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.

While jazz giant John Coltrane was born and raised in North Carolina, and died in New York, he spent 15 years in Philadelphia. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the role the city played in the career of this master sax player and composer, who would have turned 90 this month.

John Coltrane expanded how we hear music. He took the light and airy Broadway show tune, “My Favorite Things,” and turned it (with soprano saxophone) into a dark, driving, melodic, polyrhythmic tour de force.

Jerry Stoll / Monterey Jazz Festival

You won’t find a blue-ribbon pie at this northern California fairground this weekend. But the place will be filled with multiple stages and wall-to-wall music. Here's Meridee Duddleston's take on the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Decades ago, jazz on television may have been restricted to the occasional theme song or even an appearance by Ella Fitzgerald on a talk show. But, as WRTI’s Maureen Malloy reports, someone else now joins the big names of the past. Singer/saxophonist Grace Kelly has a name from the silver screen, but jazz has always been her main attraction. This year, jazz has propelled her into the spotlight.

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.

credit: JPRoche

Some folks choose their parents well—and if they are products of outstanding parents, the offspring may follow in their footsteps and duplicate their success. A fellow named Edward “Sonny” Stitt was blessed with relatives steeped in music; he followed their lead and became a legendary jazz musician.

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.

Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans, the Belgian-American musician who cut a singular path as a jazz harmonica player, died in his sleep Monday in his hometown of Brussels. He was 94.

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.