South Carolina Public Radio Celebrates the Centennial of Marian McPartland
March 20, 2018, marks the 100th birthday of late jazz legend Marian McPartland (1918 – 2013). Throughout her prolific career, she released more than 60 albums and toured well into her 90s. In 2000, McPartland was named an NEA Jazz Master; in 2004, she was awarded a Trustee’s Award Grammy for Lifetime Achievement; and in 2007, the Kennedy Center named McPartland “a Living Jazz Legend.”
The best-known forum for her enthusiastic advocacy of music continues to be Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, NPR’s longest-running music program. Developed and produced by South Carolina Public Radio with the ETV Endowment’s Elaine Freeman serving as Executive Producer and Shari Hutchinson as Producer, Piano Jazz was in production for over three decades. McPartland’s more than 600 guests included nearly all of the important jazz artists of the age, with luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett.
This year, SC Public Radio has begun an initiative to preserve the archive of Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. Currently in the state of digitizing the masters of all original episodes from more than 80 seasons, SC Public Radio’s next step will be to make these episodes available as an educational resource for generations to come.
Throughout the month of March on NPRS’s Jazz Night in America, host Christian McBride will take a look back at the profound influence of Piano Jazz. Featuring rarely heard selections from the Piano Jazz archives, McBride will talk with past guests and friends of McPartland. Hutchinson herself was a guest on the program, sharing her personal memories from years of working side by side with McPartland. Jazz Night in America can be heard on SC Public Radio on Saturday Nights.