Steady work is a coveted and rare prize among many jazz musicians. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston visits a force in the local jazz scene who never had a problem getting gigs. Recognized by Mayor Michael Nutter for his enduring contribution to the city’s jazz scene, jazz drummer Charlie Rice has been keeping the beat for more than 70 years and counting.
Jazz vocalist, author, and playwright Suzanne Cloud spent about eight months researching Dizzy Gillespie’s life, and writingLast Call at the Downbeat: The Dizzy Gillespie Story. The production debuted in 2013 at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.
Music lives in South Jersey, where WRTI's Meridee Duddleston finds jazz creating connections in the neighborhood. The “Jazz Bridge" project deepens the region’s rich jazz roots with a series of neighborhood concerts featuring the area’s great jazz musicians. At the same time, the concerts enable the non-profit Jazz Bridge to provide emergency financial support to local jazz musicians in crisis. It’s a win-win.
The concerts, at five sites in the Philadelphia area, tackle an all-too-common problem for jazz musicians and bring live jazz to close to home.
Meridee Duddleston attended a "First Thursday"concert at the Collingswood Senior Community Center to see how it works. The evening featured the distinguished Bob Pollitt Jazz Quartet: Bob Pollitt on saxophone, Henry Miller on drums, Craig Thomas on bass. and Bill Schilling on piano.
Bob Pollitt is a virtuoso saxophonist who has performed nationally and locally, on his own, and alongside musicians who changed the way the sax is played.