Jazz Stories

The 2013 Jazz Scene: In Review

Dec 24, 2013

This has been a swinging year, and a healthy one for jazz in these parts. The Kimmel Center is upping its commitment to jazz (see details below), non-profits like Jazz Bridge and The Jazz Sanctuary are presenting almost 100 concerts per season, museums have hosted jazz programs, mini-jazz fests are popping up all over, new and old jazz jam sessions are doing above average business, and restaurants and clubs that never used live music of any kind are now booking jazz. Destinations like The Prime Rib and Sullivan’s maintain a policy of booking jazz pianists seven nights a week.

Vocalist Joanna Pascale knows how to hang onto a gig. When her three-night-a-week engagement at SoleFood, the seafood restaurant at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, draws to a close on Friday after nearly a decade, it will mark the end of only her second longest-lasting job.

The July Jazz Scene

Jul 5, 2013

Ed Shaughnessy: 1929-2013. In all probability, the percussion world will never see the likes of an Ed Shaughnessy again.  Shaughnessy, who died in May at the age of 84, was astonishing in his versatility, having played with everyone from Charlie Mingus and Count Basie to Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix.  And he was comfortable with them all.   

The Artistic Evolution of The Legendary Tony Bennett

Jul 3, 2013

Tony Bennett has been at this for a while. But he is still as enthusiastic—or maybe even more enthusiastic—about jazz, jazz musicians and singing than when I first met him in 1970. I was but a wee lad back then, playing drums in Philadelphia with sax great Charlie Ventura. One evening, the great jazz pianist—John Bunch—newly-appointed Musical Director for Tony Bennett and former Ventura cohort in the Gene Krupa jazz quartet, walked in after his Bennett gig and wanted to sit in. I’ll never forget it.


Oct 3, 2012

WRTI joins the Philadelphia jazz community in mourning the loss of Byard Lancaster on August 23rd.

The world-renowned trumpeter leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the music of Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver on New Year's Eve.

It's an hour and a half of New Orleans Ragtime jazz!--From NPR Music
Listen to the Concert Here

A New Year's Jazz Celebration from New York City! Enjoy...

In jazz, to be a bassist usually means playing in someone else's band. The bassist-as-bandleader is a fairly rare thing, with the torch being passed over the years from Charles Mingus to Ron Carter...and now to Philadelphia-born Christian McBride.

Not yet 40, McBride has become one of the most prolific performers in jazz. He's just released two new albums, each representing completely different takes on the form.--from NPR

Join Maureen Malloy from 6 to 8 pm for the second installment of the Jazz Up Close series from the Kimmel Center, celebrating "Killer Joe" himself, Benny Golson. Philadelphia-born Golson is known worldwide as a true jazz innovator - as a sax player and as a composer. He's also the only living artist to create eight jazz standards.

Join WRTI as we celebrate 91 years of Dave Brubeck! The birthday festivities kick off at 6 pm with Bob Perkins as he plays some of Brubeck's true classics, and some lesser-known (yet still magnificent) works. At 9 pm, Maureen Malloy will bring you Brubeck's live recordings, selections from performances with his sons, and other music from his sons' band, The Brubeck Brothers. The music of this groundbreaking pianist/composer will continue until 6 am.