The New Jazz Archive
Friday, 1pm and Saturday, 7pm on IPR News; and Thursday 10pm on Classical IPR
- Hosted by Jeff Haas
The New Jazz Archive is a weekly series exploring jazz's place in the story of America. Each hour-long episode is a collection of stories, interviews, and music that relates the past, present and future of jazz to the things that shape our daily lives—from movies, television and pop culture, to important social issues, to the economy, technology, and even other forms of music. The New Jazz Archive is produced here at Interlochen Public Radio and broadcast on a growing number of stations across the Midwest and beyond. For complete archives and podcasts, visit the show's full website.
Not sure about jazz?
Most of today's jazz programming assumes its audience already loves jazz. This has been the Achilles’ heel of the music and the reason why jazz audiences are now smaller and older than ever. The New Jazz Archive starts with an almost opposite premise: that when many (if not most) people hear the word "jazz," they tend to either, one, say they don't know much about it or understand it, or two, actually say they don't like it (e.g. "Those crazy saxophone solos make my head want to explode!"). This show is designed with these challenges in mind and seeks to open people's ears to jazz not just by exposing people to the music, but by contextualizing it through in-depth stories and interviews about how jazz relates to things that already matter to us. In other words, we don't just assume jazz is important—we show you why. And because we use storytelling as our approach to the music, if you're a person who likes a good story, you'll probably like this show.
What does the show sound like?
Hosted by longtime jazz musician and composer Jeff Haas (son of legendary classical music radio host Karl Haas, Adventures in Good Music), each hour-long episode is a fast-paced combination of interviews, storytelling, and music that relates to a particular topic for that hour. Each episode is themed: past shows include “The Science of Jazz,” “Jazz on TV and in the Movies,” and “The Jazz Roots of R&B.” For example, "The Science of Jazz" episode featured conversations with Dr. Charles Limb, a neurologist who is studying the brain science behind improvisation with both jazz and freestyle hip hop artists; Gil Weinberg, a scientist at Georgia Tech who has developed an improvising robotic musician; and Kathy Goonan, an award-winning fiction writer who blends the mediums of jazz and science fiction. Because we use storytelling as the basis for our approach to jazz, the show's tone runs the gamut from informative, to humorous, to contemplative. Music is coordinated with the content of the interviews, creating a seamless hour where listeners can experience musical examples of the topics they're learning about.