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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Pianist Bill Evans turned out to be one of the most influential pianists of his generation. Before his untimely death in 1980, he had made nearly 1...

Bought by WUSF, WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WMUH and more


  • Added: Feb 27, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 57
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The immense yet under sung tenor saxophonist helped shape what became known as soul jazz and R&B.

Bought by WUSF, WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WETF and more


  • Added: Feb 20, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 57
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Nat King Cole...we all know the voice, but he was much more than a stylish balladeer.

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  • Added: Feb 06, 2008
  • Length: 53:56
  • Purchases: 52
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The iconic singer was also an elegant pianist whose tight groups popularized the jazz piano trio.

Bought by WUSF, WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WFIU and more


  • Added: Feb 06, 2008
  • Length: 53:56
  • Purchases: 55
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The virtuoso bassist, who doubled on cello, was one of the most sought-after musicians of his time.

Bought by WUSF, WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WETF and more


  • Added: Nov 26, 2012
  • Length: 53:59
  • Purchases: 60
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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 WMOT, WUSF, KMUN, WCNY, WETF and more


  • Added: Oct 13, 2011
  • Length: 54:01
  • Purchases: 51
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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: 58
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Many heralded jazz artists display lyricism, through both their instruments and their voices.

Bought by WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WETF, KJZX and more


  • Added: Jan 17, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 60
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Johnny Mercer knew: A song's notes can stir the soul, but it's the lyrics which pierce the heart.

Bought by WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WETF, WUSF and more


  • Added: Jan 09, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 56
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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: 55
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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" ...

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  • Added: Mar 12, 2008
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 58
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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: 56
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Frank Sinatra's vocal instrument left a permanent mark on 20th Century America.

Bought by WUSF, WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WETF and more


  • Added: Dec 12, 2007
  • Length: 57:59
  • Purchases: 64
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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...

Bought by WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WETF, KJZX and more


  • Added: Oct 12, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 48
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Carmen McRae was an outstanding song stylist whose great strength was in her phrasing & interpretation of lyrics.

Bought by WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, Prairie Public, WETF and more


  • Added: Dec 05, 2007
  • Length: 53:59
  • Purchases: 59
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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...

Bought by WCQS, WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WETF and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 42
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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...

Bought by WCQS, WMOT, KMUN, WCNY, WETF and more


  • Added: Oct 17, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 41
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Duke Ellington's instrument was his orchestra, a hand-picked group of the best musicians available.

Bought by WCQS, WMOT, WCNY, WETF, KJZX and more


  • Added: Nov 28, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 48
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Duke Ellington led an institution which even the greatest musicians aspired to be part of.

Bought by WCQS, WMOT, WCNY, WETF, KJZX and more


  • Added: Nov 21, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 50
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Decade after decade, Ellington's ever-talented orchestra rode incredible waves of creativity.

Bought by WUSF, WCQS, WMOT, KMUN, WCNY and more


  • Added: Nov 14, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 54