Real Jazz and Watercolors Are JAM-Packed with Jazz Appreciation Month Specials

Jazz up your April with Terence Blanchard, Chucho Valdés, Stanley Clarke, and more.

Jackie Kolgraf
April 1, 2024

Terence Blanchard and Stanley Clarke

Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) with exclusive specials on Real Jazz (Ch. 67) and Watercolors (Ch. 66).

The star-filled April schedule of “Live from SFJAZZ” includes Chucho Valdes, Irakere 50, Dianne Reeves, and Marcus Miller, all hosted by Terence Blanchard — trumpeter, composer, and 2024 Jazz Master who is the new Executive Artistic Director of SFJAZZ. (You can also watch HD video of each of these concerts on-demand by going to SFJAZZ’s website.) Tune in for the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, featuring Blanchard and veteran saxophonist Gary Bartz among the new inductees.

Hear world-premiere music from Stanley Clarke — bass legend and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master — during the “Stanley Clarke Town Hall,” as well as on Stanley Clarke Radio, a three-day tribute channel. Discover new music on the limited-edition series “Zev Feldman: Jazz Detective,” honor the 75th birthday of a legend with the four-part special “Pieces of a Man: Gil Scott Heron,” and hear audio culled from a WABC Radio broadcast on “Smokin’ at the Half-Note with Wes Montgomery” hosted by Alan Grant.

Permanent series on Real Jazz are JAM-ming this month too. On “Real Jam Sessions,” actor Billy Gardell Guest DJs while legendary Cuban band Irakere gives their first radio interview in over 40 years.

International Jazz Day closes the month with music from Cuba, Morocco, and South Africa at the forefront.

See the full programming lineup below, and start listening to Real Jazz (Ch. 67) and Watercolors (Ch. 66) now on car radios and the SiriusXM app.

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Jazz Appreciation Month on Real Jazz

Live From SFJAZZ

Tune in: Saturdays at 8pm ET and Wednesdays at 10pm ET

Every week, Real Jazz takes listeners to the corner of Franklin and Fell Streets in San Francisco to SFJAZZ for a riveting concert from one of the top acts in jazz. For Jazz Appreciation Month, SFJAZZ presents a star-studded calendar that coincides with the Real Jazz tributes to Irakere and bass players with a performance from super bassist and Real Jazz host Marcus Miller.

April 6 – Kenny Barron Quintet
April 13 – Dianne Reeves
April 20 – Chucho Valdes and Irakere
April 27 – Marcus Miller

Pieces of A Man: Gil Scott-Heron

Tune in: Mondays at 7pm ET, Tuesdays at 9am ET, Thursdays at 12am ET, and Fridays at 8am ET

For the 75th anniversary of the late jazz legend, hip-hop visionary, and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Real Jazz brings back the popular series Pieces of A Man: Gil Scott-Heron hosted by his biographer Marcus Baram. This exclusive four-part series covers his rise in the ’70s until his death in 2011, with insights on his life from the man who literally wrote the book on the famed singer and poet.

Zev Feldman: The Jazz Detective

Tune in: Mondays at 1pm ET, Wednesdays at 12am ET, and Thursdays at 6pm ET

Zev Feldman has been called the “Sherlock Holmes of Jazz” due to his finding dozens of previously unreleased studio and live recordings of jazz greats. Now, Zev unveils nine new, unheard recordings before their release on Record Store Day (April 24) by Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Sun Ra, Art Tatum, Yusef Lateef, Shelly Manne, and an incredible Chet Baker/Jack Sheldon session that was produced by Jack Marshall, the father of famed Hollywood director Frank Marshall.

Smoking at the Half-Note with Wes Montgomery

Tune in: April 10 at 3pm ET, April 11 at 6pm ET, April 12 at 9am ET, April 13 at 5pm ET, and April 14 at 11am ET

A full set by the legendary guitarist from a broadcast aired on WABC Radio in New York in 1967, hosted by legendary jazz disc jockey Alan Grant and culled from “Maximum Swing: The Unissued 1965 Half Note Recordings” by Wes Montgomery & the Wynton Kelly Trio.

Stanley Clarke Town Hall

Tune in: April 3 at 6pm ET, April 5 at 9am ET, April 7 at 2pm ET, April 8 at 10pm ET, and April 12 at 3pm ET

In front of an invited audience at the SiriusXM LA Garage, bass player and NEA Jazz Master Stanley Clarke answers questions, highlights his amazing 50-year career, and gives listeners exclusive world-premiere samples from his forthcoming multiple-disc album, which he calls the “best record” he’s ever made.

Stanley Clarke Radio

Tune in: April 28–30

Stanley Clarke and his bass-playing friends take over Real Jazz (Ch. 67) with a three-day tribute to the NEA Jazz Master and other great musicians who play the instrument. In addition to world-premiere snippets from Clarke’s upcoming album, there’s commentary from Marcus Miller, Christian McBride, Flea, Thundercat, Victor Wooten, Ron Carter, Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, and other legendary bass players.

NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert

Tune in: April 18 at 3pm ET, April 20 at 12pm ET, April 21 at 8pm ET

The annual enshrinement of four new NEA Jazz Masters with star-studded performances and retrospectives is once again on Real Jazz. This year’s honorees are trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Gary Bartz, and organist Amina Claudine Meyers; the Jazz Advocate honoree is Willard Jenkins.

Real Jam Sessions

Tune in: Fridays at 3pm ET and Saturdays at 12am ET

Weekly performances, riveting interviews, and upbeat music are the themes for this lively show with Real Jazz host Mark Ruffin.

April 5 – Actor/comedian Billy Gardell from “Bob Hearts Abishola” is the Guest DJ.
Apr 12 – Pat Bianchi, the popular organ player, brings in his band to perform and play influential tracks from organ greats.
Apr 19 – Irarkere, Chucho Valdes, Paquito D’Rivera, and Arturo Sandoval give their first radio interview as a unit in 40 years.
April 26 – The final broadcast of the Stanley Clarke Town Hall held at the beginning of the month.

Randy Weston In Tangiers

Tune in: April 30

With the International Jazz Day host city being Tangiers, Morocco, Real Jazz presents “Randy Weston In Tangiers,” an hour of music from the late NEA Jazz Master who lived in Morocco for years. In collaboration with Chucho Valdés’ Cuba & Beyond (Ch. 760), channel curator and piano legend Chucho Valdés reunites with saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval — his friends in the super group Irakere — for a conversation and musical highlights. Afterwards, celebrated South African journalist and broadcaster Brenda Sisane spends a few hours spinning music from her studio in Johannesburg.

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Jazz Appreciation Month on Watercolors

Live from the 20th Smooth Jazz Cruise

Tune in: April 23–30 at 6pm ET

Watercolors (Ch. 66) is cruisin’ through Jazz Appreciation Month, celebrating the legacy of jazz with eight straight days of select live performances from some of the top contemporary artists of our time. Hear recordings from aboard the 20th Anniversary of “The Greatest Party at Sea,” the 2024 Smooth Jazz Cruise. For the grand finale on International Jazz Day (April 30), hear an all-star show like no other, featuring dozens of artists performing hit songs all from the Watercolors stage.

April 23 – Boney James, Peter White with Vincent Ingala
April 24 – Richard Elliot with Rick Braun, Mindi Abair
April 25 – Norman Brown, Vincent Ingala
April 26 – Peter White with Boney James, Richard Elliot
April 27 – Jonathan Butler, Candy Dulfer
April 28 – Rick Braun, Grace Kelly
April 29 – Mon Marcus Miller and Friends – The History of Jazz
April 30 – The Watercolors All-Star Show