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

174 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Music for television shows has often been created or recorded by jazz musicians, including Oliver Nelson, Neal Hefti, Shelly Manne, Vince Guaraldi,...

  • Added: May 06, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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Longtime jazz and blues producer and radio host Bob Porter passed away in April at the age of 80. On a previous Night Lights show he joined us to ...

  • Added: May 02, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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In the last years of his life, and no longer with the services of longtime writing partner Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington continued to compose mem...

  • Added: Apr 22, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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Exploring the brief but profound musical relationship between trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Bill Evans that resulted in the landmark album Kind...

  • Added: Apr 15, 2021
  • Length: 59:01
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We'll hear music from the 1950s recordings of multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef, one of the first artists to incorporate world-music influences in...

  • Added: Apr 08, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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A tribute to the 1950s jazz recordings of the late pianist and composer Andre Previn.

  • Added: Apr 01, 2021
  • Length: 59:01
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Lee Morgan's hardbop hit "The Sidewinder," the avant-garde October Revolution movement, and the impact of the Beatles are some of the highlights we...

  • Added: Mar 27, 2021
  • Length: 59:01
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At the dawn of the 1960s, pianist Freddie Redd made several albums for the Blue Note label filled with taut, punchy hardbop compositions, including...

  • Added: Mar 19, 2021
  • Length: 59:01
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A centennial celebration of the pianist, singer, actress, and civil-rights activist, whose music drew on influences from classical to boogie-woogie...

  • Added: Mar 11, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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Drummer Roy Haynes’ career on record reads like a roll call of jazz history. We’ll hear him with Lester Young, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and others.

  • Added: Mar 04, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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Although an admirer of Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott found her own sound on the Hammond B-3 and became its most renowned female practitioner, recordin...

  • Added: Feb 25, 2021
  • Length: 58:59
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The 1960s music of pianist Chick Corea, both as a leader and as a sideman with Blue Mitchell, Stan Getz, and Miles Davis.

  • Added: Feb 18, 2021
  • Length: 58:59
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Though Nat King Cole is remembered today for his popular vocal recordings, this show celebrates his unsung prowess as a modernistic pianist.

  • Added: Feb 11, 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: Feb 07, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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A look at another notable year in the career of jazz giant John Coltrane, including his collaboration with vocalist Johnny Hartman, and newly-disco...

  • Added: Jan 28, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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He could split the stratosphere with his high notes, play you sweet and low with his ballads--and woe to any other trumpeter who showed up ready to...

  • Added: Jan 21, 2021
  • Length: 59:02
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At the beginning of the 1960s saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and pianist Horace Parlan teamed up to make a dynamic run of recordings for the Blue N...

  • Added: Jan 14, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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Jazz recordings in honor of the civil-rights leader made by James Spaulding, Billy Taylor, Herbie Hancock, and others.

  • Added: Jan 10, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
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Night Lights’ annual round-up of some favorite reissues and new historical releases from the year just passed, including music from Thelonious Monk...

  • Added: Jan 03, 2021
  • Length: 59:00