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.


Music, spectacular costumes, and strutting down Broad Street? It must be New Year's Day in Philadelphia with the Mummers Parade!

In 1946, Nat King Cole became the first recording artist to wrap his lush vocals around what would become a standard of the holiday season, "The Christmas Song." But that song was written by a different crooner: Mel Tormé.

NPR's Noel King spoke with Mel Tormé's youngest son, James — an accomplished jazz singer himself — to get the story behind the creation of this Christmas classic.

The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles—with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.

Tenor sax player, composer, and arranger Tim Warfield has been performing professionally since he was sixteen. He was able to improvise at a very early age and says that by now he thinks of the saxophone as an extension of himself.

Your contribution to WRTI on Giving Tuesday, November 28th, will also support Musicopia. How? The Rothman Institute and a group of anonymous donors have stepped up to match every gift to WRTI on Giving Tuesday with an equal gift to Musicopia.

The film I Called Him Morgan tells of the rise and tragic fall of trumpeter Lee Morgan, who grew up in Philadelphia.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with sax master Odean Pope about his memories of Morgan, who in his short life made a long-lasting contribution.

Jazz pianist and singer Nat "King" Cole, the first African American to host his own TV variety show in 1956, was known for his great talent and his grace, even in the face of mistreatment and racial discrimination. WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on a new play that explores what this grace must have cost him.

Goblins and Ghosts. Mermaids and Princesses. Trick-or-treat comes next week and WRTI is getting ready to pass out tasty jazz nuggets. Here are some sweet indulgences – on the musical side.   

Credit: William P. Gottlieb

A romantic ballad launched one career, revived another, and became a beloved standard for generations of musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Thelonious Monk's " ‘Round Midnight." The work was recorded first in 1944—but not by Monk.


It’s the 20th Anniversary of The Bridge with J. Michael Harrison, which airs every Friday night at 10 pm. It's “the Bridge between BeBop and Hip Hop, and everything in between." WRTI’s Maureen Malloy reports that J. Michael has always set his sights on music that makes the listener wonder...“Is that jazz?”

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