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July Feature – Dr. Billy Taylor + Arthur Blythe, Hank Mobley, Billy Eckstine & Singers

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Monday, July 5

Night Train kicks off the July feature, celebrating the centennial birthday of pianist and pioneering jazz educator and popularizer Dr. Billy Taylor, with his most famous composition and an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. We also mark birthdays of violinist Mads Tolling and saxophonist Arthur Blythe (as a leader, with McCoy Tynar and Roots, and in a special in hour two) – and highlight new releases from the Spike Wilner Trio and Sons of Kemet.

Tuesday, July 6

Night Train focuses on vocalists, classic and contemporary, in this edition of the show. We’ll hear such legends as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald (together), Carmen McRae, Leon Thomas, and Nat ‘King’ Cole, and contemporary singers including Rene Marie, Carmen Souza, Jazzmeia Horn, and Nicolas Bearde. We’ll also dig out some overlooked gems from Teri Thornton, Dave’s True Story, Mark Winkler, Ben Sidran, and Bobby McFerrin. Night Train also sneaks in a few new instrumental albums, including selections from organist Doug Carn, Bill O’Connell with his the Afro Caribbean Ensemble, Jimmy Smith with Wes Montgonery, and pianist Monty Alexander.

Wednesday, July 7

Birthday celebrations tonight on the Night Train for world-jazz and fusion keyboardist Joe Zawinul (with Weather Report), guitarist Tiny Grimes, Cuban percussionist Arturo Stable, and saxophonist Hank Mobley (as a leader and in a special featuring hard bop tenor players in hour two). New releases tonight include the last studio album from guitarist Larry Coryell, up-and-coming vibes player Simon Moullier, and West Coast Latin jazz group the Echo Park Project.

Thursday, July 8

Night Train continues the July Dr. Billy Taylor Centennial feature with music from two early classics from him featuring the music of My Fair Lady, and showcasing Latin jazz percussion legend Candido. It’s also the birthday of jump blues great Louis Jordan, and of singer and band leader Billy Eckstine (featured in hour two in a special showcasing bebop big band pioneers). And there’s new music from Professor Cunningham and His Old School, trumpeter Bruce Harris.