Local Music

Hear interviews with guests on music programs produced here at WMUK, as well as program news.

The collaboration between Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn lasted nearly 30 years and produced some of the best American music of the 20th century.

The second episode of our Billy Strayhorn centennial birthday celebration focuses on his masterpiece 'Lush Life'.

"Jazz Currents" celebrates the birthday centennial of the multi-talented Billy Strayhorn.    

Episode one will focus on Strayhorn's upbringing and early years with Ellington.  During this time, Strayhorn wrote many tunes for the Ellington orchestra including 'Something to Live For', 'Take the A Train' and 'Chelsea Bridge.' 

Episode two will focus on Strayhorn's masterpiece 'Lush Life', including some of the definitive recordings by Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Johnny Hartman and Strayhorn himself. 

courtesy Mark Niskenen

Driving in the car, Mark Niskanen's girlfriend put on some music that instantly excited the jazz pianist's curiosity. What started as a moment of appreciation turned into a collaboration between Niskanen and singer/songwriter Lauren Deming.

Katherine Nofs

Forever Plaid, the ever-popular musical revue of close-harmony 1950s "guy groups," premiered off-Broadway in 1990. Larry Raben originated the role of Sparky, one of four Plaids who, in the beginning of the show, perish in a bus accident on the way to their first big performance. They reunite in the afterlife to try to fulfill their unfinished dreams. Raben directed the 2015 production of Forever Plaid at Farmers Alley Theatre.