In 1969, Nina Simone told Ebony Magazine, "I hope the day comes when I will be able to sing more love songs, when the need is not quite so urgent to sing protest songs. But for now, I don't mind."

Dwike Mitchell On Piano Jazz

Jul 3, 2015

Pianist Dwike Mitchell (1930-2013) joined bassist and French-horn soloist Willie Ruff in 1955 to form the Mitchell-Ruff Duo, which created a stir in New York nightclubs and around the globe as they gained recognition for their elegant sound.

On this 1989 episode of Piano Jazz, Mitchell demonstrates his formidable technique, touch and feeling in "Lush Life," and he and host Marian McPartland form their own duo to perform "Don't Worry 'Bout Me."

Each June 21, the one-day Make Music New York festival (MMNY) celebrates not just sound but community. It's a summer solstice gathering of the tribes for music makers and music lovers alike, with more than 1200 outdoor concerts across the five boroughs running from morning till night.

Jimmy Greene Remembers A 'Beautiful Life'

Jun 30, 2015

Saxophonist Jimmy Greene's newest album, Beautiful Life, is dedicated to the memory of his 6-year-old daughter. Ana Márquez-Greene was killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Greene paid tribute to his daughter by composing and arranging a genre-spanning album to reflect the way she lived.

Cocktail jazz isn't a sound you hear very much in pop music these days. But a duo known as Twin Danger is causing a scene with their self-titled debut album and live shows.

It's a familiar mood for saxophonist Stuart Matthewman; he co-wrote many of the biggest hits for Sade, like "No Ordinary Love" and "Your Love Is King."

Tierney Sutton On Piano Jazz

Jun 26, 2015

Earlier this year, singer Tierney Sutton earned a Grammy nomination — her sixth — for Best Jazz Vocal Album for 2014's Paris Sessions. But when Sutton came on Piano Jazz in 2004, she had just released her album Dancing In The Dark, a tribute to Frank Sinatra.

Canada produces a lot of top-flight jazz, but if you're not in the country, you'll probably have to head north to hear it. U.S. travel restrictions keep many of the nation's best musicians at home, where they've developed their own sound and scene.

Fortunately, Canada has wonderful jazz festivals. The granddaddy of them all is the Festival International du Jazz de Montreal (FIJM), a 10-day extravaganza which kicked off Thursday. Now in its 36th year, FIJM attracts more than six million visitors from around the world.

The High Priestess Of Soul: Nina Simone In 5 Songs

Jun 24, 2015

There are certain figures in jazz history whose iconic status can be telegraphed by a single name: Miles. Billie. Bix. Coltrane. Though there is a deity-like ring to the stand-alone moniker, there's also a suggestion of the intense connection that these artists inspired in fans, and a notion that their messages remain relevant today.

Even those who didn't live through Nina Simone's heyday can recognize her songs, or at least her voice. Born Eunice Waymon, the passionate performer and activist died in 2003, and today her recordings still loom larger than the rest of her story.