Jazz is all about great collaborations, and in honor of Father's Day this weekend, composer and bassist Christian McBride, host of NPR's Jazz Night In Americaand a regular All Things Considered guest, stopped by for a conversation about fathers and sons.
Gerry Mulligan, best known as a baritone saxophonist, was pivotal in developing the West Coast jazz sound, and was featured in big bands for years. He also composed and performed symphonic music and played piano.
Every spring, a New York City community organization puts on a month's worth of jazz events centered around the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival turns the spotlight on a historically African-American region, and often some lesser-heard talents. Though Akua Dixon has played in just about every situation open to a cellist, less frequently does she lead a band bearing her own name. Her music often features her compositions and arrangements for a string ensemble, and occasionally adds her own voice to the mix as well.
John Rogers is a photographer living in New York City who specializes in jazz. A few weeks ago, he approached NPR with the idea to document the unique connection he shared with his friend Ornette Coleman. He was working on it when Coleman died last week at 85. Rogers finished the story for us here. --Ed.
For this year's edition of Make Music New York, we come not to praise the dead, but to sing the blues and create a new "exquisite corpse."
This Sunday, June 21 at 4 p.m. ET, join NPR Music and regulars at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center for a round-robin group improvisation at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Everyone who sings or plays an instrument — amateur, student or professional — is invited to perform with us.
The last time Charlie Hunter came to the NPR studios, he brought an eight-string guitar with fanned-out frets that included bass strings. He's now pared down to just seven strings, but his guitar still produces a big, fat sound. Let The Bells Ring On is Hunter's new album, and it features two jazz innovators: trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and drummer Bobby Previte. It's a record that goes every which way, but in places is rooted in gospel and the music on which he grew up.
Pianist and vocalist Hazel Scott was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. A former child prodigy, she had a lifelong career as a jazz artist on both stage and screen, performing late into her life through the U.S. and Europe.
Ornette Colemandied Thursday, at the age of 85. Listen to a pair of conversations with the saxophonist and composer, as well as interviews with members of his quartet — Don Cherry and Charlie Haden — and his son, Denardo Coleman.