WRTI Spotlight
1:42 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Pianist Alexis Weissenberg Dies At 82

The Bulgarian-born pianist Alexis Weissenberg, whose musical talent as a youngster probably saved his life and that of his mother, died January 8th at age 82. The dynamic pianist escaped the Nazis to build a brilliant career. Listen to the NPR story, watch a video, and read about Weissenberg Here

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For over 30 years, David has been connecting thousands of loyal WRTI listners to the sounds of salsa, mambo, and Latin jazz via his popular radio program, El Viaje.

David's introduction to Latin music was at age 17 when his younger sister persuaded him to listen to Cachao y Su Descarga's "Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature." The rest is history...

A Philly native, David currently lives in South Jersey, but is always in town for DJ gigs at Philadelphia Latin music clubs.

Philadelphia Magazine presented David with their "Best of Philly" award for best radio program in the Philadelphia region in 1997. He has also been bestowed with numerous honors, including awards from the City of Philadelphia and Latin Beat Magazine.

Jean was creator, host, and executive producer of University Forum, WRTI's award-winning public affairs program. The final broadcast of University Forum was on September 15, 2012. Archives available here.

Once a percussion student at New York's High School of Music and Art, Dr. Moore is a graduate of Hunter College and holds a master's degree in social service from Bryn Mawr College and a doctorate in education from Temple University.

Susan is an arts and culture reporter for WRTI. She contributes weekly features to Creatively Speaking with Jim Cotter, produces arts news, and works as a news anchor.

She is also a freelance essayist, journalist, and speechwriter who has written about Philadelphia for Insight Guides and Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation's Culture Files.  A former columnist for Philadelphia Magazine, she is the author of Reinventing Ourselves after Motherhood and a book of essays. Her work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Child Magazine, Parents Magazine, Reader's Digest and Ladies' Home Journal (Parents Digest).

Meridee began reporting in the newsroom at WRTI in 2003 while working toward a master's degree in journalism at Temple University.  Since that time, her duties have expanded to news anchor and contributor to WRTI's arts and culture series, Creatively Speaking.

A graduate of Hamline University School of Law, Meridee grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and practiced law before making a major leap into the world of journalism. She also holds a graduate degree from New York University School of Law and received a B.A in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Jim was born and raised in Ireland. He began his radio career in Dublin before moving to the U.K. where he worked for BBC Radio Wales and the BBC World Service. He lived on the island of Crete in Greece for 10 years before moving to the United States.

Since 2002, Jim has been the station's arts and culture reporter and then editor. And since 2003, he's been the host and producer of Creatively Speaking, WRTI's much-acclaimed Saturday morning arts and culture program.

Creatively Speaking has been the recipient of several awards and commendations including two Philadelphia A.I.R (Achievement In Radio) awards and an Excellence in Broadcasting award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters.

Warren is the founding host and producer of WRTI's gospel music program, Ovations. A Philadelphia native, he's been a musician since he was nine years old and grew up "in church" and "in jazz" - often sneaking off as a child to participate in jazz jam sessions on Saturday nights, and then singing hymns and gospel songs in the choir on Sunday mornings.

After studying at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Warren emerged as a trend-setting pioneer within the genres of jazz worship and sacred jazz. As an arranger, composer, director, performer, and producer, he has been called "...an innovator who has taken significant strides in the fusion of gospel music and jazz...making all things new, and raising the bar in vocal jazz and praise performance..." by the Philadelphia Tribune.

I. Robin "Bobbi" Booker is an award-winning Philadelphia-based multi-media journalist and radio personality whose work appears regionally in the Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia Magazine and The Philadelphia Tribune and nationally via NPR Books. Ms. Booker has completed two prestigious  National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowships at the Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism (2005) and Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival at Duke University (2008).

In 1981, I. Robin launched her professional broadcast career with WRTI as a news reporter, and in 1999 was named co-host of Ovations.

It was inevitable that Zivit Shlank would land a career in the music industry. Since growing up in Brooklyn, New York, she's always been immersed in a musical world; she played vibes, flute, and xylophone in school bands and orchestras, and has been singing in jazz, gospel, and traditional choirs, and performing in talent shows throughout her life.

Also known as "BP with the GM," (translation: "Bob Perkins with the Good Music"), Mr. Perkins has been in the broadcasting industry for more than four decades as an on-air host, and is now commonly referred to as a Philadelphia jazz radio legend.

BP broke into the radio business in 1964 when he landed an on-air job in Detroit. In 1969, his hometown of Philadelphia beckoned him back with a gig at rhythm-and-blues station WDAS, where he worked for the next 19 years. He joined WRTI in 1997.

In addition to his job as jazz host, BP writes numerous columns and commentaries on jazz for local publications in Philadelphia. He also hosts concerts at jazz clubs and at regional festivals.

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