Thursday, October 11, 2007

McPartland Elected to National Radio Hall Of Fame

With almost seven decades in show business behind jazz ambassador/pianist/educator/radio personality Marian McPartland, an NEA Jazz Master, it’s hard to imagine additional milestones left to achieve in such an illustrious and celebrated career. But this November, McPartland will be inducted into the prestigious National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago.

The ceremony takes place on Nov. 3 and honors McPartland for almost 30 years at the helm of National Public Radio's popular program “Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz.” Also being inducted are sports commentator Jerry Coleman, singer/comedian Jimmy Durante, groundbreaking African-American writer/producer Richard Durham and rock radio pioneer Dan Ingram.

“Piano Jazz,” the Peabody-award winning broadcast, is produced by South Carolina ETV and Radio and is heard by over a quarter-million listeners on NPR each week. McPartland's encyclopedic knowledge of the jazz repertoire; warm, witty rapport; and ability to adapt on the fly to the many styles and personalities of her over 500 guests have made this educational, entertaining and sublimely musical program the longest-running jazz program on NPR.

Additionally, the 89-year-old legend will premiere a new piece she composed in honor of the influential environmentalist author of “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson. The orchestral piece will be performed by McPartland and the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra in Columbia, S.C., on Nov. 15 as part of a special program conducted by Dr. Donald Portnoy.

Long an admirer of Carson's book and a staunch environmentalist herself, McPartland penned the tribute and collaborated with renowned jazz and film pianist/arranger Alan Broadbent, who sculpted the orchestrations around McPartland's piano-based compositions.

By Carol Archer

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