Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Sundays, 8pm to 9pm

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase profiles the legends and legacy of jazz music. Each week, the program showcases the music, performers, composers and styles of jazz that have made it America’s premiere musical art form.

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase airs Sunday nights at 8PM. The program is hosted and produced by Paul Hitchcock, a veteran announcer with more than 30 years in public broadcasting. For additional information, contact the host at: p.hitchc@moreheadstate.edu

Frank Vignola

Jul 17, 2015
Folk Alley

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #79 (July 19 at 8:00PM)

An extremely versatile jazz guitarist, Frank Vignola has demonstrated that he is capable of playing everything from fusion and commercial pop-jazz to hard bop, post-bop, and swing.

The native New Yorker has a wide variety of influences; everyone from Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Pat Metheny to Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian has affected his playing in some way.

Urban Knights

Jul 10, 2015

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #78 (July 12 at 8:00PM)

The contemporary, smooth jazz all-star collective Urban Knights features pianist Ramsey Lewis as its constant member.

Featured Urban Knights musicians include Grover Washington Jr., Maurice White, Najee, Dave Koz, Fareed Haque, and Earl Klugh, among others.

Lewis united the various Knights for outings like 1995's self-titled debut, 1997's Urban Knights II, and 2000's Urban Knights III, which was the supergroup's first album for the Narada label.

(story provided by Allmusic)

Jacky Terrasson

Jun 26, 2015

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #77 (June 28 at 8:00PM)

Originally hailed as one of the bright young lions on the straight-ahead jazz scene of the 1990’s, virtuoso pianist Jacky Terrasson developed into a sophisticated performer with eclectic stylistic taste.

Helen Merrill

Jun 19, 2015
Cult Montreal

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #76 (June 21 at 8:00PM)

A fine singer with a warm, expressive voice, Helen Merrill's infrequent recordings tend to be quite special with plenty of surprises and chance-taking. Merrill started singing in public in 1944 and was with the Reggie Childs Orchestra during 1946-1947.

Concert Vault

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #75 (June 14 at 8:00pm)

In the history of Jazz music, there is only one bandleader that has the distinction of having his orchestra still performing sold out concerts all over the world, with members personally chosen by him, for nearly 30 years after his passing.

Pharoah Sanders

Jun 6, 2015

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #74 (June 7 at 8:00PM)

Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Sanders is highly regarded to the point of reverence by a great many jazz fans.

Django Reinhardt

May 29, 2015
Herb Museum

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #73 (May 31 at 8:00PM)

Guitarist Django Reinhardt was the son of a traveling entertainer. He grew up in a gypsy settlement outside Paris. Reinhardt first played violin and later took up guitar, and began working professionally in 1922 with the accordionist Guerino. In 1928, he was badly burned in a caravan fire, which resulted in the mutilation of his left hand. This deprived him of the use of two fingers and led him to devise a unique fingering method.

Lee Ritenour

May 24, 2015
Montreux Jazz Live

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #72 (May 24 at 8:00PM)

Known to fans as "Captain Fingers" for his uncommon dexterity on the guitar, Lee Ritenour is a noted jazz artist and session musician who has been one of the leaders in his field since the early '70s.

Born in Los Angeles, California on January 11, 1952, Ritenour took up the guitar when he was eight years old, and decided to make music his career when he was 12. Ritenour's parents were supportive of his ambitions, and arranged for him to study with some of the best guitar teachers in Southern California.

Carmen McRae

May 16, 2015
St. Louis Public Radio

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #71 (May 17, 8:00PM)

Jazz vocalist Carmen McRae always had a nice voice, but it was her behind-the-beat phrasing and ironic interpretations of lyrics that made her most memorable.

She studied piano early on and had her first important job singing with Benny Carter's big band (1944), but it would be another decade before her career had really gained much momentum.

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #70 (May 10 at 8:00PM)

Pianists Walter Norris, Hal Galper and John Hicks are featured as part of the Maybeck Recital Series.

The Maybeck Recital Hall, also known as the Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts, is a small performance space located in a private home in the Berkeley hills, built in 1914 by Bernard Maybeck. The studio has a rich tradition of musical performances dating back over 100 years.

Cecil Payne

May 1, 2015
The Telegraph

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #69 (May 3 at 8:00PM)

Acclaimed by peers and critics among the finest baritone saxophonists of the bebop era, Cecil Payne remains best remembered for his three-year stint with Dizzy Gillespie's seminal postwar big band.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, on December 14, 1922, Payne began playing saxophone at age 13, gravitating to the instrument after hearing Lester Young's work on Count Basie's "Honeysuckle Rose." Young's supple, lilting tone remained a profound influence throughout Payne's career.

Ray Obiedo

Apr 27, 2015

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #68 (April 26 at 8:00PM)

Smooth jazz guitarist Ray Obiedo was born and raised in Richmond, California, where as a child he frequently traveled to nearby San Francisco to take in free concerts by the likes of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream. Obiedo also gained considerable influence from acts including James Brown, Miles Davis, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Oliver Nelson

Apr 17, 2015
St. Louis Public Radio

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #67 (April 19 at 8:00PM)

Oliver Nelson was a distinctive soloist on alto, tenor, and even soprano, but his writing eventually overshadowed his playing skills.

He became a professional early on in 1947, playing with the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra and with St. Louis big bands headed by George Hudson and Nat Towles. In 1951, he arranged and played second alto for Louis Jordan's big band, and followed with a period in the Navy and four years at a university.

Keiko Matsui

Apr 11, 2015
Mim Music Theater

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #66 (April 12 at 8:00pm)

Fusion/new age keyboard player Keiko Matsui grew up in Tokyo and took her first piano lesson at the age of five.

Influenced by Stevie Wonder and Rachmaninov as well as early fusion masters Maurice Jarre and Chick Corea, Matsui began composing while in junior high but studied children's culture at the Japan Women's University (Nihon Joshidaigaku). She moved to the Yamaha Music Foundation in Tokyo after graduation and formed Cosmos, recording four albums with the new age group.

Manhattan Transfer

Apr 6, 2015
Dallas News

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

(Program #65 (April 5 at 8:00PM)

Riding a wave of nostalgia in the 1970s, the Manhattan Transfer resurrected jazz trends from boogie-woogie to bop to vocalese in a slick, slightly commercial setting that balanced the group's close harmonies.

Originally formed in 1969, the quartet recorded several albums of jazz standards as well as much material closer to R&B/pop. Still, they were easily the most popular jazz vocal group of their era, and the most talented of any since the heyday of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross during the early 1960s.

Joe Lovano

Mar 28, 2015
International Review of Music

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #64 (March 29 at 8:00PM)

Lovano is the son of the respected Cleveland saxophonist Tony "Big T" Lovano. Joe started playing alto sax as a child, taught by his father, who also introduced him to jazz. In his youth, Joe would hear many of the prominent jazz artists who passed through town, including Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Sonny Stitt, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Wine Country Uke Fest

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #63 (March 22 at 8:00PM)

The contemporary jazz fusion group known as Kilauea is led by Honolulu (Hawaii) born Daniel Ho, spending his childhood immersed in the study of music. He studied organ, ukulele, classical guitar, piano, electric guitar, bass, and drums.

He played in his high-school bands while running a series of garage bands and was an accomplished enough pianist to place in the semifinals of the Young Keyboard Artists International Piano Competition at the University of Michigan.


Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #62 (March 15 at 8:00PM)

Drummer Barrett Deems was born on March 1, 1914 in Springfield, Illinois and died on September 15, 1998 in Chicago, Illinois.

Throughout the 1930s, Deems worked with Paul Ash and led his own small bands. Towards the end of the decade he worked extensively with Joe Venuti, an association that lasted until the mid-40s. Thereafter, Deems played in bands led by Red Norvo, Charlie Barnet and Muggsy Spanier.

Kevin Mahogany

Mar 7, 2015
Litchfield Performing Arts

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #61 (March 8 at 8:00pm)

With over ten recordings as a leader, vocalist, businessman and educator Kevin Mahogany has been the standard setter for jazz vocalists for three decades.

Stefan Karlsson

Feb 28, 2015
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #60 (March 1 at 8:00pm)

Stafan Karlsson, a native of Sweden, was born into a musical family. His father played piano professionally and inspired his interest in piano and jazz. He also began church organ lessons at 13 and continued to study the instrument into his college years.

Following his graduation from high school, the pianist came to the United States on a scholarship to study at the University of North Texas, where he earned both a bachelor's and a master's degree.

Bob James

Feb 20, 2015
Gallery Hip

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #59 (February 22 at 8:00pm)

Bob James’ recordings have practically defined pop/jazz and crossover during the past few decades. Influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured R&B-ish soloists (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.) who add a jazz touch to what is essentially an instrumental pop set.

Milt Jackson

Feb 18, 2015

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #58 (February 15 at 8:00pm)

Before Milt Jackson, there were only two major vibraphonists, Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo. Jackson soon surpassed both of them in significance and, despite the rise of other players (including Bobby Hutcherson and Gary Burton), still won the popularity polls throughout the decades. Jackson (or "Bags" as he was long called) was at the top of his field for 50 years, playing bop, blues, and ballads with equal skill and sensitivity.

Coleman Hawkins

Feb 6, 2015
Indiana Public Media

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #57 (February 8 at 8:00pm)

Coleman Hawkins was the first important tenor saxophonist and he remains one of the greatest of all time. A consistently modern improviser whose knowledge of chords and harmonies was encyclopedic, Hawkins had a 40-year prime (1925-1965) during which he could hold his own with any competitor.

Abbey Lincoln

Jan 30, 2015
The Guardian

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #56 (February 1 at 8:00pm)

As with her hero Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln always meant the lyrics she sang. A dramatic performer whose interpretations were full of truth and insight, Lincoln actually began her career as a fairly lightweight supper-club singer. She went through several name changes (including Anna Marie, Gaby Lee, and Gaby Woolridge) before settling on Abbey Lincoln.

Roy Hargrove

Jan 25, 2015
I Rock Jazz

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #55 (January 25 at 8:00pm)

Roy Hargrove is a bop-oriented musician (and acclaimed "Young Lion") who became one of America's premier trumpeters during the late 1980s and beyond.

A fine, straight-ahead player who spent his childhood years in Texas, Hargrove met trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis in 1987, when the latter musician visited Hargrove's high school in Dallas.

Ed Hamilton

Jan 16, 2015
Ed Hamilton

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #54 (January 18 at 8:00pm)

Guitarist Ed Hamilton believes that there is a place for a happy blending of old and new in the jazz that he plays. You can see that in the musicians he’s gathered around him for his first album and in the way traditional rhythms and sonorities co-exist in many of the tunes he writes. And when you learn about his background, you see how it all fits together and makes sense.

Erroll Garner

Jan 9, 2015
All About Jazz

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #53 (January 11 at 8:00pm)

One of the most distinctive of all pianists, Erroll Garner proved that it was possible to be a sophisticated player without knowing how to read music, that a creative jazz musician can be very popular without watering down his music, and that it is possible to remain an enthusiastic player without changing one's style once it is formed.

Bela Fleck

Jan 1, 2015
Owl and Bear

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #52 (January 4 at 8:00PM)

Diana Krall

Dec 29, 2014
Vegas News

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #51 (December 28 at 8:00pm)

With her pre-bop piano style, cool but sensual singing, and fortuitously photogenic looks, Diana Krall took the jazz world by storm in the late '90s. By the turn of the century she was firmly established as one of the biggest sellers in jazz. Her 1996 album All for You was a Nat King Cole tribute that showed the singer/pianist's roots, and since then she has stayed fairly close to that tradition-minded mode, with wildly successful results.


Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #50 (December 21 at 8:00pm)

Songs for Christmas and Winter Holidays

Diana Krall – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Marcus Roberts – Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Tony Bennett – Winter Wonderland

Tom Scott – Feliz Navidad

Dianne Reeves/Lou Rawls – Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Doc Severinsen & Tonight Show Orchestra – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Frank Sinatra – Jingle Bells

Russ Freeman – Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring

Jack Wilkins – O Little Town Of Bethlehem