Luis and Catherine Russell © Catherine Russell Collection, all other photos courtesy of artist
When we talk about the “Granddaddies of Jazz,” Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Count Basie come to mind. Jelly Roll Morton dubiously claimed to have invented the art form thus giving himself that “Father of Jazz” distinction.
But when it comes to some actual fathers — who are bestowing whole traditions of great music and passing it down to their children — those come in many different forms. This Father’s Day, we celebrate a variety of dads: well-known musicians, passionate moonlighters and die-hard music fanatics.
- Bobby McFerrin feat. Robert McFerrin Sr. “Discipline” (Bobby McFerrin)
- Madison McFerrin feat. Bobby McFerrin, “Run” (Madison McFerrin)
- Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra (music director: Luis Russell) “After You’ve Gone” (Henry Creamer, J. Turner Layton)
- Catherine Russell, “At the Swing Cat’s Ball” (Luis Russell, William Campbell)
- Cory Wong feat. Jon Batiste, “Home” (Cory Wong)
- Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band, “Armando’s Rhumba” (Chick Corea)
- Benny Green Trio, “Song for My Father” (Horace Silver)
Sarah Geledi and Trevor Smith, writers and producers; Ron Scalzo, episode mix; Suraya Mohamed, project manager; Keith Jenkins, vice president of visuals and strategy at NPR Music; Anya Grundmann, executive producer; Christian McBride, host.
Special thanks to Dan Rucinski, Ben Baruch, Jordin Pinkus, Lydia Liebman and Simon Rentner.