NPR Music

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
3:19 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Mercer Ellington On Piano Jazz

Mercer Ellington.
David Redfern Redferns

Copyist, arranger and musician Mercer Ellington worked for his father, Duke Ellington, as a horn player before becoming manager of the group. He took on additional duties, including composition, resulting in his original tune "Things Ain't What They Used To Be."

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Song Travels
2:01 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Somi On Song Travels

Somi.
Devin Doyle Courtesy of the artist

American vocalist and songwriter Somi combines the music of her African heritage with American-style jazz, pop and soul. After her parents left Rwanda and Uganda, Somi spent 18 months living in Lagos, Nigeria; that time provided the inspiration for her 2014 album The Lagos Music Salon.

On this episode of Song Travels, Somi and host Michael Feinstein discuss the cultural roots of her music. She performs her original "Last Song" and joins Feinstein for "Embraceable You."

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Jazz Night In America
2:34 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Two Greats From Seattle, 'One Of The Most Important Jazz Cities'

Ernestine Anderson performs at the Windsor Jazz Festival in 1966.
David Redfern Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 11:02 am

Jazz bassist and composer Christian McBride recently finished a week-long West Coast tour in Seattle. It reminded him of how great a town it was for jazz, both historically and presently.

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The Record
6:03 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Benjamin Booker Faces The Past

David Goldman Courtesy of the artist

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Music
3:01 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

A Jazz Pianist Taps Armenian Folk, Metal Riffs And A Sense Of History

"Sometimes the music that I write doesn't need to have lyrics, it just needs vowels," says jazz artist Tigran Hamaysan.
Maeve Stam Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 6:25 pm

Musicians arrive at their signature sounds through all sorts of influences. For jazz pianist Tigran Hamaysan, that collection of sounds comes from far afield — he's a fan of progressive metal bands like Tool and Meshuggah — as well as from his backyard.

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