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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

Mar 4th, 2015: 'Melba Liston: First Lady Of Trombone'

Melba Liston was a pioneering female jazz artist both as a trombonist and as a composer/arranger. We'll trace her career from Gerald Wilson's 1940s big-band through her collaborations with pianist Randy Weston from the 1960s on.

Mar 11th, 2015: 'Snap, Crackle and Haynes: Roy Haynes On Drums'

A 90th-birthday tribute to one of jazz's greatest drummers, heard here in the company of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, John Coltrane, and others.

Mar 18th, 2015: 'Jazz Her Way: Nancy Wilson In The 1960s'

Vocalist Nancy Wilson recorded prolifically for Capitol Records in the 1960s, teaming up with jazz artists such as Cannonball Adderley, George Shearing, Gerald Wilson, and Hank Jones. Those collaborations and more are highlighted on this tribute to the singer.

Mar 25th, 2015: 'Jazz Women Of the 1940s'

Trumpeter Billie Rogers, vibraphonist Marjorie Hyams, and other unsung heroines of the World War II era in jazz.

Previous Programs

displays the previous month of programming
Feb 25th, 2015: 'Before Broadway: George Benson In The 1960s'

A crossover pop star of the 1970s, George Benson had already built up a considerable body of straightahead jazz work, both as a leader and with organists such as Brother Jack McDuff and Jimmy Smith. This program takes a look at the 1960s and early-70s albums that feature the guitarist in jazz settings.

Feb 18th, 2015: 'Dameronia: The Tadd Dameron Story'

Music of the pianist and composer-arranger who left his stamp on the bebop and hardbop era, as well as an interview with Dameron biographer Paul Combs.

Feb 11th, 2015: 'Swing It Loud: Duke Ellington's Early Black-Pride Music'

Long before the black-pride movement of the 1960s, Duke Ellington was composing music that celebrated the history, achievements, and culture of African-Americans. We'll hear music from Black, Brown and Beige, The Liberian Suite, and other Ellington works.

Feb 4th, 2015: 'The Transition Records Story'

Music from a little-known but significant 1950s record label, founded by African-American producer Tom Wilson, who would go on to record Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, the Velvet Underground, and Simon and Garfunkel in the 1960s. Featured artists include Donald Byrd, Sun Ra, John Coltrane, and Cecil Taylor.

Jammin Jazz