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Latest from ICON Magazine
11:00 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Ben Williams: More Than Just Jazz Appeal

It was easy to see why bassist Ben Williams’s debut CD State of Art made such a splash. It had a deserved buzz around a rising talent, and remains a primer for how to make a modern jazz record.

Since then, besides heavy side-gigging and touring with his band as Ben Williams and Sound Effect (Christian Sands, Marcus Strickland, Matthew Stevens, and John Davis), the 30-year-old had a key role in the Pat Metheny Unity Group. The band played over 150 shows internationally in 2013, which is a lot of experience in a compressed time frame.

So it’s not surprising that his follow-up CD, Coming of Age, is a rush of pleasure from beginning to end.

A taste of the new Ben Williams CD, Coming of Age:

The highly-disciplined Williams, a Juilliard graduate and winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition, weds fresh jazz to pop and R&B on seriously engaging tunes that hum and heave from his nimble bass whether he’s on acoustic or electric. The record is backboned by tracks that electrify (“Strength and Beauty”) and groove (“Half Steppin’”), yet his vocal collaborations with soul singer Goapele (“Voice of Freedom”) and a reprise of a track called “Toy Soldiers” with rap/spoken-word artist W. Ellington Felton satisfy the de rigueur groove revivalism and album’s crossover appeal.

Instrumentals like “Black Villain Music” and the sweet gloss of strings and muted trumpet by guest Christian Scott on “Lost And Found” will satisfy on multiple spins, but it’s the keyed-up guitar solos, funky electric piano, sonorous sax, and wicked beats that give Coming of Age its more-than-just-jazz appeal.

It’s a contagious hang, fueled by virtuosity and vision along with Williams’s canny sense of music-making.

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Tribute Concert to Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos
10:42 am
Fri May 22, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Macelaru Conducts Beethoven and Falla, May 24, 1 PM

Pianist Jorge Federico Osorio makes his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in this concert broadcast.

One of the highlights of the 2014-15 Philadelphia Orchestra concert season was the pairing of works by Beethoven and Manuel de Falla, originally scheduled for the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, to whom the concert was dedicated.

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Crossover
10:33 am
Fri May 22, 2015

The Duo Gazzana: It's The Trip That Counts

Violinist Natascia Gazzan and pianist Raffaella Gazzana

When traveling, some take the main routes - the safe, predictable, comforting roads. But others eschew the main routes, venturing off the beaten path. They're curious where the "roads less traveled" can lead them, and excited to share the discoveries most may not know about. This describes the Duo Gazzana, pathbeaters who say it's the trip that counts, not just the destination.

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Celebrating Miles Davis's Birthday
1:27 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

The Miles Files on WRTI: Tuesday Night, May 26th

Miles Davis (1926-1991)

Join WRTI on Tuesday, May 26th as we celebrate on the of coolest cats to ever grace the stage...the legendary Miles Dewey Davis.

Miles was known to be in the right place at the right time, as he always seemed to choose the perfect personnel to join him on his evolutionary recordings, which helped to hurl him into international stardom.  He also launched the careers of many a jazz legend, and had enormous influence over some artists whom he never even met.

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Latest from ICON Magazine
11:23 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Joanna Pascale, Wildflower

Listening to Joanna Pascale sing is like getting a big hug. Her voice is warm, wise and easy to love. The Philly native has put out fine solo albums previously, but nothing like Wildflower, a deeply-felt record that freely mixes pop tunes, blues, and outlier standards.

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The Crossing on WRTI
3:24 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

The Crossing Chamber Choir in Concert on WRTI: The Sounds of Light, May 24 at 4 PM

The Crossing at Longwood Gardens, April, 2015

Join us on Sunday, May 24th for a concert broadcast of The Crossing chamber choir, recorded live at Longwood Gardens this past April, amidst the full spring bloom at the renowned botanical gardens.

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WRTI Spotlight
3:43 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Military Jazz Bands Throughout Memorial Day Weekend on WRTI

Airmen of Note

Join us from Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25 during jazz hours as we remember those who fought for our country by presenting jazz performed by United States military bands. Jeff Duperon kicks off the festivities on Friday, May 22nd at 6 pm with music from The West Point Jazz Knights, the U.S. Army Blues, and many other military bands, old and new. This music continues all weekend long, until the Hot 11 Countdown kicks off at 10:30 pm on Monday.  

WRTI Spotlight
3:31 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Military Band Music on Memorial Day! May 25, 6 AM to 6 PM

The U.S. Navy Band marching on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The military band tradition in the U.S. dates back to the 18th century. The number of bands, type of instruments, styles of music, and audiences reached have grown immensely since those early drum-and-bugle days.

This Memorial Day, from 6 am to 6 pm, WRTI presents the music of today's military bands, including the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. These bands each have a wide variety of configurations that provide the country with music ranging from classical to jazz to country. And let's not forget marches!

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Opera on WRTI
12:28 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Lyric Opera of Chicago on WRTI: Renee Fleming Stars in R. Strauss' CAPRICCIO, May 23, 1 PM

Soprano Renee Fleming sings the Countess in Richard Strauss' CAPRICCIO.

The beautiful Countess has a difficult choice to make - will it be the amorous poet or the ardent musician whom she ultimately decides to love? She's one of the most glamorous and gifted singers of all time, he's one of the world's finest conductors — and both of them are supreme interpreters of Strauss. Renée Fleming and Sir Andrew Davis make magic in Richard Strauss' CAPRICCIO, Saturday, May 23, 1 to 4 pm on WRTI.

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WRTI Arts Desk
1:27 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

The Evolution of the Violin's Sound And Design

Theories abound about why the violins created in Cremona, Italy from the mid 1500s to the mid 1700s serve as the benchmark among masterpieces. Intriguing research by acoustics experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology might provide a clue. 

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