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 wfiuftp@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

92 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Classic holiday jazz from Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Evans and others.

  • Added: Dec 14, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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After leaving John Coltrane’s group at the end of 1965, pianist McCoy Tyner made an ambitious run of albums for the Blue Note label in the late 196...

  • Added: Dec 07, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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A look at the early jazz career and subsequent Peanuts success of pianist Vince Guaraldi, including interviews with jazz critic Doug Ramsey, Guaral...

  • Added: Nov 16, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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Jaco Pastorius transformed the sound of the bass in jazz during his relatively brief career as both a leader and a member of Weather Report. Bassis...

  • Added: Nov 02, 2018
  • Length: 59:02
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Vibraphonist Gary Burton was still a teenager when he burst onto the 1960s jazz scene, going on to work with Stan Getz and make a number of memorab...

  • Added: Oct 23, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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A tour of the city’s 20th-century jazz legacy.

  • Added: Nov 11, 2018
  • Length: 59:03
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One of the world's most successful music producers got his start as a jazz trumpeter, arranger, and bandleader. We'll hear recordings he made in t...

  • Added: Oct 23, 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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Birdland was known as “the jazz corner of the world,” and from 1949 to 1965 it played host to some of the greatest names on the modern jazz scene.

  • Added: Oct 18, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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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: Oct 14, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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As the 1960s neared to a close, the jazz world continued to absorb the cultural upheavals of a volatile decade. I'm David Brent Johnson, inviting ...

  • Added: Oct 07, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
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Long a troubled star in the mid-20th century jazz world, at the end of his life saxophonist Stan Getz found peace and made some of his finest recor...

  • Added: Sep 21, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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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: Sep 21, 2018
  • 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: Sep 14, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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A program of music from the very first Monterey Jazz Festival. Featured artists include Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Gerry Mullligan, Dave Bru...

  • Added: Aug 31, 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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Leonard Bernstein counted jazz among his inspirations. We'll hear his music performed by Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, West Side Story, and more as ...

  • Added: Aug 19, 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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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: Jul 05, 2018
  • Length: 58:59