In a world surrounded by distractions and full of busy schedules, it can be hard to keep up to date with jazz, let alone study it. In this article, we’ll break down some of the best jazz podcasts that will inform and entertain you on the go.
For this round up, we focused on shows that are produced primarily as a podcast, rather than many of the jazz radio stations around the world which offer up their shows on podcast platforms too.
Of course, there are many other great ones out there, so don’t hesitate to head to your podcasting platform or choice, hit ‘search’ for jazz and let us know your favourites in the comments section below.
The Third Story
The Third Story podcast focuses on long-form interviews with musicians and creatives, narrowing down their stories of discovery, ambition, risk, and reward.
The weekly podcast was started in 2014 and is hosted by New York-based musician and producer Leo Sidran.
There are over 200 episodes available on their website, all focused on showcasing the moving and compelling stories of creatives.
The podcast has a clear vision to inspire us on our own creative journeys, and so this podcast is best suited to the aspiring [jazz] musician.
Check them out here: third-story.com/
The Everything Saxophone Podcast offers saxophone players, teachers, and saxophone enthusiasts candid, informative conversations with saxophone performers of all genres, saxophone teachers, and industry leaders from all over the world.
Everything Saxophone was started in March 2018 by Donna Schwartz and Nick Mainella to showcase well-known, and up and coming artists in the saxophone world, along with innovative manufacturers of all saxophone-related products.
After Nick went on to teach classes at the St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, Donna became the sole host of the show.
Everything Saxophone has interviewed artists such as Walt Weiskopf, Kirk Whalum, Jamey Aebersold, Tim Garland, Grace Kelly, Tia Fuller, Alexa Tarantino and Camille Thurman, as well as industry leaders such as Theo Wanne, Jody Espina (JodyJazz), SYOS, Gary Sugal, Rovner Products, KeyLeaves, and many others.
Check them out via saxophonepodcast.com
Harmonious World provides interviews with musicians, composers, and producers.
This podcast was started in 2020 by Hilary Robertson as a labour of love and features musicians from all across the world, with recent episodes reaching Russia, Sweden and the UK.
Harmonious World is a great option for those looking for a more in-depth look at jazz music. The podcast features interviews with renowned jazz artists, as well as discussions about various elements of the jazz genre.
This podcast is perfect for those who are passionate about jazz and want to learn more about the history and inner workings of the genre.
Check them out via harmoniousworld.buzzsprout.com
All That’s Jazz
All That’s Jazz is a podcast dedicated to conversations that focus on the backstories of people in the world of Jazz, not only from the United States, but from around the world.
Their episodes highlight the extraordinary artists who present their craft, the educators who are bringing along the next generation, the museums and venues that provide a vehicle for its presentation, and the journalists, record labels, and publicists who put this truly diverse music forward to the public.
All That’s Jazz is a personal project borne from more than 40 years of involvement with the music, and personal friendships with artists over the years. For Allen Scott (All That’s Jazz host), this is not about anything other than carrying the stories forward with respect and love.
Check them out at ListenNotes
The Jazz Session
The Jazz Session focuses on in-depth conversations with jazz musicians.
The podcast was started by Jason Crane in 2007 and has been hosted and produced by Nicky Schrire (who previously appeared on the show in 2012 and 2013) since September 2021.
The conversations often revolve around the creative output and process of a jazz musician, as well as how their lives and music connect.
The podcast has interviewed notable jazz musicians such as Shai Maestro (episode 582), Joel Frahm (episode 578) and American drummer Mike Reed (episode 138).
The Cool Toddcast
Produced by acclaimed Grammy Award winning jazz bassist Todd Coolman, the Cool Toddcast interviews cover a variety of subjects related to jazz.
With over 40 years experience as a jazz musician and educator, Todd shares insider perspectives pertaining to jazz performance, road life, stories about jazz musicians and notable events, jazz improvisation, jazz education, jazz history, jazz criticism and just about anything.
Recent episodes include modern saxophone players Dick Oatts, Steve Wilson and Walter Smith III
Check it out via cooltoddcast.com
The Hang with Gregory Porter
The Hang focuses on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, interviewing famous names, both old and contemporary, and sharing a love of music.
This podcast, hosted by singer-songwriter Gregory Porter, was started in 2019 and is recorded on the road, or remotely from Porter’s home in Bakersfield, California.
The Hang is best suited for someone looking for a relaxed and informal atmosphere, with a tone that is perhaps more conversational and less info-focused than some of the other podcasts on this list.
Regardless, there are some big names featured on this podcast. Some of these names include saxophonist Kamasi Washington, jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum, and… Jeff Goldblum!
Check them out on Apple podcasts
The Jazz Podcast
The Jazz Podcast (UK) features interviews of musicians with a focus on providing insight into their life stories and journeys on breaking into the music scene.
Aptly named The Jazz Podcast, the show was started in 2017 and is run by Rob Cope, Dan Farrant, and Tara Minton who are London-based musicians.
This podcast is especially good for jazz musicians looking to break into the UK scene, but based on the reviews (with an average of 4.9/5 stars), is likely to be enjoyable for any fan of jazz.
Listen via thejazzpodcast.buzzsprout.com
With the tagline of “the bold jazz interview podcast” the Improv Exchange focuses on conversations with and about musicians with the goal of keeping jazz relevant and preserving its musical culture.
The podcast is hosted by Leander Young, who carries out authentic conversations as they keep up-to-date with the jazz world.
This podcast is ideal for anyone who values jazz as part of our culture and is interested in learning more about the modern jazz world.
Check them out via improvexchange.com
Doing Jazz with Lorens Chuno
Doing Jazz presents conversations with enterprising jazz musicians.
The conversations are free-form, casual, and usually explore the work-life of artists, as well as occasionally touching on their stories of starting out.
Doing Jazz with Lorens Chuno offers personal stories from jazz musicians, their opinions on current issues, and advice for people interested in the field.
This podcast is best for people who are looking for more casual listening, and/or are aspiring jazz musicians themselves.
Check them out via lorenschuno.libsyn.com
Straight no Chaser
Hosted by Jeffrey Siegel, Straight no Chaser is a podcast series featuring 5-6 episodes monthly. The podcasts consist of interviews and analyses of jazz music, both past and present. The show has been quite the fan favorite, winning the JazzTimes reader’s poll for best podcast 6 years in a row.
Thanks for reading!
Got any favourite podcasts that we didn’t list? Let us know in the comments section below!