Night Lights

Series produced by WFIU

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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 lujohnso@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

128 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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A program featuring the 1970s music of alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, including commentary from Desmond friend and biographer Doug Ramsey.

  • Added: Oct 24, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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After leaving John Coltrane’s group at the end of 1965, pianist McCoy Tyner made an ambitious run of albums for the Blue Note label in the late 196...

  • Added: Oct 22, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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A program featuring the 1950s hardbop and progressive-jazz recordings of producer Tom Wilson’s Transition label, including music by John Coltrane...

  • Added: Oct 24, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Jazz hustler, vocalese master, and preacher of hip Babs Gonzales gets a centennial tribute, featuring his recordings with Sonny Rollins, trombonist...

  • Added: Oct 20, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Anita O’Day was a dynamic and independent singer from the moment she burst onto the big-band scene in the 1940s. We’ll hear her with Gene Krupa, S...

  • Added: Oct 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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This centennial celebration of drummer and bandleader Art Blakey focuses on his final years, with music from groups featuring Wynton Marsalis, Tere...

  • Added: Oct 06, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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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: Sep 23, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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A program featuring live broadcasts of the great bebop pianist Bud Powell in the prime of his career.

  • Added: Sep 19, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Throughout the 1950s jazz promoter George Wein ran a Boston nightclub that showcased some of the music’s most notable performers.

  • Added: Sep 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:02
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At the beginning of the 1960s saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and pianist Horace Parlan teamed up to make some dynamic recordings for the Blue Note ...

  • Added: Sep 08, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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A tour of the city’s 20th-century jazz legacy.

  • Added: Aug 29, 2019
  • Length: 59:03
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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: Jul 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Bernstein’s music performed by Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong and others, as well as som...

  • Added: Jul 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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Earlyrecordings of pianist Bill Evans, including records he made with George Russell, Tony Scott, and Charles Mingus.

  • Added: Jul 12, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Music of the Terre Haute, Indiana, big-band leader whose 1940s orchestra helped pave the way for cool jazz.

  • Added: Jul 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Mark Stryker, author of the new book Jazz From Detroit, joins us again to discuss the city’s jazz legacy.

  • Added: Jul 28, 2019
  • Length: 59:03
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Bloomington native and longtime Detroit Free Press music writer Mark Stryker joins us to talk about his new book Jazz From Detroit and the musician...

  • Added: Jul 21, 2019
  • Length: 59:02
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In the 1950s and 60s the race for space loomed large in the cultural imagination, and jazz artists such as Duke Ellington and Sun Ra picked up on t...

  • Added: Jul 08, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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For the week of Bastille Day, jazz odes to the City of Light from Bud Powell, John Lewis, and others.

  • Added: Jul 03, 2019
  • Length: 58:58