She was married to a baron, flew airplanes and fought for the French Resistance in North Africa. She smoked cigarettes from a holder, drove a Rolls-Royce and sipped Chivas from a silver flask. And, for the last three decades of her life, she dedicated herself to helping jazz musicians. Known as "The Jazz Baroness," she was a patron to the likes of Thelonious Monk and Art Blakey; Charlie Parker died in her hotel room. Now, a new biography called Nica's Dream tells the story of Kathleen Annie Pannonica de Koenigswarter.--from NPR
More than so many other kinds of music, jazz takes its tradition seriously. There's about 100 years' worth, and most of it has been passed down in sound: by playing with, listening to and studying with the masters. So it makes sense that jazz musicians feel such visceral connections to their ancestors, whether spiritual, intellectual, educational, inspirational, aspirational or even just marketable.--From NPR
"BP with the GM" was on the scene in Wilmington on June 21st, broadcasting his show live from the 2011 Dupont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. Here he is chatting it up with trumpeter Eddie Morgan. The Festival continues through June 26th. Check it out!
Jazz pianist and composer Randy Weston performs with his African Rhythms Quintet, and remembers Philadelphia native Ray Bryant - his longtime friend and musical colleague, who died on June 2nd.--from NPR
Spring is here, and along with it comes our annual jazz celebration in April. This year, the Philadelphia jazz community - including WRTI - has organized the Philadelphia Jazz Coalition to help our city celebrate its extraordinary jazz legacy and current thriving jazz scene throughout the month. Jazz events and programs are happening at a variety of venues in Philadelphia. WRTI joins in the city's celebration with special jazz programming.
Something special occurs when talented people collaborate. That is what happened when Sarah Vaughan and trumpet star Clifford Brown and his band got together to record at the Fine Sound Studios in New York in December of 1954.
Join Maureen Malloy from 9 pm to midnight as she presents some of the nominated works and winners from the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards show that aired on TV on February 13th. Jazz singer Denise Donatelli took the #1 spot on WRTI's listener-generated Top 75 of 2010 with her rendition of "Don't Explain." Will her release beat out Gregory Porter's "Water" for Best Jazz Vocal Album? Tune in to find out!
The Philadelphia jazz community lost one of its own on January 1st. The great acoustic jazz bassist Charles Fambrough, who performed with Grover Washington, Jr., McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, Wynton Marsalis, and many others, passed away after a long illness at his home in Allentown.
Dr. Billy Taylor, the legendary pianist, composer, educator, TV and radio broadcaster, and staunch jazz advocate, died of heart failure in New York City on December 28th. His life in jazz was remarkable.