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

132 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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A program of music from the very first Monterey Jazz Festival. Featured artists include Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Gerry Mullligan, Dave Bru...

  • Added: Aug 31, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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Two of longtime bandleader Gerald Wilson's finest orchestras--his progressive, modernistic 1940s outfit and his 1960s West Coast band.

  • Added: Aug 31, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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Some of the trumpeter's earliest recordings with bandleaders Teddy Hill, Lionel Hampton, and Cab Calloway, as well as music from his incendiary 194...

  • Added: Aug 02, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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Leonard Bernstein counted jazz among his inspirations. We'll hear his music performed by Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, West Side Story, and more as ...

  • Added: Aug 19, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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From the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s a five-story building in the heart of Manhattan served as a gathering place for jazz musicians and other a...

  • Added: Jul 05, 2018
  • 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: Jul 05, 2018
  • Length: 58:59
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In the late 1940s jazz impresario Norman Granz decided to produce a forerunner of the modern box-set that documented the current jazz scene, a foli...

  • Added: Jul 05, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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A program of music from three trios of brothers—Wes, Buddy and Monk Montgomery; Hank, Elvin and Thad Jones; and Jimmy, Percy, and Tootie Heath.

  • Added: Jul 06, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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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: Jun 25, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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1950s and early 60s recordings by the French pianist.

  • Added: May 22, 2018
  • Length: 58:59
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Music from the last year of saxophonist Eric Dolphy’s life, including his landmark LP Out to Lunch and collaborations with Charles Mingus and Andre...

  • Added: May 22, 2018
  • Length: 58:58
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Cafe Society was New York City's first integrated nightclub and a cultural flashpoint for artists, jazz musicians, intellectuals, and activists of ...

  • Added: May 21, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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In 1986 Miles Davis began what would prove to be his final run of recordings, working with new collaborators and making some surprising sideman app...

  • Added: May 21, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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At the dawn of the 1960s pianist Freddie Redd made several albums for the Blue Note label filled with taut, punchy hardbop compositions.

  • Added: May 02, 2018
  • Length: 59:05
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In the 1950s and 60s, as the Cold War & the civil-rights movement heated up, the U.S. State Department sent jazz musicians on goodwill tours around...

  • Added: May 14, 2018
  • Length: 58:59
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Carla Bley is renowned today for her big-band writing, but it was small-group recordings of her work in the 1960s that introduced her to the jazz w...

  • Added: May 04, 2018
  • Length: 58:59
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A celebration of the iconic drummer, featuring the music of his big bands and small groups, as well as some of his vocal recordings.

  • Added: Apr 26, 2018
  • Length: 59:05
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Ellington kept his orchestra together in a changing economic landscape, continuing to create memorable music and expanding his compositional horizons.

  • Added: Apr 20, 2018
  • Length: 58:59
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In the 1970s George Benson was a crossover star with a smooth pop style, but he’d already established a legacy as a jazz guitarist brimming with ta...

  • Added: Mar 30, 2018
  • Length: 58:58
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Pannonica de Koenigswarter, aka Nica or “The Jazz Baroness,” was a friend to Thelonious Monk and other jazz artists and inspired a slew of musical ...

  • Added: Mar 30, 2018
  • Length: 59:00