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Jack DeJohnette's 80th + Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Duke Pearson & (More) Jazz Singers

Monday, August 15

Night Train marks the birthday tonight of one of the greats of jazz piano, Oscar Peterson. We'll hear selections from across his career, a special project with major pianists performing Peterson compositions in hour one, and an archival special with an interview and original music to mark his 75th birthday in hour two of the show.

We also mark the birthday of Crusaders' drummer Stix Hooper. We'll hear a selection from a concert guitarist Grant Green did on this date in 1970. We'll check out the latest from organist Ronnie Foster (his first new release in over three decades), guitarist Calvin Keys (with a bluesy new set), and pianist Monty Alexander (with his first album ever featuring him singing).

Tuesday, August 16

Night Train celebrates the birthday of one of the greats of jazz piano, Bill Evans. We'll hear him along with August featured artist Jack DeJohnette, with Miles Davis, and live at the Village Vanguard in hour one, and featured in a special in hour two of the show. We'll also hear from vocalist Mary Stallings (also born on this date), and check out new music from bassist Boris Koslov and pianist Lynne Arriale.

Wednesday, August 17

Night Train has birthday celebrations tonight for pianist and composer Duke Pearson, soul jazz saxophonist Ike Quebec, and singer Grażyna Auguścik (also featured in a concert special in hour two of the show). Night Train showcases new music from the contemporary group, the Joe Marcinek Band, and Latin jazz singer Lauren Henderson. Plus, we continue the August feature with a guest appearance by legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette made with guitarist George Benson.

Thursday, August 18

Tonight we continue a 13-part series, Jazz Singers. Produced by the Smithsonian and hosted by acclaimed singer Al Jarreau, the programs trace the history of jazz singing from the early days to the present, exploring the roots, evolution, key styles, and major artists in the music.

In hour one, it's Jazz Singing and Civil Rights, a program that examines jazz singing as a means of social protest. Artists such as Nnenna Freelon, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Louis Armstrong, Al Hibbler, Oscar Brown Jr., Ray Charles, and Miles Griffith talk about their own experiences and songs they sang with a political or social message.

Then in hour two, in Beyond Each Shining Sea, a look at how jazz incorporates influences from Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Melba Joyce, Helen Merrill, Ernestine Anderson, Flora Purim, Sibongile Khumalo, Annie Ross, Diane Reeves and Claudia Acuña share their music and stories to describe how this mutual cultural exchange has nurtured them.

Be sure to join us here on the Night Train next week when we present the Jazz Singers series final episode.

Chris Heim produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally and internationally distributed world music show; the nightly jazz show Night Train, and Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show. Chris is also a critic and freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Utne, Global Rhythm, Dirty Linen, and Option, among others.