Jazz 91.1 Program Highlights

I'm Talkin' Jazz

Sunday at 9am


John Handy with Sonny Buxton
Grammy nominated saxophonist and composer John Handy first came into prominence in the 1950's working with the legendry bassist Charles Mingus. As a leader he's produced dozens of breathtaking recordings while splitting his time as an important educator and mentor in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Jackie Ryan with Jesse "Chuy" Varela
Nationally renowned vocalist Jackie Ryan has been an integral part of the SF Bay Area jazz scene since her late teens spending her formative years in Marin County singing in countless bands. Her warm vocal stylings and multilingual approach are hallmarks of her great success.


Randy Weston with Dick Conte
Described as America's African Musical Ambassador, pianist, composer and NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston was a dedicated practitioner of incorporating African elements into his music. His lasting compositions "Hi-Fly" and "Berkshire Blues" have become jazz standards.


Jon Hendricks with Chris Cortez
Known as one of the originators of vocalese (where words are added to an instrumentalist's solo improvisation), Jon Hendricks was the principal lyricist for the groundbreaking vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. The multi Grammy and Emmy Award winner was inducted as an NEA Jazz Master in 1993.


Avery Sharpe with Greg Bridges
Bassist and composer Avery Sharpe is well-known for his longtime association with pianist McCoy Tyner and for his early works with Archie Shepp and Art Blakey. In addition to dedicating his time to education and performance he is also the founder and owner of JKNM Records.


Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride

Monday at 9pm


Newport Jazz Festival Pt. 2, from Duke Ellington to Ray Charles
Jazz Night in America's Newport Jazz Festival Special continues with rare sets from a truly soulful era of the Festival. In this episode, we'll hear 'the genius' of Ray Charles in full display on the Newport stage in 1960 with a call and response-worthy "What I'd Say"; saxophonist Cannonball Adderley in 1960 slinging his brand of greasy, soul-laden jazz; "The Divine One" Sarah Vaughan delighting and enchanting Newport with heart-wrenching standards from 1964; Perennial Newport favorite Duke Ellington and his orchestra in true form at the later end of Duke's career in 1968, without any signs of stopping: and Louis Armstrong and friends closing the show with a birthday bash for "Pops" during his final Newport Jazz Festival appearance in 1970.


Newport Jazz Festival Pt. III, Herbie Hancock, "The Young Lions," and Artemis
Jazz Night in America's Newport Jazz Festival Special concludes with some unforgettable sets from the modern era of the Festival. In this episode, we'll hear Herbie Hancock from 1988, already ensconced in the MTV era of pop and "Rockit," returning to acoustic jazz with his mighty trio; The Jazz Futures, an all-star group of "Young Lions" featuring the likes of Benny Green, Roy Hargove, and our own Chrisitan McBride assembled by Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein in 1991; and jazz supergroup Artemis - featuring vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, clarinetist Anat Cohen, and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen - delighting the Fort Stage crowd back in 2018.


Gregory Porter
The smooth, booming voice of Gregory Porter brought a galvanizing force to jazz when he broke onto the scene about a decade ago. It's a voice of exhortation, flowing out of the gospel church. A voice of dignity, in the mode of his hero, Nat King Cole. A voice of reassurance, whether aiming for the heavens or toward a single soul across the room.

It's also, crucially, the voice of experience - Porter's own, going back to his childhood in Bakersfield, Calif. For this episode of Jazz Night in America, the two-time Grammy-winning jazz vocalist opens up about that journey in conversation with our host, Christian McBride. We'll hear about Porter's transition from sports to theater to music and about the meaning behind some of his soul-baring songs, like "Don't Lose Your Steam."

We'll hear that song and others in performance as Porter and his band electrify a crowd at the 2019 St. Lucia Jazz Festival.


Bela Fleck and Edmar Castaneda
Bela Fleck, the world's preeminent banjo player, and Edmar Castaneda, a peerless master of the Colombian harp, share more than a penchant to pluck magic out of strings. Both musicians are keen listeners with lightning reflexes and the ability to pounce on any digression. They're both alchemists of style, unbound by the rules of genre. And each has a way of making virtuosity feel generous, disarming any look-at-me heroics with a spirit of welcome.

They had never played together before this performance at the 2019 Big Ears Festival. The concert, at Saint John's Cathedral in Knoxville, Tenn., features an equal portion of compositions by Fleck and Castaneda, as well as a flamenco-charged classic by Brazilian composer Jacob do Bandolim. The notes rain in cascades, or flow like rivulets, but always in service of bright communion.


Bird's Centennial
We're celebrating the centennial of Charlie Parker's birth on Jazz Night in America with a reexamination of Bird's love of classical music and his "Bird with Strings" project. Saxophonists Charles McPherson and Wessell "Warmdaddy" Anderson take center stage at Jazz Lincoln Center, putting their twist on classic and rarely heard string arrangements written for Parker's most commercially successful endeavor.