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.

  1. Ricardo Bacelar – Ao Vivo No rio (Bacelar)
  2. Bill Frisell – Valentine (Blue Note)
  3. Ray Mantilla – Rebirth (Savant)
  4. Harold Lopez-Nussa – Te Lo Dije (Mack Avenue)
  5. Flying Horse Big Band – Florida Rays (Flying Horse)
  6. Steve Cardenas – Blue Has A Range (Sunnyside)
  7. John Santos Sextet – The Art of the Descarga (Smithsonian Folkways)
  8. John Finbury – Quatro (Green Flash)
  9. John Di Martino – Passion Flower (Sunnyside)
  10. 3D Jazz Trio – I Love to See You Smile (3DCD)

Monday, September 28

Continuing the September Piano Month feature, Night Train devotes another program to showcasing some great jazz pianists. We’ll hear a rare track from soul jazz organist Dr. Lonnie Smith on piano, along with contemporary players including Brad Mehldau (with Pat Metheny), Chick Corea, Hans Ludemann, Yoko Miwa, Spike Wilner and Mike Longo, and such jazz legends as Tommy Flanagan, McCoy Tyner, Joanne Brackeen, and Marian McPartland.

Tuesday , September 29

Night Train marks birthdays of jazz fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and pianist David Kikoski. In conjunction with the Piano Month feature, we also have another special Piano Showdown concert from the Savannah Music Festival in hour two with Marcus Roberts, Dick Hyman, Gerald Clayton and Henry Butler. Plus new music from Conrad Herwig (his next Latin Side project featuring the music of Horace Silver), Wolff Clark Dorsey (playing music of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper) and the latest from pianists Ricardo Bacelar and Adam Glaser.

Wednesday, September 30

It’s Movie Night on the Night Train! We’ll hear great jazz versions of songs that appeared in films like The Wizard of Oz, I Want to Live, The Pink Panther, Alfie and Top Hat, to name a few. We’ll also hear music dedicated to filmmakers (Enrico Pieranunzi’s tribute to Fellini) and to film composers (a clever new album from pianist and composer Jordan Seigel evoking the styles of some master film composers). Night Train also continues the Piano Month feature with selections from McCoy Tyner, Bill Anschell and more – and highlights new titles from the John Santos Sextet, Harold Lopez-Nussa, Swingadelic, John Stein, and Cosmic Vibrations.

Thursday, October 1

It’s Bass Night tonight on the Night Train, as we mark birthdays of three bassists born on this date and have a special in hour two featuring another born yesterday. In hour one we’ll hear Dave Holland, Mark Helias, and Curtis Lundy. Then it’s a Jazz Profiles special about pioneering bassist Oscar Pettiford in hour two of the show. There’s also new music from saxophonist Bobby Watson and his New Horizon lineup, bassist Martin Wind, and pianists Ryan Cohan and Antonio Adolfo.

Monday, September 21

Night Train marks birthdays of local guitar great and fusion pioneer Jerry Hahn (as a leader and with Grant Geissman and King & Moore), bassist Slam Stewart, and pianist Henry Butler (also featured in a solo concert special from the Savannah Music Festival in hour two of the show). We’ll also hear the latest from guitarist Steve Cardenas, singer Lauren Henderson, and the BK Trio.

Tuesday, September 22

Night Train marks the arrival of autumn with a program devoted to both classic and contemporary songs about fall. Among the artists featured– Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, John Coltrane with Johnny Hartman, Bob Dorough, the Jacques Loussier Trio, the David Murray Quartet, Mose Allison, Patricia Barber, Vanessa Rubin, and more.

Wednesday, September 23

Night Train marks the 90th birthday of the legendary Ray Charles with some of his more jazz-oriented work and several jazz tribute albums in hour one of the show, followed by a special in hour two focusing on his ABC years from the ‘60s through the early ‘70s when Charles was solidifying his distinctive style while at the same time racking up nearly a dozen Number One hits. It is also the birthday of  jazz legend John Coltrane, saxophone and flute player and Basis band member Frank Foster, pianist Les McCann, and singer Irene Reid.

Thursday, September 24

Night Train continues the September Piano Month feature with the latest releases from Chick Corea, Billy Childs, Harold Lopez-Nussa, Ricardo Bacelar, Monkia Herzig, and Joey Alexander. We’ll also mark birthdays of trombonist and Crusaders’ member Wayne Henderson, vibes player Jay Hoggard, and “Mr. Bongo” Jack Costanza. And there’s new music from percussionist Ray Mantilla, drummer Steve Fidyk, and singer Diane Schuur.

Monday, September 14

Throughout the week, Night Train pays tribute to bassist Gary Peacock, who passed away earlier this month – including music this evening from the debut release from the remarkable ‘Standards Trio’ he was part of with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette, and also on an album headed up by pianist Marc Copland. Night Train also marks birthdays of Brazilian artist Marcos Valle, legendary Cuban bassist Cachao, jazz violinist Stuff Smith, and saxophonist Oliver Lake. Lake was part of the innovative all-saxophone World Saxophone Quartet, and we’ll hear a special about the group in hour two of the show.

Tuesday, September 15

Night Train marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month with a show devoted to Latin jazz. In hour one we’ll hear some of the latest Latin releases in a wide range of rhythms and styles, including Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, Latin soul and even some Latin Bach from the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Ray Mantilla, Mongorama, John Santos, John Finbury and more. Then in the second hour, we head to the Savannah Music Festival for a special Piano Showdown Latin Tinge performance featuring Marcus Roberts’ salute to Jelly Roll Morton (who coined the ‘Spanish Tinge’ expression for jazz), Cuban great Chucho Valdez, and Panamanian player Danilo Perez.

Wednesday, September 16

On the birthday list tonight on the Night Train are blues legend B.B. King, saxophonists Mike Frost, Hamiet Bluiett and Steve Slagle, pianist Jan Johansson, and vocalese master Jon Hendricks (featured in a special on vocalese in hour two of the show). Plus new music from an Ella Fitzgerald tribute concert and remembering Gary Peacock with music he did as part of the Bill Evans Trio 64.

Thursday, September 17

Night Train wraps up a week-long tribute to bassist Gary Peacock, who passed away earlier this month, with more music he did in the ‘Standards Trio’ with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette. It’s also the birthday of drummer Jeff Ballard (heard tonight with pianists Brad Mehldau and Chick Corea) and popular soul-jazz organist Jack McDuff (featured in a special in hour two). New music tonight comes from guitarist Dave Stryker, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, and pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa.

Monday, September 7

Night Train steps aside for an American Routes Labor Day Special, a two-hour program featuring live performances from the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans. Artists appearing include  Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers, Don Vappie & the Créole Jazz Serenaders, Sunpie & the Lousiana Sunspots, the Original Pinettes Brass Band, the Iguanas, and the Corey Henry Tremé Funktet.

Tuesday, September 8

In conjunction with the September Piano Month feature, Night Train highlights jazz piano trios tonight. We’ll hear some classic lineups, including those led by Oscar Peterson, Red Garland, and Nat Cole, and some contemporary piano trios, including Aaron Goldberg, David Hazeltine and Alfredo Rodriguez. We’ll also hear music from a Grammy-winning album from vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, guitarist Pat Metheny, trombonist Ray Anderson, and more.

Wednesday, September 9

Night Train marks birthdays of saxophonist David Sanchez, legendary drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist George Mraz, highlights new Brazilian jazz from Ricardo Bacelar and Vanderlei Pereira & Blindfold Test, and features the full version of “Stormy Weather” used on Marketplace in hour one of the show. Then in hour two, in conjunction with the September Piano Month Feature, we head to the Savannah Music Festival for a special Piano Showdown, with solo and duet performances from Latin jazz piano great Eddie Palmieri, boogie woogie piano master Bob Seeley, Crescent City favorite Henry Butler, and rising jazz piano star Aaron Goldberg.

Thursday, September 10

Night Train marks birthdays of songwriter and singer Lorraine Feather, organist and former Ray Charles band musical director Dr. James Polk, and guitarist Doug MacDonald. Friday is the birthday of soul jazz organist Baby Face Willette and Night Train gets a jump on the celebrations with a special featuring him in hour two of the show. New music tonight includes an all-star multi-national group doing the music of Grammy and Latin Grammy winning composer John Finbury, the Flying Horse Big Band’s tribute to Ray Charles, and Eddie Daniels salute to Brazilian great Ivan Lins.

  1. John Di Martino – Passion Flower (Sunnyside)
  2. 3D Jazz Trio – I Love to See You Smile (3DCD)
  3. Swingadelic – Bluesville (Zoho)
  4. La Lucha – Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Arbors)
  5. Erroll Garner – Gemini/The Magician/Gershwin & Kern (Mack Avenue/Octave)
  6. Larry Willis – I Fall in Love Too Easily (High Note)
  7. Ray Mantilla – Rebirth (Savant)
  8. Jeff Hamilton Trio – Catch Me IF You Can (Capri)
  9. Dr. Michael White – Live (Basin Street)
  10. Idle Hands – Solid Moments (Posi-Tone)

Monday, August 31

Night Train wraps up the Charlie Parker Centennial Birthday feature with a two-hour Jazz Profiles special about the legendary saxophonist and bebop pioneer. Hour one covers Bird’s formative years from his time in Kansas City to his move to New York City, where he helped launch the new sound of bebop. Then in hour two Jazz Profiles covers the rest of Parker’s all too short life and his impact on music.

Tuesday, September 1

Night Train marks birthdays of organist Akiko Tsuruga, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, singer Teri Thornton, pianist Gene Harris, and Art Pepper (featured along with Dexter Gordon and Johnny Griffin in an hour two special about three saxophonists who enjoyed late career comebacks). We’ll also hear music from Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto (featured the last Monday of the month in the next Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival concert), new music from guitarists Bill Frisell and Royce Campbell with Chris Whiteman, and in conjunction with the September Piano Month feature, a selection from Chick Corea with Steve Gadd.

Wednesday, September 2

Lots of great jazz birthdays celebrated tonight on Night Train, including guitarists Steve Masakowski and Laurindo Almeida, drummer and Diva Jazz Orchestra leader Sherrie Maricle, saxophonist Clifford Jordan, and also legendary pianist Horace Silver (with music from a classic album, covers of his compositions, and in a special in hour two of the show).

Thursday, September 3

Night Train continues the September Piano Month feature with music from Erroll Garner (from the recent, year-long reissue series from his Octave label recordings) and Bill Cunliffe, and a Piano Trios Special in hour two of the show. Plus birthday salutes to guitarist Peter Bernstein (as a leader and with Larry Goldings and Paula West) and drummer Mickey Roker (with Milt Jackson and Stanley Turrentine), and new music from guitarists John Stein and Jim Robitaille.

Monday, August 24

Tonight on the Night Train it’s music from the CTI label. Known for its lush sound, massive lineups, and commercial sensibilities, CTI was one of the most successful jazz labels of the era. It was started by Creed Taylor who began his career at Bethlehem Records, headed up the famous Impulse imprint, championed the then-new sound of bossa nova at Verve, and went on to found CTI. We’ll hear label releases from such legends as Ron Carter, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson, Hubert Laws, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jim Hall, and Milt Jackson.

Tuesday, August 25

Night Train marks birthdays of guitar great Pat Martino, trombonist Michael Dease, and tenor legend Wayne Shorter (including a special in hour two featuring him and other saxophonists in the “School of Trane”). The Latin Bird feature for the week continues with one of Parker’s Latin recordings. There’s new music from Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo and singer Lauren Henderson. And we run down some of the special online events going on this weekend to celebrate the Parker Centennial.

Wednesday, August 26

Latin Bird week continues tonight on the Night Train with a Latin Jazz version of one of Charlie Parker’s classic compositions off a rare album by pianist Hilton Ruiz. We also mark birthdays of bluesy belter Jimmy Rushing and saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and highlight new music from Diane Schuur, Jason Marsalis, Idle Hands, and the Jeff Hamilton Trio. Stay with us for a special in hour two for the Charlie Parker Centennial Month feature tracing his life and career with the help of Bird historian Phil Schaap and saxophonist Joe Lovano.

Thursday, August 27

Birthday salutes tonight to tenor saxophone legend Lester Young and pianist, harpist and composer Alice Coltrane. We’ll hear music from both, tributes to both on recent albums from Jeff Rupert with George Garzone and Lakecia Benjamin respedtively, and a special in hour two featuring Alice Coltrane. We’ll also hear music from Jimmy Witherspoon (whose centennial birthday is being celebrated throughout the month on Crossroads), and wrap up this week’s Latin Bird feature for the Charlie Parker Centennial celebration, highlighting Latin tracks from Bird and Latin jazz versions of his compositions – this time including music from “El Rey,” Tito Puente.

Monday, August 17

Night Train marks birthdays of two stalwarts of the Blue Note label – saxophonist Ike Quebec, and pianist and composer Duke Pearson. There’s new music from Jerry Granelli (a tribute to Mose Allison and Vince Guaraldi) and the all-star Idle Hands lineup. And Night Train continues the August Charlie Parker Centennial feature with covers of his compositions from Curtis Stigers and Hilton Ruiz, and a special in hour two focusing on Bird’s groundbreaking Dial and Savoy recordings.

Tuesday, August 18

It’s unusual instruments in jazz this time on the Night Train. We’ll hear jazz harp (from Dorothy Ashby and Carol Robbins), sitar (on a piece from trumpeter Brad Goode), violin (Regina Carter from her debut album), harmonica (from two masters – Toots Thielemans and Howard Levy), oboe (Yusef Lateef), bass trumpet (Al Muirhead from an album featuring the instrument), alto flute (Herbie Mann), accordion (Richard Galliano), and kora and balafon (from the Kora Jazz Trio).

Wednesday, August 19

Night Train highlights standards from such Great American songbook masters as Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern and Hoagy Carmichael tonight. For the August Charlie Parker Centennial feature, we’ll hear classic Bird compositions performed by Mulgrew Miller and Eddie Landsberg. And there’s new music from the 3D Jazz Trio, Kandace Springs, Swingadelic, Bill Frisell and reissues from Erroll Garner and Peggy Lee.

Thursday, August 20

Birthday salutes tonight to Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava, trombone pioneer Jack Teagarden, and bassist John Clayton (also featured in hour two in a Clayton Brothers concert special from the Savannah Music Festival). Plus new music from the vocal group Duchess, flutist Gerald Beckett, and clarinet and New Orleans trad jazz master Dr. Michael White – and Vincent Herring, Gary Bartz and Bobby Watson’s tribute to Charlie Parker for his centennial birthday. (And be sure to catch the comb solo in hour one!)

Monday, August 10

Night Train kicks off the week with a celebration of a number of jazz birthdays including saxophonist Arnett Cobb, composer Claude Thornhill, organist Trudy Pitts (with a young Pat Martino), retro singer Roberta Donnay, and also vocalist Patti Austin (featured on a new Ella Fitzgerald album and in a special in hour two of the show). Plus new music from the 3D Jazz Trio (from the Diva Jazz Orchestra), the Duchess vocal group, Brent Jensen (with a tribute to Paul Desmond) and a final album from Latin jazz percussion great Ray Mantilla.

Tuesday, August 11

Night Train hosts a ‘tenor battle’ tonight – highlighting both classic and contemporary tenor saxophonists. We’ll hear music from John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Houston Person, Michael Brecker and more. The August Charlie Parker Centennial feature continues with Bird compositions performed by tenor players Donny McCaslin and Stan Getz. And there’s new music from vibes player Christian Tamburr, pianist Errol Garner (from the on-going Octave reissue series), pianist Larry Willis (from his final recording sessions) and a previously unreleased album from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

Wednesday, August 12

Night Train celebrates Pat Metheny’s birthday with a program devoted entirely to his music. We’ll hear the famed guitarist as a leader, working with Charlie Haden, Joshua Redman, Marc Johnson, Gary Burton, Brad Mehldau, Roy Haynes, Cassandra Wilson, and Jim Hall, and in covers of his songs from the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and flutist Holly Hofmann.

Thursday, August 13

Night Train marks birthdays of two accomplished jazz pianists – Mulgrew Miller and George Shearing. We’ll also hear new music from flutist Gerald Beckett and an exploration of varieties of blues from Swingadelic. And in conjunction with the August Charlie Parker Centennial feature we’ll hear music from Bird with Dizzy Gillespie and a special about the two of them and the creation of bebop in hour two of the show.