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Night Lights

Wednesday, 8 to 9 p.m.

Night Lights 
This program is available for sponsorship!
(Contact Ron Horan for more details.)

Night Lights, is a weekly one-hour jazz radio program hosted by David Brent Johnson, focusing on jazz from the 1945-1990 era—a timespan that, as Johnson notes, “weirdly parallels Miles Davis on record and the Cold War.” Covering artists such as Jackie McLean, Charles Mingus, and Nina Simone and themes ranging from jazz recordings of spirituals to avant-garde interpretations of the Great American Songbook, Night Lights also features many lesser-known talents of post-1945 jazz, such as saxophonist J.R. Monterose, trumpeter Freddie Webster, and piano/singer duo Dick and Kiz Harp.

Upcoming Programs

Dec 2nd, 2015: 'Portrait Of Elmo Hope'

Elmo Hope was a highly-respected compatriot of Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell whose 1950s and 60s recordings as a leader and sideman constitute a unique chapter of hardbop piano.

Dec 9th, 2015: 'Jazz His Way: Frank Sinatra'

A centennial tribute to the Chairman of the Board, featured in small-group and big-band jazz settings throughout his storied career.

Dec 16th, 2015: 'It’s Jazz, Charlie Brown: The Vince Guaraldi Story'

A look at the early jazz career and subsequent Peanuts success of pianist Vince Guaraldi, including interviews with jazz critic Doug Ramsey, Guaraldi’s son David, and Guaraldi sideman Eddie Duran.

Dec 23rd, 2015: 'Hep To The Holidays'

An hour-long program of cool-Yule classic jazz from Louis Armstrong, Bill Evans, Horace Silver and more, including poet Sascha Feinstein’s reading of his “Christmas Eve” jazz poem.

Dec 30th, 2015: 'Hipsters, Flipsters, And On-The Scenesters'

Night Lights welcomes the New Year with a celebration of offbeat jazz characters both real and fictional. Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and others join the party with Freddie Freeloader, Moose the Mooche, Harry the Hipster Gibson, and more.

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Nov 25th, 2015: 'The Billy Strayhorn Songbook'

Billy Strayhorn rose to recognition as Duke Ellington's composing partner. By the time of his death in 1967, he'd established a musical legacy that stood on its own. We'll pay a centennial tribute to Strayhorn's music with recordings from Johnny Hodges, the Dutch Jazz Orchestra, and more.

Nov 18th, 2015: 'The Jazz Monk: Thomas Merton'

Thomas Merton was one of the most influential spiritual writers of the 20th century—and he was also a passionate jazz fan. We’ll talk with jazz musician and Merton friend Dick Sisto, and we’ll hear excerpts from experimental jazz meditations and reflections that Merton recorded in his hermitage, as well as some of the jazz that Merton enjoyed and referred to in his writings. We’ll also hear from Jason Bivins, author of Spirits Rejoice!, a book about jazz and American religion.

Nov 11th, 2015: 'Cool In Crisis: The Year In Jazz, 1962'

Night Lights takes another time-capsule journey back into a specific year, featuring the music of Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith, Herbie Hancock, and others.

Nov 4th, 2015: 'Claude Thornhill: Godfather Of Cool'

Music of the big-band leader whose 1940s orchestra helped pave the way for cool jazz.