Jazz with Bob Perkins

Monday through Thursday, 6 to 9 pm; Sunday 9 am to 1 pm

Lovingly known as “BP with the GM” (Bob Perkins with the Good Music), BP brings you that good music just in time for dinner during your work week, and keeps your Sunday brunch swinging. His selections are like a familiar hug from Jazz Land featuring your favorite standards and vocalists such as Sarah, Ella, and Nat, some Big Band legends including the Duke and the Count, and the giants of the instrumentals like Lee Morgan, Hank Crawford, Miles, and Coltrane. Take a listen to "Ol' BP" as he calls himself...you'll be back again and again.

Take a look at this photo album of Mr. Perkins through the years.

Scroll down to see recent playlists.

This month, in 1926, trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader Louis Armstrong recorded the first jazz scat vocal, "Heebie Jeebies." WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the life and legacy of a musician who propelled jazz onto a mainstream stage.  She speaks with Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal drama critic, playwright, and author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

"Let the good times roll" with WRTI's J. Michael Harrison starting at 9 pm on Mardi Gras to celebrate the city that gave birth to "America's Music" - jazz!  J. Michael will be the Grand Marshall of this Mardi Gras parade bringing you the best that New Orleans musicians have been offering throughout the years.  

Expect some early New Orleans jazz from Louis Armstrong and The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the"pop" side of New Orleans music with Louis Prima, and even New Orleans-style jazz played by artists who aren't natives, but inspired by that wonderful town.

Two great sax players were born on the same day, just three years apart. On February 2nd, 1924, Sonny Stitt was born in Boston, and Stan Getz made his first appearance in Philadelphia on the same day in 1927. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, each had his own style that would influence future generations.

What is Gypsy Jazz?

Jan 20, 2016

Rooted in African-American communities of the South, jazz became popular in Europe in the 1920s and '30s and influenced the development of other styles. WRTI's Susan Lewis speaks with has more on "gypsy jazz."


How A Korean Jazz Festival Found A Huge Young Audience

Jan 12, 2016

It was like discovering a parallel reality.

After completing a sponsored trip to South Korea for music professionals in October, I stayed in the country, striking out on my own. I grabbed a train to the Jarasum International Jazz Festival, a couple hours from Seoul, and arrived in the middle of a set by the international power pairing of Paolo Fresu, Omar Sosa and Trilok Gurtu.

WRTI's Bob Craig has his picks of the top big band tunes released in 2015. Here's his list!

In Memoriam 2015

Dec 30, 2015

Many musical voices fell silent in 2015. We lost soul singers and opera stars, blues and folk guitarists, saxophonists and percussionists, plus composers, conductors, producers, and other visionaries. Explore their musical legacies here.


Diane Charlemagne

Feb. 22, 1964 — Oct. 28, 2015

After 26 years of bringing us the stories and sounds of traditional jazz and swing — early jazz from the streets of New Orleans to the music of Harlem clubs in the '20s — Riverwalk Jazz is coming to an end. The program, adored by WRTI listeners, will air for the last time on Sunday, January 3rd at 6 pm.

You can still listen to podcasts of the show here!

The tremendous trumpeter Terell Stafford says finding talent for the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia was “super easy” because Philadelphia is filled with brilliant musicians. Chemistry is key in the band that Stafford put together in 2013. He says the jazz orchestra is what Philadelphia is about:  jazz virtuosos with ties to the city, focusing on music connected to its past and present.


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