Dennis Owsley

Jazz Unlimited Host

Dennis Owsley has been hosting a weekly radio show on St. Louis Public Radio since 1983. He has been a jazz album collector, aficionado, and historian since 1958 and has seen most of the major artists in jazz in live performance.

Owsley wrote an award-winning book, City of GabrielsThe Jazz History of St. Louis 1895-1973.

Nearly all the music heard on Jazz Unlimited is from Owsley's personal collection. He is gaining an international reputation as a photographer of jazz musicians as well.

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Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Some jazz greats have major birthdays in February.  The February  Jazz Unlimited show will include reed players John Handy, Buddy DeFranco, Harold Land and Dexter Gordon and many others.  In addition we will have a tribute to jazz great Donald Byrd, who passed away February 4.

Check out my photos of some of the musicians heard on tonight's show.

>> Playlist

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On the Sunday, February 10 Jazz Unlimited, we continue our series on urban centers that have brought great musicians to jazz by having teachers and institutions that bring them into the music at an early age.  The Jazz Cities series will feature the second part on musicians born in or nurtured early in their careers in Chicago.  Some of the musicians and groups featured will be blues pianist Jimmy Yancey, pianist Joe Sullivan, cornetist Muggsy Spanier, the Benny Goodman quartet with Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa, vocalists Kurt Elling, Johnny Hartman, Abbey Lincoln and Patricia Barber, The

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On the Sunday, February 3 Jazz Unlimited, we continue our series on urban centers that have brought great musicians to jazz by having teachers and institutions that bring them into the music at an early age.  The Jazz Cities series will feature musicians born in or nurtured early in their careers in Chicago.  Some of the musicians include Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Earl Hines, Nat "King" Cole, Denny Zeitlin, Johnny Griffin, Junior Mance, Eddie Harris, Henry Threadgill, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Herbie Hancock, Anita O'Day and Andrew Hill.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz musicians occasionally use classical music themes for improvisation.  On the January 28, 2013 edition of Jazz Unlimited, the first hour will have music by Bach, Villa Lobos, Mozart, Pachelbel, Rachmaninov, Dvorak and Rodrigo played without horns.  The second hours will present new music with Dizzy Gillespie, Dena DeRose, Art Pepper, Marcus Roberts, Hal Russell and others.

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Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The January 20 Jazz Unlimited show will present musicians who have major birthdays.  Most have passed on, while some are still going strong in their careers.  The musicians and their ages are as follows: vibists Milt Jackson (90) and Gary Burton (70), trumpeters Henry "Red" Allen (105) and "Hot Lips" Page (105) , guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli (85), reed players Haywood Henry (100) and Billy Harper (70), violinist Stephane Grappelli (105),  bassists Steve Gilmore (70) and Curtis Counce (90), and drummers Barry Altschul (70) and Osie Johnson (90).

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Jazz Unlimited show for January 13 is part of a series on listening to musicians who were born or nurtured in specific urban centers.  This is the second of two parts on Detroit and its environs.  On tonight's show the featured musicians include pianists Johnny O'Neal, Ross Tompkins, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Carlos McKinney and Geri Allen, trumpeter and composer/arranger Thad Jones, saxophonists, Wardell Gray, Billy Mitchell, Pepper Adams and Hal Russell, drummers Louis Hayes, Alvester Garnett, Elvin Jones and Roy Brooks, violinist Regina Carter, bassists Ron Carter, Paul Chambers an

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Jazz Unlimited show for January 6 will begin a series on listening to musicians who were born or nurtured in specific urban centers.  This is the first of two parts on Detroit and its environs.  On tonight's show the featured musicians include guitarist Kenny Burrell.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On the Sunday, December 23 edition of Jazz Unlimited, we celebrate the return of the sunlight and some of the celebrations around the Winter Solstice.  Specifically, the music will reflect the Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza traditions.  The artists on the show include Pieces of Eight with Debby Lennon, Herbie Mann, Jess Stacy, Don Byron, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Randy Weston, The Jim McNeely Tentette, Count Basie, John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington, The Kronos Quartet.  A special feature is the reading of the Clement Moore poem "The Night Before Christmas" by Loui

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Due to music recording copyright laws, the music from this show is no longer available. Music is posted for two weeks after a show airs.

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