In 1963, Duke Ellington and his orchestra participated in a State Department "jazz diplomacy" tour of the Middle East. Inspired by the experience, Ellington and composer Billy Strayhorn wrote a collection of songs called The Far East Suite.

Brushes with fame may be commonplace for those who work in the public eye, but, as WRTI’s Maureen Malloy reports, Bob Perkins has never been too far from the famous, even in the most unlikely of places.

Bob Craig’s BIG BAND JAZZ Hits 300!

Oct 16, 2016

This Sunday at 7 pm on WRTI, celebrate the 300th broadcast of Big Band Jazz with Bob Craig. Bob launched Big Band Jazz on October 3rd, 2010, and has been delighting audiences with this rich music ever since.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie, the eccentric French composer at the intersection of modernism and minimalism in early 20th-century music and art. From Monday, October 17th through Friday the 21st, WRTI will revisit his enigmatically beautiful music all week long.

WRTI’s Bob Perkins joined the all-jazz 2016 Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame class on October 19th. Five of the most outstanding jazz personalities had bronze plaques installed into the Walk of Fame, joining more than 100 others on Broad Street, the Avenue of the Arts. The Philadelphia Music Alliance announced that in the 30 years of these awards, there has never been an all-jazz class. Check out The Philadelphia Inquirer's October 14th bio of Bob Perkins!

What is Gypsy Jazz?

Oct 10, 2016

Rooted in African-American communities of the South, jazz became popular in Europe in the 1920s and '30s and influenced the development of other styles. WRTI's Susan Lewis has more on "Gypsy jazz."

WRTI’s Debra Lew Harder spoke with renowned klezmer music scholar, ethnomusicologist, and performer Hankus Netsky, to learn more about klezmer music. Netsky serves as Chair of Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory in Boston. He’s the author of a newly published book from Temple University Press, called Klezmer: Music and Community in Twentieth-Century Jewish Philadelphia.

Two Englishmen, Guy Wood and Robert Mellin, slipped it into the Great American Songbook just before it closed, just as rock rolled over sophistication. It begins from below, a slowly twisting Roman candle of a tune, and explodes in the top range of the singer, as the eyes of onlookers reflect the glory of what songs once were.

Get the WRTI App!

Sep 21, 2016

Big news! You can now enjoy WRTI in a whole new way with the first-ever WRTI App! Download it today to listen to WRTI in the background while browsing the web or catching up on your emails. Your favorite radio station will always be with you—on your mobile phone or tablet—even when you're traveling!

Many jazz pianists play tunes from the Great American Songbook, that beloved canon of standards from the early 20th century. But pianist Edward Simon has chosen to focus on another great collection of American standards for his newest album, Latin American Songbook.

Growing up in Venezuela, near the northern edge of South America, was an advantage for Simon. His early listening encompassed music from the north — Cuba and Puerto Rico — and also extended southward to the music of Chile, Brazil and Argentina.