Bobbi I. Booker

Program Host

Bobbi is is an award-winning Philadelphia-based multi-media journalist and radio personality whose work appears regionally in the Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia Magazine and The Philadelphia Tribune and nationally via NPR Books. 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).

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 can be heard on the "Spirit Soul Music" edition of Ovations on Sundays from 6 to 9 AM.

Ways to Connect

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."

Courtesy of Chris' Jazz Café

When Center City Philadelphia's Chris' Jazz Café closed its doors in March because of the Coronavirus, the world-famous venue was already a couple of months into a quiet revamp, offering live streaming performances as a natural option for its patrons.

The multitalented Kendrah E. Butler-Waters, a pianist, composer, and vocalist, weaves cultural honesty and spiritual sensibilities into her compositions and performances. "I try to share the history of African American folks and our development into my work," said Kendra during an interview with WRTI Jazz Host and Live Sessions Executive Producer J. Michael Harrison.

From the pop of the first note, you know you're in for a musical treat. The ear candy you've enjoyed was created by Courtney Wright, a member of the youth collective that comprises the Delaware-based Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency.

Pianist Victor Gould took a shine to the piano at age four and has been sparkling on the keyboards ever since. Born in Los Angeles, Victor's piano virtuosity has made waves in New York’s renowned jazz scene and beyond.

Trumpeter Arnetta Johnson discovered the trumpet a dozen years ago as a "band geek" at Creative and Performing Arts High School in Camden, NJ, and went on to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mentored by both Jill Scott and Tia Fuller, Arnetta blossomed from her first professional gig with the Unity Community Center's (UCC) Little Jazz Giants, to being the featured trumpeter on both Beyoncé Formation and On The Run II tours.

When drummer Marcus Myers sustained an injury that required him to take a break from his instrument, he pressed the reset button to ponder his creative career and personal mission. During his period of self reflection, he began to create spiritually focused music devoted to the omnipresence of God, thus the "Ode To Omni" collaborative project was conceived.

Lafayette Gilchrist's solo work brings out the evocative, sacred sounds of the piano. Inspired, in part, by the go-go sound—a rhythm unique to his birthplace of Washington D.C.—Lafayette also draws from the well of jazz history, layering his style of improvisation with hip-hop and funk.

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