22 Aug 2013

Death of jazz pianist and radio host

6:35 am on 22 August 2013

Jazz pianist Marian McPartland, a British musician who hosted a jazz programme on National Public Radio in the United States for more than four decades, died on Tuesday.

As host, she paired conversation and duet performances, reaching an audience of millions as she interviewed jazz luminaries, before stepping down in 2011.

Born Margaret Marian Turner in Slough, England, she married American soldier and cornetist Jimmy McPartland in 1946.

McPartland, 95, discovered music at an early age.

She told NPR in 2005 that her interest in music started after she heard her mother play piano, saying "From that moment on, I don't remember ever not playing piano, day and night, wherever I was."

She recorded and performed throughout the 1950s and into the next decade, and began an interview and music programme on WBAI-FM in New York in 1964, which paved the way for a move to NPR.

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz began in 1978.

Among those she played with on her albums were Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae and Shirley Horn. She received lifetime achievement Grammy award in 2004..