Jazz and the Visual Arts

By | February 10, 2012

You can’t listen to a painting or see a song. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t really interesting places where the worlds of jazz and art overlap.  In this hour, we’ll kick off a new series on jazz’s connection to the arts with a look at the criss-crossing paths of jazz and the visual arts. We’ll talk with one of the world’s big thinkers on this topic, Dr. Robert O’Meally, about how the worlds of art and music collided during the Harlem Renaissance, and explore the life and art of the so-called jazz painter Romare Bearden. And we’ll take a look at the life and work of iconic jazz photographer William Gottlieb, and hear the story of the “Great Day in Harlem” that gave us what’s arguably the most storied photograph in the history of jazz.  (59:00)

Photo: The vivid collage work of American artist Romare Bearden often depicted jazz musicians.

Check out some of the photography and art talked about in this week’s show in our “Seeing Jazz: Jazz in Images” slideshow.

Or for the full archive of photographer William Gottlieb’s work at the Library of Congress, go here.


This hour we take a look at jazz’s spiritual side—from the sacred roots of sax titan John Coltrane to the unique New Orleans spiritual tradition that is the jazz funeral. Read more »

This hour we go in search of those rare moments when the paths of jazz and country crossed for some of the most fascinating fusions in American music. Read more »



1 Comment

mark lough on February 12, 2012 at 1:15 am.

Just heard the “Jazz and the Visual Arts” program. The best jazz show I’ve heard. Ever.
I mean, the music is one great thing, but this show illustrates how artists from two arenas
work to express. It is a true treat to hear the discussion of these ideas. Thanks.


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