Big Band Jazz with Bob Craig

Sunday, 7 to 8 pm

Bob Craig will take you on a musical journey through the evolution of Big Band Jazz, which started off with the heavy hitters including Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Stan Kenton. They opened the door for Claude Thornhill, Quincy Jones, Thad Jones, and Mel Lewis, who took Big Band Jazz to exciting new places. Bob will also throw in the soloists who became great bandleaders (Lionel Hampton, Gerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie), and the more contemporary big bands--such as the Resonance Big Band, Mike Barone's Big Band, and the MHCC Jazz Band--who have done so much for jazz in the past few years.

In 1944 big dance bands were all the rage. They were so popular that to gain additional revenue for World War II, the federal government enforced a 30 percent "cabaret tax" on the gross receipts of any "public place where music and dancing privileges... except instrumental or mechanical music alone, are afforded the patrons in connection with the serving or selling of food, refreshment, or merchandise."

Why Ron Carter is the Ace of Bass

Dec 11, 2014

As a cultural institution, the Blue Note in NYC's Greenwich Village is surprisingly small. It’s a long, shotgun room with a snug stage set midway down against the left wall - the jazz club’s glowing blue neon logo centered as a backdrop. Tables line up front in tight formation and fan out to the left and right with as many patrons squeezed into place as the room can hold.

Since it's always about the music, there’s a collective understanding why you’re there. And last February, it was all about the man of the hour—the one and only, bassist Ron Carter.

Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer, but was established to honor fallen troops who gave their lives for our country. Join WRTI as we honor both aspects of this holiday weekend. We'll provide the perfect music to fuel your holiday barbeque all weekend long, featuring a type of jazz that - historically - goes hand-in hand with patriotism – Big Band!

The Big Band side of the influential baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan will be featured on Big Band Jazz this Sunday, April 13 at 7 pm. An arranger with Gene Krupa, Elliot Lawrence, and Stan Kenton in the '40s and '50s, to his own Concert Jazz Band in the '60s, it's an 87th birthday tribute to the one-time Philly resident.

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.

Join WRTI's Bob Craig this Sunday night to hear music composed and arranged by Neil Hefti for a number of band - especially Count Basie and Woody Herman. You'll hear several of his songs such as  "Girl Talk," "Lil' Darlin'" and "Cute."

That's on Big Band Jazz, Sunday, March 9, 7 to 8 pm. Don't miss it!

WRTI's much-loved jazz host Bob Craig is celebrating a milestone - 50 years on the air! We're so proud of Bob. He's a seasoned pro, and we're extremely fortunate that he's a part of our WRTI family. Here's his story...

Some of the big-name jazz pianists will have their compositions played Big Band Jazz style this week. You'll hear Duke Ellington plays George Shearing's "Lullaby Of Birdland," Gil Evans plays a Thelonious Monk classic, and more. Sunday, January 19th, 7 to 8 pm on WRTI. Join us!

Spend this Sunday afternoon with a sleigh full of holiday favorites by some of the great voices in jazz. You'll hear Ella and Louis, Diana Krall, and new releases from The New York Voices and Karrin Allyson. From Santa and snow to mistletoe - come and enjoy the show. Voices in Jazz, Sunday, December 22, 3 to 6 pm on WRTI HD-2 and the all-jazz web stream at

Stan Kenton (December 15, 1911 - August 25, 1979) would have turned 102 on Sunday. And Big Band Jazz pays tribute with an hour of live concert recordings. From the Hollywood Bowl in 1948 to the popular Road Show at Purdue University in 1958 to the European tour in the 197's, it's the Kenton and lively!! Sunday, December 15, 7 to 8 pm. Bob Craig is host.