Jazz After Hours is the longest continuously running, nationally syndicated jazz program on the radio. In 2014, broadcaster and digital media artist Jeff Hanley began hosting the program, following an award winning 30 year run by the show’s creator, Jim Wilke. The four hour show celebrates and nurtures the constantly evolving music that is jazz. The music doesn’t sit still and neither does Jazz After Hours. Check out our Stations listing to find the program on your local public radio station or listen online with our on-demand streaming player. Read more >>
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The celebrated Cuban-Canadian composer and piano-master Hilario Durán leads his nineteen-piece ensemble featuring special guests Paquito D’Rivera and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez in a stellar big band recording – the first in 17 years. Hilario Durán brings the full scope of his artistry, the depth of knowledge of musical genres in the perfect storm of big artistry on Cry Me A River. The nine works on this recording are born of Durán’s Afro-Caribbean cultural topography but are also informed by his gifts for bending tradition and infusing his arrangements with unfettered improvisation. Through the course of the album the Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning Durán actively throws overboard melodic, harmonic, and structural hooks that have become expressively blunted through overuse, building big band charts that bloom in color and texture and atmospheric beauty.
With great affection and all due respect to its storied history and rich tradition, we think jazz music was never meant to be bronzed and put on a shelf. Captured, remembered, studied, even lionized, but not frozen in time. Jazz didn’t stop being great in 1947 or 1955 or 1968 or 1976. It’s pretty great in 2023.
Name a name, anyone in the pantheon of jazz greats. To a person, they once were young, feisty, likely impertinent. They sought to break the mold; dared to make mistakes; challenged the elders and the music that came before. That’s what jazz musicians do.
Each of those jazz musician once had their first gig. Their first recording session. Their first breakthrough moment and their first bad review. And believe it or not, there was a joyful moment when someone played their music on the radio for the first time. For some hard-working musician, that happens almost every week on Jazz After Hours.
The point being … jazz ain’t over.
Record stores come and record stores go. Most of them are long gone. Radio stations do the same. Technology changes, and while it closes some doors it opens many others. The critics and whiners are going to beat their chests and find every possible way to make a buck with a tired story about the death of jazz. People who haven’t bought a jazz record in 40 years are going to try to convince you that was the last great jazz. It wasn’t. Jazz is alive and very entertaining in 2023. We invite you to listen to what we play on Jazz After Hours and judge for yourself.
These are the musicians you’ll be talking about for the next 20 or 30 years. They’re playing music today that is the future of jazz. It’s new, it’s fresh and it’s damn good. Don’t take our word for it. Listen each week on public radio. This is your discovery process.