Bob Craig

Jazz Host

Bob joined WRTI's on-air staff in 2005. His well-rounded radio career began in 1963 as a studio engineer at WBZ in Boston. Throughout the '70s, he was an announcer and programmer at Hartford's WDRC and Boston's WHDH.

He made radio headlines in 1976 when he helped format one of the first soft rock stations in the U.S., at WWYZ in Hartford. A huge success, he was then recruited to Philly to revamp WMGK into an adult contemporary format, which also turned out to be a winning decision. Additionally, Bob introduced the market to "Smooth Jazz," hosting a popular Sunday morning show on WMGK. In the '90s, Bob put his headphones back on to host the popular Solid Hour of Sinatra on Philadelphia's WPEN and also served as music director for the adult standards station.

Bob has recorded numerous audio books for the nationally renowned Hachette Publishing Group in New York, and also teaches at Connecticut School of Broadcasting in Cherry Hill, NJ. At WRTI, he's delighted to present, in his well-informed and engaging way, one of his true loves: jazz.

Bob can be heard on Sundays from 7 to 8 pm as host of Big Band Jazz with Bob Craig, on WRTI HD-2 on Sundays from 3 to 6 pm as host of Voices in Jazz, and as a substitute host.

Ways To Connect

We'll remember Stan Kenton's 101st birthday this Sunday with a focus on some of the great soloists with the band.  Art Pepper, Bob Cooper, Vido Musso, and Maynard Ferguson were major players. You'll hear them and others on Big Band Jazz this Sunday evening, 7 to 8 pm.

This Sunday evening we'll prove that good things come in pairs - like two leaders putting together one great band. Like Thad Jones and Mel Lewis...like Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

It's a 2-for-1 special on December 9th, 7 to 8 pm. Join us!

The Basie Band produced a number of sidemen and arrangers who later went on to lead their own big bands. This week you'll hear  some of these well-known musicians; first with Basie and then on their own.  Featured artists include Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Quincy Jones, Ernie Wilkins and others. Sunday, December 2nd, 7 to 8 pm.

Composer Johnny Mandel shares birthday honors with Billy Strayhorn this week. We'll hear a sampling of their songs this Sunday, November 25th at 7 pm. Billy is best known for his sophisticated works, mostly with Duke Ellington (Take the "A" Train, Lush Life, etc.) and Johnny for his movie scores (I Want To Live and Americanization Of Emily). Join us for exciting Big Band interpretations!

Join us this Sunday when some of your favorite Big Band Classics get a "makeover" by some of the present-day bands. The Diva Jazz Orchestra gets to re-do "String Of Pearls," and Ron Carter's Big Band provides a whole new arrangement of Tommy Dorsey's "Opus One." Sunday, November 18th, 7 to 8 pm.

Woody Herman was born in 1913 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and passed away in 1987. To help celebrate the 100th year since his birth, Graham Carter of Jazzed Media has just produced a DVD documentary on the career of the great jazz bandleader, clarinetist, and sax player. Graham will be my guest, giving insight into the documentary. You'll also hear many landmark recordings from "The Band That Plays The Blues."  Sunday, November 11, 7 to 8 pm. Join us!

Big Band Jazz Hits 100!

Oct 28, 2012

This Sunday marks the 100th program of Big Band Jazz. Tune in to hear a few songs that Zoot Sims recorded with big bands, notably with Woody Herman and Stan Kenton in honor of what would have been  Zoot's 87th birthday. Also ,Clifford Browne will be remembered - he would have turned 82 on Oct. 30th. You'll hear a rare solo by him with Gigi Gryce in a big band recorded in Paris in 1953. Be sure to join us on Sunday, October 28th, 7 to 8 pm!

This Sunday marks the 95th anniversary of the birth of John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie. We'll take care of some "Diz Biz" from bebop and beyond...you'll hear some of Dizzy's bands and others paying tribute to this jazz giant who passed away in 1993 at 75 years young. Sunday, October 21, 7 to 8 pm.

It's an hour with some great college jazz bands, including our very own Temple University Jazz Band under the direction of Terrell Stafford. Also, bands from North Texas State, DePaul University, plus a 1959 Berklee College of Music band featuring Gary Burton. It's this Sunday, October 14th, 7 to 8 pm. Join us!

Here's the Temple University Jazz Band appearing at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center:

A special treat this week on Voices in Jazz! The amazingly talented pianist/singer Dena DeRose shares her story about how carpal tunnel syndrome nearly sidelined her piano career, and led to a focus on singing. Today, happily, she's proficient at both and traveling the world as a much in-demand artist. You'll also hear selections from her first solo release -  Travelin' Light, featuring standards from the Great American Songbook recorded live in Antwerp.

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