Throughout this month, from early evening to the wee small hours of the morning, our jazz staff will be telling you about special moments that created, or perpetuated, their love for this great music. Each of these moments will be accompanied by a favorite song.
Music is my life! And I'm going to tell you how I got into music. Here's the story: I was in elementary school, and it was my brother's last year of middle school. The teachers heard us sing together and they said "Bravo!" That was amazing! A couple weeks later I thought I was in trouble over something, and turns out they asked us to sing at Conwell-Egan High School in Levittown. We sang "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." There were a lot of people there. We sang and there was this brief silence after we were done, and then there was a huge applause - really big!
One night recently, as I was home struggling to convince my toddler that the floor is not where leftover food lives, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood” came on the radio. Suddenly, I found myself paying a bit more attention to the music than the drama at hand. Why? Because I knew what was coming....that specific moment in the song that always gets to me. There's a total mood shift as the timing completely changes and you start to notice the drums more and more. And then you start to wonder if the drums were even there at all during the beginning of the tune.
Jazz great Billie Holiday, who died at age 44 in 1959, would have turned 99 on April 7, 2014. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in her short career, this Philadelphia-born singer made a huge impact on jazz and American song.
Soprano Anita Hartig made her Metropolitan Opera debut this week as Mimì in Puccini's classic work, La Boheme. If singing one of opera's most iconic roles at America's foremost opera house is not pressure enough, the Romanian soprano will also be performing for millions in movie theaters around the world in theMet Live in HD series, and on the radio via the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday Matinee B
Figaro, the wily barber of Seville, is portrayed in two great operas - the popular Rossini work that bears his name, and Mozart’s account of his marriage. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns takes us to Princeton's McCarter Theatre and rehearsals for two of the plays by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais that originated the Figaro character.
Philadelphia-area native Aaron Jay Kernis is among the most successful and prolific living American composers. The 54-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner has written music in almost every form except opera and ballet. WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports on a master of melody who this week receives a prestigious local award.
Network For New Music, the award-winning new music ensemble and organization based in Philadelphia, looks at the music of the eclectic composer and pianist John Harbison at concerts and workshops from April 4 to 6, featuring music inspired by jazz, poetry, and American popular song.
Spring songs get the Big Band Jazz treatment this Sunday! Listen to Basie and Kenton, as well as the Diva Jazz Orchestra, and Marty Paich. Grow an hour of Spring Fever this Sunday evening at 7 pm on WRTI.