Laura Hunsberger

Producer

Laura Hunsberger began her career in radio in 2010 at WHQR in Wilmington, NC and received her MFA in Creative Writing, Nonfiction from UNCW. In 2012, Hunsberger began working as Associate Producer for the NPR and South Carolina Public Radio program Song Travels with Michael Feinstein. In 2015, she became a staff reporter for South Carolina Public Radio, reporting on statewide and national news and covering the historic floods that hit South Carolina in October 2015.

Ways to Connect

Gerald Wiggins
Courtesy of the Artist

Piano Jazz remembers jazz piano master Gerald Wiggins (1922 – 2008). Born in Harlem, Wiggins began learning classical piano at a young age, but he discovered jazz through pianists Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum. In this 1992 session, Wiggins talks about some of his early professional gigs with the big bands of Benny Carter and Les Hite. He and McPartland journey back with Sammy Cahn's "If It's the Last Thing I Do" and a Wiggins original, "Edie Is a Sweetie." The two wind up the hour with a duet of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time."

Sandy Stewart and Bill Charlap
billcharlap.com

Vocalist Sandy Stewart first emerged as a star on the cabaret scene during the 1960s, and her marriage to Broadway composer Moose Charlap kept her plugged into a vibrant music community. In 2005, Stewart and her son, pianist Bill Charlap, collaborated on their first album together, "Love Is Here to Stay." On this Piano Jazz from 2006, mother and son bring a rare combination of swing and sophistication with a performance of "Two for the Road."

News Stations: Sat, Jul 08, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 09, 7 pm

This 2007 Piano Jazz remembers one of the great innovators of the bebop style—pianist Duke Jordan (1922 – 2006). He's perhaps best known for his innovative work with Charlie Parker's legendary 1947 quintet, and he played with a number of other legends including Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, and Sonny Stitt. Jordan joined McPartland in 1980 for a session including duets on "Groovin' High" and his original "Jordu."

News Stations: Sat, Jul 01, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 02, 7 pm

Eddie Gomez
Claudio Casanova/eddiegomez.com

A two-time Grammy Award winner, bassist Eddie Gomez has been on the cutting edge of music for over four decades. He has held down rhythm sections and set the groove for some of the heavyweights of jazz—from Bill Evans to Miles Davis to Chick Corea. His masterful touch and sense of swing shine through, whether he's grooving in the background or bringing the bass up front. On this 1993 Piano Jazz, he and McPartland dazzle with performances of "Turn Out the Stars" and "Stella by Starlight."

News Stations: Sat, June 24, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, June 25, 7 pm

Pianist LeeAnn Ledgerwood studied at the Berkley College of Music alongside fellow musicians Branford Marsalis and Terrence Blanchard. She became a protégée of Marian McPartland, who encouraged her to pursue a career in jazz. She was McPartland’s guest on Piano Jazz in 1990. In this session Ledgerwood shows off her keen sense of style with "I Want to Talk about You." McPartland joins in for a duo version of "Broadway."

News Stations: Sat, June 17, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, June 18, 7 pm

Nat Hentoff
The Cato Institute

A prolific author and jazz critic for more than half a century, Nat Hentoff (1925 – January 7, 2017) wrote for publications including the Village Voice, Down Beat, The New Yorker, and the Washington Post. For his commitment to jazz and his unique contribution to the music, Hentoff was honored in 2005 by the NEA as a Jazz Master—the first such honor bestowed on a non-musician. On this 2006 Piano Jazz, McPartland honors her guest by performing a "Portrait of Nat Hentoff."

News Stations: Sat, June 10, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, June 11, 7 pm

Joyce DiCamillo
Joyce DiCamillo is a Steinway Artist

For more than thirty years, pianist and composer Joyce DiCamillo has led her own trio, which critics hail as “a compact unit that breathes almost as one.” A dedicated educator, DiCamillo appears in high schools and universities around the country and is a model for women in jazz. On this Piano Jazz from 2000, she demonstrates her considerable keyboard talents on "If I Should Lose You." DiCamillo and McPartland join forces for a rendition of "What Is This Thing Called Love."

News Stations: Sat, Jun 03, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jun 04, 7 pm

Terence Blanchard
Nitin Vadukul

Multiple Grammy winner, trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard carries the torch of New Orleans jazz in the tradition of the great Louis Armstrong, who shares his hometown. This spring Blanchard comes to Charleston, South Carolina, with his quintet, The E-Collective, to perform at the Spoleto Festival. In 2004 he was McPartland's guest on Piano Jazz. McPartland and Blanchard are joined by bassist Gary Mazzaroppi for a trio set of standards such as "I Thought about You" and "Now's the Time."

News Stations: Sat, May 27, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, May 28, 7 pm

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Mark Higashino

Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater began her career as the lead vocalist of a jazz band. She honed her talent and headed to Broadway in 1975, where her performance in The Wiz was honored with a Tony Award. She has been a featured performer at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. On this Piano Jazz from 2003, Bridgewater exhibits her knowledge and enthusiasm when she sings “September Song” and "Beginning to See the Light."

News Stations: Sat, May 20, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, May 21, 7 pm

  Percussionist T.S. Monk was born into the world of jazz. As the son of Thelonious Monk, his home was the gathering place for musicians such as Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach, who gave him his first pair of drumsticks. An accomplished musician, T.S. has charted his own course as a composer, arranger, and melodic drummer. In 1995 he and McPartland dedicated this Piano Jazz set to Thelonious, performing classics such as “‘Round Midnight,” “Mysterioso,” and “Straight, No Chaser.”

Carmen Cavallaro (1913 – 1989) was known as the “Poet of the Piano,” whose tender style created an ideal atmosphere for romantics worldwide. An outstanding pianist and a versatile performer, Cavallaro played everything from beguiling ballads to swinging jazz numbers and vibrant interpretations of Latin American melodies. He was McPartland’s guest shortly before he passed away in 1989. On this Piano Jazz, Cavallaro solos on his own arrangement of “Cole Porter Melody” and joins McPartland for a piece entitled “Lover.”

Regina Carter
Courtesy of the Artist

Jazz violinist Regina Carter is one of today’s most original and daring musicians. Classically trained, Carter grew up in Detroit, where she absorbed all the music that Motown had to offer. While in high school Carter became inspired when she discovered jazz violinists such as Noel Pointer, Ray Nance, and Eddie South. On this 2003 Piano Jazz, Carter brings her stellar technique and infectious energy to bear when she joins McPartland for "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "The Music Goes Round and Round."

News Stations: Sat, Apr 29, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Apr 30, 7 pm

Joelle Lurie
Joelle Lurie via Twitter

Jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress Joelle Lurie is a regular at New York City venues such as the Rockwood Music Hall and the Zinc Bar, where she performs with her ensemble, The Pinehurst Trio. On this week’s episode of Song Travels, Lurie delights with a set of standards and modern songs from her album Take Me There. Host Michael Feinstein accompanies her in "Our Love Is Here to Stay."

News Stations: Sat, Apr 30, 2 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Apr 30, 6 pm

David Amram
david-amram.blogspot.com

Well-known for his compositions, film scores, and appearances as a guest conductor, David Amram started his professional life in music as a French hornist in the National Symphony Orchestra in the early 1950s. He went on to play horn in the legendary jazz bands of Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lionel Hampton. He is a prolific composer whose music is based on Latin American, Middle Eastern Ancient Jewish, and Modern idioms. In this 1991 session, Amram performs on piano, horn, and a variety of flutes and whistles.

Allen Toussaint
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist, singer, composer and producer Allen Toussaint is one of the leading figures of New Orleans R&B. His hits include "Working in a Coal Mine" and "Lady Marmalade." He’s worked with artists including The Meters, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Elvis Costello. On this Song Travels, Toussaint joins host Michael Feinstein to talk about the iconic recordings of his original songs “Mother in Law” and "Whipped Cream." Toussaint also performs his compositions live, including "Get Out of My Life Woman" and "Southern Nights."

Actress and singer Marilyn Maye is a lifelong performer with a career spanning nearly eight decades. Her big break came in the 1950s, and she went on to become a staple of the New York and West Coast cabaret scenes. On this edition of Song Travels, Maye discusses her ongoing performing and teaching career, her 76 appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, and her many runs in Hello, Dolly! She and host Michael Feinstein duet in a medley of "Big Time" and "Open a New Window."

News Stations: Sat, Apr 16, 2 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Apr 19, 6 pm

Nnenna Freelon
Concord Records

Internationally hailed as the greatest vocalist to come along in decades, Nnenna Freelon exudes both class and sophistication. Her soulful style consists of fresh interpretations of classic standards. A six-time Grammy Award nominee, in 2014 she starred in the critically acclaimed show Georgia on My Mind: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles in Las Vegas. On this 2002 Piano Jazz, Freelon surprises McPartland with a lyric to her original tune "Threnody."

News Stations: Sat, Apr 15, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Apr 16, 7 pm

Jay Leonhart
JonasMusicServices.com

Bassist Jay Leonhart is a highly sought-after session musician, a trio leader, and a one-man act. He got his start as a kid playing banjo and guitar with his brother in the '40s and '50s, and was inspired to take up the bass after hearing Ray Brown and the Oscar Peterson Trio. Leonhart has played with musicians from all genres and has been on the New York jazz scene for almost five decades. On this Song Travels, Leonhart brings songs and stories from his act and joins host Michael Feinstein for a duet of the Gershwin-inspired original tune "Problem."

Marian McPartland and Dorothy Donegan during the Piano Jazz recording session in 1983.
South Carolina Public Radio

This week Piano Jazz remembers NEA Jazz Master Dorothy Donegan (1922 – 1998) with an early session from 1983. Donegan's technical command of the piano was nothing short of breathtaking, and she was known for her onstage antics and flamboyance. In the house with McPartland, she attacks the piano—hammering away with her elbows and knuckles on "Darn That Dream" and "Stormy Weather." McPartland and Donegan play two pianos on "Lullaby of Birdland" and "Rosetta."

News Stations: Sat, Apr 08, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Apr 09, 7 pm

Carli Muñoz
carlimunoz.com

Pianist Carli Muñoz’s musical journey has taken him from Puerto Rico to the studios and clubs of LA, and back to the island of his birth, where he owns his own jazz club. His musical career has taken a similar circular trajectory. Having started out as a jazz musician, he played with pop musicians such as the Beach Boys and Rickie Lee Jones before returning full time to his first love, jazz. On this 2007 Piano Jazz, he plays his own tune “Mia” and joins McPartland for Cole Porter’s “So In Love.”

Jon Regen
jonregen.com

Pianist, vocalist and composer Jon Regen was an apprentice of the renowned pianist Kenny Barron. Regen has performed at venues worldwide, including a month-long stint at the Blue Note in Japan, and toured with Kyle Eastwood’s band. On this episode of Song Travels, Regen performs the title track from his 2015 album Stop Time and joins Michael Feinstein for a duet of “Young and Foolish.”

News Stations: Sun, Mar 26, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Mar 26, 6 pm

Judy Roberts
judyroberts.com

Pianist and vocalist Judy Roberts is one of Chicago’s best-loved musicians. She’s an imaginative and insightful pianist with an articulate touch, and her voice readily conveys many different moods. Since beginning her professional career at age 15, Roberts has traveled the world, gaining fans and garnering critical acclaim. She always keeps her audiences enthralled, as she did on this 2005 Piano Jazz, recorded in front of a live audience at WAMC in Albany, New York. She performs McPartland’s “Twilight World,” and the two get together for “Gravy Waltz.”

Herb Alpert is a world-renowned musician, composer, producer and co-founder of A&M Records. He rose to fame with the Tijuana Brass, and remains the only artist to have a No. 1 record as a singer and an instrumentalist. This week Alpert and his wife, vocalist Lani Hall, share stories from their remarkable careers. Alpert joins Feinstein for an instrumental duet of “When Sonny Gets Blue,” and Hall performs “That Old Black Magic” with Feinstein’s accompaniment.

News Stations: Sun, Mar 19, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Mar 19, 6 pm

Joey DeFrancesco at the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Thomas Faivre-Duboz [CC 2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Joey DeFrancesco was only 20 years old when he was McPartland’s guest on Piano Jazz. Hailed as the new hero of the organ, his stint with Miles Davis brought the classically trained keyboardist national attention. He has since gone on to release more than 30 albums and has earned multiple Grammy nominations. For this 1991 session, DeFrancesco switches to piano to play his own compositions and joins McPartland for “Cherokee.”

News Stations: Sat, Mar 11, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Mar 12, 7 pm

Neil Sedaka
neilsedaka.com

Neil Sedaka is synonymous with popular music. He had a string of early-1960s pop hits, and his songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Elvis Presley and The Monkees, among others. On this Song Travels, host Michael Feinstein and Sedaka talk and play iconic pop and great standards, including one of his many hits: “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.”

News Stations: Sun, Mar 12, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Mar 12, 6 pm

Ahmad Jamal
Courtesy of the artist

One of the most popular stylists in contemporary jazz, pianist Ahmad Jamal has been a major force on the jazz recording scene ever since his 1958 live album made at Chicago’s Pershing Lounge. On this 1985 Piano Jazz, Jamal reprises two classics from that session—“Poinciana” and “But Not for Me”—in duet with McPartland. Jamal solos on Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” and he and McPartland close the program with a final duet on “Silent Night, Holy Night.”

News Stations: Sat, Mar 04, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Mar 05, 7 pm

Trudy Pitts
lifelinemusiccoalition.com

Organist, arranger, composer, teacher, and singer Trudy Pitts (1932 – 2010) earned a reputation not only for her technical prowess, but also for her ability to convey a wide range of emotions. Her formal training was classical: she studied piano at Juilliard and Temple University, but came to jazz by way of the organ. On this 1992 Piano Jazz, Pitts’ sensitive touch is apparent when she solos on “A Child is Born.” Then she and McPartland create a memorable “Mood Indigo.”

News Stations: Sat, Feb 25, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Feb 26, 7 pm

Doug Wamble
dougwamble.com

Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Doug Wamble grew up listening to the Southern gospel, country, and blues traditions of his Tennessee home. Once he developed his love for jazz, Wamble began to soak up the sounds of jazz masters like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Ornette Coleman. Along the way he discovered his off-the-cuff singing was a hit with fans and critics alike. In this 2005 Piano Jazz session, Wamble and McPartland span the jazz genre, from “St. Louis Blues” to Charlie Parker’s “Naima.”

Eric Benét
ericbenet.net

Singer and actor Eric Benét charges his old-school soul songwriting with healthy doses of modern funk and hip-hop. His winning formula has been recognized with multiple Grammy and NAACP Image Award nominations. Benét joins host Michael Feinstein on this edition of Song Travels for a set of original tunes, as well as classics by Stevie Wonder, The Carpenters and Earth, Wind & Fire.

News Stations: Sun, Feb 26, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Feb 26, 6 pm

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.
Lamonte McLemore

The husband and wife team of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Dr. met as members of the iconic ’60s group The Fifth Dimension. They went on to perform as a successful duo and to host their own television show. More than forty years later, their music and mutual respect and love are still going strong. Performances on this week’s Song Travels include “Mona Lisa” and “Here’s That Rainy Day.”

News Stations: Sun, Feb 19, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Feb 19, 6 pm

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