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, August 3

Night Train kicks off a new month’s feature marking the centennial birthday of jazz great Charlie Parker. We’ll also mark birthdays of vocalese pioneer Eddie Jefferson, bassist Ben Wolfe, and singer and songwriter Kat Edmonson (featured in a special in hour two of the show). Plus new music from the Tampa trio La Lucha, the tuba/guitar duo of Jim Self and John Chiodini, and pianist John Di Martino.

Tuesday, August 4

The Night Train Bird Centennial feature continues with music from a Charlie Parker tribute album from alto saxophonist Stefano di Battista. Also tonight birthday salutes to drummers Terri Lynn Carrington and Jeff Hamilton, jazz legend Louis Armstrong, and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander (featured in a concert special in hour two of the show). Plus the latest from Tim Ray. Thomas Marriott and Dr. Michael White.

Wednesday, August 5

In conjunction with the August Charlie Parker Centennial feature,  Night Train showcases classic and contemporary alto sax players – along with Bird and a tribute to him from Lee Konitz, we’ll hear selections from Johnny Hodges, Cannonball Adderley, Phil Woods, Kenny Garrett, Richie Cole, Hank Crawford, and Steve Slagle. Also on tap, vocalists Joe Williams, Abbey Lincoln and Ernestine Anderson, organist Joey DeFrancesco, and the Afro Bop Alliance Big Band.

Thursday, August 6

It’s a jazz birthday bonanza tonight on the Night Train as the show celebrates those of violinist Regina Carter, vocalist Abbey Lincoln, bassist Charlie Haden, saxophonists Ravi Coltrane (John’s son) and Victor Goines, harpist Dorothy Ashby, and harmonica player Hendrik Meurkens (featured in a special in hour two of the show. And in conjunction with the August Charlie Parker Centennial Birthday celebration, Night Train dips into some of his Latin jazz work.

  1. Erroll Garner – Gemini/The Magician/Gershwin & Kern (Mack Avenue/Octave)
  2. Delfeayo Marsalis – Jazz Party (Troubadour Jass)
  3. Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut – Live in Graz (Multiphonics Music)
  4. Gerald Beckett – Mood (Pear Orchard)
  5. Jerry Granelli Trio – Plays Vince Guaraldi & Mose Allison (Rare Noise)
  6. Antonio Adolfo – Bruma (AAM)
  7. Aquarela – A Bela Vida (Buda Musique)
  8. John Stein – Watershed (Whaling City Sound)
  9. Joey Alexander – Warna (Verve)
  10. Al Di Meola – Across the Universe (Ear Music)

Monday, July 27

Night Train wraps up the Summer Festival Month feature with a week-long celebration of the stunning solo piano series recorded at the Maybeck Recital Hall, with music tonight from piano legend Hank Jones and then-rising star Ted Rosenthal. The show also begins a week-long tribute to vocalist Annie Ross, who passed away last week – tonight with a couple of classics she did as part of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and a release she did under her own name with baritone sax legend Gerry Mulligan. We’ll also mark birthdays of singer Karrin Allyson and pianist Edward Simon, and highlight new music from Jason Marsalis, Eric Alexander, Michael Dease, the BK Trio, and Christian Tamburr.

Tuesday, July 28

Night Train wraps up the Summer Festival Month feature with a week-long celebration of the stunning solo piano series recorded at the Maybeck Recital Hall, continuing tonight with a Maybeck performance from lyrical pianist Steve Kuhn. The week-long tribute to vocalist Annie Ross, who passed away last week, also continues with music from a release she did with saxophonist Zoot Sims. There’s new music from guitarist John Stein and Joe Fieldler’s Big Sackbut trombone and tuba band, along with birthday salutes to singer Nnenna Freelon, Lady in Satin arranger and conductor Ray Ellis, and trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis (also featured in an hour two special with brothers Wynton, Jason and Branford, Abbey Lincoln, and more in a concert that marked the opening of Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall).

Wednesday, July 29

Night Train marks birthdays of electric guitar pioneer Charlie Christian (with Benny Goodman), and eclectic six-stringer Joe Beck (as a leader and guesting with Nnnena Freelon and Freddy Cole). More also in the week-long feature of music from the acclaimed Maybeck Recital Hall solo piano series – this time from Fred Hersh, Roger Kellaway and Toshiko Akiyoshi – and in a week-long tribute to Annie Ross, who passed away last week, tonight with music she did as part of the great vocal ensemble Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and from a solo album she recorded shortly before joining the group. New music tonight includes Derrick Shezbie’s tribute to Buddy Bolden, Antonio Adolfo’s celebration of Milton Nascimento, and Kandace Spring’s salute to women artists who influenced her.

Thursday, July 30

Night Train wraps up a week-long celebration of the stunning solo piano series recorded at the Maybeck Recital Hall with performances from Buddy Montgomery and James Williams (who had the final volume of the 42-album series). The week-long tribute to vocalist Annie Ross, who passed away last week, also concludes with music from one of her later albums and another classic she did as part of the legendary vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. And Night Train marks birthdays of Kansas City vocalist Kevin Mahogany, and saxophonist David Sanborn (featured in a concert special in hour two of the show.)

Monday, July 20

Night Train highlights singers tonight, including vocalese greats Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and King Pleasure, rising star Jazzmeia Horn, Virginia Schenck (with a tribute to another legendary vocalist, Abbey Lincoln), popular performer Diana Krall, and NEA Jazz Master Bob Dorough. Also tonight Latin jazz from Ray Mantilla, soul jazz from organist Akiko Tsuruga, and classic tracks from Herbie Mann, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris, and Duke Pearson.

Tuesday, July 21

Night Train marks birthdays of singer Helen Merrill and hard bop pianist and Blue Note stalwart Sonny Clark; highlights new releases from the Ella 100 tribute concert, and pianists Larry Willis and Erroll Garner; and for the Savannah Music Festival Week (in conjunction with the July Summer Festival Month feature), it’s a performance tonight from guitarist Randy Napoleon.

Wednesday, July 22

Night Train marks birthdays of guitarists Al DiMeola, Joshua Breakstone and Jimmy Bruno, bassist Keter Betts (with Ella Fitzgerald and on a groundbreaking bossa nova record with Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd), and soul jazz organist Don Patterson. And Savannah Music Festival Week continues in hour two of the show with a performance from singer Catherine Russell (also heard in hour one with a new song she’s done as a benefit for the Jazz Foundation’s Covid Fund to aid musicians).

Thursday, July 23

Night Train marks birthdays of singer Janis Siegel (solo and with Manhattan Transfer), saxophonist Steve Lacy, and vibes player Khan Jamal; highlights new music from pianist Tim Ray and saxophonist Lekecia Benjamin (with at tribute to Alice and John Coltrane); and wraps up Savannah Music Festival Week in hour two with a “Battle Royale,” an old-fashioned jazz contest on stage between the Marcus Roberts Trio and the Clayton Brothers.

Monday, July 13

Night Train kicks off Monterey Week, highlighting music from the Monterey Jazz Festival in conjunction with the July Summer Festival Month feature. We’ll hear music from Erroll Garner’s famous Concert by the Sea, part of a concert series that preceded and led to Monterey, along with classics from Sarah Vaughan and Tito Puente at Monterey. Plus birthday salutes to Cuban pianist and composer Harold Lopez-Nussa, and West Coast bassist Leroy Vinnegar (as a leader and with Stan Getz, Benny Carter, and Shelly Manne); new releases from Aquarela, Robin McKelle, John Di Martino, and the Jim Robitaille Trio; and (because it works so well on radio) some rare ‘pink’ albums (releases with prominent pink-hued cover art).

Tuesday, July 14

Night Train celebrates Bastille Day with music from French jazz artists, jazz projects recorded in France and related recordings – including Ahmad Jamal in Paris, Nina Simone with a Jacques Brel classic, Shirley Horn’s salute to Paris, along with trumpeter Erik Truffaz, pianist Jacky Terrasson, violinist Didier Lockwood, third stream artists Claude Bolling and Jacques Loussier, and music from Hot Club of France legends Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.  Plus a birthday salute to cellist Akua Dixon with music she did as a leader and with Quartette Indigo.

Wednesday, July 15

Night Train continues its Monterey Jazz Fest Week with a classic performance Herbie Hancock did there; highlights new music from singer Lauren Henderson, guitarist Dave Stryker and flutist Gerald Beckett; and marks birthdays of legendary drummer Philly Joe Jones, Indo-Jazz pioneer Joe Harriott, and lyricist Dorothy Fields (including a special about her life and music in hour two of the show).

Thursday, July 16

Lots of sounds from the West Coast tonight on the Night Train with birthday salutes to Brazilian-born guitarist Bola Sete (including music he did with Vince Guaraldi, whose birthday is tomorrow) and West Coast Latin Jazz pioneer Cal Tjader. There’s new music as well from drummer Jerry Granelli (a tribute to Guaraldi), and Brazilian pianist, composer and arranger Antonio Adolfo. And Night Train wraps up its Monterey Week with Festival performances from Cal Tjader and Charles Lloyd, and a Monterey Fest special in hour two of the show.

Monday, July 6

It’s music with a Latin tinge tonight on the Night Train, including selections from a Latin Grammy nominated release from Nestor Torres, a Grammy nominated Brazilian album from Eddie Daniels, the intriguing China Caribe project from Dongfeng Liu, inventive Cuban artist Alfredo Rodriguez, Cuban piano master Chucho Valdes, and the late, great Jerry Gonzales with his Pirates of Flamenco.

Tuesday, July 7

Throughout this week on the Night Train, we remember pianist and singer Freddy Cole, who passed away at the end of June, and feature music from the Newport Jazz Festival for the Summer Festival Month feature – including music tonight from Count Basie at Newport. Plus birthday salutes to hard bop tenor sax master Hank Mobley, guitarist Tiny Grimes, and Joe Zawinul (including music he did with Eddie Harris and Dinah Washington in hour one and a special in hour two featuring Weather Report, a group Zawinul co-founded).

Wednesday, July 8

Throughout this week on the Night Train, we remember pianist and singer Freddy Cole, who passed away at the end of June, and feature music from the Newport Jazz Festival for the Summer Festival Month feature – tonight with selections from Nina Simone and Ray Charles. We also mark birthdays of singer and bandleader Billy Eckstine and jump blues legend Louis Jordan (including a special with music and conversation with his wife and business partner in hour two of the show) – and we’ll hear new music from Joe Fielder’s Big Sackbut, Delfeayo Marsalis with the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, and Eric Alexander with strings.

Thursday, July 9

Night Train wraps up a week-long tribute to pianist and singer Freddy Cole, who passed away at the end of June, and a week of music from the Newport Jazz Festival for the Summer Festival Month feature – tonight with selections from Joe Williams, Thelonious Monk and the Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars with George Wein on piano. Wein started the Newport Jazz Festival and in hour two we’ll hear him talk about his life, career, and the jazz festival scene. Also on tap tonight – music from saxophonist Elias Haslanger, Crescent City drummer Stanton Moore and guitarist Doug Munro (with soul jazz legend, Dr. Lonnie Smith), who were all born on this date.

  1. Erroll Garner – Gemini/The Magician/Gershwin & Kern (Mack Avenue/Octave)
  2. Aquarela – A Bela Vida (Buda Musique)
  3. John Stein – Watershed (Whaling City Sound)
  4. Joey Alexander – Warna (Verve)
  5. Al Di Meola – Across the Universe (Ear Music)
  6. BK Trio – Hit It (BK Trio)
  7. Eric Alexander – With Strings (High Note)
  8. Kenny Barron/Dave Holland Trio – Without Deception (Dare 2)
  9. John Di Martino – Passion Flower (Sunnyside)
  10. Harold Mabern – Mabern Plays Mabern (Smoke Sessions)

Monday, June 29

Some different flavors tonight as Night Train celebrates International Day of the Tropics with music from jazz artists who hail from nations between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. We’ll hear artists with roots in Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Benin and more. Among the artists featured are Mulatu Astatke, Joey Alexander, Poncho Sanchez, and in hour two, a concert performance with acclaimed Brazilian bassist and composer Nilson Matta.

Tuesday, June 30

We’ve got trumpets tonight on the Night Train, including Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Jeremy Pelt, Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, Brad Goode, Thomas Marriott, Randy Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Donald Bytd, and more.  We’ll also change things up a bit with Clark Terry on Varitone trumpet and Al Muirhead on bass trumpet.

Wednesday, July 1

It’s Canada Day and Night Train celebrates with a program devoted to Canadian jazz artists, legendary and contemporary. Among the musicians featured are Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall, Holly Cole, Jane Bunnett, Molly Johnson, the all-Canadian Rob McConnell Jive 5, Carol Welsman, Cory Weeds, Renee Rosnes, Newfoundland transplant Florian Hoefner, and more – plus some jazz versions of songs from Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

Thursday, July 2

Night Train celebrates the 90th birthday of one of the greats of jazz piano and the jazz piano trio, Ahmad Jamal. And since the July is Summer Festival Month on the show, Night Train will focus on some of the many live recordings Jamal did in his career, from the groundbreaking recording at the Pershing with his megahit “Poinciana” to his later concert recordings in Paris. We’ll also hear a conversation with Jamal in the second half of hour two that was done around the time he was named an NEA Jazz Master. There’s also new music tonight from Tim Ray, Gerald Beckett, Erroll Garner, and the Herring-Watson-Bartz celebration of Charlie Parker’s upcoming centennial birthday.

Monday, June 22

Night Train marks the birthdays of Latin jazz percussionist Ray Mantilla (with Herbie Mann and as a leader) and Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal (including a live performance in hour two of the show). Plus more music for the June West Coast Jazz feature from bassist Leroy Vinnegar and in a new version of one of Gerry Mulligan’s classic compositions; new releases from twin brothers Peter and Will Anderson (with the late legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb) and young piano phenom Joey Alexander.

Tuesday, June 23

Night Train marks the birthdays of Crescent City saxophonist Donald Harrison, bassist Milt Hinton, and rising star keyboardist Ben Paterson (featured in a special in hour two of the show). Plus more West Coast Jazz for the June feature and new music from Tampa jazz trio La Lucha and one of the latest albums from the year-long Erroll Garner reissue series.

Wednesday, June 24

Night Train continues the June feature celebrating the centennial birthday of drummer Shelly Manne and West Coast Jazz. We’ll hear music from Manne’s classic Peter Gunn album, along with West Coast greats like Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Paul Desmond, Charlie Haden (with his Quartet West lineup), Benny Carter, and Teddy Edwards. Plus new releases tonight from Al Di Meola, Pearl Django, Kansas City’s Guitar Elation, Jeremy Pelt, and more.

Thursday, June 25

Night Train marks the birthday of prolific drummer and jazz educator Joe Chambers. We’ll hear him from his early days as a much-in-demand session player for Blue Note Records and as a leader (including an intriguing duet with himself on vibes and piano doing the classic “Poinciana”). There’s also new music from the swing vocal group Duchess, the all-star Idle Hands lineup and the triple threat Baritone Madness group. And the June West Coast jazz feature continues with music from Gerry Mulligan, the L.A. 4 and Chico Hamilton in hour one, and a West Coast Piano special, featuring Hampton Hawes. Dave Brubeck and Nat King Cole, in hour two of the show.

Monday, June 15

Night Train marks the 99th birthday of jazz piano great Erroll Garner. We’ll hear music from the last three albums just released as part of a year-long reissue series bringing back the albums he did on his own Octave label, along with a Jazz Profiles special about him in hour two of the show. There’s also more music for the June Shelly Manne Centennial/West Coast Jazz feature, including selections from the Lighthouse Allstars and the L.A. 4 (with Shelly Manne) – and music from one of the great singers in jazz, Nancy King, who was also born on this date.

Tuesday, June 16

Some ‘good vibes’ tonight on the Night Train with some of the masters and contemporary stars of the jazz vibraphone. Among the artist featured: Milt Jackson (with Hubert Laws), Bobby Hutcherson (on an early classic from Joe Henderson), Gary Burton (with Chick Corea), Steve Nelson (from an album in tribute to Mulgrew Miller, and Dave Samuels (with his Caribbean Jazz Project). Plus selections from KC singer Deborah Brown, guitarists Ralph Towner and Steve Khan, and jazz bass great Ron Carter.

Wednesday, June 17

There’s lots of West Coast sounds for the June feature tonight on the Night Train, including classic West Coast cool and Central Avenue sounds, along with a few artists on the scene today. We’ll hear Chet Baker, Teddy Edwards, Chico Hamilton, Vince Guaraldi, the Lighthouse All-Stars and more – along with new releases from West Coast players Jim Self (with an intriguing new tuba and guitar duo release) and Brian Andres Trio Latino. We’ll also get to new titles from vibes player Christian Tamburr, drummer Jason Tiemann, and pianist Larry Willis.

Thursday, June 18

Night Train teams up with Global Village to mark Paul McCartney’s birthday, here with jazz covers of some of the many songs he wrote with the Beatles performed by Beatlejazz, Brad Mehldau, Organissimo, Grant Green, and on new albums from Al DiMeola and the Jim Robitaille Trio. It’s also the birthday of songwriter Sammy Cahn and we’ll hear some of his songs performed by his son, guitarist Steve Khan, and by Nancy King with Fred Hersch. And the June West Coast jazz feature continues tonight with music from Gerry Mulligan, including a Jazz Profiles special in hour two of the show.

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