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A Masterpiece by Midnight

A Masterpiece by Midnight

A Masterpiece by Midnight

During the Sixties, jazz is in trouble. Critics divide the music into "schools" - Dixieland, swing, bebop, hard bop, modal, free, avant-garde. But most young people are listening to rock 'n' roll.
S1 E10 Length 1:48:32 Premiere: 12.15.15

Program Details

Jazz

About Jazz

Jazz has been called the purest expression of American democracy; a music built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation. Ken Burns follows the growth and development of jazz music from the gritty streets of New Orleans to Chicago's south side, the speakeasies of Kansas city and to Times Square.

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Our Language (1924-1928) - S1 E3

Louis Armstrong arrives in New York. A blues craze, spearheaded by Bessie Smith, takes the nation by storm. Benny Goodman, clarinetist Artie Shaw, and singer Ethel Waters bring a new kind of artistry to American popular song. Jelly Roll Morton advances the art of jazz composition, and Duke Ellington begins his career as the pre-eminent composer in jazz history.

  • Tuesday January 26, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
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The True Welcome (1929-1935) - S1 E4

A new dance, the Lindy Hop, begins to catch on at the dance halls of New York. Louis Armstrong starts singing on stage, and Duke Ellington's band begins to appear in Hollywood films with an image of elegant sophistication. Benny Goodman becomes a successful bandleader, Fats Waller becomes one of the most popular entertainers in the country, and pianist Art Tatum brings a dazzling virtuosity to jazz.

  • Sunday January 31, 2021 8:00 pm ET on KET2
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Swing: Pure Pleasure (1935-1937) - S1 E5

Big band jazz, "swing," becomes the most popular music in America. Clarinetist Benny Goodman becomes the first white bandleader to hire Black musicians and presents the first integrated public performances. Billie Holiday's exquisite phrasing propel her as a jazz singer. Louis Armstrong lands roles in Hollywood films, and Duke Ellington continues to compose distinctive music for his band.

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Swing: The Velocity of Celebration (1937-1939) - S1 E6

The Great Depression deepens, but jazz thrives. Two saxophone masters, Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, emerge. With the help of John Hammond, pianist Count Basie takes his band to New York, where his remarkable rhythm section and legendary soloists refine and redefine swing. Billie Holiday records with Basie, creating one of the great partnerships in jazz. Mary Lou Williams and Ella Fitzgerald emerge as stars, jazz enters Carnegie Hall, and Duke Ellington makes some of his greatest recordings.

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Dedicated to Chaos (1940-1945) - S1 E7

Gifted trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, drummer Kenny Clarke, and pianist Thelonious Monk take jazz in startling new directions with their complex music - bebop. Armed Forces Radio broadcasts spread jazz across the globe, big band leader Glenn Miller dies in a plane crash over the English Channel, and jazz is banned by the Nazis and embraced by their opponents as a symbol of freedom and democracy.

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Our Language (1924-1928) - S1 E3

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The Gift (1917-1924) - S1 E2

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Gumbo (Beginnings to 1917) - S1 E1

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Top

Season 1 Episodes

A Masterpiece by Midnight

S1 E10 Length 1:48:32 Premiere Date 12.15.15

The Adventure

S1 E9 Length 1:54:32 Premiere Date 12.15.15

Risk

S1 E8 Length 1:58:35 Premiere Date 12.15.15

Dedicated to Chaos

S1 E7 Length 1:53:09 Premiere Date 12.13.15

Swing: The Velocity of Celebration

S1 E6 Length 1:39:45 Premiere Date 12.15.15

Swing: Pure Pleasure

S1 E5 Length 1:28:38 Premiere Date 12.15.15

The True Welcome

S1 E4 Length 1:58:57 Premiere Date 12.15.15

Our Language

S1 E3 Length 1:46:40 Premiere Date 12.15.15

The Gift

S1 E2 Length 1:48:52 Premiere Date 12.15.15

Gumbo

S1 E1 Length 1:21:48 Premiere Date 12.15.15

Louis Armstrong Returns to Europe

Clip Length 02:12 Premiere Date 1.6.12

The Savoy Ballroom

Clip Length 03:53 Premiere Date 1.6.12

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