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Marian McPartland, Grande Dame of 'Piano Jazz'

Singer and composer Burt Bacharach is among the upcoming guests to visit McPartland on Piano Jazz.
NPR
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Singer and composer Burt Bacharach is among the upcoming guests to visit McPartland on Piano Jazz.

For many public radio listeners, it is difficult to remember when Marian McPartland was not hosting her music and chat program, Piano Jazz.

The show, now in its 26th year, boasts a guest list that reads like a who's who of modern music, from Tony Bennett, Henry Mancini, and Dave Brubeck to Ray Charles and Dizzy Gillespie. Even Elvis Costello and Norah Jones have shared time -- and a keyboard -- with McPartland.

McParland is now 87 years old, but she refuses to slow down. In addition to her hosting duties, she maintains a full touring schedule.

McPartland stopped by our studios after two performances at the Kennedy Center. During her visit, McPartland discussed the two pianists who have inspired her: Fats Waller and Bill Evans.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.