- AARP - https://blog.aarp.org -

Marian McPartland: From Jazz Virtuoso to Radio Host

Marian McPartland had not just one, but two stellar careers.

As a pianist during the halcyon days of modern jazz, she became enough of a star that photographer Art Kane included her in Esquire magazine’s famous 1958 group photograph in Harlem, alongside such immortals as Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus. Here she is in 1974, performing “In A Mist.”

McPartland interviewing Ramsey Lewis in 2009

McPartland interviewing Ramsey Lewis in 2009


From 1978 to 2011, McPartland had a second act as host of National Public Radio’s popular show Piano Jazz. She built a vast audience with her deft, engaging style as an interviewer, and performed duets with performers ranging from Sarah Vaughan to Diana Krall.

Here are some intriguing facts about McPartland, who died on Aug. 20 at age 95 in Port Washington, N.Y.:


Related: Dave Brubeck – 5 Little-Known Facts About the ‘Take Five’ Jazz Pianist


Photo: Melisa Goh/NEA via Wikipedia


Also of Interest


See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more