Skip to main content

Big band music

Sort:

Newest

10:05

From the Archives: Big Bandleader Artie Shaw.

Band leader and clarinetist Artie Shaw. In the 1930s and 40s his band ranked with the Goodman, Dorsie, and Miller bands in popularity. But he rejected many of the pop tunes and stuck with music by composers like Porter, Gershwin, and Berlin. Shaw is also known for working with many fine Black musicians and singers, including Billie Holiday. Shaw is now retired from performing. He celebrated his 90th birthday last week. (Rebroadcast from a 12/241985 interview.)

16:01

From the Archives: Composer Gerry Mulligan Mixes Classical and Jazz Music.

The late jazz saxophonist, Gerry Mulligan. This week, which marks what would have been his 72nd birthday, The Library of Congress opened a permanent exhibit celebrating his life and work. Mulligan died in 1996. The exhibit includes his favorite saxophone, photographs, and musical manuscripts. He's been an innovator in modern jazz orchestration. Early in his career he was staff arranger for Gene Krupa's big band. In 1949 he collaborated with Gil Evans and Miles Davis in the Nonet. The nine-piece band shook up jazz arrangers and launched the era of so-called cool jazz.

21:41

From the Archives: Keeping Kansas City Jazz Alive.

Kansas City pianist-vocalist-bandleader, Jay McShann Last night he received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in Washington, D.C. We'll rebroadcast a 1987 interview with McShann. (from 10/8/87)

20:32

Remembering Mercer Ellington.

We remember band leader and composer Mercer Ellington, the son of Duke Ellington. He perpetuated the big band tradition his father made famous as head of the Duke Ellington Band. When he was a young man, Mercer Ellington had hoped to break into his father's band on the saxophone. But after years of frustration, he could see that he would never crack the legendary Ellington reed section. He finally was accepted as a trombone player and later played french horn and trumpet. With the death of his father in 1974, Mercer Ellington took over his father's orchestra.

21:57

Remembering Gerry Mulligan.

Arranger and baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan died Saturday, January 20th, from complications due to surgery. He was 68. We will rebroadcast a 1989 interview with him. Mulliagn was an innovator in modern jazz orchestration. Early in his career he was staff arranger for Gene Krupa's big band. In 1949 he collaborated with Gil Evans and Miles Davis in the Nonet. The nine-piece band shook up jazz arrangers and launched the era of so-called cool jazz. He achieved international acclaim when he started a "pianoless" quartet with trumpeter Chet Baker in the early 1950's.

Did you know you can create a shareable playlist?

Advertisement

There are more than 22,000 Fresh Air segments.

Let us help you find exactly what you want to hear.
Just play me something
Your Queue

Would you like to make a playlist based on your queue?

Generate & Share View/Edit Your Queue