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.

August 10, 2020. When legendary saxophonist Jimmy Heath passed away on January 19th, Philadelphia lost one of our upper-echelon of jazz—a high priest, if you will. Less than two months later, we lost McCoy Tyner and Danny Ray Thompson.

Augut 3, 2020. Instead of telling people about the benefits of ethnic and cultural diversity, sometimes it’s more effective to just show them. And then, all of a sudden, to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, the medium—jazz in this case—becomes the message.

August 3, 2020. This is is Beethoven’s 250th anniversary birth year. It’s also the year the coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of countless live concert tributes to Beethoven across the globe. This calamitous turn of events makes the release of important Beethoven recordings especially welcome.

Courtesy of Chris' Jazz Café

When Center City Philadelphia's Chris' Jazz Café closed its doors in March because of the Coronavirus, the world-famous venue was already a couple of months into a quiet revamp, offering live streaming performances as a natural option for its patrons.

Philadelphia's All City Music Program has been teaching kids for over 70 years. The All City Orchestra Summer Academy—ACOSA, now in its second year—is going one step further, teaching the technology skills students need to share their music in 2020 and beyond.

What has been life been like for Philadelphia-based composer Jennifer Higdon since the start of the pandemic? In this late May, 2020 TIME IN interview with WRTI’s Susan Lewis, Jennifer shares how the COVID-19 shutdown has influenced her writing and teaching, and prompted her to explore new activities, including listening to a certain podcast and driving the first car she's owned in 22 years!

The New York Music Co., New York, 1908, monographic. Source: Library of Congress

Fans at baseball games across America have been singing the same song during the seventh-inning stretch for decades. If you're in the stands, nothing beats the fun of belting out that tune everyone knows, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!"

July 20, 2020. Turns out Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Manitoba, is more than just a cold, forbidding outpost that once lost— and has since regained— its NHL franchise. It’s also a not-half-bad place for jazz.

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