The Bridge

Friday, 10 pm to 2 am (Saturday morning)

J. Michael Harrison presents his award-winning blend of jazz that takes you from the mainstream to the edge of the art. Rarely heard artists are played with regularity, as is a dash of jazz poetry.

Composer ID: 
53c7dcabe1c8c27e811ab2c5|53c7dca6e1c8c27e811ab2ae

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Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz on July 31st
12:02 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Afro-Brazilian Percussion in a Big Band Jazz Format! July 31st at TPAC

WRTI is proud to be one of the presenting organizations of the July 31st performance of Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz on July 31st at 7:30 pm at the Temple University Performing Arts Center.

The Philadelphia Jazz Project & WRTI are partnering to present a very special concert featuring Afro-Brazilian percussion in a Big Band Jazz format! Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz, with guests Arturo O'Farrill & Steve Berstein and Another Holiday For Skins w/Robert Kenyatta, Doc Gibbs, Pablo Batista & Luke Carlos O'Reilly. It's their first time performing in Philadelphia! Don't miss it! Details here.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
11:53 am
Wed June 24, 2015

My Friend, Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman at his 85th birthday party in March 2015.
John Rogers for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 2:22 pm

John Rogers is a photographer living in New York City who specializes in jazz. A few weeks ago, he approached NPR with the idea to document the unique connection he shared with his friend Ornette Coleman. He was working on it when Coleman died last week at 85. Rogers finished the story for us here. --Ed.

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Latest from ICON Magazine
11:00 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Ben Williams: More Than Just Jazz Appeal

It was easy to see why bassist Ben Williams’s debut CD State of Art made such a splash. It had a deserved buzz around a rising talent, and remains a primer for how to make a modern jazz record.

Since then, besides heavy side-gigging and touring with his band as Ben Williams and Sound Effect (Christian Sands, Marcus Strickland, Matthew Stevens, and John Davis), the 30-year-old had a key role in the Pat Metheny Unity Group. The band played over 150 shows internationally in 2013, which is a lot of experience in a compressed time frame.

So it’s not surprising that his follow-up CD, Coming of Age, is a rush of pleasure from beginning to end.

A taste of the new Ben Williams CD, Coming of Age:

The highly-disciplined Williams, a Juilliard graduate and winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition, weds fresh jazz to pop and R&B on seriously engaging tunes that hum and heave from his nimble bass whether he’s on acoustic or electric. The record is backboned by tracks that electrify (“Strength and Beauty”) and groove (“Half Steppin’”), yet his vocal collaborations with soul singer Goapele (“Voice of Freedom”) and a reprise of a track called “Toy Soldiers” with rap/spoken-word artist W. Ellington Felton satisfy the de rigueur groove revivalism and album’s crossover appeal.

Instrumentals like “Black Villain Music” and the sweet gloss of strings and muted trumpet by guest Christian Scott on “Lost And Found” will satisfy on multiple spins, but it’s the keyed-up guitar solos, funky electric piano, sonorous sax, and wicked beats that give Coming of Age its more-than-just-jazz appeal.

It’s a contagious hang, fueled by virtuosity and vision along with Williams’s canny sense of music-making.

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Fri May 22, 2015

All Songs +1: 'Epic' Jazz From Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington's appropriately-named new album, The Epic, is out now.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 10:37 am

Even if you don't know anything about jazz, it's quite possible you've heard the music of saxophonist Kamasi Washington: That's him on the latest albums by Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus. But that's only the very tip of his iceberg.

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WRTI Spotlight
3:43 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Military Jazz Bands Throughout Memorial Day Weekend on WRTI

Airmen of Note

Join us from Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25 during jazz hours as we remember those who fought for our country by presenting jazz performed by United States military bands. Jeff Duperon kicks off the festivities on Friday, May 22nd at 6 pm with music from The West Point Jazz Knights, the U.S. Army Blues, and many other military bands, old and new. This music continues all weekend long, until the Hot 11 Countdown kicks off at 10:30 pm on Monday.  

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:14 am
Fri May 15, 2015

B.B. King, Legendary Blues Guitarist, Dies At 89

B.B. King performs at Bluesfest Music Festival in Byron Bay, Australia, in 2011.
Mark Metcalfe Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 2:11 pm

It seemed as if he'd go on forever — and B.B. King was working right up until the end. It's what he loved to do: playing music, and fishing. Even late in life, living with diabetes, he spent about half the year on the road. King died Thursday night at home in Las Vegas. He was 89 years old.

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Jazz Appreciation Month 2015
2:43 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

WRTI Jazz Hosts Share Their Favorite Hidden Gems!

For the final week of Jazz Appreciation Month, we're presenting our favorite hidden gems from our jazz library. Join us at 7 pm, 9:30 pm, 12:30 am and 5:30 am as we uncover these precious pieces, and tell you why they are so special to us.  Bob Perkins, Zivit, Jeff Duperon, Maureen Malloy, Bob Craig and J. Michael Harrison have had a blast featuring their favorites for you this April. Please continue to tune into the station that appreciates jazz every month!

1. Bob Perkins: Patrick Williams Big Band - Mandeville - Aurora

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The Bridge with J. Michael Harrison
1:30 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Uri Caine and PRISM Quartet's Matt Levy on WRTI's THE BRIDGE: Friday, April 10, 10:45 PM

WRTI jazz host J. Michael Harrison speaks with Uri Caine and Matt Levy at the WRTI studios.

Join WRTI jazz host J. Michael Harrison on Friday, April 10 at 10:45 pm for music and conversation with Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Uri Caine and PRISM saxophone quartet's Matt Levy.

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Jazz Appreciation Month 2015
11:25 am
Tue April 7, 2015

It's Vintage Jazz Week on WRTI

Jazz Appreciation Month continues on WRTI! During the week of April 6th, 2015, we're sharing our favorite vintage jazz recordings.  Tune in to hear top favorites from Bob Perkins, Jeff Duperon, Zivit, J. Michael Harrison, Bob Craig, and Maureen Malloy throughout the week at 7 pm, 9:30 pm, 12:30 am and 5:30 am.

Listen to our hosts discuss their vintage jazz favorites below.

1. Bob Perkins: Modern Jazz Quartet - "Django" - Django 

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:47 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Obsessed with Jazz Tap!

Pam Hetherington and the Jazz Tap Quartet

Tap dancer Pam Hetherington says tap can be the visual representation of any kind of music. And jazz tap provides the opportunity for the dancer to reflect the emotions and story inspired by a live jazz combo. A choreographer and a teacher, she says she’s obsessed with tap’s percussive possibilities: hard-driving, soft and sweet, and in between.

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