Latest Jazz from NPR Music

Live At The Village Vanguard
9:08 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Matt Wilson's Arts And Crafts: Live At The Village Vanguard

Matt Wilson.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:51 pm

Drummer Matt Wilson is always a colorful player — a timekeeper who exploits all the timbres a snare drum can give him, finding melody in it. And when it's his gig, he's also a colorful personality with flailing limbs and goofy joy on his face.

Read more
Jazz Stories
8:55 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit'

Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set.
Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 3:37 pm

One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. But they might not realize that he's also tied to another watershed moment in America's history.

Read more
A Blog Supreme
6:27 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

The Drummer Who Blows Bubbles At Gigs

Matt Wilson.
Courtesy of the artist

Two bubbles found they had rainbows on their curves.
They flickered out saying:
"It was worth being a bubble just to have held that rainbow thirty seconds."

Read more
World Cafe
6:10 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Antibalas On World Cafe

Antibalas.
Courtesy of Marina Abadjieff

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 10:23 am

Sometimes known as the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, the New York band Antibalas — which means "bulletproof" in Spanish — is a large group of talented musicians who play rhythm-intensive Afrobeat music. In a seven-year stretch, Antibalas has released four albums and withstood a five-year hiatus in which several members worked on the Broadway musical FELA!

Read more
Music Reviews
12:03 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Miguel Zenon And Laurent Coq Play 'Hopscotch'

Miguel Zenon.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 2:57 pm

The new quartet album by alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Laurent Coq is called Rayuela, which means "hopscotch." It's named for Julio Cortázar's novel, the fragmented tale of a wandering bohemian and his social circles in Parisian exile, as well as back home in Buenos Aires.

Read more
World Cafe
2:46 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Cassandra Wilson On World Cafe

Cassandra Wilson.
Courtesy of the artist

A pioneer who muddies the waters separating jazz, blues, country, soul and rock, Cassandra Wilson possesses a beautiful voice and more than three decades of musical experience. The two-time Grammy winner began her career with the M-base collective, but found success as a solo jazz singer.

Read more
JazzSet
4:15 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Regina Carter, Wynton Marsalis On JazzSet

Regina Carter (right) with Yacouba Sissoko.
Ayano His Newport Jazz Festival

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:12 pm

JazzSet returns to the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival for performances from two complementary bandleaders on the main Fort Adams stage: violinist Regina Carter and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Regina Carter started playing violin as a 4-year-old Suzuki method student in Detroit, and later played in school and community orchestras. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, she chose jazz as her primary direction. JazzSet first presented her from the 1995 Telluride Jazz Festival — on a stage in the mountains, playing into the open air.

Read more
Mom And Dad's Record Collection
2:24 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Cole Porter Scores An Interracial Couple's Highs And Lows

Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine," a favorite song of listener Melanie Cowart's parents, became a fitting symbol for their relationship.
Sasha Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:09 pm

As summer winds down, All Things Considered is winding down its series "Mom and Dad's Record Collection."

Read more
A Blog Supreme
3:28 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Detroit's Jazz 'Patriarch' Improvised A Teaching Career

Marcus Belgrave will be featured at this weekend's Detroit Jazz Festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:12 pm

There's a lot of astounding information in this comprehensive profile of trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, "the reigning patriarch of Detroit jazz." After touring with Ray Charles for years, and getting opportunities with Max Roach and Charles Mingus, Belgrave opted not to stick it out in New York like many musicians of his caliber. Instead, he chose Detroit, where he's been since 1963.

Read more
A Blog Supreme
7:28 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Could Thelonious Monk Win The Jazz Competition Named After Him?

Pianist Kris Bowers performs in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He was later named the winner.
Brendan Hoffman WireImage

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:12 pm

Last week, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz announced the 12 semi-finalists for its annual competition for young musicians, often seen as the most prestigious in jazz today.

Read more

Pages