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Sunday > YPR Program Guide > Program Listings > Riverwalk Jazz

Riverwalk Jazz

Fridays, 2:06pm

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Riverwalk Jazz LogoRiverwalk Jazz presents captivating shows that tell the story of jazz in America. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band’s music covers the genre’s early years—from turn-of-the-century blues and cakewalks, to the small swing ensembles of the 1920s and ‘30s. Hosts are the award-winning storyteller David Holt and bandleader Jim Cullum. Each weekly episode of Riverwalk Jazz presents music and narratives, spotlighting renowned artists such as Joe Williams, Lionel Hampton, Dick Hyman, Nicholas Payton, Nina Ferro and Carol Woods.


October 2
Bing & Louis: A Pocketful of Dreams with Author Gary Giddins
Louis Armstrong called Bing Crosby a “natural genius.” Bing, in return, referred to Armstrong as “the greatest pop singer in the world.” Author Gary Giddins joins host David Holt to discuss the long friendship between two of America’s celebrated musical icons, as The Jim Cullum Jazz Band performs music of Armstrong and Crosby.

October 9
Ben Pollack: White Hot in Chicago
Widely regarded as one of the most influential white bandleaders of the late 1920s, drummer Ben Pollack also had an eye for talent spotting. Among other jazz giants, he employed Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden and Jimmy McPartland early in their careers. Jim Cullum Jazz Band drummer Hal Smith discusses unique aspects of Pollack’s drumming style and the Band plays tunes from the Pollack repertoire.

October 16
Jazz Goes to the Movies: A Look at Jazz Music & Musicians in Film
 From ‘soundies’ and ‘musical shorts’ to full-length Hollywood movies, jazz and jazz musicians were featured in many films from the 1920s through the 50s. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band performs hot jazz from movie soundtracks, and writer Scott Yanow, author of Jazz on Film, offers favorite picks for viewing classic jazz in film.

October 23
Melancholy Blues: Clarinetist Johnny Dodds
Clarinetist Johnny Dodds, known for his soulful, bluesy playing style heard on numerous seminal recordings, including Armstrong’s Hot Fives, King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band and Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, influenced generations of clarinet players. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and guest clarinetist Evan Christopher pay tribute to this New Orleans giant.

October 30
After Hours with Piano Legend Dick Hyman

The iconic jazzman Dick Hyman is a legendary pianist, organist, arranger, music director and composer. Hyman joins The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and demonstrates his amazing talent on tunes from composer Hoagy Carmichael and pianists Earl Hines, Mary Lou Williams and more.

November 6
Jim Cullum Jazz Band : Memories & Music
A celebration of The Jim Cullum Jazz Band filled with heart-warming memories and hot jazz, reflecting on more than five decades of stories and songs with special guest Dick Hyman.  

November 13
The Unsung Genius of Kenny Davern: Traditional Jazz Clarinet Virtuoso
Jazz writer Nat Hentoff says clarinetist Kenny Davern “never received the credit he deserved” in spite of his “continuous imagination and vitality.” A look back at Kenny Davern’s funniest stories and hottest performances from his Riverwalk Jazz appearances.

November 20
Sage Hen Strut with Frim Fram Sauce & Other Jazz Delicacies

The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and friends serve up a banquet of jazz tunes for the season of feasting. Savor the Thanksgiving holiday with their concert of cuisine-inspired jazz tunes. Also on the menu, stories about the ‘sweet spot’ where food and jazz come together and performances by bass legend Milt Hinton and banjo man Danny Barker.

November 27
Not Just Another Pretty Face: “Girl Singers” of the Big Band Era

In the 1930s and 40s they were called “girl singers.” Giant talents like Helen Humes, Ivie Anderson and Billie Holiday first made their mark as the only female on stage singing with bands led by Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, and Count Basie, among others. They went on to break the “just another pretty face” stereotype by becoming legendary vocalists in their own right.

December 4
Class of ‘26: Soundtrack of the Jazz Age

America was booming in 1926. The country enjoyed peace and prosperity— and the 20s roared. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band celebrates the soundtrack of the Jazz Age with music from the repertoires of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke and Jelly Roll Morton with special guests: guitarist Marty Grosz, vocalist Nina Ferro and Vernel Bagneris, and more.

December 11
At the Jazz Band Ball: With Jazz Journalist Nat Hentoff
NEA Jazz Master Nat Hentoff joins host David Holt to discuss his book, At the Jazz Band Ball, Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene and shares recollections of the genre’s important figures. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band sets the mood, performing music from the playing of early jazz greats.

December 18
Hot Jazz for a Cool Yule: Guests Carol Woods, Clark Terry & Savion Glover

Hot Jazz makes for a very cool Yule as The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and friends “jazz up” holiday classics. Guest performances feature trumpet master Clark Terry, Broadway’s Carol Woods, bass man Milt Hinton and a special rendition of Little Drummer Boy with tap dance sensation Savion Glover.
December 25
What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Riverwalk Jazz does it up big for this New Year’s Eve celebration. An all-star cast featuring vocalists Stephanie Nakasian and Topsy Chapman with trumpet star Nicholas Payton join bandleader Jim Cullum and host David Holt. Spend the evening dancing and romancing with an expanded Jim Cullum ‘Big’ Band performing favorites— “A Kiss To Build A Dream On”, “When You’re Smiling,” “High Society” and more.

January 1, 2016
All the Cats Join In: Jazz singer Catherine Russell in Concert

Grammy award-winning vocalist Catherine Russell joins The Jim Cullum Jazz Band with Dick Hyman on piano with a remarkable selection of songs from Alec Wilder’s elegant “South to a Warmer Place” and the bluesy “Kitchen Man” to her heart-stopping rendition of “Troubled Waters.” Jazz critic Nat Hentoff calls Ms. Russell ‘the real deal.’

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