Jazz

In 1956, a groundbreaking performance at the Newport Jazz Festival changed the course of Duke Ellington's path in jazz. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more. 


DNC Delegates in Philly Talking About...Music!

Jul 26, 2016

WRTI's Susan Lewis and Meridee Duddleston were on the scene outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday talking with delegates from around the world—not about politics, but music! Where were these folks from? Cities including Cheyenne, WY, South Bend, IN, the Navajo Nation in AZ, Muskogee, OK, Wilmington, DE, and as far away as the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Saipan in the Northern Marianas.

Photo by Steve Weinik / City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

A massive effort is underway to showcase Philadelphia’s vibrant and strong commitment to the arts during the Democratic National Convention. The city’s—and region's—artistic breadth and talent will be on display from noon until 6 pm each day of the convention from Monday, July 25th to Thursday, July 28th.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Pages