Jazz

Everybody has one or two favorite jazz standards, knowing them best as vocals, instrumentals, or even as big band arrangements. So, all Memorial Day Weekend, WRTI will explore the great renditions of jazz standards. Celebrate the unofficial start of summer by doing a "Double Take" with WRTI. At the top and bottom of every hour we'll play both an instrumental and a vocal version of a well-known standard. 

Ralph J. Gleason is my hero.

It's impossible to put an exact date on it, but I think I started reading his column in Rolling Stone in the summer of 1973. I was 14 years old and already immersed in music. Reading him, I discovered you could write about music and get paid for it — and then I discovered his writing was just as immersive as the music we both loved.

Deneka Peniston

The virtuosity of the legendary Miles Davis speaks through another trumpeter who follows him in tune and time. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston talks with the musician behind the sound in the newly released biopic, Miles Ahead.

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.

For a musician, the words “sanctuary,” “retreat,” and “haven” suggest attractive possibilities for creative expression. The Jazz Residency Program at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts isn’t based on the isolation these places evoke, but it does provide an environment conducive to a creative stream. The program is aimed at local jazz artists who can write music.

Jazz great Billie Holiday, who died at age 44 in 1959, was posthumously inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame on October 26th.  Lady Day would have turned 100 on April 7, 2015

For more than 10 years, Diana Panton has been quietly building her jazz career. She's also a high-school French teacher by day, which means she mostly records and tours while her students are on vacation. But on her latest album, she's aiming for a new audience.

George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is performed by orchestras everywhere. But not everyone has heard the original jazz band version, composed for a 1924 experimental concert that blurred the boundaries between jazz and classical music. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.


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