Jazz 91.1 Program Highlights

I'm Talkin' Jazz

Sunday at 9am


Barbara Dennerlein with Pete Fallico


Beth Custer with Greg Bridges


Betty Carter with Dick Conte


Sarah Wilson with Lee Thomas


Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride

Monday at 9pm


Jazzmeia Horn
Maybe you became aware of Jazzmeia Horn five years ago, when she took first prize at the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Maybe you got hip when her debut album, A Social Call, was released last year. Maybe you caught her turn on the most recent Grammy Premiere Ceremony, when she knocked a scat chorus into the stratosphere. Or maybe this is the first you're hearing of Jazzmeia, which means you have something to look forward to.

A singer of ironclad capability, creative drive and irrepressible panache, she has emerged as the breakout new talent in a formidable jazz-vocal tradition. This is her moment, and Jazz Night in America has her story.

In this radio episode we'll delve into Ms. Horn's upbringing in Dallas where her grandfather is the legendary pastor of a Baptist church. We'll also cover her experience in New York, first as a fish out of water, then as a jam-session fixture, and then as an unstoppable force. We'll discuss her relationship to the jazz-vocal pantheon: incomparable artists we can conjure just by a first name, like Sarah or Betty or Billie.

More to the point, we'll hear Jazzmeia marking her own terrain, both in conversation and onstage at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola during the recent album-release show that marked another milestone in a young career that's sure to see more.


Helen Sung
Pianist Helen Sung has been making a splash on the jazz scene for more than 2 decades. This episode of Jazz Night, we hear how she rebelled against her parents to follow her jazz dreams, and listen to a 2016 live recording from Jazz at Lincoln Center featuring of her quartet playing original music including a lament inspired by her reflection on social justice.


DIVA Jazz Orchestra
"When I was younger," Sherrie Maricle says, "it was almost a mission to blend in with all the men I was playing with. Not to be viewed as female in any way." But Maricle, a drummer inspired by the precision and power of Buddy Rich, found her calling as a leader of women - specifically, as leader of The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, which recently marked 25 years as a proving ground, a pipeline and a rejoinder to any lingering bias that this music is a masculine domain.

Jazz Night in America recently caught up with Maricle and the band at Dizzy's Club in New York during an album celebration for The DIVA Jazz Orchestra 25th Anniversary Project back in 2019. In this radio episode, we'll hear some of that new original music. And we'll hear from a few DIVA musicians, including Alexa Tarantino, an excellent saxophonist who was born in the same year as the band.

There's a rich, important and often under-recognized legacy of all-female big bands, so we'll also spend some time in this show paying tribute. Our host, Christian McBride, traveled to California to sit down with 93-year-old saxophonist Roz Cron - one of the last surviving members of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, which caused a sensation in the 1940s. You'll want to hear Cron's recollections of the road, which underscore why Earl "Fatha" Hines once characterized the International Sweethearts of Rhythm as "the first freedom riders."


Lizz Wright
Lizz Wright is well acquainted with the storytelling power of a journey. Her music, rooted in the gospel truths and rustic byways of this country, could be seen as a sustained meditation on movement: not just the flow of bodies in rapturous rhythm, but also the trajectories that mark a life story.

For this episode of Jazz Night in America, she takes us on the road via an audio diary in an exploration of her own roots, from Appalachia, to Atlanta to Southern Georgia. She also digs into some of the songs from her recent album, Grace, in concert at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta.

"I just kind of circled my whole lineage and just tracked what people were saying and doing," Wright says. "I felt like I needed to get the pulse of the South and my people in it."


Myra Melford
We explore the many sides of pianist and composer Myra Melford. Whether she finds inspiration in the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the fiction of Eduardo Galiano, or in Indian traditions of meditation, a philosophy of openness is her north star in creating music. Like her diverse interests, we'll survey her musical projects across the spectrum from a shuffling big band recording with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to a soaring performance featuring her Snowy Egret quintet, able to take musical flight in any direction.


Desert Island Jazz

Friday at 9am


Pianist and Composer Steve McQuarry
(originally broadcast in 2015)


Singer Melissa Morgan
(originally broadcast in 2016)


Producer Richard Seidel
(originally broadcast in September 2015)


Reed player Donna Viscuso
(originally broadcast in September 2015)