charming pair, the husband and wife team play Alec Wilder’s While We Were Young and join McPartland for a trio of Joy Spring.


Esperanza Spalding
Bassist Esperanza Spalding is one of the most talked about artists in jazz today. She scored a surprise win for Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammy Awards and went on to win three additional Grammy Awards. On this Piano Jazz from 2008, bassist and vocalist Spalding brings her neo-soul style to a set of standards with the aid of pianist Leo Genovese. McPartland’s piano provides a perfect accompaniment to Spalding’s bass and vocals in Duke Ellington’s Prelude to a Kiss.


Mario Grigorov
Born in Sophia, Bulgaria, Mario Grigorov studied classical music until he fell in love with jazz. As a child his parents performed in the Sophia Symphony Orchestra before moving to Iran, where his father played in the Shah’s symphony orchestra. Grigorov continued to study music intensively as his family moved to Austria and Australia before he settled in the United States in 1992. On this 1995 Piano Jazz, Grigorov’s stunning originality is evident on his own Lost City. He and McPartland duet on Jobim’s Wave.


In The Moment with Jim Bennett

Thursday at 8pm


10th Anniversary “In The Moment”
Highlights from the yet to be released 10th Anniversary “In The Moment” CD featuring Melissa Aldana, Sonny Rollins with Eddie Moore, George Coleman, Jan Garbarek, The World Saxophone Quartet with African Drums, Pat Martino, Eric Reed, Geri Allen, Carla Bley, Maya Kronfeld and Myra Melford.


Jackie Ryan
In a rare performance, vocalist Jackie Ryan pays tribute to Michel Legrand, in the intimate venue of Musically Minded Academy, located in the Rockridge area of Oakland. With pianist John R. Burr, bassist John Wiitala, and drummer Leon Joyce, Jr.


Brazilian Jazz
Léa Freire, Vitor Gonçalves, Harvey Wainapel with São Paulo + Rio de Janeiro + Berkeley = Brazilian Jazz! Recorded August 28th, 2016 at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland.


Erik Jekabson's String-tet
Erik Jekabson's String-tet: The Music of Duke Ellington, in celebration of his 117th birthday, recorded at Musically Minded Academy in Oakland, on April 30th, 2016. With Adam Shulman, Mads Tolling, Keith Lawrence, Mike Zilber, Dillon Vado, Doug Stuart and Adam Starkopf. The Stringtet plays again this Saturday, at the Hillside Club in Berkeley.