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.

The Newport Jazz Festival is under way this weekend in Newport, Rhode Island. Among the featured performers is a young pianist — a very young pianist — named Joey Alexander. He is 12 years old, completely self-taught and one of the youngest musicians ever to play the storied festival.

Join us on Valentine's weekend for the classic jazz love songs that can still give you goose bumps! We also have a special contest! 

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.

The late Eartha Kitt’s strength, vulnerability, and sensuality inspired singer/songwriter René Marie’s 2014 Grammy-nominated album, I Wanna be Evil, With Love to Eartha Kitt.  Marie knows firsthand the risks of setting a new course in life.  When she was in her 40s, she quit her day job at a bank to devote herself to singing and composing fulltime. It was a decision that was not without repercussions. And about a year later, her marriage ended.

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."


Like any music, jazz has its revolutions; its sudden incidents in infrastructure; its disruptive presences of unprecedented sound. Mostly it's slower than that, though, with years and generations of accretions before it seems to call for new vocabulary. That's one way to look at Winter Jazzfest, whose latest incarnation occupied a dozen or so venues in downtown New York City last weekend. In a decade and a half of steady growth, a one-night showcase oriented toward industry insiders has become nearly a weeklong landmark of the city's cultural calendar.

Join WRTI's J. Michael Harrison on Monday. January 18th starting at 9 pm, as he celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by highlighting alto saxophonist/composer/educator Bobby Watson and his “I Have A Dream” project. 

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