Part 1 of this program begins with Studs Terkel reading an excerpt from the book "Giants of Jazz" , which describes Dizzy Gillespie's early life. Gillespie discusses the following: the state of jazz; his fellow musicians; jazz contributors; jazz fundamentals; and his tours abroad. Gillespie's "Groovin' High" is played towards the end of this part of the program.
Studs interviews Harriet Choice, Jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune. They reflect on the music, talent and career of Duke Ellington. Choice describes several Ellington songs and the history behind them. She shares how Duke created music and wrote specifically for individual people. Studs reads what Ellington wrote about his song “Harlem Airshaft.” Choice and Terkel reflect on Ellington’s music and those who made music with him. Choice shares how a Duke Ellington performance at the Newport Jazz Festival rejuvenated Ellington’s career.
Interviewing composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton.
Part 2 of the program continues with Dizzy Gillespie discovering the following: his jazz style; his interactions with other musicians; and his latin musical influences. The following Gillespie musical excerpts are played: "Tin Tin Deo"; "La Lorraine"; and an musical piece (with an undisclosed title) is played to end the program.
Presenting a concert at the Fairmont Hotel with jazz pianist, composer and radio host Ramsey Lewis.
Terkel comments and presents a musical performance by Wynton Marsalis
Discussing the origins of three schools of contemporary American music, their influence upon each other, and the new directions composers are taking with their music with composer and trombonist Bill Russo.