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, 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.

Monday, June 8

Night Train gives the drummers some with music from drummer Willie Jones III for his birthday (including music he did with Horace Silver, Cyrus Chestnut, Russell Malone and more). There’s also more from June featured artist, drummer Shelly Manne, to mark his centennial birthday later this week, and from West Coast artists Teddy Edwards, Bud Shank and Bob Cooper. Plus new releases from saxophonist Eric Alexander, the BK Trio, guitarist John Stein, pianist Joey Alexander, and Brazilian quartet Aquarela headed up by classical artist Oboman.

Tuesday, June 9

Night Train marks birthdays of pianist Kenny Barron (with music from his new album with Dave Holland and compositions of his on new releases from Gerald Beckett and the Lorca Hart Trio in hour one, and a concert performance featuring Barron at the Savannah Music Festival in hour two of the show) and also of Great American Songbook great Cole Porter (performed by Art Pepper, Kelly Johnson, and a new album from saxophonist Vin Dieterle). We’ll also hear June featured artist Shelly Manne featured on one of the last recordings from West Coast vibes player Cal Tjader.

Wednesday, June 10

Night Train marks birthdays of guitarist, singer and bossa nova pioneer Joao Gilberto (on a classic with Stan Getz and on his own version of a Jobim classic), and of guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg (from his most recent album and with soul jazz organ great Dr. Lonnie Smith). Night Train also continues the Shelly Manne Centennial/West Coast Jazz June feature with music Manne did with cool jazz singer June Christy and as part of the Poll Winners, and a special in hour two featuring the Four Brothers After Woody Herman and their influence on West Coast Jazz. Plus new music from guitarist John Stein, pianist Harold Mabern, and a charming new Brazilian set from Aqurela & Oboman.

Thursday, June 11

Night Train marks the centennial birthday of June featured artist Shelly Manne in a show devoted to his music. We’ll hear Manne as a leader (including on the groundbreaking best-selling My Fair Lady album and with the Poll Winners and L.A. 4) and in a wide array of appearances from his early days with Stan Kenton to later performances with Hank Jones and Joe Pass, and in between with Peggy Lee, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Chet Baker and more. Manne was also closely associated with West Coast Jazz and we’ll hear a special that looks at the sound and the controversy of that music in the last half hour of the show.

  1. Pearl Django – Simplicity (Modern Hot)
  2. Gilfema – Three (Sounderscore)
  3. Eric Alexander – With Strings (High Note)
  4. Kandace Springs – The Women Who Raised Me (Blue Note)
  5. Calle Loiza Jazz Project – There Will Never Be Another You (Goose Mountain)
  6. Lafayette Harris Jr. – You Can’t Lose With the Blues (Savant)
  7. Gabriel Bismut/Maurizio Minardi – Le Chat Brel (Adami)
  8. Church on Monday – For Being There (Cherrywood)
  9. Oded Tzur – Here Be Dragons (ECM)
  10. Guitar Elation – Double Live at the Green Lady (Jazz Daddy)

Monday, June 1

Night Train pays tribute to drummer Jimmy Cobb, who passed away earlier this month, in a special edition of the show devoted entirely to his music. In hour one we’ll hear Cobb as a leader including music from two recent albums on which he appeared, and as a guest with Wes Montgomery, Wynton Kelly, Joey DeFrancesco, and with Miles Davis at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Then in hour two, it’s a Kind of Blue special. For many years, Cobb had been the last living member of the lineup that recorded that classic album. The program looks at the making of that Miles Davis album with commentary from a number of jazz masters, including Jimmy Cobb himself talking about what it was like to be part of that historic and enduringly popular recording.

Tuesday, June 2

Night Train focuses on singers tonight, both contemporary and legendary – including Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Shirley Horn, Kurt Elling, Catherine Russell, Mose Allison, Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie and more.  We’ll also hear guitarists Kenny Burrell and Al DiMeola, pianist Leslie Pintchik, and three master Brazilian musicians who make up Trio da Paz.

Wednesday, June 3

Night Train marks the birthdays of Curtis Mayfield (with jazz reinterpretations of his work from Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers and the Jazz Soul Seven) and singer Dakota Staton (from a recent compilation of her complete early work). We’ll also hear music from June featured artist Shelly Manne, and new music from trombonist Audrey Ochoa and pianist John Di Martino.

Thursday, June 4

Night Train marks the birthday of Latin jazz saxophone and clarinet player Paquito D’Rivera in a special edition of the show devoted to his music. We’ll hear him as part of the groundbreaking group Cuban band Irakere, as a leader, and as a special guest with the Caribbean Jazz Project, Anat Cohen, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Mann and more – and in hour two, it’s a special that focuses on the classical side of his work, though always with a certain ‘Spanish tinge.’

Monday, May 25

Night Train celebrations Memorial Day with two special programs from the premier Air Force jazz ensemble, the Airmen of Note. In hour one, we’ll hear the band with special guest Karrin Allyson, one of today’s top jazz vocalists and an artist who got her start in Kansas City. In hour two, the special guest is one of today’s finest Latin jazz artists – saxophonist, clarinetist and Irakere co-founder Paquito D’Rivera.

Tuesday, May 26

Night Train marks the centennial birthday today of May featured artist Peggy Lee with some key tracks from across her career in hour one and a special in hour two that focuses on Lee as a songwriter. There’s also music from Miles Davis for his birthday, the latest release in the Erroll Garner Octave Records reissue series, and new albums from the Joshua Jern Jazz Orchestra and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt.

Wednesday, May 27

Tonight on the Night Train we’ll hear music from singer Dee Dee Bridgewater (including an interview and special in hour two of the show), saxophonist Bud Shank, bassist Niels Henning Orsted Pederson, and pianist Marc Copland, all born on this date – along with music from the Modern Jazz Quartet (with May featured artist John Lewis), a tribute to guitarist and organist Lucky Peterson, and the latest from Church on Monday and Idle Hands.

Thursday, May 28

Night Train wraps up this broadcast week with birthday salutes to blues and electric guitar legend T-Bone Walker, West Coast pianist Russ Freeman, the late Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi, and guitarist and songwriting partner of May featured artist Peggy Lee, Dave Barbour. Plus new music from trumpeters Thomas Marriott and John Sneider, pianist Michael Wolff, vocalist Kandace Springs, and Brent Jensen (with a 19th anniversary reissue of his album in tribute to Brubeck Quartet saxophonist Paul Desmond).

Monday, May 18

Night Train marks birthdays of Kansas City great Big Joe Turner, vibes player Christian Tamburr, trombonist Kai Winding, and pianist Jim McNeely. We’ll also hear music from May featured artists Peggy Lee and John Lewis (with the Modern Jazz Quartet), and the latest from alto saxophonists Vincent Herring, Bobby Watson and Gary Bartz (celebrating Charlie Parker’s centennial later this year), harmonica and vibes player Hendrik Meurkens, pianist and composer Lisa Hilton, vocalist Kat Edmonson, the Kenny Barron/Dave Holland Trio, and the Calle Loiza Jazz Project doing new Latin arrangements of jazz classics.

Tuesday, May 19

Night Train marks birthdays of Sonny Fortune, Kyle Eastwood, Allen Farnham and Cecil McBee (including a special in hour two featuring an interview with McBee and a Tulsa concert performance with an all-star cast including George Cables, Billy Hart and Bryan Lynch). Plus more music from May featured artists John Lewis and Peggy Lee, and new guitar releases from Kansas City’s Guitar Elation and John Stein.

Wednesday, May 20

Night Train marks birthdays of veteran drummer Victor Lewis, jazz bagpiper Rufus Harley, and both with recent releases- singer Carmen Souza and drummer Ferenc Nemeth. Plus more from May featured artists Peggy Lee (with music she did for the Disney film, Lady and the Tramp) and John Lewis (a classic composition, solo project, and guest appearance with Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz and Sonny Stitt). We’ll also hear new music from Chanda Rule + Sweet Emma Band, Harold Mabern, Robby Ameen, Jim Snidero, and Michael Dease.

Thursday, May 21

Night Train marks birthdays of musician, composer and arranger Bill Holman (including a Grammy nominated song he did with May featured artist Peggy Lee), West Coast drummer Laurance Marable, bassist Joe Byrd, and stride piano master Fats Waller (including a special in hour two featuring lesser known Waller recordings). We’ll also hear new music from pianist Tim Ray (with a jazz reinterpretation of a Rolling Stones classic), saxophonist Christopher Hollyday (with his first new recording in 25 years), and tenor men Jeff Rupert and George Garzone.