Night Train

Monday - Thursday at 10pm

Monday through Thursday night, 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.”

Host Chris Heim was awarded first place in the DJ Personality Air Check category by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in 2020 for her work on Night Train.

Listen to recent Night Train shows:

Archive is updated between midnight and 3am after the show airs. Click "next segment" to skip ahead in the show.

Monday, February 22

Night Train pays tribute to musician, composer, arranger, band leader and Fania Records co-founder Johnny Pacheco with guest appearances he made with jazz artists McCoy Tyner, Erroll Garner, Herbie Mann, Shirley Scott, and George Benson. We also remember Chick Corea with a selection from a recent reunion album he did with drummer Steve Gadd and with one of his compositions performed by Trio da Paz. Night Train also marks birthdays of Texas Tenor Buddy Tate, and trumpeter and NEA Jazz Master Joe Wilder; highlights new music from Eddie Henderson, Charlie Apicella, Hendrik Meurkens, and Monty Alexander; and continues the February New Orleans feature with music from Kermit Ruffins, James Andrews, and Poncho Sanchez.

Tuesday, February 23

Not quite 76, but still lots of trombones tonight on the Night Train – including the Crescent City’s Delfeayo Marsalis, trombone pioneer J.J. Johnson, the eclectic Roswell Rudd (both with Steve Lacy and from his own album Trombone for Lovers), veteran Curtis Fuller, the Latin Jazz side Conrad Herwig, and modern master Wycliffe Gordon.

Wednesday, February 24

Lots of Ray Charles related music tonight on the Night Train with covers of his famous songs from Amy Cervini and the Flying Horse Big Band (from their new Charles tribute album), a composition from New Orleans clarinetist and jazz educator Alvin Batiste inspired by the interstitial music played during Charles’s performances, and most especially, to mark the birthday of one of the great musicians to come out of his bands, music and a special in hour two with saxophonist David ‘Fathead’ Newman. Also birthday salutes to Michel LeGrand and Papo Vasquez, and new music from Doug Webb and Lisa Hilton.

Thursday, February 25

Night Train joins in with Global Village and Strange Currency tonight to mark the birthday of George Harrison. We’ll hear Harrison and other Beatles covers in hour one from guitarists Steve Kahn, Anthony Wilson and John Scofield, Chick Corea with Gary Burton, Joel Harrison, Organissimo, and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones in hour one, and a Beatles Jazz Songbook special in hour two of the show.

Monday, February 15

Night Train marks Presidents’ Day with music from “Pres” (Lester Young) and from the Presidential Suite project from Ted Nash. In conjunction with the February New Orleans feature, Night Train marks the birthday of Crescent City drummer Herlin Riley (heard here as a leader and with Ahmad Jamal – and also the featured artist next Monday on Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival). It’s also the birthday of composer Harold Arlen and we’ll hear his work performed by Abbey Lincoln and Red Garland in hour one, and in performances from contemporary artists in a special in hour two of the show. Plus Critics’ Poll Winners The Royal Bopsters, and the latest from guitarists Peter Bernstein and Dave Stryker.

Tuesday, February 16

It’s Fat Tuesday and Night Train celebrates with Crescent City sounds from New Orleans High Society, Cubanismo in New Orleans, Grammy-nominee Jon Batiste, Astral Project and Donald Harrison in hour one and a special highlighting early Mardi Gras jazz from New Orleans in hour two of the show. We also remember saxophonist Jeff Clayton and composer Alec Wilder, who were both born on this date.

Wednesday, February 17

Night Train features some soul jazz, past and present, tonight including music from Gene Ammons, the Godfathers of Groove, Lou Donaldson, Sonny Stitt, Dave Styrker, the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective, the Soul Message Band, and Tony Monaco. Plus vocalists Mary Stallings and Tierney Sutton, and Monty Alexander’s tribute to the club that helped launch his career.

Thursday, February 18

It's a special edition of Night Train as we pay tribute to legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea, who passed away last week at the age of 79, with selections spanning his six-decade-long and diverse career. We’ll hear early Latin jazz recordings with Mongo Santamaria and Cal Tjader, his pioneering fusion recordings with Miles Davis and Return to Forever, duo projects with Gary Burton and Bela Fleck, and his last two recordings – the Grammy nominated Trilogy 2 and the Chick Corea Plays album that explored the intersection of standards and classical music. Plus a special in hour two devoted to his later acoustic and electric releases.

Monday, February 8

Night Train highlights jazz trios tonight, including the Golden Striker Trio,  Steve Kuhn Trio, Great Jazz Trio, Thrasher Dream Trio,  Keith Jarrett’s ‘Standards Trio,’ the Chick Corea Trio, Horace Parlan’s Us Three, the Organic Trio, and the Organik Vibe Trio.

Tuesday, February 9

Night Train marks birthdays of contemporary vibes player Gehn Gillece and saxophonist Steve Wilson; highlights new music from the Uptown Jazz Tenet and the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio; and continues the February Crescent City feature with music from Ellis Marsalis, and a special performance from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in hour two of the show.

Wednesday, February 10

Night Train continues the February New Orleans feature with music from Wynton Marsalis (with Herlin Riley – this month’s featured artist on Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival airing February 22nd); highlights music from a Grammy-nominated release from Chick Corea; and marks birthdays of pianists Antonio Adolfo and Sir Roland Hanna, and bassist Rufus Reid (who is also featured in a special in hour two showcasing big band suites from several contemporary composers).

Thursday, February 11

Birthday featured artists tonight on the Night Train include drummer Martin Drew (with Oscar Peterson), jazz fusion violinist Didier Lockwood, and pianist Etan Iverson (with his own quartet, with Albert ‘Tootie’ Heath, and in hour two , a special featuring his work with the Bad Plus). The February Crescent City feature continues with a very different approach to the Lil Hardin Armstrong classic, “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue.” And there’s new music tonight from guitarist Henry Robinett, Latin jazz trombonist Noah Bless, and pianist Billy Childs.

Monday, February 1

Night Train marks International Day of Black Women in the Arts with a special show devoted to women in jazz. We’ll hear selections from harpists Alice Coltrane, Brandee Younger and Dorothy Ashby, singer and pianist Shirley Horn, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, pianist Mary Lou Williams, singer Ernestine Anderson, and singer, animator and 2020 ‘Genius Grant’ recipient Cecile McLorin Salvant in hour one, and a special featuring Nina Simone in hour two of the show.

Tuesday, February 2

Night Train marks birthdays of saxophonists Stan Getz and Sonny Stitt, highlights music from Dr. Michael White for the February Crescent City feature, and showcases live sets from singers Somi and Ella Fitzgerald. In hour two it’s a special focusing on artists who kept the bebop flame alive in the ‘60s, including birthday artist Sonny Stitt.

Wednesday, February 3

Today is the birthday of pianist, composer and singer, Lil Harden Armstrong. Night Train highlights music she did with Louis Armstrong and later in her career in hour one, and then in a special focused on the Armstrong Hot Five and Seven groups. Night Train also marks birthdays of singer Dennis Rowland, saxophonists Gregory Tardy and John Handy, and tuba master Bob Stewart. We’ll also hear the latest from the Claire Daly Band (with a tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk), the Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band, John Beasley’s Monk’estra, and the Le Coq All Stars.

Thursday, February 4

Tonight on the Night Train, ‘bass is the place,’ as the show highlights legends and rising stars of jazz bass. We’ll hear music from Ray Brown and his Superbass lineup, Flecktone Victor Wooten, Charlie Haden, Ron Carter, Brandi Disterheft, Pete Coco, Paul Chambers, and more. We’ll also check out the latest from pianists Edward Simon and Monty Alexander, drummer and film producer Richard Baratta, guitarist Hazar, and Wolff Clark Dorsey’s tribute to Sgt.  Pepper.

Monday, January 25

Throughout this week, Night Train remembers Junior Mance, the talented pianist who worked extensively as both a leader and sideman, beginning tonight with music he did with Gene Ammons. The January feature looking back at the year in music continues with remembrances of Freddy Cole and Richie Cole, and a Grammy-nominated set of the early music of Nat Cole. We’ll also hear birthday salutes to Etta James (from an album she did in tribute to Billie Holiday), bossa nova great Antonio Carlos Jobim (with Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto), and saxophonist and composer Benny Golson (featured in a special in hour two of the show).

Tuesday, January 26

Night Train marks birthdays of composer Jimmy Van Heusen (with his music performed by Dinah Washington, Janis Siegel, and Martin Wind) and jazz violin great Stephane Grappelli (also featured in a special in hour two focused on the Hot Club group he was in with Django Reinhardt). The January feature, looking back at the past year in music, continues with Grammy nominee Carmen Lundy, and a Grammy Hall of Fame recording from Cannonball Adderley – and Night Train also remembers bassist Eugene Wright (with the Dave Brubeck Quartet) and tuba master Howard Johnson (with his group Gravity).

Wednesday, January 27

Night Train marks birthdays of saxophonist Bob Mintzer (as a special guest on a 2020 release from Dave Stryker), bassist Henri Texier, vibes legend Bobby Hutcherson, drummer Jimmie Smith (on one of several Erroll Garner reissues that came out last year), and composer Jerome Kern (featured in a special in hour two). There’s also new music from harmonica player Hendrik Meurkens, and tributes to Junior Mance, Candido, and Eugene Wright.

Thursday, January 28

It’s twosomes tonight on the Night Train with duo recordings from a Latin Grammy-winning release from pianist Michel Camilo and flamenco guitarist Tomatito, 2020 NEA Jazz Master Bobby McFerrin with pianist Chick Corea, pianist Oscar Peterson and vibes legend Milt Jackson, pianist Fred Hersch and singer Jay Clayton, pianist Kenny Barron with bassist Dave Holland, and several duo recordings from bassist Charlie Haden – with guitarist Pat Metheny, and with pianists Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Hank Jones, and Keith Jarrett.

Monday, January 18

Night Train marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day with music inspired by him and the Civil Rights Movement. We’ll hear selections from Nina Simone, Dr. Billy Taylor, Duke Ellington, Bobby Watson and more in hour one; and a King Day music special in hour two with more music dedicated to Dr. King.

Tuesday, January 19

It’s legendary tenor saxophonists and classic and contemporary organists featured tonight on the Night Train, both separately and together. Among the highlights, guitarist Pat Martino with organist Pat Bianchi, and organists Gregory Lewis, Jimmy McGriff, and Dr. Lonnie Smith as leaders. Plus tenor men Coleman Hawkins, Gene Ammons, John Coltrane with Thelonious Monk, Stan Getz with Charlie Byrd from the pioneering Jazz Samba album, and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis with organist Shirley Scott.

Wednesday, January 20

Night Train marks birthdays of two drummers. We’ll hear Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts with Warren Wolf and Wynton Marsalis. And we remember legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb, also born on this date, with music he did as a leader and with Harold Mabern, and  in a special in hour two on the classic Kind of Blue album that featured Cobb as part of the lineup. And, as the January feature looking back at the past year in music continues, we remember Latin jazz percussionist Ray Mantilla and Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi, who passed away in 2020. We also remember tuba master Howard Johnson, who passed away last week.

Thursday, January 21

It’s hard bop classics tonight on the Night Train with selections from Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, John Coltrane, Grant Green and more. And as the show looks back at the past year in music, we’ll hear 2020 releases from Artemis, Conrad Herwig, the Dafnis Prieto Sextet, and Bobby Watson.

Monday, January 11

You might have heard the news abour F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby entering the public domain at the start of this year. But it is not just books whose copyrights have expired. In this edition of Night Train, we’ll showcase some of the many songs that are now in the public domain too. And since it's the composition, not the recording, whose status has changed, Night Train will highlight songs waxed from the ‘20s up to the present day from such artists at Fats Waller, Dinah Washington, Roy Haynes, the Mills Brothers and more.

And as the January Best of the Year feature continues, we’ll hear show favorites Erroll Garner, Bill Frisell, Pearl Django and more, salute 2020 ‘Genius Grant’ recipient Cecile McLorin Salvant and Grammy nominee Kenny Washington, and remember Bucky Pizzarelli and Frank Kimbrough. It’s also the birthday of prolific guitarist Lee Ritenour and we’ll hear music from him as well, including from his new album Dreamcatcher, his first solo guitar recording.

You can click here to see the full lists of works entering the public domain for this and previous years, including books, musical compositions, pamphlets, and works of art.

Tuesday, January 12

Night Train marks the birthdays of Kansas City legend Jay McShann (including a Jazz Profiles special in hour two of the show), singer Ruth Brown, and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen (who we’ll hear as part of the all-female jazz supergroup Artemis, one of the show favorites of 2020). As we continue the January feature looking back at the past year in music, we’ll also hear 2020 releases from the Flying Horse Big Band with a tribute to Ray Charles, baritone saxophonist Claire Daly with a tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Vincent Herring/Bobby Watson/Gary Bartz with their tribute to Charlie Parker for his centennial birthday year.

Wednesday, January 13

It’s the birthdays today of jazz guitar legend Joe Pass, and trombonist and arranger Melba Liston. We’ll hear both as leaders and guests (Pass with Benny Carter and Liston with long-time musical partner Randy Weston) and check out a Jazz Profiles Liston special in hour two of the show. Night Train also continues the January feature looking back at the year in music with 2020 releases from Javon Jackson, Grant Stewart, and John DiMartino’s salute to Billy Strayhorn.

Thursday, January 14

Night Train joins Global Village and Strange Currency in marking the birthday of one of the legends of Crescent City music, Allen Toussaint. We’ll hear some of his more jazz-influenced work in hour one and a special, including an interview with the later musical genius, in hour two of the show. Night Train also marks birthdays of bassist Mark Egan with music he did with the Pat Metheny Group and from a new album with Metheny album Danny Gottlieb) and drummer Grady Tate, and continues the January feature looking back on the best of the past year with music from New Orleans’ Delfeayo Marsalis and Kansas City’s Guitar Elation.

Monday, January 4

Night Train kicks off the new year and a new month’s feature highlighting the Best of 2020, including show favorites, along with award winners and nominees, and paying tribute to artists who passed away in the past year. This time we’ll hear music from Harold Mabern’s last album, a career retrospective from Edward Simon, and a show favorite from Lauren Henderson. Night Train also marks birthdays of sax and flute master Frank Wess, and also of guitarist John McLaughlin (including a special in hour two focusing on his pioneering jazz fusion work with Mahavishnu Orchestra).

Tuesday, January 5

Night Train features music from Latin jazz trumpet great Jerry Gonzalez (and brother Andy, who passed away in 2020), Crescent City singer Johnny Adams, drummer Paul Wertico (with the Pat Metheny group), and Dizzy Reece (featured in a hard bop trumpet special in hour two) – all born on this date. And as Night Train looks back on the past year in music, we’ll dip into the marvelous series of reissues from pianist Erroll Garner.

Wednesday, January 6

Night Train highlights string things tonight – violinists, string ensembles, and string quartet and orchestral accompaniment with jazz artists. Among the artists featured are the Really Eclectic String Quartet, Cecile McLorin Salvant (with a string quartet), Quartet Indigo, Chick Corea with the Harlem String Quartet, Regina Carter (from her Paganini album), the Turtle Island String Quartet, and the Modern Jazz Quartet and Martin Wind, both with symphony orchestras.

Thursday, January 7

It’s ‘jazz with strings’ tonight on the Night Train. We’ll hear pioneering works from Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday, veteran players like Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Paul Desmond and Shirley Horn, contemporary artists including Russell Malone and Tom Harrell, and a couple of 2020 favorites (in conjunction with the January Best of the Year feature) who used strings – Eric Alexander and Kat Edmonson.

  1.   Conrad Herwig – The Latin Side of Horace Silver (Savant)
  2. Joe Farnsworth – Time to Swing (Smoke Sessions)
  3. Artemis – Artemis (Blue Note)
  4. Ian Hendrickson-Smith – The Lowdown (Cellar)
  5. Claire Daly – Rah! Rah! (Ride Symbol)
  6. Eddie Henderson – Shuffle and Deal (Smoke Sessions)
  7. Steve Cardenas – Blue Has A Range (Sunnyside)
  8. Wolff Clark Dorsey – Play Sgt. Pepper (Jazz Avenue)
  9. Redman, Mehldau, McBride & Blade – RoundAgain (Nonesuch)
  10. Cosmic Vibrations – Pathways and Passages (SpiritMuse)

Monday, December 28

Night Train marks birthdays of Lonnie Liston Smith, Ed Thigpen, Earl Hines, and Michel Petrucciani; highlights new music from Bill Warfield and Ryan Cohen; and continues with December featured artists Clark Terry (with the Oscar Peterson Trio) and Dave Brubeck (featured in a Jazz Profiles special in hour two of the show).

Tuesday, December 29

Night Train marks International Cello Day with music from Oscar Pettiford, Dave Brubeck (with cellist son Matthew), and the Chico Hamilton Quintet (with groundbreaking jazz cellist Fred Katz). We also mark birthdays of pianists Danilo Perez and Sullivan Fortner (with 2020 Genius Grant recipient Cecile McLorin Salvant), and saxophonist Joe Lovano (including a special in hour two highlighting contemporary saxophonists inspired by Charlie Parker), and feature new music from Latin jazz trombonist Noah Bless, and saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith.

Wednesday, December 30

Night Train marks birthdays of drummers Lewis Nash and Jerry Granelli, and guitarists Ron Affif and Frank Vignola (featured in a concert special in hour two of the show). Plus music from December featured artists Clark Terry and Dave Brubeck, and recent releases from Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Artemis and the Uptown Jazz Tentet.

Thursday, December 31

Night Train celebrates birthdays of Odetta, John Kirby and Jule Styne (including a special featuring his music in hour two of the show). There’s also new music from New Orleans High Society and the John Santos Sextet, some final selections from December featured artists Dave Brubeck and Clark Terry, and a few little musical gems especially for New Year’s Eve.