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 wfiuftp@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

119 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Bernstein’s music performed by Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong and others, as well as som...

  • Added: Jul 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:01
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Earlyrecordings of pianist Bill Evans, including records he made with George Russell, Tony Scott, and Charles Mingus.

  • Added: Jul 12, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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Music of the Terre Haute, Indiana, big-band leader whose 1940s orchestra helped pave the way for cool jazz.

  • Added: Jul 12, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Mark Stryker, author of the new book Jazz From Detroit, joins us again to discuss the city’s jazz legacy.

  • Added: Jul 28, 2019
  • Length: 59:03
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Bloomington native and longtime Detroit Free Press music writer Mark Stryker joins us to talk about his new book Jazz From Detroit and the musician...

  • Added: Jul 21, 2019
  • Length: 59:02
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In the 1950s and 60s the race for space loomed large in the cultural imagination, and jazz artists such as Duke Ellington and Sun Ra picked up on t...

  • Added: Jul 08, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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For the week of Bastille Day, jazz odes to the City of Light from Bud Powell, John Lewis, and others.

  • Added: Jul 03, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
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A Fourth of July jazz celebration featuring the music by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Jackie McLean, Nina Simone and more.

  • Added: Jun 27, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Offbeat characters both imaginary and real in musical portrayals by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Slim Gaillard, Cab Calloway, and others.

  • Added: Jun 21, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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Known for his theme for “Mission: Impossible” and other TV and movie scores, Schifrin forged his career in the late 1950s and early 60s world of ja...

  • Added: Jun 14, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
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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
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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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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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More jazz eulogies for departed jazz musicians, in honor of Memorial Day weekend.

  • Added: May 16, 2019
  • Length: 59:02
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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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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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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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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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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