In 1963, Duke Ellington and his orchestra participated in a State Department "jazz diplomacy" tour of the Middle East. Inspired by the experience, Ellington and composer Billy Strayhorn wrote a collection of songs called The Far East Suite.
The Philadelphia-based tenor sax player and composer Odean Pope is known worldwide in jazz circles for his impeccable artistry and for his Saxophone Choir. He's had a steady gig at the Blue Note in NYC for many years, and is a longtime soloist with the Max Roach Quartet.
The first stirrings of music, they say, often accompanied dancing, so on this last official holiday of the summer, let’s dance! Join us from noon Friday all the way through Monday night for WRTI’s Labor Day Weekend Dance Party!
Rudy Van Gelder, an audio recording engineer who captured the sounds of many of jazz's landmark albums, died Thursday morning in his sleep. He was at his home studio in New Jersey, according to Maureen Sickler, his assistant engineer. He was 91.
From 2010 to 2015, composer and pianist Dave Burrell wrote 24 works inspired by his study of the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s collection of Civil War documents and photos. The poems and lyrics of Monika Larsson also gave life to many of these compositions. Consulting with experts and scholars, Burrell and Larsson traced the route of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train from Washington to Springfield, Illinois.
Listen to Part 1: Dave Burrell speaks with WRTI's Meridee Duddleston about his music based on Civil War documents.
It took ten years to write Whisper Not, The Autobiography of Benny Golson, by tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson and his longtime friend, writer Jim Merod. Walking down the “corridor of life” Golson says, there are surprises, delightful and not.
It was just a year ago that WRTI partnered with the Philadelphia Jazz Project to present a very unique concert featuring Afro-Brazilian percussion in Big Band Jazz style! It was the Philadelphia premiere of Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz at the Temple Performing Arts Center, with guests Arturo O'Farrill and Steve Bernstein, and Another Holiday For Skins with Pablo Batista, Mike Boone, Luke Carlos O'Reilly, and company.
One of the greats of jazz, tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, stopped by the WRTI studios on June 29th to talk to News Anchor and Arts Reporter Meridee Duddleston. Golson was on his way to the Free Library of Philadelphia, where WRTI Jazz Host Jeff Duperon interviewed him about his just-released autobiography Whisper Not.
Listen to the radio feature about the song "Compared to What," performed at Montreux Jazz Festival in 1969.
The summer jazz festival season is about to start. Blockbuster performances at the “Big Three” longest-running summer jazz fests still engender re-makes and recordings. These historic performances live on as benchmarks. Now, starting with the Montreux Jazz Festival — founded in 1967 — WRTI examines highlights from Montreux, Newport, and Monterey.