Marian McPartland was born Marian Margaret Turner in 1920 in Windsor, England. She is best known for her program on National Public Radio, Piano Jazz, but certainly had a good body of work to her name before the show's inception in 1978.

She started her piano carreer during WWII playing in vaudville acts. She met her husband, Jimmy McPartland in 1944, and married him later that year. While they later divorced, they remained amicable, and even remarried just a few weeks before his death in 1991.

In 1950, she started her own trio that released records on Savoy and other labels. She even started her own label, Halcyon. There have also been many releases from or related to the weekly Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz series. The series (and many of the releases) feature what are often very dynamic improvisations with various guests who run the gamut of modern, mainstream jazz. Perhaps the most important thing about the show its manner of presenting two or more talented artists (McPartland and her guest(s)) having fun interacting with each other.

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