Piano Jazz, Saturdays from 4:00-5:00am and 5:00-6:00pm on KCPB 90.9fm. Sundays from Noon-1:00pm on KMUN & KTCB.
For more than 25 years, jazz pianist Marian McPartland and her guests have teamed up for an hour of weekly jazz sessions. Whether it's solos, collaboration, reminiscences, or straight talk about influences and style, no two Piano Jazz sessions are ever the same.
Born Margaret Marian Turner in Windsor, England, the host of Piano Jazz began to teach herself Chopin waltzes on the piano by ear when she was only three years old.
Marian later pursued classical training at London's Guildhall School of Music before joining a four-piano vaudeville act that traveled throughout Europe during World War II entertaining the Allied troops.
While on tour in Belgium, she met and began to play with her future husband, Chicago cornetist Jimmy McPartland. In the U.S. after the war, Marian performed for a brief time with her husband's Dixieland band.
But Marian heard the call of bebop and began to head in other musical directions. She formed her own trio and landed a two-week gig at the renowned Hickory House in New York City.
With her ability to gently shepherd a poignant ballad, to swing with real power, and to stay ahead of new developments in jazz, Marian turned those two weeks into a ten-year residency. It became a gathering place for jazz colleagues like Oscar Peterson, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington.
After recording for several existing labels -- including over 50 albums with Concord -- Marian founded her own imprint, Halcyon Records. Artists who have recorded on Halcyon include pianists Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, and Dave McKenna. Marian's composing has not escaped notice either, and her material has been recorded by Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee, among others.
In addition to hosting Piano Jazz, Marian maintains a busy schedule, recording, touring, lecturing and teaching year-round. She is deeply committed to music education in the country's public schools and was inducted in the International Association of Jazz Education Hall of Fame in 1986. She has received honorary degrees from Hamilton, Union, and Bates Colleges, Bowling Green University, and the University of South Carolina.
Her books include The Artistry of Marian McPartland, a collection of transcriptions released by Columbia Pictures Publications, and All in Good Time, jazz profiles published by the Oxford University Press. In 1983, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz received a George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting.
In 2001, the long list of honors bestowed upon Marian and the show added a "Gracie" -- the Gracie Allen Award given annually by American Women in Radio and Television -- and the National Music Council's American Eagle Award.