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

186 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Music for the holiday from Duke Ellington, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Kay Starr, and others.

  • Added: Oct 24, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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As Hollywood prepared to adapt George Gershwin’s folk opera to the screen in the late 1950s, jazz artists such as Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and ...

  • Added: Oct 17, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has become a prominent and sometimes-controversial spokesperson for jazz. In his late teens and early twenties, however, ...

  • Added: Oct 07, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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Our centennial salute to a pioneer of world-music influences in jazz concludes with a look at his career after moving to New York City at the start...

  • Added: Oct 03, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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A profile of the unsung saxophonist Percy France, whose playing displayed what jazz writer Sascha Feinstein called “an irresistible combination of ...

  • Added: Sep 26, 2021
  • Length: 59:04
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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 17, 2021
  • Length: 59:01
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In the 1960s drummer Chico Hamilton moved on from his 1950s West Coast chamber jazz sound with a new group that featured musicians such as Charles ...

  • Added: Sep 12, 2021
  • Length: 59:03
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We often think of jazz in terms of albums, but mid-20th-century jazz was a popular artform on jukeboxes and singles as well.

  • Added: Sep 03, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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In 1942 Glenn Miller broke up his popular big band and joined the military, where he formed a new and even bigger orchestra that included strings, ...

  • Added: Aug 29, 2021
  • Length: 59:01
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Saxophonist Charlie Parker revolutionized the sound of jazz when he arrived on the scene in the 1940s, and this week on Night Lights, we’ll celebra...

  • Added: Aug 05, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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Exploring a legendary 1950s New York City jazz club with musician David Amram, who frequented it as both a musician and a listener.

  • Added: Aug 05, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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A centennial celebration of Lennie Tristano, a pioneering cool-school pianist and mentor to musicians such as Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh.

  • Added: Aug 05, 2021
  • Length: 59:01
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Armstrong biographer Ricky Riccardi joins us to discuss a vital and often-overlooked period of the trumpeter’s career.

  • Added: Jul 29, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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Selections from Mosaic Records' long-awaited collection of previously unreleased late 1930s and early '40s broadcasts from Coleman Hawkins, Count B...

  • Added: Jul 24, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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A centennial tribute to pianist and jazz educator Billy Taylor.

  • Added: Jul 18, 2021
  • Length: 59:03
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This musical profile of a trailblazer for women instrumentalists in jazz features Osborne's 1940s recordings with Mary Lou Williams and others, two...

  • Added: Jul 09, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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Recordings the hardbop pianist made in his last year as a leader and with Jackie McLean, Grant Green, and others.

  • Added: Jul 02, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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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: Jun 30, 2021
  • Length: 58:58
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Music from the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival includes Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Jack Teagarden (just a few months before his death), and Dizzy Gi...

  • Added: Jun 09, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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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: Jun 10, 2021
  • Length: 58:59