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Rise and Shine: Julius Rodriguez

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What should the omnivorous young jazz mainstream sound like today? One beguiling answer can be found in the music of Julius Rodriguez, a brilliant multi-instrumentalist who just released Evergreen, his second album for Verve, which synthesizes elements of jazz, R&B, gospel, funk, even electro-pop. “I see it all as different extensions of me,” Rodriguez tells us in a lively conversation that touches on his divergent aims for a studio album and a live show; the essential qualities he shares with his creative cohort; and the way that his New York upbringing now converges with his Los Angeles lifestyle, musically. We’ll also hear excerpts of an exclusive performance captured by WRTI at Notsolatin in South Philadelphia, on Rodriguez’s first tour.

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Greg Bryant has been a longtime curator of improvisational music as a broadcaster, writer, host and musician. As a young child, he began absorbing the artistry of Miles Davis, Les McCann, Jimmy Smith, James Brown, Ornette Coleman, Weather Report, and Jimi Hendrix via his parent's record collection. He was so moved by what he was experiencing that he took pride in relaying all of his discoveries with anyone who would listen.
Nate Chinen has been writing about music for more than 25 years. He spent a dozen of them working as a critic for The New York Times, and helmed a long-running column for JazzTimes. As Editorial Director at WRTI, he oversees a range of classical and jazz coverage, and contributes regularly to NPR.