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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

42 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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In the late 1960s an aging Duke Ellington faced a changing musical landscape and the loss of his longtime writing partner, Billy Strayhorn. How did...

  • Added: Nov 20, 2017
  • Length: 59:02
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A program about American jazz artists performing in Europe in the late 1940s, including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and others.

  • Added: Nov 20, 2017
  • Length: 59:01
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Charlie Haden, who passed away on July 11, 2014 at the age of 76, set the style for the role of the bass in the free-jazz movement as a member of O...

  • Added: Nov 20, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
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A program featuring jazz recordings from the late 1950s and early 1960s by lesser-known Chicago jazz artists such as the MJT + 3, John Young, Paul ...

  • Added: Nov 16, 2017
  • Length: 58:59
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Lee Morgan's hardbop hit "The Sidewinder," the avant-garde October Revolution movement, and the impact of the Beatles are some of the highlights we...

  • Added: Nov 12, 2017
  • Length: 58:59
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A tribute to arranger and composer Eddie Sauter, whose music was recorded by Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Red Norvo, and Stan Getz, as well as his ow...

  • Added: Oct 10, 2017
  • Length: 58:59
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A program about the relationship between Playboy Magazine and jazz, including an interview with Patty Farmer, author of the book PLAYBOY SWINGS.

  • Added: Oct 10, 2017
  • Length: 59:01
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Offbeat characters both imaginary and real in musical portrayals by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Slim Gaillard, Cab Calloway, and others.

  • Added: Oct 10, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
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Diggin' Diz: A Portrait Of Dizzy Gillespie

  • Added: Oct 16, 2017
  • Length: 59:01
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We delve into the later years and music of the pianist's career with Monk biographer Robin D. G. Kelley.

  • Added: Sep 29, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
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A look at the pianist and composer's early life and career, including an interview with Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley.

  • Added: Sep 29, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
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A centennial celebration of the iconic drummer, featuring the music of his big bands and small groups, as well as some of his vocal recordings.

  • Added: Sep 25, 2017
  • Length: 59:05
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It was a year of raised hopes and devastating tragedy, and the world of jazz continued to reflect both the growing unease and the youthful vitality...

  • Added: Sep 12, 2017
  • Length: 59:01
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Author Sam Stephenson talks with us about the legendary photographer W. Eugene Smith and the ways in which his life intersected with New York City'...

  • Added: Sep 10, 2017
  • Length: 58:59
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A program about saxophonist Sonny Rollins' early-1960s return to the jazz scene after a self-imposed sabbatical.

  • Added: Aug 10, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
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A program about late-1960s jazz-rock recordings made by groups such as the Free Spirits, Count’s Rock Band, the Fourth Way, Gary Burton, and other ...

  • Added: Aug 10, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
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Saxophonist Charlie Parker is renowned for his small-group recordings, but he also was captured a number of times in large-ensemble settings. This ...

  • Added: Jul 06, 2017
  • Length: 58:56
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1950s and early 60s recordings by the French pianist.

  • Added: Aug 11, 2017
  • Length: 58:59