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@iu.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

229 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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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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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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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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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
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A Fourth of July jazz celebration featuring the music by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Jackie McLean, Nina Simone and more.

  • Added: Jun 27, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Jazz is often thought of as a music that lost much of its popular appeal in the years following the end of World War II, and while it’s true that j...

  • Added: Jun 11, 2019
  • Length: 58:51
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More jazz eulogies for departed jazz musicians, in honor of Memorial Day weekend.

  • Added: May 16, 2019
  • Length: 59:02
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Night Lights' decade-by-decade story of women in jazz continues with Maria Schneider, Abbey Lincoln, Shirley Horn, Cassandra Wilson and more.

  • Added: Feb 04, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Night Lights celebrates jazz pianist and radio host Marian McPartland, with a program emphasizing her own compositions as well as reflections on he...

  • Added: Mar 15, 2019
  • Length: 59:04
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Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson has penned some of the most notable compositions of the modern jazz era, including “Whisper Not,” “Along Came Betty,...

  • Added: Jan 17, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Herbie Nichols died in obscurity in 1963, but over the past two decades his luminous compositions have made him a celebrated figure in modern jazz....

  • Added: Dec 21, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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A look at some of the year’s most compelling recordings, including music from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and others.

  • Added: Dec 20, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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Jazz and the night: moody, evocative music for the evening.

  • Added: Sep 21, 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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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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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