Night Train kicks off IMA Week, featuring music from nominees in this year’s Independent Music Awards, honoring small label and artist-released music in 96 categories. Night Train highlights jazz nominees tonight, while Global Village and Crossroads will feature some of the world and blues nominees later in the week.
Also tonight birthday celebrations for Brazilian pianist, singer and composer Eliane Elias, pianist and former musical director for Dizzy Gillespie – Mike Longo, and singer Bill Henderson. Plus new music from Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, vibes player Steve Hobbs, gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel, and soul jazz group Organissimo.
Night Train marks the centennial birthday of pianist, composer, author, pioneering jazz educator and label owner, and long-time host of the groundbreaking Piano Jazz radio show, Marian McPartland. We’ll hear music from throughout her career, hear from McPartland herself from a National Endowment for the Arts interview after she was named an NEA Jazz Master, and in hour two hear a special memorial program featuring her compositions performed by such artists as Sarah Vaughan, Elvis Costello, Bill Charlap, Karrin Allyson and more.
It’s also the first day of spring, and Night Train joins in with Global Village and Strange Currency to feature some songs for the new season, including from pianist, composer and vocalist Meredith D’Ambrosio, who was also born on this date and who regularly included spring songs on her albums.
Jazz has become an international language and Night Train offers some proof tonight from jazz pianists from around the world – including Italy’s Stefano Bollani, Brazil’s Antonio Adolfo, the Dominican Republic’s Michel Camilo, Germany’s Florian Hoefner, and Turkey’s Fahir Atakoglu.
Night also continues its Women’s History Month celebrations with Japanese pianist Hiromi, singers Dee Alexander and Molly Johnson, and drummer Allison Miller.
Night Train marks birthdays of guitarists George Benson (including a special focusing on his early jazz career in hour two of the show) and Melvin Sparks, highlights new music from organist Robert Kennedy and guitarists Pat Martino and Hristo Vitchev, and as the Women’s History Month feature continues, there’s music from innovative German organist Barbara Dennerlein.