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

179 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Pannonica de Koenigswarter, aka Nica or “The Jazz Baroness,” was a friend to Thelonious Monk and other jazz artists and inspired a slew of musical ...

  • Added: Oct 22, 2020
  • Length: 59:01
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Final recordings of jazz greats such as Stan Getz and Billie Holiday.

  • Added: Oct 08, 2020
  • Length: 59:01
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The music and life of the legendary underground Los Angeles jazz pianist and community activist, with remarks from his biographer Stephen Isoardi.

  • Added: Sep 24, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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We often think of jazz in terms of albums, but mid-20th-century jazz was a popular artform on jukeboxes and singles as well.

  • Added: Sep 20, 2020
  • Length: 59:02
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From 1977 to 1985 Chicago’s small Bee Hive label released a wealth of hardbop and straight ahead jazz by Clifford Jordan, Sal Salvador, Johnny Hart...

  • Added: Sep 03, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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In 1957 tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins continued the impressive streak of recordings that he'd begun since returning to the jazz scene in 1955. We...

  • Added: Aug 28, 2020
  • Length: 59:01
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Saxophonist Charlie Parker revolutionized the sound of jazz when he arrived on the scene in the 1940s, and this week on Night Lights, we’ll celebra...

  • Added: Aug 23, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Saxophonist Charlie Parker is renowned for his small-group recordings, but he also was captured a number of times in large-ensemble settings. This ...

  • Added: Aug 13, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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A program featuring music from the small groups within the larger orchestras of Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodm...

  • Added: Aug 03, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Music from one of the 20th century's most influential guitarists, heard with Benny Goodman and others.

  • Added: Jul 23, 2020
  • Length: 58:58
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This centennial celebration of drummer and bandleader Art Blakey focuses on his final years, with music from groups featuring Wynton Marsalis, Tere...

  • Added: Jul 17, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Live recordings made at the nightclub in Hermosa Beach, California, featuring Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones, and others.

  • Added: Jul 02, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Trumpeter Lee Morgan and saxophonist Hank Mobley were two leading exemplars of the 1950s and '60s hardbop sound and recorded together on a number ...

  • Added: Jul 02, 2020
  • Length: 58:59
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Exploring a legendary 1950s New York City jazz club with musician David Amram, who frequented it as both a musician and a listener.

  • Added: Jun 21, 2020
  • Length: 59:02
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A jazz tribute to Juneteenth, the African-American holiday marking the end of slavery, with music from Paul Robeson and Count Basie, John Coltrane,...

  • Added: Jun 11, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Music from a new box set of the bandleader’s 1940s and early 50s recordings, along with commentary from set annotator and jazz scholar Jeff Sultanof.

  • Added: May 31, 2020
  • Length: 59:02
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In the autumn of 1960 saxophonist John Coltrane played his final gigs with Miles Davis. Davis spent the next three years searching for a new lineup...

  • Added: May 20, 2020
  • Length: 59:03
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Another in our ongoing series of musical tributes to jazz artists who have passed.

  • Added: May 14, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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Wes Montgomery, who died in June of 1968, was one of the most influential jazz guitarists of his generation. In recent years newly-discovered live ...

  • Added: May 11, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
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At the dawn of the 1960s saxophonist Ornette Coleman shook the jazz world with his revolutionary approach to music. This program features some of t...

  • Added: Apr 30, 2020
  • Length: 59:03