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.

Some of the popular Big Band Classics from the 1940s get a 21st-century makeover on Big Band Jazz - this Sunday, November 24 at 7 pm. You'll hear a brilliant reworking of Duke Ellington's "Take The A Train" by the 2013 One O'Clock Lab Band from North Texas State University, Jeff Hamilton and the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble with an update on Woody Herman's theme "Blue Flame," and lots more. Join us!

Some famous jazzmen were lucky enough to have songs named in their honor when they were playing with the big bands. Count Basie recorded "Lester Leaps In" when Lester Young was in his 1930's band and Stan Kenton recorded "Zoot" when Zoot Sims was with him.  This week we'll also have a couple of recordings featuring the saxophonist and flutist Frank Wess who passed away on October 30th.

We're celebrating Dizzy Gillespie's birthday this Sunday evening, October 20 at 7 pm on Big Band Jazz. Tune in for Diz and several other big band jazz recordings with music popularized by trumpet kings like Roy Eldridge, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, and more. Sunday evening at 7 pm. Join us!

Big Band Jazz is featuring an hour of live recordings this Sunday evening at 7 pm. From England to New England...Vegas to The Village Vanguard, you'll hear lots of great performances from Buddy Rich, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and more. Join us!

Don't miss this year's top 100 jazz countdown! It's the jazz songs that you voted for over the holiday weekend. Listen starting on Friday, August 30 at 6 pm, Sunday, September 1 from 8 to midnight, and Monday, September 2 starting at 6 pm and ending when the #1 song is played.  You'll find the list below as the countdown begins!

On this year's Basie Birthday Bash we'll feature the arrangements and compositions of Neil Hefti. His association with Basie began in 1950. In 1952, when the Count reorganized his band, Neil contributed to it. Then, in 1957, The Atomic Basie was recorded. Neil arranged and composed the whole album, which included the popular "Li'l Darlin'." Two more albums for the Basie Band followed, plus Sinatra-Basie in 1962.

Don't miss this third annual b-day party on WRTI. Sunday, August 18, 7 to 8 pm.

Big Band Jazz hits the big music streets this Sunday evening, August 4th at 7 pm. From "Green Dolphin" to "Basin Street" to "Broadway" there's a lot of ground to cover...including  a couple of appearances from Louis Armstrong on the 112th anniversary of his birth.

We'll be "Wading In The Water" with big band favorites from "Down By The Riverside" this week. As you wind down the long July 4th holiday weekend, bands like Oliver Nelson, Gil Evans, and Count Basie will be splashing about when we set sail at 7 pm this Sunday, July 7th on Big Band Jazz.

With the help of Duke Ellington, Gerald Wilson, Christian McBride, and others, it's nothing but the sounds of summer on Big Band Jazz, Sunday June 23rd at 7 pm. Bob Craig dials up songs about the birds, songs about the bees, and maybe even songs about the flowers and the trees!

Happy Summer from Bob Craig and all of us at WRTI on Big Band Jazz with Bob Craig, every Sunday night at 7 pm.

This Sunday evening at 7 pm, Big Band Jazz presents The Jones Boys. That's Jones as in Quincy, Thad, Hank, and Elvin.

All-everything composer, arranger, and winner of just about every award Quincy Jones led bands in the '50s and '60s. Although some know him mainly as a record producer of stars new and not so new, it's always good to hear a taste of his jazz band chops.