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Marian McPartland, pioneering female jazz pianist, dies at 95

NEW YORK — Marian McPartland, a jazz pianist and composer whose radio show “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz” was National Public Radio‘s longest running and most widely carried jazz program — has died. She was 95.

McPartland died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home on New York’s Long Island, NPR reported.

One of the jazz world’s most visible female instrumentalists, McPartland’s highly personal style was rich with colorful harmonies and briskly swinging rhythms, enhanced by a love of bebop, while adapting smoothly to the many stylistic changes taking place in jazz over the course of a career spanning more than half a century.

Pianist

Courtesy Wikimedia

“Marian McPartland is a harmonic genius,” pianist Bill Charlap said. “Her singular musical voice encompasses the past, present and the future of jazz.”

Critic John S. Wilson described McPartland’s playing in a New York Times review as a “series of paces that were, in effect, a thumbnail history of jazz styles. She took it from basic ragtime to very modern harmonies, throwing in some bebop and some stride piano, shaping the whole concept into an exhilarating performance.”

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

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