Jazz

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.


William P. Gottlieb

To celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month, we asked members of the jazz and arts community to tell us what jazz tune they would like to listen to right now. 

Henry Threadgill, a saxophonist and flutist known as one of the most original composers influenced by jazz, has been awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his recording In for a Penny, In for a Pound.

The Jazz Sanctuary is an organization that takes jazz into houses of worship and other nontraditional venues. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, founder Alan Segal says jazz and the spiritual community drove his recovery from a life-threatening crisis.

It’s Jazz Appreciation Month and WRTI is celebrating the local and national jazz greats who have shaped the music we enjoy today. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Philadelphia bassist Warren Oree, who’s passionate about the power of jazz to connect musical styles and lives.


Mayor Michael Nutter and the City of Philadelphia invited jazz pianist and composer MyCoy Tyner back to his roots for an official recognition of his contribution to the city’s jazz legacy last year. It was a wonderful way to kick off Jazz Appreciation Month in Philadelphia.

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