Special Guests
Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis has been described as the most outstanding jazz musician and trumpeter of his generation. He is also one of the world’s top classical trumpeters, a brilliant composer, a devoted arts advocate, and an inspiring educator. He has served as artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center since its inception. For his oratorio “Blood on the Fields,” Marsalis became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for music. In 1983, he earned the distinction of being the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for both jazz and classical records, and he repeated the accomplishment the following year. His latest album, He and She (Blue Note), was released last month. The Quintet: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Ali Jackson (drums), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Dan Nimmer (piano), and Walter Blanding (tenor sax).

Heather Masse

Heather Masse grew up in rural Maine and currently makes her home in New York. She has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion a number of times, often with her band the Wailin’ Jennys. Now, while the Jennys take a break from touring, Heather is keeping busy with other projects. She performs regularly with her Brooklyn-based outfit, Heather and the Barbarians — a group that first formed when the members were students at the New England Conservatory of Music. Their album Tell Me Tonight was released in 2007. Heather’s solo EP is titled Many Moons (Heather Masse Music). Look for a full-length album from her later this year.

Guy's All-Star Shoe Band

The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. A masterful keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he writes all the script themes and underscores, and he has accompanied guests from James Taylor to Renée Fleming. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.

Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today. And he writes songs too — recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others. Freewayman (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's nine albums.

Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. — with whom he toured for several years — and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.

Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.

Andy Stein (violin, saxophone) definitely has far-flung musical leanings. He collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson, and he has performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan.







Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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