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.

Ways To Connect

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The April 27  Jazz Unlimited will be  “The Keys and Strings Hour Plus New Music for April.”   April marks the 115th birthday of one of our greatest composers, Duke Ellington.  We will hear his music played without horns by Kenny Burrell, Abdullah Ibrahim, Tommy Flanagan, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Smith, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Randy Weston and the Modern Jazz Quartet.  New music will feature a new, never heard CD of Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson, a trio led by the Unusual pianist Billy Tipton, jazz pioneer Carline Ray, guitarist Terence Brewer, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, Leo Parker, a ma

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Sunday, April 20  Jazz Unlimited will be “Compositions of Duke Ellington.”   April marks the 115th birthday of one of our greatest composers, Duke Ellington.  We will hear music that includes a 1932 medley in stereo, a suite for a film on the horse racing paintings of Degas, a vocal of one of his pieces from “Such Sweet Thunder,” a tribute to Shakespeare.  Other artists on the show include Al Cohn, Benny Carter, Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Johnny O’Neal, Ella Fitzgerald, Clarinet Summit, Buell Neidlinger, McCoy Tyner, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Jam

Women In Current Jazz

Apr 12, 2014
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, April 13 will be “Women in Current Jazz.”  While there have been many female jazz vocalists, instrumentalists are harder to find.  As times change, women have become heard in jazz playing all sorts of instruments, not just pianos and guitars.  This show will feature female jazz artists who have been active since 2000, with three vocal recordings and 26 instrumental recordings.  The female jazz artists featured on tonight’s show are organist Akiko Tsuraga; pianists Bertha Hope, Geri Allen, Hiromi Renee Rosnes, Shamie Royston and Kris Davis; composer, arranger and b

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The April 6 edition of Jazz Unlimited will be “The Career of Paul Chambers.”  In his career from 1954-1969, bassist Paul Chambers participated in over 360 recording sessions.  His big sound and great time made him an invaluable player.  He was unusual because he would use the bow in some of his solos.  He is best known for his long tenure with Miles Davis, the Red Garland Trio and the Wynton Kelly Trio.  In this show, Chambers will also be heard with J.J.

Unknown / Courtesy of the Scott Joplin House, St. Louis, MO

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, March 23 will be “A Tribute to Trebor Tichenor + New Music.”  Trebor Tichenor, St. Louis’s own ragtime music scholar and teacher, lived, as he said, a ragtime life until his recent death.  We will celebrate his life with music and interviews on the quieter side of jazz.  We will hear music from piano rolls by Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb and James Scott.  Other recording artists on the show are ragtime pianists Milton Kaye, Charlie Thompson, and Trebor Tichenor along with the St. Louis Ragtimers.  New music will feature three new CD’s from St.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, March 16 will present “The Career of Kenny Barron.”  Born in Philadelphia in 1943, this jazz piano master began his recording career in 1960 at the age of 17 with recordings with Yusef Lateef and his brother tenor saxophonist Bill Barron.  To date, Kenny Barron has 564 recording sessions to his credit with 54 as a leader.  He had a five-year stints with Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz and recorded with just about everyone who is anyone in jazz.  In addition to work on his own projects, tonight’s show presents Kenny Barron with Regina Carter, Kevin Mahogany, Clark Te

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Sunday, March 9 Jazz Unlimited show will be  “Live Jazz from Other New York Venues, Part 2.”  Jazz played live is a different animal from jazz recorded in the emotionally sterile confines of a studio.  The energy and emotion reflected back from an audience to the performers brings about better performances.  We conclude our survey of New York venues with smaller clubs and Lincoln Center as well as presenting music from clubs that we did not have time for on earlier shows.  The musicians feature include trumpeter Bobby Hackett with trombonist Vic Dickenson, the Art Tatum Trio, Sarah Vaug

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 2, 2014 will be “Live Jazz from Other New York Venues, Part 1.”  Jazz played live is a different animal from jazz recorded in the emotionally sterile confines of a studio.  The energy and emotion reflected back from an audience to the performers brings about better performances.  We continue our survey of New York venues with smaller clubs and Lincoln Center as well as presenting music from clubs that we did not have time for on earlier shows.  We will feature duets between Dick Wellstood and Kenny Davern, Dick Hyman and Roger Kellaway and Joe Lovano and Hank Jones

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 23 will be “The Guitar of Jim Hall, A Tribute to Rich McDonnell and New Music.” Jim Hall will be featured on the first hour, the “Keys and Strings Hour,” bringing you the quieter side of jazz.  Rich McDonnell, founder of the Max Jazz label died recently and we will honor him with some of recordings from the Max Jazz catalog.  The third hour will be new music for February.  Artists heard on the show will be: the Jim Hall trio, the Red Mitchell quintet, duos between Jim Hall and Pat Metheny, Bill Evans and Ron Carter and the Hampton Hawes quartet.  Music in the sec

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited on February 16 is “Live from the Village Vanguard-Part 2.”  We continue our survey of New York jazz clubs with the first of two parts on the Village Vanguard.  Max Gordon started the club in 1935 and ran it until his death in 1989.  Since then, his widow Lorraine continues to run it.  It remains the way it was when Max died.  The featured artists for this show, the Junior Mance Trio, the Joe Lovano Quartet, Chucho Valdes and his band, the John Coltrane Quartet, the Bobby Hutcherson Quartet, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, the Bill Evans Trio, Art Pepper, the Tha

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