Marian McPartland

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Marian McPartland (1975)

Marian McPartland ( OBE ; born March 20, 1918 in Slough , Buckinghamshire , England , as Margaret Marian Turner ; † August 20, 2013 in Port Washington , New York ) was an American jazz musician ( pianist and journalist ) of British origin.

She has appeared on stage for more than six decades, recorded numerous albums and was a well-known radio host who featured musicians on her weekly program Piano Jazz for more than 30 years . She is considered "one of the few female jazz legends."


Marian McPartland was an early musical talent. She broke off her (classical) composition and piano studies at the famous London Guildhall School of Music and Drama (where she also studied violin) after she discovered her love for jazz. Against her father's wishes, she played a vaudeville number with four pianos under the stage name Marian Page. While looking after the Allied troops in liberated France and Belgium, she met her future husband in 1944, the 11-year-old cornetist and Bix-Beiderbecke student Jimmy McPartland .

After the war she moved to Chicago with her husband in 1946 and initially played in his band. While this one was playing Dixie , she had a more modern taste. She has been writing for Down Beat since 1949 . In the same year she moved to New York City , where she founded her own jazz trio, which first played at the Embers in 1950 . From her engagement for two weeks in New York's Hickory House on 52nd Street in 1952 she worked as a club trio until 1960 (at times with drummer Joe Morello ). Numerous jazz greats heard their play in this restaurant-club, of which Rudy Van Gelder also recorded recordings for Savoy . She also used her commitment to hear jazz musicians extensively in the neighboring clubs on 52nd Street such as Birdland and constantly expanded her repertoire - provided with an encyclopedic memory. By the end of the decade she was firmly established on the New York scene.

In the 1960s she had a first radio show in New York on WBAI-FM and developed a jazz education program for school children in Washington, DC that became exemplary nationwide. In 1969 she founded her own record label called Halcyon Records , which mainly published her own trio music. In 1978 she received an offer from National Public Radio to host a weekly program. She made a counter-suggestion: sitting at the piano, she wanted to moderate and invite one guest to play music with them. The proposal was accepted. Mary Lou Williams' first guest in Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz was on June 4, 1978 . Overall, Marian McPartland chatted and made music in her weekly program with more than 700 guests, including Oscar Peterson , Cleo Patra Brown , Bill Evans , Rosemary Clooney , Teddy Wilson , Carmen McRae , Dizzy Gillespie , Dave Brubeck , Amina Claudine Myers , Keith Jarrett and Alice Coltrane , but also with John Medeski , Linda Ronstadt , Elvis Costello and Norah Jones . She hosted this show until 2010. Some of these musical portraits were also found on albums bw. CDs brought out. In 2004 she received a Grammy for it . From the 1970s on she also recorded numerous ( around 60) albums for Concord , including the duo album Ain't Misbehavin ': Live at the Jazz Showcase with Willie Pickens .

McPartland's swinging game is also documented on numerous sound carriers with modern jazz. Her composition Twilight World became the standard.

She married her husband Jimmy, who had been divorced from her in the meantime (1970), shortly before his death in 1991.


In 1983 she received the Peabody Award . In 2000 she received the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship and the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Award . In 1986 she was inducted into the International Association for Jazz Education Hall of Fame and in October 2006 into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame . In 2010 she honored Great Britain with the award Officer of the Order of the British Empire .


  • Marian McPartland Marian McPartlands Jazz World , University of Illinois Press 2003 (first in 1987 as All in Good Time , a collection of reviews)
  • Marian McPartland Portraits 2000
  • Marian McPartland All in good time , Oxford University Press, 1987


  • Linda Dahl, Stormy Weather. The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen. Quartet Books. London 1984. ISBN 0-7043-2477-6
  • Leslie Gourse , Madame Jazz. Oxford University Press. New York 1995. ISBN 0-19-508696-1
  • Paul de Barros: Shall We Play That One Together. The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland . St. Martin's Press, New York 2012, ISBN 978-0-312-55803-1

Web links

Commons : Marian McPartland  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Obituary at Ottawa Citizen ( Memento of the original from January 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Mourning the jazz legend: The pianist Marian McPartland is dead (BR)
  3. Marian McPartland's Storied Life, Told 'In Good Time'