NPR Music

Jazz Night In America
11:41 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Ellis Marsalis At 80

Ellis Marsalis celebrated his 80th birthday in performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Lawrence Sumulong Jazz at Lincoln Center

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:52 pm

Ellis Marsalis has four famous musical sons — Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis — but considering his career, he's a father figure for many more musicians. In high school and college classrooms, he's been the major figure in New Orleans jazz education since the time that formal jazz education didn't exist. And as a pianist, he carved out a space for contemporary jazz in his hometown, and has grown into an elder statesman of the scene.

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A Blog Supreme
12:45 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Eighty Years Of Master Educator Ellis Marsalis

Ellis Marsalis performs at the NBA All-Star Game in 2008 in New Orleans.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

If anyone has earned the nickname Pops, it's Ellis Marsalis.

As jazz's best-known father figure, the senior Marsalis has four noted musical offspring: Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. But if you consider all the musicians he's taught or mentored, his clan is even more extensive, diverse and influential.

I talked to six musicians who gave us the long view of the Marsalis family tree, and how they were schooled by its patriarch.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:10 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Liz Story On Piano Jazz

Liz Story.
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist and composer Liz Story is a fascinating, ever-changing musician. She was inspired to pursue music after hearing Bill Evans perform, and her music has been compared to that of Aaron Copland, Frederic Chopin, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea.

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Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
12:34 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Johnny O'Neal: Listen, Closely

Johnny O'Neal performs at Mezzrow.
NPR

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:53 pm

Mezzrow is New York City's newest listening room: an intimate club for solo and duo performers where silence and attention are more than encouraged. It's a bit of a throwback, as is its Monday night host Johnny O'Neal. A virtuoso who shot onto the scene in the 1980s, the pianist is now re-establishing his presence in New York after decades off the radar. And on Mondays, he holds court at Mezzrow, singing the blues and welcoming guest after guest onto the tiny stage.

Jazz Night in America stops into the Greenwich Village club to listen closely.

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First Listen
9:06 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

First Listen: 'When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel 1926-1936'

African-Americans on their way to church.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:43 am

In the history of American popular music, gospel is the great conveyor. People could hear it everywhere as the 20th century grew from infancy to adolescence: in churches, of course, but also on street corners, sung by wanderers whose guitar work and moaning vocals arose in dialogue with the blues; in factories and mines, where harmonizing quartets provided balm to frustrated workers; on the radio, where preachers and singers performed live to thousands of listeners; and through the new medium of recordings, which turned regional styles into national trends.

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