Jazz

Philadelphians have a lot of cheering to do these days, and not just about the Eagles—although we do love to do that! Nine artists from the area are nominated for 2018 Grammy Awards, or are named in connection with them. Here’s a rundown to get you ready for the ceremony.  Most of the awards will be given out during a live stream broadcast Sunday afternoon between 3 pm and 6 pm.  The rest are reserved for the CBS telecast at 7:30 pm.

A band led by one of the great innovators of jazz education is gearing up for a big night in the Big Apple.  The Temple University Jazz All Star Concert is on January 30th, 8 pm, in the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and leader Terell Stafford has assembled some of the finest all-star guests imaginable.

That clean, clear, flexible, and soulful voice can only belong to "The Queen of Song," Ella Fitzgerald. She amazes us with her improvising, range, and pristine intonation sounding like a trumpet at times. And she makes us laugh out loud when she scats, sounding like she knows something we don’t.

But above all, Ella sounds like a lady, and one of the greatest jazz performers of any kind, of any time. You voted her the No. 1 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

Get a drink, grab a seat up close, and settle in for an interactive performance as members of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia play in the round. WRTI 90.1 Jazz Host Bob Craig will be on the scene for Beyond Bebop: Jazz, Classical and the Third Stream.

Miles Ahead is the name of an album and a film, and also where Miles Davis falls in the Countdown. He's your No. 2 Most Essential Jazz Artist this year.

Don’t let that big smile fool you into thinking that Satchmo was only an entertainer. He was the most important pioneer in jazz. He basically re-invented trumpet playing. He was hugely popular in five decades and over many periods in jazz. With playing, singing, and even acting, Louis was the international ambassador for the American art form of jazz.

Even in a musical genre built on distinctive personality—jazz—the sound of Trane soars above. His tenor saxophone was unlike anything anyone had ever heard, then or since, and you voted him your No. 5 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

There are not enough letter O's in smooth when you’re talking about the Duke. Ellington was elegance personified. This band leader was refined in everything—from how he dressed, to his compositions, to his playing, to his connection with audiences. But no matter how smooth his manner or refined his looks, it all came down to one thing—“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).” And boy, did Ellington swing.

Melissa Gilstrap

Tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna is a Philadelphia legend, but the reach of his playing extends well past his hometown. Perhaps that’s why you’ve voted him our No.7 Essential Artist.

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