Night Train

Monday - Thursday at 10pm

Monday through Thursday nights, it’s the best in jazz on Night Train, hosted by KMUW’s Chris Heim. From classic artists and recordings to today’s emerging artists and most intriguing new releases - along with specials, in-depth features, jazz concert highlights and more - Night Train will take you to the best of “America’s classical music.”

Listen to recent Night Train shows:

Archive is updated between midnight and 3am after the show airs.

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Monday 7.30.18

Night Train kicks off the week with birthday celebrations for alto saxophonist David Sanborn, alto sax and flute player James Spaulding, and the late Kansas City singer Kevin Mahogany. We also continue our July Hank Jones feature and highlight new releases from the Brad Mehldau Trio, soul jazz saxophonist Jerry Weldon, bassist Buster Williams, the Steve Gadd Band, and Latin jazz pianist Bill O’Connell.

Tuesday 7.31.18

Night Train wraps up the July Hank Jones Centennial feature tonight, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, with an entire program devoted to his music. We’ll hear music he did as a leader from some of his earliest releases to a previously unreleased concert recording that just came out this past April. We’ll also feature some of his many dates as a sideman with the likes of Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Johnny Hartman, Joe Lovano and more, plus conversations with Hank Jones from Jazz Stories and Art Works.

Wednesday 8.1.18

We’ve got a ‘tenor battle’ tonight on the Night Train, as we feature some classic and contemporary tenor sax players. Among the highlights: two of the artists we’re featuring this month for their centennial birthdays – Arnett Cobb and Ike Quebec – plus Don Braden, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Al Cohn with Zoot Sims, Scott Hamilton and John Coltrane. And we also have a surprising number of jazz covers of Earth, Wind & Fire songs tonight as well.

Thursday 8.2.18

Night Train is celebrating several centennial birthdays throughout August, including that of the ‘Godfather of Vocalese,’ Eddie Jefferson, who was born August 3, 1918. We’ll feature music from throughout his career tonight on the show, including his version of “Night Train” and work he did with James Moody. Plus covers of his songs, including from Allan Harris, who just released a new album in tribute to Eddie Jefferson – and,  in hour two, a special about vocalese, the art of putting lyrics to instrumental jazz solos, that Jefferson pioneered.

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Monday 7.23.18

Night Train marks birthdays of singer Janis Siegel (solo and with Manhattan Transfer) and soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy; continues the July Hank Jones Centennial Birthday feature with music he did with Dave Holland & Billy Higgins, Benny Carter, and with Malian artists on the rare Sarala album; and highlights new releases from Dave Chamberlain’s Band of Bones, Roberta Piket, George Kahn, Bill Anschell and Joey Alexander.

Tuesday 7.24.18

Night Train highlights the jazz piano trio – including music from the hit Concert by the Sea album from Erroll Garner, young phenom Joey Alexander, contemporary trio leaders like Kenny Werner, Lafayette Harris, Jr., George Cables, Gerry Gibbs, and Mitchel Forman, along with classic leaders like McCoy Tyner, Red Garland and Bill Evans.

Wednesday 7.25.18

Night Train marks birthdays of Annie Ross (of the famous vocalese group, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross), trumpeter and composer Don Ellis, and Ellington saxophonist Johnny Hodges (including a special in hour two focusing on the small groups led by Hodges, and also Chu Berry, Roy Eldridge and Lester Young). Night Train also continues the July Hank Jones feature with music he did with both Charlie Haden and Coleman Hawkins.

Thursday 7.26.18

Night Train marks the 80th birthday of pianist, composer, jazz educator and 2018 NEA Jazz Master Joanne Brackeen with music she did under her own name (including the very first volume in the prestigious Maybeck Recital Hall Series) and with the 70s Jazz Pioneers. We’ll also hear a special Art Works conversation with her in hour two of the show. Plus music from the other 2018 NEA Jazz Masters (Dianne Reeves and Pat Metheny), the newly-named 2019 NEA Jazz Masters (Maria Schneider, Bob Dorough, and Abdullah Ibrahim) and our July featured artist, Hank Jones, who was also an NEA Jazz Master. We’ll sprinkle in a few more as well, including Gary Burton, Lionel Hampton and Von Freeman.

Monday 7.16.18

Night Train kicks off the week with more music from July featured artist Hank Jones, including a newly released live set from Copenhagen in 1983 and from one of several performances from the Village Vanguard with the Great Jazz Trio. Night Train also marks birthdays of Latin jazz artists Cal Tjader and Bola Sete (also featured tonight on Global Village), tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz, and drummer Bobby Previte, and features new releases from Emmet Cohen with Ron Carter, the Fred Hersch Trio and Ben Paterson.

Tuesday 7.17.18

A long list of birthdays to celebrate tonight on the Night Train, including Dave Brubeck and Marian McPartland drummer Joe Morello, tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman, pianist Vince Guaraldi, guitarist Mary Osborne, singer Joanie Pallatto (with the late, great Bob Dorough, who was just named a 2019 NEA Jazz Master), baritone saxophonist Nick Brignola, and singer Jimmy Scott. Plus more from July featured artist Hank Jones (with brothers Thad and Elvin) and new releases from Eliane Elias, the ‘Standards Trio’ of Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock & Jack DeJohnette, Roger Kellaway, Bill O’Connell and Freddy Cole.

Wednesday 7.18.18

Night Train continues the July Hank Jones Centennial Birthday feature with music the acclaimed pianist did with Cannonball Adderley (on the classic Somethin’ Else album) and with Abbey Lincoln. There’s also new music from Don Braden, Leslie Pintchik, the Jeff Hamilton Trio and the Kenny Barron Quintet; and a birthday salute to keyboardist Brian Auger with some of his jazz recordings in hour one and a special concert performance in hour two of the show.

Thursday 7.19.18

Night Train highlights music and musicians from around the world – including Brazil’s Antonio Adolfo and Nilson Matta, Argentina’s Diego Urcola, Cameroon’s Gino Sitson, the Gabriel Alegria’s Afro-Peruvian Sextet, and saxophonist Juli Wood from her album featuring jazz renditions of traditional music from Finland.

Monday 7.9.18

Night Train begins a week-long tribute to Henry Butler, the acclaimed Crescent City pianist who passed away last week. Plus more music from July featured artist Hank Jones (this time with the Great Jazz Trio and with Cannonball Adderley), birthday salutes to jump blues star Joe Liggins, saxophonist Elias Haslanger and New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore, and new jazz piano trio releases from Lynne Arriale, Erroll Garner, Bill Anschell, and the Oak Trio.

Tuesday 7.10.18

Night Train celebrates birthdays of hard bop trumpet star Lee Morgan, popular bassist Major Holley, and eclectic banjoist Bela Fleck (including a performance with Marcus Roberts at the Savannah Music Festival in hour two of the show). Plus more music from July featured artist Hank Jones (this time with Lee Morgan and as a leader), New Orleans pianist Henry Butler, and new releases from the OKB Trio, Eddie Henderson, and Kurt Elling.

Wednesday 7.11.18

Night Train highlights classic and contemporary soul jazz tonight – including music from such veterans as Lou Donaldson and Jack McDuff, and contemporary soul jazz players including Dave Stryker, Brian Charette, Organissimo, and Mike LeDonne.

Thursday 7.12.18

Night Train marks birthdays of pioneering soul jazz organist Big John Patton, and Ellington band tenor man Paul Gonsalves (including his historic Newport performance with Duke) ; wraps up a week-long tribute to Crescent City pianist Henry Butler; continues with more music from July featured artist Hank Jones for his centennial birthday; and features new music from Venture, Harold Lopez-Nussa, the Brad Mehldau Trio, Jerry Vivino, and Mike LeDonne & the Groover Quartet.

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  1. Don Braden – Earth, Wind and Wonder (Creative Perspective Music)


  1. Steven Kroon – In Your Dreams (Kroonatune)
  1. Bill Anschell – Shifting Standards (Origin)
  1. Brubeck Brothers Quartet – Timeline (Blue Forest)
  1. Dongfeng Liu – China Caribe (Zoho)
  1. Erik Applegate – Three’s A Crowd (Artist Alliance)
  1. Azar Lawrence – Elementals (High Note)
  1. Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette – After the Fall (ECM)
  1. Jim Snidero & Jeremy Pelt – Jubilation! (Savant)
  1. Brad Mehldau Trio – Seymour Reads the Constitution (Nonesuch)

Monday 6.25.18

Night Train highlights ‘hits’ tonight – actual jazz hits, jazz covers of pop hits, and some rare instances of jazz compositions that were turned into pop hits. Among the highlights, an early drummer-less version of “Poinciana” from Ahmad Jamal, the song that revived Nina Simone’s career some 30 years after it was first recorded, the Horace Silver song Steely Dan borrowed for one of their hits, and jazz covers of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the Zombie’s “Time of the Season.”

Tuesday 6.26.18

On the Night Train birthday list tonight, two pianists/composers/arrangers – Dave Grusin and Bill Cunliffe, and drummer Joey Baron, including a new album just out from Cunliffe, a couple of tribute albums Grusin did, and guest appearances by Baron with Bill Frisell, Steve Kuhn, and Enrico Pieranunzi. Also new music from Eric Applegate, and Jim Snidero & Jeremy Pelt with a tribute to Cannonball Adderley. And for the June Caribbean American Heritage Month feature, a song from the Virgin Islands from Sonny Rollins, and in hour two, a special featuring Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenon.

Wednesday 6.27.18

Night Train continues the Caribbean American Heritage Month feature with some Afro-Cuban (and other) Latin jazz tonight – including music from Mongo Santamaria, Ray Mantilla, the Caribbean Jazz Project, Charlie Haden – and off new albums from Steven Kroon, Azar Lawrence, Freddy Cole, the Ellis Marsalis Quintet, the Kenny Barron Quintet, and Akira Tana.

Thursday 6.28.18

Night Train marks the birthday of Richard Rodgers with a number of his compositions that appear on new albums from Bill Anschell, Susan Krebs, Amy Cervini, Roberta Piket and a new Nina Simone compilation. It’s also the birthday of keyboardist John Medeski and we’ll hear him with Medeski, Martin & Wood, Roswell Rudd, and last year’s Hudson release with Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield & Larry Grenadier. We also mark the birthday of Tierney Sutton, including with a special featuring her in hour two of the show.

KMUW Music is celebrating the first day of summer on Thursday, June 21, with five hours of music. Tune in to Global Village, Strange Currency and Night Train from 7:00 p.m. to midnight for songs of the season. 

Monday 6.18.18

Night Train continues the June Caribbean American Heritage Month feature with music from Jamaican-born artists Monty Alexander, Dizzy Reece and Joe Harriott, the Mozayik Haitian jazz group, Dominican pianist Michel Camilo, Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sanchez, and a fascinating new album exploring the connections between Caribbean and Chinese music from Dongfeng Liu.  Plus new tribute albums from Eddie Daniels (for Egberto Gismonti) and Don Braden (Stevie Wonder, and Earth, Wind & Fire), along with the latest from Kenny Barron, Wali Ali, and the Barrett Martin Group.

Tuesday 6.19.18

Night Train highlights standards tonight – both classic recordings of these songs and new versions of old favorites. Among the artists featured, guitarist Kenny Burrell, Dinah Washington, Etta Jones, Art Blakey, Antonio Adolfo, Houston Person with Ron Carter, Gene Ammons and Jimmy Smith.

Wednesday 6.20.18

Night Train marks the birthday of saxophone, flute and bass clarinet great Eric Dolphy with music he did early in his career with Chico Hamilton, later with Charles Mingus, and also as a leader.  Plus more music for the Caribbean American Heritage Month feature – this time from the Essence All Stars Afro Cubano Chant album, from the Caribbean All Stars, and from Latin jazz great Tito Puente, including a Jazz Profiles special about him in hour two of the show. Also two impressive new albums from pianists Bill Anschell and Bill O’Connell.

Thursday 6.21.18

Night Train joins in with Global Village and Strange Currency to celebrate the first day of summer with a program devoted to summer songs from Kenny Burrell, Shirley Horn, Pat Metheny, Marian McPartland, Oscar Peterson, the Godfathers of Groove, and more.

Monday 6.11.18

Night Train marks birthdays of two great drummers, acclaimed session man Bernard Purdie, and West Coast jazzman Shelly Manne. Plus more Caribbean inspired sounds for the June feature, this time from Eddie Palmieri, Steve Khan, Jowee Omicil, Steven Kroon, and in hour two, a special about pianist and singer Hazel Scott, who was born in Trindidad.

Tuesday 6.12.18

Featured tonight on the Night Train – two pianists with birthdays, Geri Allen and Chick Corea. We’ll hear Allen with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian, and Corea with early and later Return to Forever lineups, in covers of his songs from Duende Libre, and from Michel Camilo with Tomatito, and in a special in hour two focusing on his early career. Plus new music from the Steve Gadd Band, and from Kurt Elling.

Wednesday 6.13.18

Night Train highlights singers tonight – both legendary and rising stars. Among the artists featured are Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Tierney Sutton, Andy Bey, Cassandra Wilson, and Nnenna Freelon. Plus music from pianist Joey Calderazzo, organist Brian Charette, and trombonist John Fedchock, along Ahmad Jamal in an unusual setting with a 15-piece string orchestra on his 1959 release, At the Penthouse, and a classic from Stan Getz with Dizzy Gillespie.

Thursday 6.14.18

Night Train marks birthdays of bassist Marcus Miller and pianist Darius Brubeck (one of Dave Brubeck’s sons). We’ll also hear new music from the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (with Chris and Dan Brubeck), Mike Clark & Delbert Bump, Diana Krall, and Jay Rodriguez. And in hour two, in tribute to club owner and NEA Jazz Master Lorraine Gordon who passed away last week, a Jazz Profiles special about the legendary jazz club, the Village Vanguard, that she ran for so many years.

Monday 6.4.18

Night Train marks the birthdays of composer, arranger and instrumentalist Oliver Nelson, and also of saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera. D’Rivera also helps to kick off the June feature, celebrating Caribbean American Heritage Month with music from Caribbean and Caribbean American artists and inspired by the many popular styles to come from the Caribbean. We’ll hear D’Rivera from some of his own albums, and also as a special guest with the Caribbean Jazz Project, Andy Narell, and Yotam. Plus new music from Van Morrison with Joey DeFrancesco, Edward Simon, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, and the Jambalaya Brass Band.

Tuesday 6.5.18

Night Train marks birthdays of Latin jazz percussionist and trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez with music he did with the Fort Apache Band, and of drummer Peter Erskine, with music from his new album with the Dr. Um Band and with Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, and John Abercrombie. The June Caribbean American Heritage Month feature continues with the new China Caribe album from Dongfeng Liu, the Caribbean Jazz Project, steel drum player Andy Narell, Duende Libre and Omar Sosa.

Wednesday 6.6.18

Night Train marks birthdays of Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander (continuing the June Caribbean American Heritage Month feature) with some of his reggae-inflected pieces in hour one and a special featuring him in performance at the Savannah Music Festival in hour two of the show. It’s also the birthday of guitarist Grant Green, and there’s new music from the ‘Standards Trio’ of Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock & Jack DeJohnette,  the Mark Wade Trio, and the Lewis Porter trio.

Thursday 6.7.18

Night Train marks birthdays of guitarists Royce Campbell and Tal Farlow. We also continue the June Caribbean American Heritage Month feature with music from Jamaican hard bop trumpeter Dizzy Reece and Trinidadian steel drum player Othello Molineaux. And there’s new music from the Brad Mehldau Trio, Allan Harris with a tribute to vocalese great Eddie Jefferson, Latin jazz pianist Bill O’Connell, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, and Emmet Cohen’s Masters Legacy Series with legendary bassist Ron Carter.