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2022_10_10 WRTI

J. Michael Harrison

Jazz Host

J. Michael Harrison’s first radio show, WPEB’s “Is That Jazz” launched in June of 1993. In 1994 he began volunteering with WRTI as a production assistant. In 1996, J. Michael debuted his own program, The Bridge, which continues to air Friday evenings on WRTI.

The Bridge was selected as Philadelphia Magazine’s "Best Radio Program” in 2002, and in 2007, the Philadelphia City Paper called it the “Best On-Air Reminder That Jazz Didn’t Die in 1965.”

The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and the Performing Arts made him a Stakeholder in 2016, and invited him to participate on their Advisory Board. In October of 2022, J. Michael was hired as an Education Coordinator by the Clef Club. J. Michael has also recently joined the Rosenbach Museum’s Programming Committee. He was presented the Above & Beyond award for Outstanding Contributions to Arts & Culture by the People’s Emergency Center in 2017, that same year the Jazz Journalist Association named him a "Jazz Hero."

Since 2008 he has taught a music journalism class at the University of the Arts and recently developed and premiered a new class, Philadelphia’s Musical Sound, as an undergraduate offering.

He’s presented lectures to students in the Philadelphia School District, Temple University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has written liner notes, has sat on and moderated panels, has curated series, produced events, and hosted concerts in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City, and New Orleans. He was executive producer on Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s 1999 CD BrotherZone. He’s worked closely with the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Jazz Philadelphia, Jazz Bridge, Jazz Near You, The Painted Bride Art Center, The Producers Guild, The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts, The Rosenbach Museum, and other organizations.

Additionally, Mike has curated and produced much of WRTI's jazz video content for the NPR Live Sessions platform since 2017.

“Music is truly my sanctuary, a reason to live, and a bright moment”—J. Michael Harrison

J. Michael can be heard on Fridays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. as host of The Bridge.