Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on Classic 102.1

Saturday 6-7pm

Jazz legend Marian McPartland continues to showcase the world's top musicians on NPR's longest-running jazz program.

Buffalo native Christopher Ziemba is an amazing young pianist and composer. His mature voice and articulate manner belies the fact that he's only just recently completed his senior recital at the Eastman School of Music. At the urging of his teacher, pianist Harold Danko, Ziemba sent a CD of that recital to Marian McPartland. She was immediately taken with the young player, and invited him to be a guest on Piano Jazz.

Piano Jazz welcomes pianist and singer Daryl Sherman. The ineffable performer has played most of New York's jazz spots, cabarets and supper clubs since arriving in the city in the mid 1970s.

Ellis Larkins On Piano Jazz

May 10, 2012

Known for his elegant style, pianist Ellis Larkins employed a warm, layered yet intimate palette which always complemented the talents of the singers he accompanied.

Keyboardist, composer, arranger and bandleader Clare Fischer was known for his versatile and deft touch with everything from classical to jazz to Latin and Brazilian music. He began his career after earning his Master's degree in composition from Michigan State University, where he worked as a pianist and conductor for the vocal group The Hi-Lo's. After working with The Hi-Lo's for five years, he went on to work with Dizzy Gillespie and Donald Byrd.

Kate McGarry On Piano Jazz

Apr 23, 2012

Singer-songwriter Kate McGarry has traveled many musical paths, from Celtic music to swing and various genres in between. That ecumenical outlook on music began early in her childhood. Growing up among nine brothers and sisters, she heard a variety of pop music (the Beatles, Earth Wind and Fire, etc.) but she also recalls family outings to hear live Celtic music groups performing at a local Irish pub.

Stephen Sondheim On Piano Jazz

Dec 30, 2011

On this episode of Piano Jazz recorded in 1994, legendary musical theatre composer Stephen Sondheim is Marian McPartland's guest. They perform and discuss selections from his extensive catalog, including "Anyone Can Whistle," "Old Friends" and "Send in the Clowns." Sondheim sings and plays piano on "I Wish I Could Forget."

On this episode of Piano Jazz, innovative vibraphonist Gary Burton stops by the program to perform a set of tunes by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Duke Ellington, Rodgers & Hart and more.

Piano Jazz Presents: The Music Of Marian McPartland

Dec 9, 2011

Piano Jazz celebrates Marian McPartland the composer with a set of selected performances by McPartland and her guests, including a few surprise arrangements. She performs solo in "Silent Pool," "Melancholy Mood" and a few of her famous musical portraits.

Albert Dailey On Piano Jazz

Nov 18, 2011

In his short life, Albert Dailey was an underrated yet hotly sought-after pianist.

Pianist John Lewis was a founding member of the Modern Jazz Quartet, whose original members also included vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke. Lewis was musical director of the MJQ, and many of his compositions have become well-burnished standards.

Dianne Reeves On Piano Jazz

May 13, 2011

This Piano Jazz episode from 1999 features one of today's preeminent jazz singers. Dianne Reeves brings her rhythmic virtuosity to a sparkling set of standards, including duets with host Marian McPartland on "Close Enough for Love" and "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise."

This week, Piano Jazz celebrates the season with a set of holiday favorites, as well as some surprises never heard on the program before. Guest host Michael Feinstein performs and presents tunes from the Piano Jazz archive, as well as some treasures from his own extensive collection of recordings by the masters of American popular song.

Clark Terry plays the trumpet and flugelhorn, sings and composes — that's what he's done for more than 60 years. His earliest band experience was on the bugle with the Tom Powell Drum and Bugle Corps. In high school, he took up the valve trombone. Prior to entering the service, he played riverboat jobs in St. Louis, and then was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Station from 1942 to 1945.

Pianist Randy Weston recently returned to Piano Jazz for a new session with host Marian McPartland. Weston got his start playing with Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Kenny Dorham in the late 1940s and '50s, and won New Star Pianist in the 1955 Downbeat poll. By the end of that decade, Weston was inspired by the burgeoning civil rights movement in the U.S. and the independence movement among African nations.

Piano Jazz celebrates the late, great Jimmy McPartland: early jazz cornetist, singer, and the husband and mentor of host Marian McPartland. This week's program features highlights from Jimmy McPartland's 1990 guest appearance on Piano Jazz, and a centennial celebration of his birth from the 2007 JVC Jazz Festival.

John Lewis On Piano Jazz

Jan 1, 2010

Pianist John Lewis is a founding member of the Modern Jazz Quartet, whose original members also included vibraphone player Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke.

Beegie Adair On Piano Jazz

Dec 11, 2009

Pianist and Nashville mainstay Beegie Adair has worked with the best country bands in Music City USA, including a three-year stint on The Johnny Cash Show. But on this week's episode of Piano Jazz, she swings through her deep knowledge of jazz and standards.

Sheila Jordan On Piano Jazz

Nov 27, 2009

On this Piano Jazz, singer Sheila Jordan sits down with guest host Jon Weber to talk about her early career in Detroit, her bebop vocal group — Skeeter, Mitch and Jean (she was Jean) — and chasing Charlie Parker (whom she calls her "big brother") from gig to gig.

Randy Brecker On Piano Jazz

Nov 13, 2009

On this week's Piano Jazz, guest host and pianist Bill Charlap is joined by Randy Brecker and his band — Brecker's wife, Ada Rovatti, tenor saxophone; Jill McCarron, piano; Steve Laspina, bass; and Steve Johns, drums.

Critics and fans have used a host of words to describe the compositions of this week's guest, composer/pianist Matthew Shipp. The Wilmington, Del., native's music has been called inventive, free, challenging, rich, tapestry-like and playful. But the most common descriptor is "unique" — a great word to describe this session of Piano Jazz.

At the beginning of the session he tells Marian McPartland, "I like to be felt. If I'm successful ... it hits people on many different levels."

Bud Shank On Piano Jazz

Sep 11, 2009

In the 1940s, Ohio native Bud Shank was drawn to the music of the big bands — he cut his teeth playing for Charlie Barnett and Stan Kenton. In the late 1950s and early '60s he began a successful career as a studio musician and a long tenure with his group called the LA Four.

Hot Club Of Detroit On Piano Jazz

Jul 24, 2009

Seventy years after Django Reinhardt's Quintette du Hot Club de France fused Gypsy guitar with the jazz of the day, a new "Hot Club" has emerged in the Motor City. The Hot Club of Detroit puts a modern spin on the Gypsy-jazz tradition, with Evan Perri on lead guitar, Julien Labro on accordion, Carl Cafagna on soprano and tenor sax, Paul Brady on rhythm guitar and Andrew Kratzat on bass.

Julian Lage On Piano Jazz

Jul 3, 2009

Over the years, jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton has gained a reputation as a talent scout. He spotted a young guitarist named Pat Metheny playing at a Kansas jazz festival back in the '70s. Most recently, Burton has introduced another guitarist to the jazz world, Julian Lage.

Sherrie Maricle On Piano Jazz

Jun 19, 2009

Drummer, music educator and band leader Sherrie Maricle is known for leading her all-female big band, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. But their full, explosive sound does not require the entire orchestra, as Maricle demonstrates on Piano Jazz with a scaled-down, trio version of DIVA featuring Noriko Ueda on bass, Tomoko Ohno on piano and Maricle on drums.

Nnenna Freelon: Piano Jazz At Tanglewood

May 8, 2009

The annual recording of Piano Jazz at the 2008 Tanglewood Jazz festival fell nearly halfway between two important milestones — Marian McPartland's 90th birthday, celebrated in March of 2008, and the 30th Anniversary of Piano Jazz, which we celebrate in 2009. It was truly an extravagant concert, as three wonderful performers took their turns on stage with McPartland.

Joanne Brackeen On Piano Jazz

Mar 6, 2009

Joanne Brackeen has been called the "Picasso of jazz piano," a nickname that encompasses her adventurous style and visionary approach.

Bill Charlap And Renee Rosnes On Piano Jazz

Feb 12, 2009

It's a rare thing to have three pianists at three pianos in one studio. But given the marriage of keyboard masters Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes, host Marian McPartland thought it was a perfect opportunity to expand the Piano Jazz format with two of today's most gifted players as her guests.

Robin Meloy Goldsby On Piano Jazz

Jan 30, 2009

Robin Meloy Goldsby may have been destined for show business. She had the requisite musical roots –- her father, Bob Rawsthorne, played drums for the PBS program Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. She also had the early childhood experiences: Through her dad's involvement in Pittsburgh show business, she had the opportunity to act and play piano in various local productions.

Ed Reed On Piano Jazz

Jan 16, 2009

Like many artists of his generation, singer Ed Reed saw his career interrupted by drug use and incarceration. JazzTimes magazine recently ran a piece on the Narcotic Farm, a prison for addicts in Lexington, Ky., known for the jazz players who performed behind bars. San Quentin, where Reed did his time, also hosted some notorious jazz players, including Art Pepper, Frank Butler and Frank Morgan.

Guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli is one of the hottest acts in jazz today. With his hip, swinging and sophisticated style, he makes music that sounds both classic and thoroughly modern.

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