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A Jazz Piano Christmas 2018

(L-R) Jane Bunnett, Danae Olano, James Francies, Booker T. Jones and Jason Moran at the Kennedy Center.
(L-R) Jane Bunnett, Danae Olano, James Francies, Booker T. Jones and Jason Moran at the Kennedy Center.

The celebration of the holidays is not complete around NPR without the sounds of a jazz piano sprinkling joy and good cheer.

This year's intergenerational program of accomplished pianists reflects both the history of the music and its future.

Musician Booker T. Jones is an honest to goodness legend. His contributions to our collective musical culture here in the U.S. is evident in his work on the organ and in his band Booker T. and the MG's. What isn't so obvious is his behind the scenes contribution to countless classic hits from Stax Records recordings as a multi- instrumentalist. This year we feature him on a rare turn at the acoustic piano, and it's not to be missed.

Jason Moran continues to move the music forward as the Kennedy Center's Artististic Director for Jazz, and his turn at the piano gave us both Monk and Mariah (Carey, that is).

Dánae Olano and James Francies both represent the future of the music. All came with an armload of holiday songs that will no doubt inject a little swing in your holiday gatherings.

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