Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Classical Stations: Sun, 7-8 pm | News Stations: Sat, 8-9 pm
  • Hosted by Marian McPartland

Jazz legend Marian McPartland hosted Piano Jazz for over 30 years. The program continues to showcase the world's top musicians of all time with broadcasts and podcasts from it's archive. Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is NPR's longest-running and most widely carried jazz program.

Program Listings

Piano Jazz Shorts Archives (September 2011 - September 2014)
 

Ways to Connect

Valerie Capers
valeriecapers.com

  Valerie Capers is a fabulous pianist, composer, and educator. The first blind graduate from the Juilliard School of Music, she is blessed with a diverse piano style that combines elements of Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, and Bill Evans, with some Chopin thrown in. On this 1998 Piano Jazz, Capers shows off her classical chops when she solos on “It Could Happen to You.” Then she and McPartland swing out on “Scrapple from the Apple.”

News Stations: Sat, Jul 02, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 03, 7 pm

Benny Golson at Smoke, No. 2, 106th and Broadway, NYC, 3/11/06.
Ed Newman/Flickr

    Saxophonist and composer Benny Golson began studying piano as a child but was soon seduced by the tenor saxophone sounds he heard on jazz records. He gained recognition as a composer when he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, and he went on to form The Jazztet, a hard-bop group, with trumpeter Art Farmer. Golson has devoted much of his time to jazz education and he continues to record and tour regularly. On this Piano Jazz from 2006, McPartland and bassist Rufus Reid join Golson to perform “Along Came Betty” and “I Remember Clifford.”

Monty Alexander
Courtesy of the artist

      Guitarist Monty Alexander grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. His earliest musical experiences came from the folk and popular songs of his country as well as the Calypso rhythms that originated from Trinidad. Alexander moved to Miami in 1961 and worked in clubs before moving to New York City in 1962, where he played at Minton’s Playhouse. He was McPartland’s guest in 1991. Known for his rhythmic approach and melodic and harmonic inventiveness, Alexander solos on his original “Look Up” and teams up with McPartland for an unusual duet.

Sarah Vaughan, Café Society (Downtown), New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1946.
William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)

Sarah Vaughan (1924 – 1990) was one of the greatest vocalists of the twentieth century. With rich vibrato and an incredible range, “Sassy” recorded critically-acclaimed interpretations of standards including “Misty” and “I’ve Got a Crush On You.” On this 1986 Piano Jazz, Vaughan talks about her start as a jazz singer and explains how she uses the piano to learn her songs. She sings “Tenderly” and “Poor Butterfly” while McPartland plays, then the two join forces for “My Funny Valentine.”

News Stations: Sat, Jun 11, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Jun 12, 7 pm

Alan Clare (ctr) with Yehudi Menuhin (l)and Stephane Grappelli (r) at  Abbey Road Studios London.
Allan Warren

British pianist Alan Clare (1921 – 1993) was McPartland’s guest at the BBC’s Delaware Road studios in London. Clare began his professional career at age eleven and went on to work with George Shearing, Stephen Grappelli, and Spike Milligan. He also fulfilled regular engagements at the London residence of the American Ambassador for parties honoring such guests as Queen Elizabeth and former President Reagan. On this Piano Jazz from 1990, Clare plays his composition “John O Groats” and joins McPartland for a go-around on “In a Mellow Tone.”

Dena DeRose
Courtesy of the artist

Singer and pianist Dena DeRose has performed at some of the most renowned venues in the world, from The Blue Note in New York to Swing Hall in Japan. She has shared the stage with artists including Clark Terry, Ray Brown, and Ingrid Jensen. She teaches at the Jazz Institute of the University for Music and Performing Arts in Austria, and continues to perform worldwide. She was McPartland’s guest in this 2001 session. DeRose opens the show with “If I Should Lose You” and McPartland joins for “I’m Old Fashioned.”

Portrait of Artie Shaw, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948.
William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)

  Cornetist and jazz historian Richard Sudhalter (1938 – 2008) joined Marian McPartland on several occasions to provide historical perspective on great performers and songs from the golden era of jazz. In 2002, He sat down with McPartland to talk about Artie Shaw (1910 – 2004). Shaw was known for his unparalleled virtuosity and as a successful bandleader with a limitless imagination. Piano Jazz honors Shaw with selections including “Love of My Life” and “Any Old Time.”

News Stations: Sat, May 21, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, May 22, 7 pm

Tania Maria
taniamaria.org/

Born in Brazil to a musical family, pianist and vocalist Tania Maria was leading her own group of professional musicians by the time she was thirteen. In the 1970s she moved to Paris, and she first came into the international spotlight through her work in jazz festivals. In the 1980s Tania Maria moved to New York, where she recorded a number of hit albums and worked with some of the most renowned jazz artists in the world. On this 1994 Piano Jazz, Maria performs her own composition “Carona” then solos on “Ta’ Tudo Certo.”

  Bassist and vocalist Jim Ferguson got his start in South Carolina, where his father was a church music director. He picked up the bass late in high school and learned to play on the job before taking formal lessons. He went on to play with greats such as Teddy Wilson, Kenny Burrell, Mose Allison, and Stephen Grappelli. On this Piano Jazz from 2001, Ferguson joins host McPartland to perform “While We’re Young” and McPartland’s “There’ll Be Other Times.”

News Stations: Sat, May 07, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, May 08, 7 pm

Rose Murphy and Marian McPartland
SC Public Radio

Rose Murphy Rose Murphy (1913 - 1989) was a legendary singer and pianist who starred at Café Society in the heyday of New York’s jazz scene. She made history with her version of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” Critics and audiences alike were delighted by her breathless, giggly voice, her spirited playing, and her signature “chee-chee.” In this Piano Jazz session from 1988, Murphy showcases her trademark vocal style on “Cecilia.” Then she teams up with McPartland for “St. Louis Blues.”

News Stations: Sat, Apr 30, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, May 01, 7 pm

Mike Longo
Ken Weis

  Mike Longo performed his first gig at fifteen with saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, who was at that time an unknown. Since then, Longo has played with, taught, and composed for many other jazz greats, including Jimmy McPartland. He was Dizzy Gillespie’s pianist and musical director, and his repertoire includes everything from traditional jazz to bebop. For this 1999 Piano Jazz, he solos on Gillespie’s “Con Alma” and McPartland continues the tribute with her own “Dizzy.”

News Stations: Sat, Apr 23, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Apr 24, 7 pm

Ayako Shirasaki
myspace.com/ayakojazz

  Originally from Japan, pianist Ayako Shirasaki showed an early talent for jazz and classical styles. As an adult, she moved to New York and entered the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Kenny Barron and Ted Rosenthal. She has gone on to establish herself as one of New York’s finest jazz pianists. On this 2006 Piano Jazz, Shirasaki performs her compositions “Far Away” and “Falling Leaves.”

News Stations: Sat, Apr 16, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Apr 17, 7 pm

Barbara Lea
www.barbaralea.com

  Vocalist Barbara Lea (1929 – 2011) was a widely respected and admired interpreter of classic American popular song. She started her career in the 1950s, and the Downbeat Critic’s Poll of 1956 recognized her as “Best New Singer.” On this 1999 Piano Jazz, she joins McPartland for a tribute to songwriter Hoagy Carmichael. The conservator of Carmichael’s repertoire, Lea brings her skill to selections including “Lazybones” and “Star Dust.”

News Stations: Sat, Apr 9, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Apr 10, 7 pm


Paul Bley on Piano Jazz

Mar 28, 2016
Paul Bley, Theaterzaal, Vooruit, Gent, BE, 05/15/2009.
Bruno Bollaert

  Legendary leader of the jazz avant-garde, pianist Paul Bley (1932 – 2015) cultivated his own musical vision and influenced a generation of performers. Throughout his life, he remained on the cutting edge of creative music, performing with everyone from Ornette Coleman and Charlie Parker to Jaco Pastorious and Pat Metheny. This week, we remember Paul Bley with his appearance on Piano Jazz in 2000. Bley performs his original motifs and collaborates on a duet with McPartland.

News Stations: Sat, Apr 01, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Apr 03, 7 pm

"The Music of Marian McPartland" on Piano Jazz

Mar 21, 2016
Marian McPartland
SC Public Radio

  Of all McPartland’s attributes, possibly the most underrated is her ability as a composer. Her piano pieces have entered the jazz repertoire and some of her songs—with lyrics by such stars as Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, and Peggy Lee—are part of the Great American Songbook. In honor of Marian’s birthday this week, guest host Murray Horwitz leads this exposition through some of her most beautiful works, with performances by Cleo Laine, Sarah Vaughan, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Marian herself.

News Stations: Sat,  Mar 26,  8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Mar 27, 7 pm


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