Jazz

Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans, the Belgian-American musician who cut a singular path as a jazz harmonica player, died in his sleep Monday in his hometown of Brussels. He was 94.

Jazz orchestras are normally thought of as vehicles for standards, or dinner jazz. But, as WRTI’s Maureen Malloy reports, Philadelphia’s Fresh Cut Orchestra is anything but standard.

From 2010 to 2015, composer and pianist Dave Burrell wrote 24 works inspired by his study of the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s collection of Civil War documents and photos. The poems and lyrics of Monika Larsson also gave life to many of these compositions. Consulting with experts and scholars, Burrell and Larsson traced the route of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train from Washington to Springfield, Illinois.


Credit: William P. Gottlieb

A romantic ballad launched one career, revived another, and became a beloved standard for generations of musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Thelonious Monk's " ‘Round Midnight." The work was recorded first in 1944—but not by Monk.


All eyes are on Rio de Janeiro as it hosts the 2016 Olympics. And while Brazil is famous for its rainforests, its beaches, and its diverse riches, it is music that helps make it a cultural powerhouse. WRTI’s Debra Lew Harder delves into one unique sound of Brazil: choro.

Bobby Hutcherson, a vibraphonist whose improvising and composition helped to define modernity for jazz as a whole, has died. He had long struggled with emphysema. He was 75.

As a mallet percussionist, he expanded the scope of what was possible on his instrument. And the sound he created was widely influential.

DonkeyHotey

In the run-up to the November elections, political ads proliferate. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at how music contributes to the message.

It took ten years to write Whisper Not, The Autobiography of Benny Golson, by tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson and his longtime friend, writer Jim Merod. Walking down the “corridor of life” Golson says, there are surprises, delightful and not.

Let The Games Begin: A Playlist For Rio

Aug 5, 2016

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. 


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