Jazz

When Jon Anderson, the singer from British progressive rock band Yes, and electric-jazz-violin innovator Jean-Luc Ponty play together, their collaboration makes immediate sense. Anderson calls it spiritual. The Anderson Ponty Band combines music from both of them — Anderson has written words to Ponty's instrumentals — and it soars.

On this page, hear performances from an October concert, as well as a conversation with the two longtime players.

When the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra returns to the newly renovated Rose Theater, it'll bring one of its most popular traditions: its annual concerts of holiday music. The Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, will present new arrangements of favorite seasonal songs with guest vocalists Denzal Sinclaire and Audrey Shakir.

Tonight's performance will also feature an appearance from Aretha Franklin.

NPR Music will stream a live performance of the JLCO's Big Band Holidays concert on Thursday, Dec. 17. This concert has now concluded.

The Ladybugs Do Disney

Dec 11, 2015

The Ladybugs are a young band who draw on elements of hot swing, American folk music and blues. But their most salient features, the voices of dual frontwomen Martina DaSilva and Kate Davis, immediately recall an era when intricate vocal harmonies were more common in jazz. Appropriately enough, the quintet recently took on a program drawn from classic Walt Disney films at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola within Jazz at Lincoln Center.

On this 2006 Piano Jazz Holiday Special, host Marian McPartland takes a look back at some favorite Christmas and holiday songs performed on the show throughout the years. Melissa Walker sings "The Moon on Christmas Eve," written by Kathryn Williams and Vana Gerig — who also stop by to talk about the song's genesis.

A Jazz Piano Christmas 2015

Dec 11, 2015

Every year, NPR Music invites some of the world's top piano players to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We ask them to play solo versions of their favorite holiday music for a live audience, and the recording becomes the public radio special A Jazz Piano Christmas.

The Guy Who Makes The Best Cowbells

Dec 10, 2015

In The Bronx, there's a man who builds instruments for the world's great Latin percussionists: Tito Puente, Eddie Montalvo, Giovanni Hidalgo, Bobby Sanabria. He has no signs, no storefront, no advertising of any kind, but people from around the world call him for work. After all, nothing sounds quite like one of his handmade cowbells.

Wayne Horvitz is one of those musicians who does almost everything — from leading a small group of improvisers to conducting a big band, and from composing for symphony orchestra to running a nightclub. The Seattle-based keyboard player turned 60 this year, and he's celebrating by adding even more to his schedule: playing birthday concerts on both coasts.

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