Archive For The “Episode” Category

Jazz Americana

By | April 13, 2014

In this hour, it’s our salute to jazz Americana. We’ll talk with Irving Berlin biographer Laurence Bergreen about the rags to riches story of one of America’s greatest songwriters, and explore the role jazz musicians played in shaping the glory years of the USO. And we’ll take a quintessential American road trip down America’s Blues […]

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Les Paul

By | April 4, 2014


In this hour, it’s the life and legend of the great Les Paul. We’ll talk with Paul’s godson and rock icon Steve Miller about his memories of his legendary godfather, and find out how Les Paul shaped Miller’s own life as a man and musician. And we’ll talk with Sue Baker of the Les Paul […]

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Gypsy Jazz

By | April 8, 2013

In this hour we’ll take a tour of the world of gypsy jazz. We’ll talk with historian Benjamin Givan about the life of gypsy jazz godfather Django Reinhardt, and hear how gypsy jazz as a musical genre actually post-dates Django’s heyday by nearly 40 years. And  we’ll explore violinist Stephane Grappelli’s often unheralded role in […]

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Weird Jazz Instruments

By | February 10, 2013

Jazz bagpiper Rufus Harley

Tenor sax, trumpet and piano may be among jazzers’ favorite axes of choice. But, believe it or not, harmonica, accordion, flute, banjo and even the bagpipes have all made their impact on the jazz tradition. In this hour, we’ll sit down for a conversation with jazz tuba pioneer Howard Johnson, and explore how banjo shaped the sound […]

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Halloween Jazz

By | October 22, 2012

Satchmo gettin' spooked in the 1936 film "Pennies From Heaven."

In this hour, we’ll celebrate Halloween with an hour of stories and sounds from jazz’s spooky side. We’ll talk with mystery writer Bill Moody about the real-life jazz mysteries that have inspired his novels, and visit the cemetery in the Bronx that’s become the final resting place for an A-list of bygone jazz legends. That […]

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Jazz and Film

By | September 10, 2012

Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier in the 1961 movie Paris Blues

In this hour, we’ll take a look at the century-long relationship between jazz and film. We’ll talk with historian Krin Gabbard about how the movies have shaped our understanding of jazz, and how jazz’s association with the seedier side of life helped define the genre of film noir. And we’ll take a look at how […]

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Before They Were (Jazz) Stars

By | August 20, 2012

In this hour, it’s a look at the legends of jazz before they were jazz stars. We’ll talk with our producer Lou Blouin about some of the odd jobs your favorite jazzers held down before they made it in the music business and bring in our jazz historian Lewis Porter to introduce us to Miles […]

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Artie Shaw

By | August 13, 2012

Swing anti-hero Artie Shaw

In this hour, it’s the life and music of swing anti-hero Artie Shaw. We’ll spend the hour talking with biographer Tom Nolan about Artie’s reluctant rise to stardom during the 1930s and dissect his much publicized rivalry with Benny Goodman. And we’ll take a look at Artie’s abrupt, Shakespearean exit from the music business in […]

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Jazz and Comedy

By | August 6, 2012

Jazz funnyman Cab Calloway

A lot of people probably don’t think of jazz as something that’s all that funny. But there’s more than one way to get a laugh out of all things jazz. In this hour, we’ll talk with stand-up comic Jeff Cesario about how his former life as a jazz musician helps make him a better comedian. […]

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Sex, Jazz & the Bawdy Blues

By | July 23, 2012

French lounge icon Serge Gainsbourg with girlfriend Jane Birkin

This week it’s an hour of sex, jazz and the bawdy side of the blues. We’ll talk with our historian Lewis Porter about the blues’ racy reputation during the 1920s and 30s, and explore the role New Orleans’ turn of the century Red Light District played in shaping the music. And we’ll take a look […]

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