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

135 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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In the mid-1970s, at the peak of her commercial success, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell took her music in a jazz-influenced direction, working wit...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2018
  • Length: 59:03
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It was a year of raised hopes and devastating tragedy, and the world of jazz continued to reflect both the growing unease and the youthful vitality...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
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Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson has penned some of the most notable compositions of the modern jazz era, including “Whisper Not,” “Along Came Betty,...

  • Added: Jan 17, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Newly-reissued studio recordings and live performances from jazz artist Eric Dolphy’s penultimate year.

  • Added: Jan 26, 2019
  • 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: Jan 18, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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A program devoted to recordings made by singer Nancy Wilson in the 1960s, with Cannonball Adderley, Hank Jones, Gerald Wilson, and others.

  • Added: Feb 04, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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The first of a two-part centennial celebration, focusing on Cole’s unsung prowess as a piano player.

  • Added: Mar 01, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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Night Lights celebrates jazz pianist and radio host Marian McPartland, with a program emphasizing her own compositions as well as reflections on he...

  • Added: Mar 15, 2019
  • Length: 59:04
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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: Feb 04, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Selections from Mosaic Records' long-awaited collection of previously unreleased late 1930s and early '40s broadcasts from Coleman Hawkins, Count B...

  • Added: Mar 12, 2019
  • 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: Apr 05, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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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: Mar 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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In 1971, Columbia Records signed four of modern jazz's greatest artists. Within two years all four were gone. What happened?

  • Added: Apr 18, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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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: Apr 19, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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A centennial celebration of Lennie Tristano, a pioneering cool-school pianist and mentor to musicians such as Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh.

  • Added: May 05, 2019
  • Length: 59:05
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A tribute to the 1950s jazz recordings of the late pianist and composer Andre Previn.

  • Added: May 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:03
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More jazz eulogies for departed jazz musicians, in honor of Memorial Day weekend.

  • Added: May 16, 2019
  • Length: 59:02
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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: May 16, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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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 th...

  • Added: May 16, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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Jazz is often thought of as a music that lost much of its popular appeal in the years following the end of World War II, and while it’s true that j...

  • Added: Jun 11, 2019
  • Length: 58:51