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Best Of 2021, John McLaughlin, National Bird Day & Good Vibes

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Monday, January 3

Night Train kicks off the January feature looking back at the Best of 2021 with a countdown of the show’s Top 20 favorites of the year. We’ll hear previously unreleased recordings from jazz masters, rising stars, seldom heard lead instruments and a wide array of approaches from the year. The full list of Night Train and other local music show favorites can be found here.

Tuesday, January 4

Tonight Night Train joins in with Global Village to mark the birthday of guitarist John McLaughlin. We’ll also hear from jazz flute pioneer Frank Wess, who was also born on this date). We’ll listen to new music from organist Joey DeFrancesco, a previously unreleased live set from golden era Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, and Ellington reimaged by guitarist Pasquale Grasso. As we look back at the best of the past year this month, we’ll hear music from a fun soul-jazz debut album from organist Kendall Carter and some Cartoon Bebop from the 14 Jazz Orchestra.

Wednesday, January 5

Night Train joins in with Global Village and Strange Currency to celebrate National Bird Day. We’ll hear bird songs in hour one from Lady Blackbird, Bob Dorough, Anita O’Day, Stacey Kent, 2021 favorites Bill Evans and Pat Coil, and more. The legendary jazz Bird, Charlie Parker, featured in a special show in hour two.

Thursday, January 6

Night Train features ‘good vibes’ tonight. We’ll hear legendary and up-and-coming vibes players, including Milt Jackson (as part of the Modern Jazz Quartet with MQJ pianist John Lewis), Bobby Hutcherson, Khan Jamal, Lolly Allen, Gary Burton, and Dave Samuels. And we’ll also hear from some singers, including Peggy Lee, Ray Charles, Alexis Cole, Shirley Horn, and Kandace Springs.

Chicago native Chris Heim produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally and internationally distributed world music show heard in more than 40 states and nearly 40 countries; the nightly jazz show Night Train, and Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show. In 2020, Chris received first place in Special Program from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters for Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival, as well as first place in DJ Personality Air Check for Night Train.