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Jazz Profiles

Series produced by NPR Music

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This series profiles the legends and legacy of jazz. Hosted by Nancy Wilson, each episode brings to life the vibrant history of the genre through music, interviews, and commentary.

Singer Nancy Wilson hosts this Gold Medal award-winning, documentary series chronicling the people, places and events in jazz.

Jazz Profiles features jazz topics that are varied and all-encompassing. The program focuses largely on individuals, in particular artists who are still living and performing. Musicians who have been featured in-depth on Jazz Profiles include Dave Brubeck, Sarah Vaughan, Oscar Peterson, Sonny Rollins, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Parker. The series has covered significant anniversaries of the dearly departed, the instruments of jazz, jazz cities, jazz families and more.

By combining archival recordings, interviews and narration, each program in the series tells an informative and engaging story that celebrates the music and those who make it. The appeal of Jazz Profiles is broad, ranging from the news junkie to the jazz aficionado. The music-to-talk ratio of the program is approximately 50/50. Hide full description

Singer Nancy Wilson hosts this Gold Medal award-winning, documentary series chronicling the people, places and events in jazz.Jazz Profiles features jazz topics that are varied and all-encompassing. The program focuses largely on individuals, in particular artists who are still living and performing. Musicians who have been featured in-depth on Jazz Profiles include Dave Brubeck, Sarah Vaughan, Oscar Peterson, Sonny Rollins, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Parker. The series has covered significant anniversaries of the dearly departed, the instruments of jazz, jazz cities, jazz families and more.By combining archival recordings, interviews and narration, each program in the series tells an informative and engaging story that celebrates the music and those who make it. The... Show full description


85 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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A tribute to vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. Please note there is no mention of his passing in this program.

Bought by KUAT, KMUN, KENW, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, WDCB and more


  • Added: Aug 17, 2016
  • Length: 53:45
  • Purchases: 15
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Her voice is instantly recognizable. Her youthful exuberance, pure sound and positive energy just make you feel good. Her incredible technical abil...

Bought by KUAT, KENW, KRPS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, WDCB and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 55
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One of the greatest improvisers in jazz history, Art Tatum also set the standard for technical dexterity with his classic 1933 recording of "Tea fo...

Bought by KUAT, KENW, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KMUN, WMOT and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 58:00
  • Purchases: 39
Caption: Miles Davis (July 1991), Credit: Patrick Hertzog/AFP/Getty Images
Miles Davis was the personification of restless spirit, always pushing himself and his music into uncharted territory.

Bought by KENW, KAZU, KRPS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, WCPN and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 52
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The best-selling jazz record of all time is a universally acknowledged masterpiece, revered as much by rock and classical music fans as by jazz lov...

Bought by KENW, KAZU, KRPS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, WCPN and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 48
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Johnny Hartman was the quintessential romantic balladeer. The only singer to record with John Coltrane — on the iconic album John Coltrane & Johnny...

Bought by KENW, KRPS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KMUN, WMOT and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 38
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Sidney Bechet was the undisputed king of the soprano saxophone and also one of the most innovative and original clarinetists in jazz.

Bought by KENW, WCAI / WNAN, KRPS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KMUN and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 38
Caption: Mary Lou Williams, Credit: Michael Ochs Archives
Mary Lou Williams was not only present for nearly every development in jazz music -- she was influential to most of them. In her compositions, arr...

Bought by KENW, KRPS, KMUN, KHNS, WMOT and more


  • Added: Apr 30, 2010
  • Length: 54:31
  • Purchases: 42
Caption: A young Louis Armstrong., Credit: Getty Images
It is hard to overstate the incredible reach of Louis Armstrong. The music he made touched everyone who heard it, and revolutionized American enter...

Bought by WMOT, KENW, KRPS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KAZU and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 43
Caption: Louis Armstrong, pictured here in 1956, produced hit films and records throughout his long career., Credit: Getty Images
By his early thirties, Louis Armstrong had already revolutionized jazz forever. Working with his mentor "King" Oliver in Chicago, Armstrong explore...

Bought by WMOT, KENW, KRPS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KAZU and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 39
Caption: Louis Armstrong, in a 1944 publicity photograph., Credit: Getty Images
Before Louis Armstrong ever sang a duet with Ella Fitzgerald or Bing Crosby, there was just a lanky young man with a bright, beautiful horn. That y...

Bought by WMOT, KENW, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KMUN, KHNS and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 38
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Louis Armstrong left not one but two great legacies in American music. His trumpet defined the role of the jazz soloist and revolutionized jazz its...

Bought by WMOT, KENW, WDCB, KMUN, KHNS and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 35
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Blessed with impeccable timing and a smooth, mellow timbre, Mel Tormé was known during his heyday as "The Velvet Fog."

Bought by KENW, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KRPS, KMUN, KHNS and more


  • Added: Oct 04, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 37
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Drummer Max Roach was one of the most innovative and influential musicians in jazz.

Bought by KENW, WMOT, KMUN, KHNS, KPIP-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 20, 2011
  • Length: 53:59
  • Purchases: 39
Caption: Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, Credit: Getty Images
It's safe to say that without Charlie Parker, the music we now call bebop might never have existed. In the first of a two-part Jazz Profiles, we ex...

Bought by KENW, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KRPS, Prairie Public, KMUN and more


  • Added: Oct 04, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 43
Caption: Charlie Parker in performance., Credit: Getty Images
The legendary alto saxophonist Charlie Parker was one of those rare artists who seemed to change the world of jazz. In the second of a two-part Jaz...

Bought by KENW, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KRPS, Prairie Public, KMUN and more


  • Added: Oct 04, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 42
Caption: Erroll Garner practices in London during a 1963 tour., Credit: Keystone/Getty Images
The composer of "Misty" was a virtuoso pianist whose unique homegrown technique delighted audiences.

Bought by KENW, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KMUN, KHNS, WMOT and more


  • Added: Oct 04, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 40
Caption: Wes Montgomery poses in studio., Credit: Chuck Stewart
In his short but prolific recording career Wes Montgomery reinvented the jazz guitar, while his name -- and his sound -- became synonymous with the...

Bought by KENW, KRPS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KMUN, KHNS and more


  • Added: Oct 12, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 43
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Billie Holliday could take any song and make it her own. Her personal battles are legendary and it was that pain that fueled her songs. But, her im...

Bought by KENW, KRPS, KMUW, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio, KAZU and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 58
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Thelonious Monk's sound is one of the most recognizable in modern jazz. An original on and off the bandstand, he launch pad of modern bebop, and al...

Bought by WDCB, KAZU, KMUN, KHNS, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio and more


  • Added: Oct 10, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 48