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.

Jazz giant John Coltrane was born and raised in North Carolina, died in New York, and in between 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 91 on September 23rd.

Vijay Iyer is an acclaimed jazz pianist, MacArthur winner and Harvard professor of music. His new album, recorded with a six-person band, is called Far From Over. With the band, he says, he wanted to write with "different dance rhythms and dance impulses" in mind; the record also reflects Iyer's belief that jazz is "a category that keeps shifting."

When WRTI Jazz Host Bob Perkins talks about one of his all-time favorite pianists, what does he call him?  The Wonderful Wizard of OZcar!  One of the great jazz pianists of all time, master of the keyboard Oscar Peterson, said he was intimidated by jazz pianist Art Tatum and admired Nat King Cole. But "O.P.," as his friends called him, was a magician who followed his own muse.


As we celebrate the legacy of jazz pianist Bill Evans, you might be surprised to know that some cool cats named Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and especially—Johann Sebastian Bach—helped shape his sound.

Vote For Your Favorite Jazz Song Today!

Aug 8, 2017

Who sung it? Who swung it? Who brung it? We want to know. Vote for your #1 favorite jazz song here.  We're counting down our listener-selected top 100 jazz songs starting on Friday, September 1st at 6 pm. The fun continues through Monday, September 4th. Please vote below.  WRTI's 2017 Labor Day Weekend Jazz Countdown is a must-listen event. Tune in! And thank you so much for your participation. Voting ends on August 28th.

Peter Pagast/Restored 2015 by Thomas Walton. Photo by Steve Weinik / ©2001 Mural Arts Philadelphia

Grover Washington, Jr.’s hit albums included Mister Magic in 1974 and Winelight in 1981; the latter won him two Grammy Awards in '82. A larger-than-life mural on the corner of Broad and Diamond streets pays tribute to the famed saxophonist who, for over three decades, called Philadelphia his home. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

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 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.

Pianist Lara Downes' Vision of the American Dream

Jun 26, 2017

The hope in the "American Dream" is heard in America Again, the new CD by pianist Lara Downes. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has the story.

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