Marian McPartland is a Jazz legend and host of one of the longest running programs in the history of National Public Radio. Born in England on March 20, 1918, she taught herself to play the piano by ear at the age of three.
After receiving classical training in London, McPartland traveled throughout Europe performing for Allied troops during World War II. She has recorded almost 100 records for both existing labels and Halcyon Records, which she started in 1970.
In 1964, McPartland began conducting a weekly radio program on WBAI-FM/New York that featured recordings and interviews with guests. It was picked up by the Pacifica Radio’s West Coast stations and led to the creation of Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz for National Public Radio. The series debuted in April, 1979 and is currently the longest-running cultural program on NPR. The show received a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting in 1983.
In addition to her radio work and own recordings, McPartland has composed material for other artists and continues to tour and teach. She is committed to the cause of maintaining music education in America’s public schools.
Marian McPartland was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.
She died on August 20th, 2013.