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

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.

Tune in between 9 pm and midnight this week as host Bob Craig gives away tickets to see legendary pianist Kenny Barron and his trio at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on October 20th. A nine-time Grammy nominee, Barron will be playing with bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Jonathan Blake - of Hot 11 Countdown fame. The evening includes a pre-show artists chat.

You generally don't think of Thelonious Monk, George Shearing or Sonny Rollins when it comes to Big Band Jazz. However, this Sunday you'll get to hear some of these Jazz Giants doing their thing with full orchestrations. Sunday, October 7th, 7 to 8 pm with host Bob Craig.

Three major names in Jazz get to share most of the Big Band Jazz hour this week. There's a rare Coltrane performance with Art Blakey, Ray with Quincy Jones, and Frank with his own band as well as with Basie. Tune in this Sunday, 7 to 8 pm.

Both Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan recorded Gershwin songbook albums in the late 1950s. The first hour of Voices in Jazz this week will feature recordings from both of these famous jazz singers.

Each will sing stunning versions of "Embraceable You" - and even Louis Armstrong gets to squeeze in a couple of duets with Ella. Also, a rebroadcast of an interview with Carolyn Nelson, a Philadelphia-area singer performing songs from her Come A Little Closer CD. Sunday, September 23rd, 3 to 6 pm on the all-jazz stream and WRTI HD-2.

We'll take a "Walk On The Wild Side" of "Green Dolphin Street" and perhaps bump into "Laura," "Emily" and "Alfie." What's it all about?  Movie title songs...our feature presentation. You bring the popcorn and I'll get the horns a-poppin' on Sunday evening from 7 to 8 pm on Big Band Jazz. See you then!

It's a Big Band Jazz 84th birthday tribute to Horace Silver. The pianist/composer was able to mix blues, funk, and soul into some of our best-known jazz standards. We'll feature 11 bands cookin' on "Sister Sadie," "Doodlin'," "Nica's Dream," and eight others. Don't miss it! Sunday, September 2nd, 7 to 8 pm.

Here's one of Silver's most popular you recognize it?

Tune in to hear some of Wayne Shorter's compositions done Big Band style to note his August 25th birthday. We'll also shake out a few sambas from bands including Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis and Bobby Sanabria. Don't miss it! Sunday, August, 26th, 7 to 8 pm.

Author Gregg Akkerman has penned a much talked-about biography on the life of jazz singer Johnny Hartman. The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story traces the journey of the Grammy-nominated vocalist from his big-band origins with Earl Hines and Dizzy Gillespie to his storied career as a solo recording artist.

Celebrate the Count's birthday with "Basie by the Numbers" this Sunday, August 19, 7 to 8 pm. From the "One O'Clock Jump" to "Jive At Five" to the "9:20 Special," there'll be "Sixteen Men Swingin' " all hour long. Can we "count" on you to join the fun?