Jazz Through the Day

Monday through Saturday, 6 am to 6 pm
  • Hosted by heard on HD-2 and the jazz stream

Join us for an exploration of the American treasure we all know as jazz - great sounds from great artists, featuring music by the masters as well as those who are new on the scene.

Meet the jazz greats, A to Z, this Independence Day weekend... how American is that? From Armstrong all the way to Washington and beyond, join WRTI starting on Friday, July 1st at 6 pm through the entire Fourth of July holiday with the Jazz A to Z Weekend.

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.

Dave Tavani

A new work by master percussionist Pablo Batista uses changing rhythms, music, and dance to tell the story of how people forced from their homeland, survived and thrived by creating a new home. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more about El Viaje, a music and dance narrative in eight scenes, featuring 22 performers in a mix of authentic Afro-Cuban bata drumming, chant and dance, with elements of classical music, jazz and blues, rhythm & blues, funk and salsa.

The Legendary Benny Golson Visits WRTI

Jun 23, 2016

One of the greats of jazz, tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, stopped by the WRTI studios today 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 will interview him at 7:30 pm about his just-released autobiography Whisper Not.

This year, 2016, marks the 100th anniversary of the first Great Migration, the movement of millions of African-Americans from the rural south to other parts of the U.S. that promised greater social and economic justice and opportunities. The migration included many excellent jazz musicians, some of whom became household names. For these artists, the Great Migration not only promised greater social and economic opportunity, but also provided inspiration for their creative expression.

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.


Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. Or is it? If you've ever been to Longwood Gardens' Wine & Jazz Festival you might say summer actually kicks off on the first Saturday in June. WRTI was there, once again, on June 4th with games and giveaways, the Gardens provided world-class jazz (Arturo Sandoval anyone?), and local wineries did their part to boost spirits even higher.

The vocal virtuosity of one of the last century’s jazz giants lives on through those who came after her, scores of albums, and now a U.S. Postal Service stamp. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston and Bob Perkins consider the late, great Sarah Vaughan. Check  out the Philadelphia Clef Club's Sarah Vaughan Tribute on Thursday, June 2nd from 5 to 9 pm with live music and a display of rare and vintage photographs and art works capturing the "Divine One," exhibited along with U.S. Postal Service postage stamps and memorabilia.

Everybody has one or two favorite jazz standards, knowing them best as vocals, instrumentals, or even as big band arrangements. So, all Memorial Day Weekend, WRTI will explore the great renditions of jazz standards. Celebrate the unofficial start of summer by doing a "Double Take" with WRTI. At the top and bottom of every hour we'll play both an instrumental and a vocal version of a well-known standard. 

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