Celebrating Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Sep 10, 2015

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who would have been 80 this year, was a boundary-pushing virtuoso on multiple wind instruments (sometimes at once). It certainly rubbed off on Steve Turre, who apprenticed with Kirk in the 1970s. Turre has become a monster player himself, and also specializes in multiple horns — both the trombone and the conch shell.

Jazz Night In America follows Turre to Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he's assembled a monster lineup to celebrate one of his major influences.

Celebrating Betty Carter

Sep 10, 2015

For years, one of jazz's top institutions of higher education was "the school of Betty Carter," an esteemed collection of her band's alumni and singers bound together by the thrall of her titanic influence. Hers was, simply, one of the most powerful voices in American music.

Jazz Night In America celebrates her lasting influence at Jazz at Lincoln Center with a performance by vocalist Charenée Wade, accompanied by many former members of Carter's bands through the years.

Celebrating Max Roach

Sep 10, 2015

To say Max Roach was a bebop pioneer, or a paramount innovator of the drums, or a prominent social activist would be accurate. Yet these individual labels fall short of his totality. Ali Jackson had a chance to see a fuller picture — after crossing paths with Roach at age 12, Jackson was forever changed, and would go on to study with Roach. Today, he's the drummer for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and still deeply appreciative.

When Stephen Colbert takes over the Late Show tonight on CBS, he'll have a new partner in crime on stage: pianist Jon Batiste.

Justin Kauflin On Song Travels

Sep 4, 2015

Jazz pianist Justin Kauflin attended William Paterson University, where he formed a friendship with his mentor, the late Clark Terry. Kauflin, who lost his vision at age 11, connected with the trumpeter, who was dealing with his own vision loss. Their journey together was chronicled in the 2014 documentary Keep On Keepin' On.

Ernestine Anderson On Piano Jazz

Sep 4, 2015

Born in Houston in 1928, Ernestine Anderson hit the jazz scene in the 1940s and has captivated audiences with her vocal warmth and rich intensity ever since.

From African drums in Congo Square to raucous brass bands second-lining in the streets, jazz is the soundtrack of New Orleans. The history and spirit of the Crescent City can be summoned through thousands of now-classic songs.

Here's a duo that's at the foundation of music itself, but which isn't always noticed: the musical interplay between the bass and the drum.