Jazz

In 1946, Nat King Cole became the first recording artist to wrap his lush vocals around what would become a standard of the holiday season, "The Christmas Song." But that song was written by a different crooner: Mel Tormé.

NPR's Noel King spoke with Mel Tormé's youngest son, James — an accomplished jazz singer himself — to get the story behind the creation of this Christmas classic.

What does it say about the state of jazz recording that Jason Moran and Rudresh Mahanthappa, both former Jazz Critics Poll winners, resorted to issuing their new albums primarily as digital downloads? Nothing good, probably, though I know some will say that digital is where sales are these days and jazz is just catching up to the zeitgeist.

Spend your holiday season curled up and comfortable with your dial tuned to WRTI. We're bringing you warm doses of yuletide cheer during our regular jazz programs, with holiday classics from Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington nipping at your ears, along with soon-to-be holiday favorites from the Michael Treni Big Band and Gregory Porter.

The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles—with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.

Tenor sax player, composer, and arranger Tim Warfield has been performing professionally since he was sixteen. He was able to improvise at a very early age and says that by now he thinks of the saxophone as an extension of himself.

The film I Called Him Morgan tells of the rise and tragic fall of trumpeter Lee Morgan, who grew up in Philadelphia.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with sax master Odean Pope about his memories of Morgan, who in his short life made a long-lasting contribution.

Jazz pianist and singer Nat "King" Cole, the first African American to host his own TV variety show in 1956, was known for his great talent and his grace, even in the face of mistreatment and racial discrimination. WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on a new play that explores what this grace must have cost him.

Jeff Duperon, Working For The Weekend on WRTI 90.1

Oct 24, 2017

We've transformed the jazz weekend sound to make your weekends even better! WRTI Jazz Host Jeff Duperon now has three brand-new shows in the evening hours.

Goblins and Ghosts. Mermaids and Princesses. Trick-or-treat comes next week and WRTI is getting ready to pass out tasty jazz nuggets. Here are some sweet indulgences – on the musical side.   

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