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.


There's no one person responsible for creating music festivals — or for making them such a huge part of how we witness live performances today. But starting in 1954, one person developed a recipe for their secret sauce.

George Wein still goes to his signature event every year, checking out performances and greeting the artists. These days, he does it on a golf cart which drives him between stages — he's about to turn 90, after all — but he says he takes his job as producer very seriously.

Alto saxophonist Phil Woods, a leading jazz performer since the 1950s, died Tuesday afternoon. The cause was related to emphysema, his longtime agent, Joel Chriss, confirmed. Woods was 83.

Guitarist and composer John Scofield's 2015 album is called Past Present. And that's what it is: four jazz musicians very much in the moment, looking back at events that informed the music they're playing—and listening back to a sound three of them created some 20 years ago.

Witnessing certain events, and meeting certain people earlier in life, can sometimes become meaningful as time goes by—especially when the witness goes on to become a writer, historian, or otherwise chronicler of life’s personalities and events.

John Pizzarelli is a seasoned guitarist, pop singer, and debonair entertainer whose greatest talent is communicating the jazz idiom to music listeners who otherwise are indifferent to the form. On stage in August at Birdland in New York to celebrate the release of Midnight McCartney, his relentless enthusiasm as a bandleader smoothed the way for a sweetly nostalgic appreciation for lesser-known tunes by Paul McCartney. Along the way, his relaxed stage banter left the audience laughing and feeling great.

It's a must-listen event! The top 100 jazz songs that you voted for, broadcast throughout the holiday weekend. Listen starting on Friday, September 4th from 6 to 10 pm, then Saturday from 6 to 9 pm, Sunday from 9 pm to midnight, and Monday starting at 6 pm - and ending when the #1 song is played.

Click here to see the playlist as the countdown begins! Thank you SO much to everyone who voted this year.

The List:


In the 1940s, when jazz singer Billie Holiday was at the height of her power and artistry, she always performed wearing at least one white gardenia in her hair. WRTI's Meridee Duddleston visits Drexel University professor and fashion scholar Alphonso McClendon, who looks at the meaning behind that statement and fashion in his book Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation. 

This past spring, the site of a weekly jam session celebrated a quarter century of making music in the shadow of the Vine Street Expressway. Now, as the informal jazz nights relocate from the 23rd Street Café to the Manayunk Brewing Company and Restaurant ,we return to Meridee Duddleston’s look at the friendly vibe that’s their hallmark.

Herman DeJong is an architect who came to Philadelphia from Holland in the mid 1960s. He played the bass and started connecting with local jazz enthusiasts. He wanted to find a place to invite them to jam.