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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Red Norvo is the lesser known of the two early pioneers of the vibraphone in jazz (the other is Lionel Hampton). This show looks at the multi-facet...

Bought by WART FM, WCQS, KMUN, WMOT, WJFF and more


  • Added: Oct 16, 2007
  • Length: 53:57
  • Purchases: 50
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A thoroughly modern musician, Red Norvo brought the mallet instruments to jazz.

Bought by WART FM, KMUN, WMOT, WJFF, WOUB and more


  • Added: Oct 24, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 54
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He was an avatar of free improvisation and the first to bring electronics and synthesizers into jazz. But he was also a pianist for the Fletcher He...

Bought by WART FM, KMUN, Raven Radio, WMOT, WFIU and more


  • Added: Oct 30, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 62
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Bob Brookmeyer had a unique voice on valve trombone and piano. He was a composer and arranger of compelling, brilliant music and became one of the...

Bought by WART FM, KMUN, WUSF, WJFF, KUAT and more


  • Added: Feb 09, 2012
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 34
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He is now hailed as one of America's greatest musical eminences. But Duke Ellington's early career is the story of how a bright yet unremarkable te...

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  • Added: Nov 07, 2007
  • Length: 53:59
  • Purchases: 49
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Decade after decade, Ellington's ever-talented orchestra rode incredible waves of creativity.

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  • Added: Nov 14, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 47
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Duke Ellington led an institution which even the greatest musicians aspired to be part of.

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  • Added: Nov 21, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 45
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Duke Ellington's instrument was his orchestra, a hand-picked group of the best musicians available.

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  • Added: Nov 28, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 43
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Duke Ellington composed some of the most enduring music of the 20th century, producing more than one thousand lasting works during a career spannin...

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  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 34
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Duke Ellington saw writing music as his primary purpose in life, and he took a complex, multi-layered and strikingly original approach to composing...

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  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 35
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Carmen McRae was an outstanding song stylist whose great strength was in her phrasing & interpretation of lyrics.

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  • Added: Dec 05, 2007
  • Length: 53:59
  • Purchases: 52
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Bandleader, arranger and pianist Fletcher Henderson is one of the most influential — and yet least-known — jazz masters. During his orchestra's pea...

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  • Added: Oct 12, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 43
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Frank Sinatra's vocal instrument left a permanent mark on 20th Century America.

Bought by Raven Radio, WART FM, KMUN, WCQS, WMOT and more


  • Added: Dec 12, 2007
  • Length: 57:59
  • Purchases: 57
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A pop-culture icon, Calloway led one of the greatest bands of the Swing Era

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  • Added: Jan 02, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 50
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Composer, pianist and singer Hoagy Carmichael was a master of popular song. His best-known songs are now American standards and include "Stardust" ...

Bought by Raven Radio, KMUN, WART FM, WMOT, WUSF and more


  • Added: Mar 12, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 52
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With his darkly lilting approach, the alto saxophonist rose to fame beside Dave Brubeck's piano.

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  • Added: Jan 02, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 49
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Johnny Mercer knew: A song's notes can stir the soul, but it's the lyrics which pierce the heart.

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  • Added: Jan 09, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 50
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Many heralded jazz artists display lyricism, through both their instruments and their voices.

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  • Added: Jan 17, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 55
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Over time, certain fortunate songs prove strong enough to join the standard jazz repertoire.

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  • Added: Jan 23, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 52
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Etta Jones sang professionally for over 50 years, yet she steadfastly remained a "best-kept secret" throughout her career. With the clarity of Carm...

Bought by Raven Radio, KMUN, WART FM, WMOT, KIOS-FM Omaha Public Radio and more


  • Added: Oct 13, 2011
  • Length: 54:01
  • Purchases: 45