Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jazz Singers, Hammerstein and Bastille Day
Monday July 11
Tonight we begin a 13-episode series, Jazz Singers. Produced by the Smithsonian and hosted by renowned vocalist Al Jarreau, the programs trace the history of jazz singing from its earliest days to the present day, exploring the music’s roots, evolution, key styles and important artists.
In the first hour, we’ll hear “Steeped in the Blues,” exploring the blues’ influence on countless jazz singers. Great singers like Big Joe Turner, Joe Williams, Lou Rawls, Billie Holiday, Etta Jones and LaVerne Butler. Others speak and demonstrate how jazz singing is “infused with blues”.
Then, in the second hour, it’s a “Saturday Night Function”. From the beginning, jazz voices have dealt with the more down to earth side of life, as artists such as Dakota Staton, Louis Jordan, OC Smith, Oscar Brown Jr. and Jon Hendricks demonstrate in part two of the series. .
tuesday july 12
Night Train marks the birthdays of Ellington saxophonist Paul Gonsalves and soul-jazz organist Big John Patton. It is also the birthday of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. We’ll hear the music he created with Richard Rodgers beginning in July with featured artist Dr. Lonnie Smith. New albums from singer Melissa Stylianou, guitarist Ron Jackson and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, and in a special looking back at her career in the second hour of the show.
Wednesday July 13
Night Train spotlights that rare jazz bird – the male jazz vocalist – tonight. We’ll hear from classical and contemporary singers, including Mose Allison, Johnny Hartman, Andy Bey, Kurt Elling, Gregory Porter, and more. We’ll also hear from great pianists, including Erroll Garner, Fats Waller and Hank Jones, a classic from Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery, and Christian McBride’s tribute to the duo and their work with producer Oliver Nelson.
Thursday July 14
Night Train joined Global village and strange currency to celebrate July 14. We’ll hear music from French jazz artists, jazz projects recorded in France, and related recordings, including Ahmad Jamal in Paris, Shirley Horn’s Salute to Paris, and Nina Simone doing a Jacques Brel classic. Alongside French musicians such as trumpeter Erik Truffaz, pianist Jacky Terrasson, third-century artists Claude Bolling and Jacques Loussier, and Hot Club de France legends Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. Plus a birthday tribute to cellist Akua Dixon with the music she made as a leader and with Quartette Indigo.