Jazz 91.1 Program Highlights

I'm Talkin' Jazz

Sunday at 9am


Randy Weston with Alisa Clancy
Described as America's African Musical Ambassador, pianist and composer Randy Weston was dedicated to teaching and informing music fans about the connections of Africa's music to American jazz. His songs "Hi-Fly", "Berkshire Blues" and "Little Niles" have become jazz standards.


Grace Kelly with Lee Thomas
Nationally renowned saxophonist, singer and songwriter Grace Kelly made her recording debut at age 12 earning numerous awards including the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award. Her collaborations with NEA Jazz Masters Phil Woods and Lee Konitz have garnered critical acclaim and a four and a half star review from Downbeat Magazine.


Horace Silver with Dick Conte
Considered one of the leading figures of the Hard Bop era of the 1950's, Horace Silver helped redefine jazz piano by emphasizing melody and rhythm. His soulful and funky original compositions such as "Sister Sadie" and "Song For My Father" continue to be performed and recorded worldwide.


Dave Liebman with Chris Cortez
NEA Jazz Master, saxophonist and composer, Dave Liebman was an integral part of the fertile New York loft jazz scene of the 1970's. Before leading his own progressive groups he has worked with Elvin Jones, Miles Davis and Chick Corea among many others.


Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride

Monday at 9pm


Take Three: Three Different Styles of Jazz Vocalists
No jazz instrument is more personal -or relatable- than the human voice. Jazz singers come in every conceivable style, each with their own expressive signature. This episode of Jazz Night in America offers a chance to spend time with some of the brightest newer voices in the genre.

We'll get to know Quiana Lynell, who made a name for herself in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La. before winning the 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. We'll check in with Jeremy Bosch, lead singer of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra and a bandleader with his own busy profile in Latin jazz. Finally, a three-for-one deal in Duchess, the harmonizing vocal trio composed of Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and Melissa Stylianou.

All of these artists were caught in performance recently at Dizzy's Club, which has taken pride in showcasing all manner of jazz singers over the years. In Lynell, Bosch and the women of Duchess, we have a shining illustration of the range of talent stepping on and off the stage.


Makaya McCraven's Universal Beings
Makaya McCraven - a drummer-producer-bandleader-composer who sums up his MO with the evocative term "beat scientist" - has lately been on the hottest of hot streaks. His album Universal Beings was hailed as one of the best albums of 2018, by outlets ranging from The New York Times to Rolling Stone. (In the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, it came in at No. 4.) For McCraven, who lives in Chicago, this vaulting acclaim is just the latest evidence that he's onto something vital and new.

Jazz Night in America devotes this episode to McCraven, his innovative process, and the creative background that continues to inform his work. We'll look at the precedent of record producers splicing tape in the studio, and how it applies to McCraven's constructive methods. We'll meet his earliest influences - his parents, African-American drummer Stephen McCraven and Hungarian folk artist Agnes McCraven. We'll join McCraven in a thrilling recent performance at the Red Bull Music Festival Chicago, on the South Side, with partners including Nubya Garcia on tenor saxophone, Brandee Younger on harp, Jeff Parker on guitar and Joel Ross on vibraphone.

"I don't think what I'm doing is necessarily that far off of the legacy of jazz that I grew up in," McCraven observes, before acknowledging the persistence of debates about what jazz is, or should be. "I think one of the things that gives it strength is that people want to argue over it. That's a good sign. That means there's life here.




Orquesta Akokan at the Musical Instrument Museum
Jazz Night in America travels to Phoenix, Arizona to catch up with modern-day Cuban supergroup Orquesta Akokan. We hear their backstory in tandem with story of the venue where we caught them: the Musical Instrument Museum. We get a tour of the200,000 square foot museum, which hosts 370 exhibits of musical representation from every country and territory on the globe.