In the late 1950s a former DJ and a journalist realized a dream that would become one of the longest-running live jazz events in the world-a weekend-long outdoor series of concerts in a beautiful central California coastal setting featuring some of the music’s greatest artists. Read More »
In 1945 Lester Young emerged at the age of 36 from a traumatic time in the Army to renew his career as one of jazz’s most influential and loved saxophonists.
At the beginning of the 1960s jazz pianist and theorist George Russsell teamed up with trombonist and jazz educator David Baker and other Indiana jazz musicians to form one of the era’s most exciting and innovative groups.
Mobley’s so-called “round sound” and Morgan’s kinetic attack made for a dynamic combination on the dozen-and-a-half studio and live sessions where they appear together.
A small Bowery bar where John Coltrane came into his own with Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman stunned the jazz world with his quartet, and writers, painters, musicians and others formed an at-home underground community. Former Five Spot regulars David Amram and author Dan Wakefield join us.
Celebrate America’s Independence Day with a legacy of swing from Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams, Glenn Miller, Machito, and other iconic American artists and ensembles.
Exploring the life and music of an unheralded pianist and composer from the hardbop era.
At the end of World War II Duke Ellington was coming off one of the most commercially and artistically successful periods of his career-the so-called Blanton-Webster years of the early 1940s. But the cultural landscape was changing in ways that would challenge, provoke, and inspire Ellington as he continued to pursue his unique musical vision.
How singer and pianist Nat King Cole pushed the boundaries of 1950s segregated culture through its hottest medium.
Two of the late singer's children stopped by WFIU to discuss their mother's life and music.
A musical and conversational remembrance of Bloomington singer Janiece Jaffe, who passed away on November 23, 2022 at 64. Jaffe friends and collaborators Dave Bruker, Peter Lerner, and David Miller discuss her life and legacy, and we hear some of Jaffe's concert and studio recordings as well.
More classic jazz sets on the way from Mosaic Records.
Michael Bourne became a global name in the jazz community after starting his on-air job at WBGO-Newark at the end of 1984. This tribute celebrates his beginnings at WFIU-Bloomington, Indiana in the 1970s and early 80s, with remembrances from friends and fans, interview excerpts, and a rollicking 1976 performance at Bloomington's Bluebird nightclub with Michael on lead vocals.
... OK, that should be "interview." A virtual conversation, using a very analog-era practice, in which I chat with the Duke about his work on the film score for ANATOMY OF A MURDER.
Night Lights' annual roundup of notable archival releases and reissues.
Indiana University jazz studies head Tom Walsh and vocalists Rachel Caswell and Janiece Jaffe joined David Brent Johnson on WFIU's "Just You And Me" to discuss Dominic Spera, the trumpeter and former IU jazz educator who passed away on Saturday, October 23 at the age of 89. Spera's music is featured as well.
"The great chain of witnesses": a poem by Betsy Sholl in the new issue of Brilliant Corners drew its inspiration in part from a Night Lights show.