The Griot of New Orleans
August 27, 2015

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, jazz musician Terence Blanchard tells the story of his hometown. 

Ornette Coleman, the Saxophonist Who Transformed Jazz
June 17, 2015

Ornette Coleman really was "Something Else!!!"

Tearing Up the Pop Charts
March 05, 2015

If popular music is escapist fun, why are the songs so sad?

From the Video Vault: Charlie Parker Plays with Dizzy Gillespie
August 29, 2013

On this day in 1920 jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker was born. In the video below, Parker performs "Hot House" with trumpeter (and frequent collaborator) Dizzy Gillespie in 1951. Image via Shutterstock.

The Post-Jazz Jazz of John Hollenbeck
July 04, 2013

John Hollenbeck's wildly experimental music matters not for its wild experiments. It matters because it's good.

R.I.P. Donald Byrd, Master Source of Jazzy Hip-Hop Samples
February 13, 2013

Donald Byrd's jazz-pop-funk mix foreshadowed the hybridization of music in the digital era.

The Cotton Club Parade Marches Backward
November 26, 2011

An origin narrative needs grounding in place, and the myth of jazz’s maturation during the Harlem Renaissance positions the music in the nexus of black expression, white emulation, cross-exploitation, and kitsch at the Cotton Club. From the time of its rise in the Prohibition Era, the club has been notorious for packaging African-American performance as exotica for white oglers. A newly staged production at City Center in New York, Cotton Club Parade, does some repackaging of that packaging for the 21st-century.

Jazz: Notes Toward a Definition
October 08, 2004

Jazz music, as is also the case with the old down-home spirituals, gospel and jubilee songs, jumps, shouts and moans, is essentially an American vernacular or idiomatic modification of musical conventions imported from Europe, beginning back during t

Jazz Lips: On Louis Armstrong
November 22, 1999

There came a time when Louis Armstrong decided that his importance as a musician and his status as a worldwide American entertainer were of such magnitude that he should produce his own documentation of his career.