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Jazz Night In America remembers the artists we've lost

Joey DeFrancesco arrives for the 60th Grammy Awards on January 28, 2018, in New York. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images
Joey DeFrancesco arrives for the 60th Grammy Awards on January 28, 2018, in New York. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The heaviest time of the year comes when Jazz Night In America reflects on the incredible artists, musicians, producers and personalities in our community to whom we've bid farewell – assembling the radio and video episodes that celebrate their lives is a bittersweet labor of love. This year, alto saxophonist Alison Shearer performs an arrangement of her song, "Gentle Traveler," to send off these luminaries as we keep them in our hearts, now and always.

"Gentle Traveler" (composed by Alison Shearer)


Alison Shearer

Jazz Night's radio episode pays tribute to one of the great organ virtuosos who left us in 2022: Joey DeFrancesco. Known for his blurring speed and stomping swing, DeFrancesco was a perennial favorite among jazz fans around the world and our host, Christian McBride, grew up with the late organist in Philadelphia. For this in memoriam episode, McBride pays tribute to his childhood friend and revisits a 2018 conversation they had in the City of Brotherly Love. We also revisit a 2013 concert from DeFrancesco and his trio, recorded at Dizzy's Club.


Joey DeFrancesco, organ, trumpet; Paul Bollenback, guitar; Jeremy Thomas, drums

Set List:

  • "Giant Steps" (John Coltrane)
  • "So What" (Miles Davis)
  • "Bessie's Blues" (John Coltrane)
  • "Old Folks" (Willard Robison )
  • "In The Key of the Universe" (Joey DeFrancesco)
  • "Pie Blues" (Joey DeFransesco, Christian McBride)
  • Radio Producer: Sarah Geledi; Video Producer: Nikki Birch; Recording Engineer and Audio Mix: Katherine Silva; Videographers: Tsering Bista, Nickolai Hammar; Editor: Nikki Birch; Photo Editor: Sofia Seidel; Graphics: Kaz Fantone; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Lead Producers: Nikki Birch, Alex Ariff; Supervising Editor: Ben de la Cruz; VP Visuals & Music: Keith Jenkins; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Gabrielle Armand

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Sarah Geledi left her job in advertising in Montreal to pursue a career in music in New York City. She fulfilled that mission, producing content for the JAM Festival at WBGO, segments for The Checkout, and programs for WWOZ and PRI's Afropop Worldwide. She also served as a producer for NYC Winter Jazzfest before landing the "job of her dreams," producing radio for Jazz Night in America.
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