Jazz

Andy "Jazzman" Smith has been a Sunday afternoon fixture on WKMS and The Jazzman Show has aired for almost 20 years. We're sad to say the final program was last Sunday (December 27) as Andy retires his program. George Eldred and David Fleming produced his show and chatted with Andy about the memories:

The Jazzman Show will continue to air from time to time on The Jazz Vault. WKMS thanks Andy for all his volunteered time, effort and love of the music. 

The Eisenhower Hour takes over the Sunday, 1 p.m. time slot beginning January 3.

Ben Rice Quartet, Facebook

Nashville-based jazz guitarist and Murray State alumnus Ben Rice has a new album out called, "Seeds." Café Jazz host Dr. Brian Clardy caught up with Rice after a recording session with his band and they talk about his influences, his new album and some thoughts on the holiday season.

Album Cover

Murray State University's first crowd-sourced fundraiser ended with the successful printing of the MSU Jazz Orchestra album "Why We Can Have Nice Things," now available at the University Bookstore, featuring 13 classic tunes, including "Hope Swings Eternal," "Walkin' and Swingin'" and "Why Don't You Do Right." Director Dr. Todd Hill stops by Sounds Good to preview some songs and his solo performance tomorrow for Carson Center Fridays @ 5. 

solitairemiles.com

When Brian Clardy previously spoke with jazz vocalist Solitaire Miles, we were introduced to her music on the albums "Born To Be Blue" and "Melancholy." Also, her paintings and thoughts on the future of jazz as an art form. We welcome her back to Cafe Jazz to learn about her new project, Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas, merging western swing and vintage jazz in the style of Patsy Cline, Patty Page, Mary Ford and Kay Starr. We learn how she became interested in the genre, similarities between western swing and jazz, how audiences are reacting to her latest work and her holiday wishes.

The Midwest Clinic is among the largest instrumental music educators conferences in the world, drawing an international attendance of roughly 17,000. Murray State University's Jazz Orchestra was one of two jazz programs in the country selected to perform at this prestigious event (the other is Sam Houston State University). Director Dr. Todd Hill stops by Sounds Good with a preview of their concert, this December in Chicago, tonight in Lovett Auditorium. 

We're opening the vault... Join us at 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday nights as we share programs from our jazz archives. It could be productions by Todd Hill, Brian Clardy, Andy "Jazzman" Smith, George Eldred, the late-great Colonel Tom Morgan, or an unexpected surprise. Jazz goes local late nights on WKMS with Jazz Vault, classical Cafe Jazz favorites, introduced and produced by George Eldred.

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.

montereyjazzfestival.org

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.

franzjackson.com

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."

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