Matt Silver

Writer

Matt Silver is a writer and broadcaster who has been performing, in one way or another, since his grandparents told him as a toddler that singing "Sunrise, Sunset" in rooms full of strangers was the cool thing to do.

His love of jazz comes from his father, Ken, an accomplished clarinetist, bandleader, and educator, who's passed on his extensive knowledge of the Real Book and an abiding love for jazz tunes with Broadway origins.

In addition to writing for WRTI's Arts Desk, Matt can frequently be heard hosting on the jazz side, whistling Gershwin or Bernstein with gusto, or trying to replicate the sounds of Stan Getz and Larry McKenna on his saxophone, which he's found is a good deal harder than it looks.

He is a proud member of that group of hardy souls who got their start at WRTI hosting Jazz through the Night.
 

Ways to Connect

May 3, 2021. Depending on what you’re most susceptible to, Sachal Vasandani’s Midnight Shelter will either break your heart or rock you to sleep. If you stay with it through all 11 singer-songwriterly tunes, chances are you’ll experience both.

April 26, 2021. Multi-instrumentalist Joe Chambers made his name as a drummer on some of Blue Note Records’ most celebrated albums of the mid-to-late 1960s. But it’s his vibraphone playing here—bobbing and weaving in a synchronized courtship with pianist Brad Merritt worthy of David Attenborough narration—that’s foregrounded on Samba de Maracatu, his first release as a leader for the famed jazz label since 1998’s Mirrors.

Misty Sol

Closing out what’s been a jam-packed Jazz Appreciation Month is International Jazz Day on April 30th. But not lost on us here at WRTI is that April 30th also marks the last day of National Poetry Month. How best to honor both? How about with live readings from a book of poetry conceived and executed by local poets, where each piece is inspired by music immortalized by the High Priestess of Soul, Miss Nina Simone?

April 19, 2021. Unless you’re a serious jazz wonk or an avid auditor of Philadelphia’s jazz history, you’re probably not that familiar with a pianist named Hasaan Ibn Ali. The fact that he was known by his musician peers as the "Legendary Hasaan" both belies this relative obscurity and clarifies the esteem in which he was held for a near-maniacal work ethic and a musicality thought to be ahead of its time.

April 12, 2021. Trigger warning: If having too much fun listening to music tends to send you spiraling out of control, take caution with Emmet Cohen’s Future Stride. With his natural feel and an ability to draw from a massive store of repertoire, it’s easy to see—and hear—why Cohen’s been a fast-rising star for a while now.

Courtesy of Michael Tilson Thomas

Before stepping down 10 months ago at age 75, the San Francisco Symphony’s (SFS) Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) owned the longest active tenure of any music director of a major American orchestra; he’d held the position since 1995. Though he’s played piano, composed, and conducted at an elite level since his teenage years, Tilson Thomas has always been more than the classical music wunderkind who grew up to become the great maestro. There was a piece of himself he’d inherited, a piece that hadn’t necessarily been ignored but hadn’t been foregrounded in his work either.

April 5, 2021. West coaster George Kahn is one of those melodic, easy-swinging pianists that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. He’s not edgy, nor experimental; he appropriates liberally from the Great American Songbook. He’s unabashedly straight-ahead, which, in this day and age, might be a revolutionary act in itself.

March 29, 2021. This Bitter Earth, Veronica Swift’s sophomore release from Mack Avenue Records, takes on issues of weighty social concern. Most everyone’s doing that now, it seems—and, hey, that’s probably a good thing. But the reason this album succeeds is because Swift was a preeminent vocal stylist before and still is.

Courtesy of the artist

The bond between Temple University and WRTI has always been strong, but a growing partnership between Temple’s Intellectual Heritage program and WRTI, just a block off the university's main campus, has helped to infuse new energy and fresh perspectives into a longstanding prerequisite of Temple's liberal arts curriculum.

Amie Goodman

A dozen of the world’s best jazz guitarists will convene on Saturday, March 20th at 8 PM for the 2021 edition of the Alternative Guitar Summit (AGS). Founded in 2010 by guitarist Joel Harrison, AGS’s goal is to honor a living guitar legend by having some of the most accomplished guitarists of today interpret their work.

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