Latest Jazz from NPR Music

A Blog Supreme
4:21 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

The First African-American Piano Manufacturer

The high-end Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York, now called Langham Place, took in one of Warren Shadd's pianos.
Courtesy of Warren Shadd

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 11:20 am

At the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February, one couldn't help but notice the striking new grand piano on the main stage, emblazoned with the name SHADD. When the many accomplished pianists that wee­­kend sat down to strike those keys, it was equally easy to spot their delight in the instrument.

That piano was the product of a trailblazer in his field. The Shadd in question is jazz drummer Warren Shadd, the first African-American piano manufacturer. That makes him the first large-scale commercial African-American instrument manufacturer, period.

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A Blog Supreme
5:38 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

The 2014 Jazz At Lincoln Center Gala Concert

Wynton Marsalis leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in concert.
Brad Barket Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:54 pm

Tonight's concert has concluded.

Jazz at Lincoln Center presents its annual gala concert, featuring an all-star lineup including host Billy Crystal and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis.

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A Blog Supreme
3:08 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Remembering Armando Peraza, An Afro-Cuban Percussion Giant

It's hard to imagine a musical career that included musicians as varied as Charlie Parker, Peggy Lee, George Shearing and Carlos Santana. But such was hand percussionist Armando Peraza's resumé after almost 70 years making music.

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Mountain Stage
2:53 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

The Julian Lage Trio On Mountain Stage

The Julian Lage Trio.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:29 pm

The Julian Lage Trio makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.

A bona fide prodigy, Lage was the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary Jules At Eight. He made his recording debut in 1999 at age 11, alongside David Grisman, Bela Fleck, Vassar Clements and Edgar Meyer.

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A Blog Supreme
1:54 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

How Japan Came To Love Jazz

U.S. servicemen and their Japanese partners dance to jazz tunes in the newly opened Tokyo nightclub Oasis of the Ginza, circa 1945.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:04 pm

If you've witnessed a headlining performance from pianists Toshiko Akiyoshi or Hiromi, visited a "jazu kissa" cafe where records are spun and coffee poured, or read nearly any work by author Haruki Murakami, then you probably have a sense that Japan has taken well to jazz music.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:03 am
Tue April 29, 2014

The Public School Where The Duke Lives On

Trumpeter Geraldo Marshall and trombonist Johannes Utas, students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, rehearse for their school's 40th anniversary celebration.
Lauren Migaki NPR

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 12:52 pm

Duke Ellington didn't consider himself a jazz musician.

He said he was a musician who played jazz. And what a musician: pianist, bandleader, composer of more than 1,000 songs including standards like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady."

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Music Interviews
6:20 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

René Marie On Singing, Sex And The Importance Of Being Eartha

Jazz singer René Marie's latest release is I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt.
Janice Yim Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 1:54 pm

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A Blog Supreme
9:03 am
Fri April 25, 2014

The Art Of Cool: 5 Bands At The Borders Of Jazz

The vocal trio KING features production from Paris Strother, a jazz-trained pianist.
Alyssa Tumino Courtesy of the artist

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Music Interviews
1:30 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Vijay Iyer On Q2 Music's 'Spaces'

Q2 Music

Pianist, composer, improviser and 2013 MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer has built a career of making musical connections. Increasingly recognized as one of the most inventive musicians working today, he received an interdisciplinary Ph.D.

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A Blog Supreme
1:11 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

The History Of Jazz Piano In 11 Minutes

Evidently, pianist Kris Bowers' bookshelf includes James Baldwin's uncollected writings and Robin Kelley's biography of Thelonious Monk.
Janette Beckman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 2:04 pm

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