Michael Hashim is the alto-saxophonist for the Widespread Depression Orchestra, known for the arrangements of 1930s and 1940s jazz. He joins the show to discuss his influences and the music and inner-workings of the Orchestra. The band will be changing its name to The Widespread Jazz Orchestra.
Freeman's time studying with Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) was crucial to his musical development. A student of both the avant-garde and traditional bop traditions, his compositions draw inspiration from different facets of the African American experience.
The accomplished musician made his mark as a member of Count Basie's band. Foster later earned his Ph.D. in music and worked as an educator. He now leads his own big band, an endeavor he admits is difficult to sustain financially.
The jazz musician studied with pianist Lennie Tristano before seeking out work in big bands. Konitz joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about the personal and financial hardships that accompanied the dogged pursuit of his career.
Larry Rivers began his career as a jazz saxophonist before becoming a painter at twenty-three. He says he was drawn to the solitary nature of making art and how art could draw from a broader range of experiences than jazz.
The jazz musician and arranger grew up in Philadelphia and developed his chops early on during jam sessions with John Coltrane and Percy Keith, among others who would grow up to become jazz legends. After getting his big break in Art Blakey's band, Golson spent years writing and arranging music for several television shows.
The tenor saxophonist's father led a big band; Jacquet later played with Count Basie's group. He says that, early on, he was able to imitate the sound of great musicians of his era, but was slow to develop his own style.
Clint Eastwood's biopic Bird delves deep into the personal life and legend of Charlie Parker. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the story fails to connect these often tumultuous moments with the genius of Parker's music.
The critically-acclaimed jazz artist is known for her use of electronics in her performances. She joins Fresh Air to discuss musical development and her experience as a woman in a male-dominated scene.
The thirty-year-old saxophonist leads a new big band that performs pieces from the classic swing era. He formed a professional and personal relationship with Benny Goodman, and now stewards the archive of the jazz legends' recordings.
Joel Forrester and Phillip Johnston founded the NYC-based jazz combo. The group had trouble finding an audience early on, in part because of their unique blending of styles. Forrester and Johnston join Fresh Air to talk about their influences, and the logistics of keeping such a large group together.