Creatively Speaking

Throughout the week

Creatively Speaking is WRTI's weekly look into the world of music, arts, and culture. Meet the people behind the footlights and the artists in the spotlight, as Jim Cotter and company introduce you to those who make the performing and visual arts come alive in our region. Listen to six Creatively Speaking features each week.

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Creatively Speaking
5:20 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Did the Cabaret Tax Kill Big Bands?

The Cotton Club, New York City

In 1944 big dance bands were  all the rage.  They were so popular that to gain additional revenue for World War II,  a 30 percent "cabaret tax" was enforced 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."

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Creatively Speaking
8:44 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Taking Jazz to Spiritual Settings

The Jazz Sanctuary at Gloria Dei Church in South Philly.

The Jazz Sanctuary is an organization that takes jazz into houses of worship and other nontraditional venues. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, founder Alan Segal says jazz and the spiritual community drove his recovery from a life-threatening crisis.

The Jazz Sanctuary presents concerts open to the public at houses of worship and other non-profit venues. Information about upcoming concerts.

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Creatively Speaking
9:45 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

A Jam-Packed Jazz Celebration in Center City

This year's Center City Jazz Festival takes place at Chris' Jazz Cafe, Fergie's Pub, Milkboy Philadelphia, and TIME Restaurant.

The third annual Center City Jazz Festival is coming up on Saturday, April 19th  There are 16 bands performing in a six-hour period, in four venues in downtown Philadelphia. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

The festival warms up on Friday, April 11th at Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Creatively Speaking
3:49 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

It's Official! The City Of Philadelphia Appreciates Jazz

April is Jazz Appreciation Month

All across the country, April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). In Philadelphia, JAM's month-long series of concerts, workshops, and events - including the Center City Jazz Festival - culminates on April 30th, which is Jazz Appreciation Day.

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Creatively Speaking
3:27 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Poulenc's Aubade: A Still-Unique Choreographic Concerto

French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

In 1929, an unusual work by a versatile 20th-century French composer premiered at the home of his wealthy patrons. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this piece, still unique in the classical repertoire, is part piano concerto and part ballet, in a chamber music setting.

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Creatively Speaking
8:56 am
Mon April 7, 2014

American Audiences Missing Out On Many Great Performers

Pianist Eric Le Sage

Over the past decade or so, it has become increasingly difficult for overseas musicians without well-established reputations in the U.S. to get permission to travel here for work. However, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, when a powerhouse such as The Philadelphia Orchestra wants a particular soloist, they usually get their man, or woman.

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Creatively Speaking
8:22 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Last Call at the Downbeat: The Dizzy Gillespie Story

Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)

Jazz vocalist, author, and playwright Suzanne Cloud spent about eight months researching Dizzy Gillespie’s life, and writing Last Call at the Downbeat: The Dizzy Gillespie Story. The production debuted in 2013 at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.

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Creatively Speaking
6:04 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Remembering The Sensational Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday (1915-1959) - Nicknamed "Lady Day" by saxophonist Lester Young

Jazz great Billie Holiday, who died at age 44 in 1959, would have turned 99 on April 7, 2014. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in her short career, this Philadelphia-born singer made a huge impact on jazz and American song.

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Creatively Speaking
4:57 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Meet The Met Opera's New Mimi!

Soprano Anita Hartig

Soprano Anita Hartig made her Metropolitan Opera debut this week as Mimì in Puccini's classic work, La Boheme.  If singing one of opera's most iconic roles at America's foremost opera house is not pressure enough, the Romanian soprano will also be performing for millions in movie theaters around the world in the Met Live in HD series, and on the radio via the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday Matinee B

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Creatively Speaking
3:41 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Do You Know The First Figaro?

Neal Bledsoe as Count Almaviva, Adam Green as Figaro, and Naomi O'Connell as Rosine in Stephen Wadsworth's Beaumarchais adaptations, THE FIGARO PLAYS, at Princeton's McCarter Theatre through April, 2014.

Figaro, the wily barber of Seville, is portrayed in two great operas - the popular Rossini work that bears his name, and Mozart’s account of his marriage. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns takes us to Princeton's McCarter Theatre and rehearsals for two of the plays by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais that originated the Figaro character.

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