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@iu.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

228 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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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: Jul 07, 2024
  • Length: 59:00
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Night Lights celebrates America’s Independence Day with music from James Reese Europe, Mary Lou Williams, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and other c...

  • Added: Jun 27, 2024
  • Length: 59:02
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A salute to talk-show host and jazz advocate Steve Allen, who also played piano and wrote numerous songs such as “This Could Be the Start of Someth...

  • Added: Jun 20, 2024
  • Length: 59:00
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Singer Thelma Carpenter’s career extended from the swing era to The Wiz and The Cosby Show. We’ll hear her with Count Basie, Teddy Wilson, Coleman ...

  • Added: Jun 15, 2024
  • Length: 59:04
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A tribute to the pianist featuring his recordings with Stan Getz, Blue Mitchell, Miles Davis, and as a leader in the 1960s.

  • Added: May 21, 2024
  • Length: 59:02
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Trumper Fats Navarro was one of the leading lights of the emerging 1940s bebop movement before dying at the age of 26. We’ll hear some of the most ...

  • Added: May 21, 2024
  • Length: 59:01
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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: May 21, 2024
  • Length: 59:00
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In the spring of 1945 Duke Ellington undertook a weekly Saturday broadcast to support the war-bond drive. We’ll hear music from these programs as ...

  • Added: May 20, 2024
  • Length: 59:02
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In the late 1970s the Columbia label was home to an array of talented jazz musicians, including Woody Shaw, Arthur Blythe, Dexter Gordon, and Weath...

  • Added: May 09, 2024
  • Length: 59:04
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In the early 1970s trumpeter Freddie Hubbard made a series of records for the CTI label that combined hardbop, funk, modality, and 70s groove.

  • Added: May 04, 2024
  • Length: 59:01
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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: Apr 25, 2024
  • Length: 59:01
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The music of Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Alice Coltrane, Nina Simone and other jazz artists in a turbulent year of change.

  • Added: Apr 23, 2024
  • Length: 59:05
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A centennial tribute to the composer focusing on the jazzy music that he wrote for films and TV shows such as Touch Of Evil and Peter Gunn.

  • Added: Apr 14, 2024
  • Length: 59:04
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Thomas Merton was one of the most influential spiritual writers of the 20th century—and he was also a passionate jazz fan. We’ll talk with jazz mu...

  • Added: Apr 02, 2024
  • Length: 59:02
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In 1957 Curtis Fuller arrived in New York City at the age of 22 and preceded to record with Bud Powell, Jimmy Smith, and John Coltrane, as well as ...

  • Added: Mar 29, 2024
  • Length: 59:02
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A centennial tribute to singer Sarah Vaughan focuses on her early recordings with Billy Eckstine’s big band and as a rising solo star with Charlie ...

  • Added: Mar 24, 2024
  • Length: 59:02
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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: Mar 14, 2024
  • Length: 59:01
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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: Mar 08, 2024
  • Length: 59:00
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The 1960s is one of the most talked-about, argued-about, mythologized periods of American history. This edition of Night Lights highlights some wom...

  • Added: Mar 01, 2024
  • Length: 59:02