Grammy-winner and Academy Award-nominated pianist/composer Roger Kellaway has worked with everyone from Ellington to Elvis and Carmen McCrae to Barbra Streisand. Roger covers classical, jazz and everything in-between, including his theme for NPR's Selected Shorts series and Roger's Remembering You, the closing theme for the '70s hit show, All In The Family. With Roger's wide range of musical influences and abilities it makes sense that Judy started her conversation with Roger in Manhattan and continued it at his beautiful home in Ojai, California. There was a lot to discuss!
Animator David Silverman is best known for his work on The Simpsons but he is also a passionate musician, playing his tuba anytime he gets a chance, including a bit of jamming with Judy after they recorded their conversation!
Guitarist Larry Koonse has played with everyone from Seth MacFarlane to John Dankworth and Cleo Lane to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Larry is one of the busiest and most versatile guitarist on the scene today.
Vocalist Angie Wells has a sultry, powerful voice that reflects her love for jazz and blues greats Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Joe Williams and Muddy Waters. After years as the Makeup Department Head for both Blackish and the recently released Mudbound, she’s adding touring as a jazz singer to her already overly full schedule.
Pianist George Winston first gained popularity in the 1980s for what was then called New Age Music, although George refers to his playing as “folk piano.” His influences are broad—everything from New Orleans and stride piano to rock and blues—and he has an unusually specific memory about when each of these styles made their way into his subconscious and music.
George Winston discusses his long career and his most recent CD, Spring Carousel. George wrote the music for Spring Carousel while he was in treatment for bone cancer and the profits from it will go to cancer research.
Chicago saxophonist, educator and author, Eric Allen has set aside gigging for a while to focus on his writing, a perfect occupation for this stay at home dad. His new book, “50 Years At The Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra” is the first illustrated history of what Eric calls “the most influential big band in modern jazz.”
Eric and his co-author, Dave Lisik, compiled a fascinating collection of interviews and pictures, which illustrate the creation and history of this great band.
Stage and screen actor John Lithgow has been honored with multiple Emmy and Tony Awards, and two Oscar Nominations. John has been performing and developing Stories By Heart since he first presented it at Lincoln Center in 2008. Today we revisit my conversation with John, which was recorded during that initial Lincoln Center run. John explores creativity and the evolution of story telling, and how both connect us to ourselves, and those around us.
After spending years as a film executive at Paramount and other studios—in production and acquisition--Susan Glatzer has taken on directing with her uplifting documentary on the swing dance craze, Alive and Kicking. Susan has been an avid swing dancer herself for years and has seen the popularity of this joyful art form grow and expand throughout the world.
Jazz pianist Jeremy Kahn proudly states that he’s played with everyone from Joni Mitchell and Dizzy Gillespie to Aretha Franklin and Alvin and the Chipmunks, not to mention Barbara Cook, Charlie Haden and Max Roach. After a few years in New York City, Jeremy is back in his native Chicago and divides his time between his own concerts, teaching and playing in pit orchestras for theatrical productions. Jeremy enjoys it all and talked to Judy about how each facet of his creative life feeds the others.
Two-time Grammy winner, jazz vocalist Diane Schuur, carries on the tradition of the powerful women singers who inspired her, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. Her latest CD focuses on two great men who have inspired her, Stan Getz and Frank Sinatra. Her CD, I Remember You (With Love To Stan and Frank) commemorates the support--musical and otherwise--she’s gotten from both of these towering figures.
Second half of Judy’s conversation with Duke.
Guitarist Duke Robillard’s blues playing and singing have been honored with numerous awards, including a Grammy nomination. Duke is also a fan and swinging exponent of early jazz, which he celebrates on his latest CD, Duke Robillard and His Dames of Rhythm, which includes vocals by his longtime musical collaborator, Sunny Crownover, bluesy Cat Russell, sultry Maria Muldaur and a surprise appearance by Downton Abbey’sElizabeth McGovern. Duke brings it all together with his some of his favorite musicians celebrating well-known standards and lesser-known gems.
Two-time Tony winner, and Obie, Emmy and Drama Desk recipient, Andre DeShields broke out in the title role in The Wiz, followed by choreographing two shows for Bette Midler and then joining the cast in the original Broadway production of Ain’t Misbehavin’. September 2017 he opened off Broadway with Ellen Burstyn in a jazz meets Shakespeare version of As You Like It at Classic Stage Company in Manhattan.
British trumpeter talks about playing for Louis Armstrong when he was seven and playing in his family’s band, and touring America a few years later as a child star and appearing on What’s My Line and The Ed Sullivan Show.
Young Chicago pianist/organist/vocalist discusses his move to New York, his love for Oscar Peterson and Jimmy Smith and his new, as yet unnamed CD.
The French/Scottish vocalist spent her young life in Paris, training four hours a day as an ice skater, with breaks for the occasional gig as a child actor. Somehow, she knew she would be a singer someday, even though that was never the focus of her life. She now lives and works in England, singing and playing accordion, performing a repertoire influenced by everyone from Edith Piaf to Billie Holiday.
British blues and boogie pianist, Jools Holland has collaborated with everyone from Sting to Eric Clapton to Norah Jones after jumping into a musical career at the age of fifteen with the band, Squeeze. Jools is a popular TV and radio presenter as well and his BBC Television show, Later with Jools Holland is now in its 25th year. This is the first of Judy’s two conversations with Jools Holland, which were recorded in his London home in June 2017. He talked about his varied career and his most recent CD, Piano.
The second half of Judy’s conversation with Jools.
Steinway CEO planned on a career as a concert pianist, studying at Julliard and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Artistic talent and business skills are not often paired but in Ron’s case they were. Ron talks about his transition from performer to businessman, how he wishes jazz were part of his musical training and how he feels the presentation of sophisticated music has changed over the years.
Vocalist/composer Gabrielle Stravelli draws on influences as varied as Pink Floyd and Duke Ellington, Dolly Parton and Johnny Mercer. She discusses her new CD of standards and originals which was produced by Taylor Swift’s Music Director an early guest on Jazz Inspired, David Cook, another connection showing Stravelli’s wide musical interests.