Bobbi I. Booker

Jazz Host

Bobbi I. Booker is an award-winning Philadelphia-based, multi-media journalist and radio personality whose velvety voice has been a mainstay in the Delaware Valley for over two decades. In 1981, Bobbi launched her professional broadcast career with WRTI as a news reporter, and in 1999 was named co-host of Ovations.

Ms. Booker has completed two prestigious National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowships at the Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism (2005) and Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival at Duke University (2008).

Bobbi can be heard on the "Spirit Soul Music" edition of Ovations every Second Sunday from 6 to 9 AM, and daily on Jazz Through the Night, weeknights from midnight to 6 AM.

Ways to Connect

Temple University Archives

Poetry. Motion. Sound. For most of the 85 years Sonia Sanchez has existed, she has known and embraced the power of words and music, eventually merging both aspects into her lyrical yet powerful poetry. To hear Sanchez recite poetry is to listen to her sing, all with a distinct musicality and cadence that belies the early challenges she faced as a motherless girl child who stuttered.

Courtesy of Joanna Pascale

Jazz has featured women contributors from its inception. Yet beyond vocalists, female composers and instrumentalists are disturbingly underrepresented across the genre. However, as society evolves, outdated stereotypes are being challenged as more women in music take leadership roles—both on and off the stage.

March 9, 2021. Kendrah Butler-Waters' love for jazz, composition, arranging, and performative musicality shines throughout her debut solo album, Faith Walk.

When most people think of a love song, it’s usually about being in, falling in, or falling out of a romantic relationship. Yet, we know love is not singularly focused on passion and can refer to other matters that stir our hearts, minds, and souls. As host of the “Spirit Soul Music” edition of Ovations on WRTI, Sundays from 6 to 9 AM, I believe that music, like love, should chart an adventurous, yet chilled-out path that opens unheralded gateways to one’s heartstrings.

Courtesy of the artrist

Trumpeter Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by the late piano legend McCoy Tyner. The acclaimed bandleader and recording artist has appeared on dozens of albums, including five of his own, and is a soloist with the Grammy-winning Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Melissa Gilstrap

Hailed as one of the world’s finest jazz saxophone players, Larry McKenna is firmly rooted in his Philadelphia birthplace where he has spent over six decades showcasing a gorgeous tenor saxophone sound.

Philadelphia's famed jazz culture runs deep among fans and regional artists, who have celebrated this uniquely American art form for the better part of a century.

The cohort of carefully selected emerging jazz musicians that make up the LUQ Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency collaborate to perform original works that forward the creative ideas of its namesake, Robert "Boysie" Lowery.

As America and the world reexamine race and equality, creatives are addressing these issues by producing art and music. NPR Music stations invited artists to join the the national discussion—and Philadelphia-based Vocussionist Bethlehem Roberson responded with her piece, "Evolution."

Members of the 2019 Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency program visited the WRTI Performance Studio last year to play a number of songs. In this video, vibraphonist Grady Tesch, a residency fellow who is also a composer, arranger, and educator, beckons listeners to lean in and enjoy his composition, "Walk To The Guillotine."

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