Wayne Shorter is a living legend — a saxophonist, composer and lifelong original thinker. He's never been afraid to be different, which is perhaps why he's accomplished so much. Among his accomplishments:

Kamasi Washington On World Cafe

Sep 22, 2015

Kamasi Washington, a 34-year-old saxophonist from Los Angeles, is changing the way people think about jazz. His sprawling three-disc debut album, The Epic, is selling well alongside softer, more commercial jazz fare, and his recent East Coast tour drew impressive crowds.

Onaje Allan Gumbs On Piano Jazz

Sep 18, 2015

Pianist, arranger and songwriter Onaje Allan Gumbs began playing piano at age 7, drawing his early inspiration from Henry Mancini.

Barbara Carroll On Song Travels

Sep 11, 2015

Jazz pianist Barbara Carroll is regarded as New York's grand dame of jazz piano. Her career has spanned seven decades and includes everything from appearances in concert halls worldwide to a remarkable 24-year run at Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel.

Carroll performs regularly in New York with bassist Jay Leonhart. On this episode of Song Travels, she plays "No Moon At All" and joins host Michael Feinstein for "Isn't It A Pity."

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.