Cyrus Chestnut is a conservatory-trained pianist who is firmly grounded in jazz history, all the way back to Jelly Roll Morton. He’s also played with many of today’s best interpreters—Wynton Marsalis, Jon Hendricks, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Terence Blanchard, and Betty Carter, to name a few.  On this 2003 Piano Jazz, he joins McPartland for a swinging hour of jazz bursting with spirit. 

- News Stations: Sat, Jan 17, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Jan 18, 7 pm -

  Longtime bandleader for NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman, Paul Shaffer’s early training was in the classics. But thanks to rock-n-roll, he grew up to lead what David Letterman has called “the world’s most dangerous band.” Also a composer, performer, and director, the versatile Shaffer is indeed a force to be reckoned with. On this 1988 Piano Jazz, he plays the standard “All the Things You Are” and teams up with McPartland for Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.”

- News Stations: Sat, Jan 10, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jan 11, 7 pm -

  Guitarist Mimi Fox is in the vanguard of invigorating the jazz guitar tradition. She possesses a pure tone and an amazing set of chops and cooks whether playing bebop or ballads. Her compositional abilities are evident on this 2006 Piano Jazz as she plays her own tune “Perpetually Hip.” With McPartland on piano and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, Fox tears up the fret board on “What is This Thing Called Love.” 

- News Stations: Sat, Jan 3, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jan 4, 7 pm -

  Michel Petrucciani (December 28, 1962 – January, 6 1999) was one of the greatest French jazz pianists of all time. Born with a genetic disease, he only stood at three feet, but with hands unaffected by his disease, Petrucciani had an extraordinary talent at the keys. He was only twenty-three when he joined McPartland for Piano Jazz. On this 1987 broadcast, Petrucciani plays his own composition, “The Prayer,” then he and McPartland combine their talents on John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.”

  British jazz pianist George Shearing (August 13, 1919 – February 14, 2011) was a friend and frequent guest of Marian’s on Piano Jazz. On this special edition from 2001, Shearing joins McPartland to celebrate the holidays in a jazzy way! The two reminisce about seasons gone by and perform both traditional and contemporary holiday tunes, including “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Away in a Manger,” and “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

- News Stations: Sat, Dec 20, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Dec 21, 7 pm -

Mel Tormé and Marian McPartland

  Described by Rex Reed as “America’s greatest male singer,” Mel Tormé (September 13, 1925 – June 5, 1999) was one of the most versatile performers of his day. On this Piano Jazz from 1992, Tormé shares how his classic “The Christmas Song” inspired him to put out his own holiday album. He sings and plays “Too Late Now” and “Walking My Baby Back Home” with McPartland joining in.

  Pianist/composer Liz Story is a fascinating, ever-changing musician. She was inspired to pursue music after hearing Bill Evans perform, and her music has been compared to Copeland, Chopin, Debussy, Keith Jarrett, and Chick Corea. In this 1993 Piano Jazz session, Story plays “My Foolish Heart,” then she and McPartland get together for “All the Things You Are.”

- News Stations: Sat, Dec 6, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Dec 7, 7 pm - 

  When Harry Connick Jr. sat down with Marian McPartland in 1991, he was in his twenties and coming off the heels of his successful “Big Band Tour.” He has gone on to become a Grammy-winning recording artist with multiple best-selling albums and a successful acting career. On this Piano Jazz, Connick sings and plays “They Didn’t Believe Me” and joins McPartland for “Stompin at the Savoy.”

  As the son of jazz legends John and Alice Coltrane, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is continuing the legacy he has inherited by developing his own sound and feeling. In 2012, he released his sixth album, Spirit Fiction. In 2000, he joined McPartland to talk about his family’s musical heritage and his individual approach to music. On this Piano Jazz, Coltrane and McPartland duet on “What is This Thing Called Love?” and “If I Should Lose You.”

- News Stations: Sat, Nov 22, 8 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Nov 23, 7 pm -

- News Stations: Sat, Nov 8, 8 pm | News Stations: Sun, Nov 9, 7 pm - 

  - News Stations: Sat, Nov 01, 8pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Nov 2, 7 pm - 

  This broadcast of Piano Jazz is in memory of pianist Kenny Drew Jr. (June 14, 1958 - August 3, 2014). The son of pianist Kenny Drew, who rose to fame in the fifties and sixties, Kenny Drew Jr. made his own way with a virtuosic career in both jazz and classical. He favored distinct, single-note lines but could also play in a full orchestral style. In this 1992 session, Drew interprets Monk’s “In Walked Bud,” then he and McPartland collaborate on “Falling in Love with You.”

Roy Hargrove
Adriana Mateo

- Classical Stations: Sun, Oct 26, 7 pm | News Stations: Sat, Oct 25, 8 pm  - 


   Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Roy Hargrove has played with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Mulgrew Miller, and Bobby Watson. His blazing sound, depth of feeling, and joy in playing was evident even from a young age, when he was discovered by Wynton Marsalis at a high school jazz clinic. On this 1998 Piano Jazz, Hargrove joins McPartland for “I Wish I Knew,” and McPartland performs “Threnody.”

Cassandra Wilson
Ojah Media Group

Classical Stations: Sun, Oct 19, 7 pm | News Stations: Sat, Oct 18, 8 pm

  In this 1999 edition of Piano Jazz, recorded live at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City, host McPartland welcomes vocalist Cassandra Wilson for an hour of jazz standards. Wilson is known for the enormous range of emotion in her performances. She delights with an array of tunes, joining McPartland and bassist Peter Washington for “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” and “Old Devil Moon.”

Joe Wilder

News Stations: Sat, Oct 04 | Classical Stations: Sun, Oct 07/5
Joe Wilder

  This broadcast of Piano Jazz is in memory of trumpeter Joe Wilder (February 22, 1922 – May 9, 2014). Wilder had his first professional gig at age nineteen and went on to play with some of the most popular big band orchestras of the day. He continued recording and touring throughout his life and was awarded the Jazz Master Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In this 2001 session, Wilder joins McPartland and bassist Rufus Reid for the Gershwins’ “Lady be Good.”

Freddy Cole
Clay Walker (c) 2007

Classical Stations: Sun, Sept 27, 7 pm | News Stations: Sat, Sept 28, 8 pm

  Pianist, composer, and vocalist Freddy Cole can take any song and bring out colors and nuances never heard before. As Nat King Cole’s younger brother, he has developed his own style to showcase his familial vocal talents. He brings this special ability to “Sometimes I’m Happy.” Cole and McPartland wrap up this program from 1998 with a performance of “My Hat’s on the Side of My Head.”

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Sep 10, 2014

News Stations: Sat, 8 - 9 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, 7 - 8 pm  

Eddie Palmieri on JazzSet

Sep 8, 2014

Classical Stations: Sat, 9pm

 Program Listings

Benny Green – Monk – 9/6/14

From the KC Jazz Club at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, it’s the music of Thelonious Monk, the 20th century pianist who left a trove of compositions and recordings. Onstage is a current jazz treasure, Benny Green, getting ready to play some of Monk’s best. Peter Washington is on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. Special guest Gary Smulyan on bari sax will join the festivities a little later.

Eddie Palmieri – 9/13/14

Helen Merrill on Piano Jazz (1995)

Aug 27, 2014

Helen Merrill’s voice is an instrument that sometimes carries the melody and sometimes complements the improvisational skills of her co-musicians. In this session from 1995, McPartland performs a “Portrait of Helen Merrill.” Merrill joins McPartland to perform songs popularized by Billie Holiday, including Bob Haggart’s “What’s New” and Holiday’s “Don’t Explain.”