Sign up for WDCB's eNewsletter    Like WDCB on Facebook    Follow WDCB on Twitter    Subscribe to WDCB on YouTube    WDCB on SoundCloud    WDCB on Instagram    WDCB Store

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

Feb 10th, 2016: Portraits In Black

Music tributes to African-American figures such as Paul Robeson and Joe Louis from Count Basie, Clifford Jordan, Charles Mingus and others.

Feb 17th, 2016: Ready For Freddie Redd

A salute to hardbop pianist Freddie Redd, featuring recordings he made with artists such as Jackie McLean and Tina Brooks.

Feb 24th, 2016: Portraits Of Harlem

Bandleader Duke Ellington, stride pianist James P. Johnson, and saxophonist Benny Carter all wrote musical depictions of Harlem, one of the most vibrant black communities in American history. John Howland, author of "Ellington Uptown," joins us to discuss these concert-jazz portraits of Harlem.

Mar 2nd, 2016: Ella ’57

A look at one of singer Ella Fitzgerald’s busiest and most memorable years on record.

Mar 9th, 2016: Jazz Women of the 1980s

The music of Geri Allen, Emily Remler, Cassandra Wilson, Carla Bley, and others.

Mar 16th, 2016: The Sara Cassey Songbook

Much admired by jazz artists such as Barry Harris and Pepper Adams, jazz composer Sara Cassey died at the age of 37 in 1966. We’ll hear recordings of her music made by Hank Jones, Johnny Griffin, and others.

Mar 23rd, 2016: 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.

Mar 30th, 2016: The Durable Kenny Dorham

A look at the trumpeter's career spanning his recordings with Charlie Parker in the 1940s to his collaborations with Joe Henderson in the 1960s.

Apr 6th, 2016: The Randy Weston Songbook

The music of pianist Randy Weston, performed by Weston himself and others such as Gigi Gryce, Betty Carter, and Booker Ervin.

Apr 13th, 2016: Jivin’ With The DJs

Jazz odes to Symphony Sid Torin, Oscar Treadwell, and other DJs from Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Illinois Jacquet, and more.

Apr 20th, 2016: Histories Of Jazz

A look at some of the many efforts to tell the history of jazz in a single, extended musical collage.

Apr 27th, 2016: Ellington Ending

In the last years of his life, and no longer with the services of longtime writing partner Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington continued to compose memorable music. Historian Michael McGerr talks with us about Ellington’s late period works and years.

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Feb 3rd, 2016: Vee-Jay Jazz: The Vee-Jay Records Story

In 1953 a Gary, Indiana couple started a label that would become one of the most significant black-owned record companies in America. We’ll hear the jazz artists such as Lee Morgan, Wynton Kelly, and Wayne Shorter who recorded for Vee-Jay Records.

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.

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 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.

Jazz Night in America