Back in the 1980s, The Black Cats Jump was a thirteen part series of hour-long programs on big band music with host Bobby Bryan and co-producer Mark Welch. The series featured some of the great black big band leaders, sidemen, vocalists, and arrangers. The first show aired live on Friday, October 3, 1980. Dr. Todd Hill and Mark Welch revisit the series for special airings Tuesdays at 9 p.m. during Cafe Jazz, starting September 17. Cafe Jazz hosts George Eldred and Todd Hill talk about the program and how they re-mastered the series with Mark Welch.
Listen to a special Piano Jazz tribute Monday, September 2 at 9 pm, remembering host Marian McPartland. For more than thirty years, composer and pianist Marian McPartland brought jazz into the homes of public radio listeners through her interviews and duets with some of the greatest musicians in the world. She composed piano pieces that have entered the jazz repertoire and songs—with lyrics by such stars as Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, and Peggy Lee—that are considered part of the Great American Songbook. This program is hosted by Marian’s longtime friend Murray Horowitz and features Marian’s original compositions.
Jazz pianist and educator Mulgrew Miller passed away today at the age of 57. He was said to be a leader among contemporary jazz pianists. In this commentary recorded in 2007, Dr. Brian Clardy, Murray State Assistant Professor of History and host of Cafe Jazz Wednesday nights, talks about why Miller was more than just a listening experience. To honor Miller's legacy, Brian will play several selections of his work, along with work by contemporaries tonight (May 29) on Cafe Jazz.
One of the great music innovators in the second half of the Twentieth Century, and the formative years of the Twenty-First, was the Chicago based iconic artist Franz Jackson. Having performed with Fletcher Henderson, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington (as well as being a leader on several recordings), Jackson brought energy, excitement, and soul to his music. As such, Jackson was one of the great pioneers of American jazz. History professor and host of Café Jazz, Dr. Brian Clardy spoke with his daughter, Michelle Jackson-Jewell in a telephone interview. Listen to the full interview above. See more at franzjackson.com, including how to purchase his new album, "Milestone."
Classically trained vocalist Solitaire Miles has the range and sound that echoes the musings of jazz singer Anita O'Day and Ella Fitzgerald, and opera singer Fredericka Van Staad. Her brilliantly recorded albums Born To Be Blue and Melancholy reflect her complex ideas and multifaceted influences. But equally impressive are her paintings, one of which is of President Obama that was accepted by the White House. Café Jazz host and Department of History professor Dr. Brian Clardy spoke with her by telephone about her work and views on the future of jazz as an art form. A shortened version of this interview aired on Café Jazz Wednesday, March 13. The interview above is the longer, full version.
Chicago area pianist, composer, and band leader Kelly Brand has been on the music scene for well over a decade and a half entertaining jazz lovers with her innovative compositions and arrangements. Her original compositions, as well as her covers of musicians like Bobby Hutcherson, have enthralled listeners from the concert stage to her stellar recordings. Murray State History Professor and host of Café Jazz Dr. Brian Clardy spoke with her via telephone in an interview that was aired recently on the Wednesday night broadcast. Hear is the full interview. Discover more of her work at kellybrand.com.
Kate Lochte continues our series of interviews with young people of western Kentucky who are finding success “out there” in major markets. This time we meet a co-founder of the Brian Blade Fellowship Band, Jon Cowherd.
Pianist Jon Cowherd is a member of jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson's band, and his instrumental work has graced albums by the likes of Rosanne Cash, Lizz Wright, Iggy Pop, Marc Cohn, Mark Olson and Victoria Williams. He tours with Ms. Wilson, Rosanne Cash and also his Fellowship Band, which he co-founded with percussionist /bandleader Brian Blade with whom he discovered musical brotherhood while both were students at Loyola University in New Orleans.
Director of Jazz Ensembles at Murray State and WKMS volunteer Dr. Todd Hill hosts Café Jazz Tuesdays from 9-11 p.m. Dr. Hill has introduced a new twenty-minute segment during Tuesday’s Café Jazz called “Chuck’s Music Shop.” The segment airs at 9:40 p.m. and the music is drawn from the personal jazz collection of the late Chuck Simons.
Café Jazz host Dr. Brian Clardy recently spoke with jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti, for A Café Jazz Christmas with Brian Clardy(aired: 12/19 at 9 p.m.). They talk about Taylor's influences, memories of Dave Brubeck and improving as a young musician into adulthood. Taylor began studying the piano at the age of four and recorded his first album at the age of 14, titled Tays Groove. He was recently nominated for two Grammy Awards and lives in New York City. Brian spoke with Taylor Eigsti over the phone.