We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Night Lights

Series produced by WFIU

Series image

Night Lights, is a weekly thematic one-hour jazz radio program hosted by jazz aficionado David Brent Johnson, focusing on jazz from the 1945-1990 era.

Night Lights, is a weekly one-hour jazz radio program hosted by David Brent Johnson, focusing on jazz from the 1945-1990 era—a timespan that, as Johnson notes, “weirdly parallels Miles Davis on record and the Cold War.”

Covering artists such as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Nina Simone, and themes ranging from jazz in the movies and television to the music’s connection to the civil-rights movement, Night Lights also features many lesser-known talents of post-1945 jazz. “Night Lights is a program of jazz in sound, story, and song,” says Johnson. “I try to make each show a sort of cultural narrative about whatever artist or theme I’m highlighting. It’s great music and interesting history, and I want the program to reflect that.”

"Each week, David sheds light on jazz artists and little-known corners of jazz history through smart research and interviews, dramatic narration and thoughtfully selected recordings. The result is an indispensable educational resource that is engaging and illuminating. Through David’s soothing and intelligent voice, Night Lights provides a rewarding gateway to the music for curious listeners unfamiliar with jazz as well as those who are seasoned jazz fans. I’ve listened to David for years and always learn something new."—Marc Myers, a Wall Street Journal contributor, JazzWax.com founder and author of Why Jazz Happened and Anatomy of a Song

“One of public radio's real multi-platform pioneers.”—Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR’s A Blog Supreme

“In an era of uninformed radio presenters and borderline music, David Brent Johnson’s well-researched and delightfully eclectic Night Lights program stands out.”—Jazz writer and producer Chris Albertson

“David Brent Johnson is a bright light of American cultural life.”—Loren Schoenberg, author of The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide To Jazz and founding director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Night Lights made its debut on WFIU in July 2004 and can now be heard on stations across the country.

For syndication information, please contact LuAnn Johnson at wfiuftp@indiana.edu.

For help subscribing please email prxhelp@prx.org.

Find us at http://indianapublicmedia.org/nightlights/.

Click here to watch and download our video teaser for Night Lights.

Night Lights is a production of WFIU at Indiana University in Bloomington. Hide full description

Night Lights, is a weekly one-hour jazz radio program hosted by David Brent Johnson, focusing on jazz from the 1945-1990 era—a timespan that, as Johnson notes, “weirdly parallels Miles Davis on record and the Cold War.” Covering artists such as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Nina Simone, and themes ranging from jazz in the movies and television to the music’s connection to the civil-rights movement, Night Lights also features many lesser-known talents of post-1945 jazz. “Night Lights is a program of jazz in sound, story, and song,” says Johnson. “I try to make each show a sort of cultural narrative about whatever artist or theme I’m highlighting. It’s great music and interesting history, and I want the program to reflect that.” "Each week, David sheds light on jazz artists and... Show full description


Additional Files

26 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Piece image
1950s and early 60s recordings by the French pianist.

  • Added: Aug 11, 2017
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Jaco Pastorius transformed the sound of the bass in jazz during his relatively brief career as both a leader and a member of Weather Report. Bassis...

  • Added: Aug 01, 2017
  • Length: 59:02
Piece image
A program about Louis Armstrong’s mid-career years, in which he led the small-group All-Stars, scored chart hits with pop ballads, and became a Col...

  • Added: Jul 06, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
Music from one of the 20th century's most influential guitarists, heard with Benny Goodman and others.

  • Added: Jun 26, 2017
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Music of the pianist and composer-arranger who left his stamp on the bebop and hardbop era, as well as an interview with Dameron biographer Paul Co...

  • Added: Jun 26, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
The collaboration of American jazz artists such as Miles Davis and Art Blakey with French filmmakers in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Film schola...

  • Added: Jul 07, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
Recordings that saxophonist John Coltrane made with Duke Ellington, Eric Dolphy, and the rhythm section of McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jo...

  • Added: Jun 26, 2017
  • Length: 58:57
Piece image
A look at one of hardbop's greatest front lines: Trumpeter Lee Morgan and saxophonist Wayne Shorter were two of the leading lights of the 1960s har...

  • Added: May 23, 2017
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Live recordings made at the nightclub in Hermosa Beach, California, featuring Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones, and others.

  • Added: May 23, 2017
  • Length: 59:01
Piece image
Selections from the impresario's 1950 “coffeetable” jazz anthology, featuring Duke Ellington, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, and others.

  • Added: May 23, 2017
  • Length: 59:01
Piece image
Night Lights takes another long leap back to the year in jazz, featuring music from John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy’s controversial quintet, George R...

  • Added: May 23, 2017
  • Length: 59:01
Piece image
A salute to hardbop pianist Freddie Redd, featuring recordings he made with artists such as Jackie McLean and Tina Brooks.

  • Added: May 23, 2017
  • Length: 59:05
Piece image
More jazz eulogies for departed jazz musicians, in honor of Memorial Day weekend.

  • Added: May 16, 2017
  • Length: 59:02
Piece image
Music from trumpeter Miles Davis' final years, including his albums Amandla and Tutu, and collaborations with Shirley Horn and Quincy Jones.

  • Added: May 12, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
Longtime jazz and blues producer and radio host Bob Porter joins us to talk about his new chronicle of the mid-20th century soul-jazz movement.

  • Added: May 05, 2017
  • Length: 59:01
Piece image
Jazz scholar and Lester Young box-set annotator Loren Schoenberg joins us as we look at the music the saxophonist made in the years following a dif...

  • Added: Apr 20, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
Piece image
We're exploring the twilight years of Duke Ellington's career on "Ellington Ending."

  • Added: Apr 20, 2017
  • Length: 59:02