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.

Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook

They perform at presidential inaugurations, state funerals, public concerts, all sorts of official functions, and, of course, in parades. They are the bands of the United States military. Each of the branches is served by a number of these ensembles, and the so-called premier bands take only first-tier musicians from conservatories and schools of music around the country.

It was just a year ago that WRTI partnered with the Philadelphia Jazz Project to present a very unique concert featuring Afro-Brazilian percussion in Big Band Jazz style! It was the Philadelphia premiere of Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz at the Temple Performing Arts Center, with guests Arturo O'Farrill and Steve Bernstein, and Another Holiday For Skins with Pablo Batista, Mike Boone, Luke Carlos O'Reilly, and company.

The Legendary Benny Golson Visits WRTI

Jun 29, 2016

One of the greats of jazz, tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, stopped by the WRTI studios on June 29th 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 interviewed him about his just-released autobiography Whisper Not.

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.

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 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.

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