NPR's recent debut of its new microsite, Live Sessions From NPR Music Stations Across America, now features “Philly Jazz,” a mix of music videos curated by WRTI. J. Michael Harrison is executive producer of WRTI’s jazz series.
Live Sessions features video performances captured by a network of NPR Music stations from around the country, with locally produced content available at nprmusic.org/wrti.
"Live Sessions is the beginning of a new era for WRTI,” says WRTI General Manager Bill Johnson. “It brings our curated jazz videos to a national audience, which means our local artists are showcased across America. Our mission to champion music as a vital cultural resource compels us to look for every opportunity we can to connect the public to extraordinary music. This new relationship with NPR is another step in demonstrating the power of public media to powerfully serve musicians and audiences alike."
"Many people are familiar with the Tiny Desk Concert series on NPR, which has been extremely successful," explains Harrison. "We're excited to be part of the latest addition to the NPR Music family. 'Live Sessions' provides a unique opportunity for WRTI to generate exclusive content that celebrates and promotes America's music. We cherish this opportunity to present local, national and international artists who are creating music that pays homage to the past, embraces the present and explores the future of the genre."
Live Sessions content includes in-studio performances, playlists, video interviews, and live webcasts. This initiative delivers content the public radio network is uniquely poised to deliver, reinforces public radio’s role as an engine of music discovery and fortifies public radio’s commitment to being storytellers of music, art and culture.
“NPR Music and public radio music stations share a mission: to serve our audiences by providing a platform for music discovery,” says senior director of NPR Music, Lauren Onkey. “Stations across the country have unique takes on regional, local and national music scenes, and they regularly welcome artists into the studio for one-of- a-kind performances. We’re excited to share the rich collection of videos produced by stations to a broader audience of music lovers.”
Live Sessions updates daily with national and local playlists, live streams, and post-produced videos of emerging and proven artists for the public radio audience to explore and enjoy. Currently, over two dozen artists or groups have been filmed in the WRTI Performance Studio or in regional venues—and the list keeps growing.
“Fast access to cutting-edge jazz in video form is a game changer for the genre,” says Maureen Malloy, WRTI’s jazz music director. “The jazz community has maintained relevance despite disparaging critical opinion over the years. Jazz is alive and well over the airwaves on WRTI, in our performance studio, and shown on the Philly Jazz section of NPR Music Live Sessions.”
Assistant Production Manager Tyler McClure has been on the Live Sessions team from the beginning, and recalls how much he’s discovered in two years.
“I just know music and sound, and just seeing how much Philadelphia has to offer shows that there's so much good music here,” says McClure. “That we have a platform to share, I think it's pretty cool.”
A special thanks to WRTI staff members and a host of other talented individuals who have made this collaboration possible.
For a comprehensive look at WRTI on Live Sessions, visit nprmusic.org/wrti.