National Public Radio, Washington, D.C.
This loving and insightful series, hosted by legendary jazz singer Nancy Wilson, combines an eclectic assortment of archival recordings with the voices of musicians and jazz experts. The blend makes one of America’s greatest cultural contributions accessible and relevant to jazz lovers and novices alike. Executive Producer Tim Owens’ innovative approach combines the independent efforts of Producers John Diliberto, Jim Luce, Joan Merrill, Molly Murphy and Suraya Mohamed, to provide the first of its kind weekly documentary series on jazz in America. Wilson’s fifty years of experience with stellar entertainers, including luminaries such as Nat “King” Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, lend her program a tone of familiarity as she chronicles people, places, issues, styles, and events in the world of jazz, a world that continues to be a reflection of the joy and spirit of America itself. Highlights in the standout 2001 series include a special four-part segment on the 75th birthdays of two of the most prominent and influential musicians in jazz: trumpeter Miles Davis and saxophonist John Coltrane. Other examples of dynamic programming are a pair of shows examining unusual instruments in jazz, another examining the importance of lyrics, and another that examined life on the road for jazz musicians. But ringing through all the background and context is Jazz Profiles’ continuing emphasis on the music. Performance always takes center stage. A Peabody goes toJazz Profiles for an innovative presentation of the world of jazz, honoring the works and the great artists of this unique American musical form.