Duke Ellington played piano, but it was his intertwined roles as bandleader and composer that propelled him to greatness. He wrote over 1,700 songs, as well as longer orchestral suites and film scores. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a recently published biography by Wall Street Journal drama critic and blogger Terry Teachout - now available in paperback - explores the man behind the music.
August 4th marks the anniversary of the birth of the great trumpet virtuoso, singer, and bandleader Louis Armstrong who died in 1971 at age 69, one month shy of his 70th birthday. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the life and legacy of the musician who propelled jazz onto a mainstream stage. She speaks with Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal drama critic, playwright, and author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.
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.