Arts Desk

Check out stories and album of the week features by Susan Lewis, Debra Lew Harder, Kevin Gordon, Maureen Malloy, Matt Silver, and Heather McDougall.

November 30, 2020. There are some things in life you don’t want to perceive being made—laws and sausages chief among them. On the other hand, there are the yoga studio idealists whose wisdom suggests the opposite, that the process is everything, that life’s beauty resides in the journey, and that once you realize that, the destination becomes almost beside the point.

Dave Brubeck is responsible for so much wonderful music, it’s hard to choose just one favorite song. The WRTI Jazz Department was tasked with narrowing the field to reveal the tunes they love the most. Here’s what they came up with.

November 30, 2020. In his concerto for guitar and orchestra, Chris Brubeck pays homage to his father, the late jazz great Dave Brubeck. The pianist and composer, whose centennial we celebrate on December 6th, passed away in 2012. Brubeck's piece is the title track of our Classical Album of the Week. Guitarist Sharon Isbin's Affinity features music inspired by different cultures and genres, and has a personal story behind each work. 

WRTI's own jazz legend Bob Perkins sat down with Kile Smith in December, 2012 for a wide-ranging interview about Dave Brubeck —the man, his music, and his legacy. This interview took place just after Brubeck's death at age 91.

BP's Brush With Brubeck

Nov 29, 2020
Courtesy of Bob Perkins

I believe the year was 1983 when I was asked if I’d like to emcee a concert at the Academy of Music, headlined by Dave Brubeck and his sons and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Without hesitation, the answer was an emphatic yes!

Anthony Dean

(Note: this profile was written prior to the passing of Mr. Barnes in April, 2020) Tenor giant Bootsie Barnes has been the epitome of a “Hometown Hero” for most of his 82 years. He’s never left the city, instead becoming a cornerstone of the Philadelphia jazz scene, remaining constant even as styles and generations changed around him.

Unsplash/GraceHues Photography

All of your friends at WRTI wish you a peaceful and joyful Thanksgiving. We're so happy to bring you this very special Thanksgiving playlist—selected lovingly by our hosts and content staff. It's music we can all be grateful for.

November 23, 2020. Imagine deconstructing an award-winning 21-piece band, scattering its members not just across the Delaware Valley but the country, having each instrumentalist record his/her parts individually, and then taking each of those individually recorded parts and surgically stitching it all back together to make it sound like the entire band was recorded in the same place, at the same time.

November 22, 2020. The renowned British vocal ensemble VOCES8 celebrates its 15th anniversary with a gift to the musical world: After Silence, a double-CD set that embraces the themes of Remembrance, Devotion, Redemption, and the elemental force of Nature. The eight singers of VOCES8 bring to life repertoire from the Renaissance to contemporary times.

Bachrach Photography

In WRTI's final broadcast of its PYO series this year, WRTI Host Kevin Gordon spoke with Music Director Louis Scaglione in an intermission feature, which includes a discussion about PYO plans to safely resume in-person rehearsals and performances. 

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