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A Classical and Jazz Tribute Honoring the Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on WRTI

WRTI proudly remembers Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with special classical music and jazz programming honoring the remarkable legacy of the civil rights leader and visionary, born 92 years ago. Below are details about what we have planned.

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Courtesy of Lawrence Brownlee

Acclaimed for his astonishing range and expressiveness in opera, concert performances, and recitals, tenor Lawrence Brownlee’s many honors include being named the International Opera Awards' “Male Singer of the Year” in 2017.  In this TIME IN interview, Larry talks about life during the pandemic—he's been busy with family, sports, his own interview show, and creating new works with Opera Philadelphia to share the joy of opera with more people.

January 11, 2021. Sunset in the Blue, vocalist Melody Gardot’s new album, works on the listener in a deliberate, almost methodical way, as though it knows it’s playing a long con. So if you find yourself preoccupied or not fully present at first listen— if you haven’t yet had your daily yoga, or engaged your mindfulness app, or done whatever it is one must do in early 2021 to attain clarity and presence, don’t despair. Gardot’s fifth full-length, studio album, and first in five years, will work on you anyway.

Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN

Latin jazz percussionist Pablo Batista has developed a reputation as one of most versatile and hardworking players in Latin jazz and modern jazz, and in R&B and funk circles. Born to immigrant Puerto Rican parents in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Batista honed his skills playing in school bands. But his main love was playing Afro-Cuban and Latin music, which he started at the age of nine with his mentor and master percussionist Miguel Candia, also a teacher of the renowned drummer Giovanni Hidalgo.

Courtesy of Singing City Choir

Good news for fans of the Philadelphia region's choral music scene! By popular demand, our Friday Choral Connection, which airs every Friday at 1:30 PM, will be extended into June. And we’ve expanded our offerings to include four more choirs.

Fay Fox

At a time when renewal of hope is so important, WRTI is proud to rebroadcast the transcendent "Resurrection" Symphony of Gustav Mahler on Sunday, January 17th at 1 PM on WRTI, and Monday, January 18th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.

In 2021, I'm looking forward to, fingers crossed, live music. I really miss the roar of a symphony orchestra in concert or a soaring soprano on the opera stage. But artists are still making albums, even in lockdown, like British composer Max Richter. His upcoming album is a follow-up to last year's Voices. This new one is Voices, Part 2 which will be released in April.

For members of Luminous Voices, a professional choir ensemble in Alberta, Canada, rehearsing and performing safely during the pandemic has meant getting into their cars, driving to an empty parking lot and singing with each other's voices broadcast through their car radios.

This "car choir" solution is one that college music professor David Newman — an accomplished baritone himself in Virginia — came up with so that ensembles could sing and "be" together.

Michael Woodall

The story goes like this: Philadelphia pianist Eddie Green led a jam session at the Not Quite Cricket room at the Latham Hotel every Sunday, and it was always packed. One night a 9-year-old kid came in with his parents and wanted to sit in on piano.

Jacqueline Smith

Philadelphia composer Kile Smith's many works have been earning him increasing accolades, with recordings and performances around the country and in other parts of the world in the past few years. He's sharing a new virtual piece for choirs during these difficult times, has discovered a love for working outside, and has recently stepped up his game in another form of artistic expression: photography.  

Diego PH/Unsplash

(Originally published in 2016). Even if you’re not familiar with the Broadway musical Carousel, you’re likely to have heard the uplifting message and melody of the song "You’ll Never Walk Alone." Its roots in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical extend far beyond the story of love and loss.

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