Night Lights Classic Jazz
11pm - 12am
Night Lights, WFIU's weekly jazz program hosted by David Brent Johnson, focuses on the 1945-1990 era, a timespan that, as Johnson notes, "weirdly parallels Miles Davis on record and the Cold War."
Covering artists such as Jackie McLean, Charles Mingus, and Nina Simone, Night Lights also features many lesser-known jazz talents. A diverse mix includes jazz recordings of spirituals and avant-garde interpretations of the Great American Songbook. Johnson also maintains a widely read jazz blog and website that contains streaming archives of all past programs at: http://nightlights.blogs.wfiu.org.
About the host:
David Brent Johnson has hosted the nationally syndicated Night Lights for the past five years. He has also guest-hosted for Joe Bourne on WFIU’s Just You and Me and The Big Bands, as well as producing WFIU documentaries about 1920s jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke and Duke Ellington’s 1941 civil-rights musical, Jump for Joy. In 2006 he became the host of WFIU’s long-running, popular Friday-evening program Afterglow.
An Indianapolis native and IU alumna, Johnson began his radio career at Bloomington community radio station WFHB, where he hosted the weekly jazz program All That Jazz. A writer who’s published frequently in Bloom Magazine, The Ryder, the Bloomington Independent, and Indianapolis Nuvo, Johnson has won two Society of Professional Journalists awards for his arts writing.
Johnson lives with his wife in Bloomington’s Near-Westside neighborhood, a short walk from the gravesite of Hoagy Carmichael. He is currently working on a series about the history of Indiana jazz.
April 16, 2014
Jazz, Spiritually Speaking
Spirituals were African-American religious folksongs that grew out of the slavery experience and the introduction of Christianity into slaves' lives. Rooted in African musical tradition as well, they reflected life in a strange and terribly oppressive new world. They were often improvisations upon older hymns that became entirely new songs, and in some ways they foreshadow the birth of American jazz. In this program we'll hear jazz interpretations of spirituals by John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Grant Green, Louis Armstrong, Archie Shepp with Horace Parlan, and more.