South Carolina ETV


Marian McPartland, ETV Radio Host, has Died

For Immediate Release
August 21, 2013

High resolution images are below

Marian McPartland, host of South Carolina ETV Radio’s national program Piano Jazz, has died.  She was 95.  

ETV Radio's Director Shari Hutchinson, who also serves as the producer of Piano Jazz, said:  “Words cannot adequately express what Marian McPartland meant to ETV Radio, NPR, and especially for me.  Marian was of course the brilliant artist and beloved icon of Public Radio.  I was able to work closely with one of the strongest, most successful, vital, creative women of her time, someone who overcame every obstacle and who pushed through every glass ceiling.  I am deeply saddened at her passing, and at the same time profoundly joyful she let me into her life."

McPartland, a British citizen, met famed American jazz trumpeter Jimmy McPartland when both entertained the troops during World War II.  After their marriage, they relocated to New York City, where she became house pianist for the famed Hickory House on 52nd Street.  Known as a gathering place for performers following television broadcasts and Broadway performances, McPartland’s nightly audience often included notables such as Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Steve Allen, Oscar Peterson, and Artie Shaw.  Her encyclopedic musical memory, gift for improvisation, and witty banter made her irresistible to performers.  She caught the ear of South Carolina ETV Radio, which offered her a program about jazz composed of interview and improvisational performance.  Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz went on to become NPR Music’s longest-running music program and spanned over three decades.  It moved through generations of performers, from jazz greats Dave Brubeck and Tony Bennett to the unusual (Clint Eastwood) to Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello.  Her interviews were not held at a table, but with guest and host side by side at twin grand pianos.  Piano Jazz is still heard today, its recent seasons curated by McPartland from her astonishing archive of original performances.

Piano Jazz won the prestigious Peabody Award in 1984.  In 2004 McPartland was awarded a Trustee's Award Grammy for Lifetime Achievement; in 2007, the Kennedy Center named McPartland a Living Jazz Legend.  She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2010.

McPartland is survived by Donna Gourdol (granddaughter) Doug Kassel (grandson), Mark (nephew) and Anna Armitage, Sheila Prophet (niece), and Mr. and Mrs. Chris Armitage (nephew).

ETV Radio will air a special tribute program Saturday, August 24 at 8:00 p.m. on the news service and Sunday, August 25 at 7:00 p.m. on the classical service.   ETV will air The Big Picture: Marian McPartland, Monday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m. and Thursday, August 29 at 7:30 p.m.; and Marian McPartland: First Lady of Jazz, Monday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, August 29 at 7:00 p.m. 

Further print and video material for journalists is available at www.scetv.org/marianmcpartland  and the NPR pressroom http://www.npr.org/about/press.  Broadcast video is also available for journalists at ETV’s ftp site, call Fran Johnson at 803.737.6556 for access.  All materials must be credited to the organization from which they came, SCETV Radio or NPR Music.  Media inquiry is available at: Anna Christopher Bross, abross@npr.org 202.513.2304 or Fran Johnson, fjohnson@scetv.org, 803.737.6556.

South Carolina ETV (presenting station) is the state's public educational broadcasting network.  Using television, radio and the web, SCETV's mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment and instilling the joy of learning.  South Carolina ETV currently presents A Chef’s Life, Expeditions, and For Your Home on public television in addition to national radio productions Song Travels, Piano Jazz, Spoleto Festival USA, and World of Opera.

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Marian McPartland, ETV Radio Host, has Died
Marian McPartland. Photo Credit: SCETV Radio
Marian McPartland, ETV Radio Host, has Died
Marian McPartland. Photo Credit: SCETV Radio.


Photos may be downloaded for the sole purpose of publicizing this program. To download an image, click on the picture below. A new Web page will open containing the hi-res version. Right click on the hi-res image, and select "Save As" or "Save Picture As."
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