J Michael Harrison

Members of the 2019 Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency program visited the WRTI Performance Studio last year to play a number of songs. In this video, vibraphonist Grady Tesch, a residency fellow who is also a composer, arranger, and educator, beckons listeners to lean in and enjoy his composition, "Walk To The Guillotine."

The multitalented Kendrah E. Butler-Waters, a pianist, composer, and vocalist, weaves cultural honesty and spiritual sensibilities into her compositions and performances. "I try to share the history of African American folks and our development into my work," said Kendra during an interview with WRTI Jazz Host and Live Sessions Executive Producer J. Michael Harrison.

From the pop of the first note, you know you're in for a musical treat. The ear candy you've enjoyed was created by Courtney Wright, a member of the youth collective that comprises the Delaware-based Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency.

Pianist Victor Gould took a shine to the piano at age four and has been sparkling on the keyboards ever since. Born in Los Angeles, Victor's piano virtuosity has made waves in New York’s renowned jazz scene and beyond.

Trumpeter Arnetta Johnson discovered the trumpet a dozen years ago as a "band geek" at Creative and Performing Arts High School in Camden, NJ, and went on to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mentored by both Jill Scott and Tia Fuller, Arnetta blossomed from her first professional gig with the Unity Community Center's (UCC) Little Jazz Giants, to being the featured trumpeter on both Beyoncé Formation and On The Run II tours.

Charles Tolliver is a model for autonomy and self-sufficiency in music. His work as a founder of Strata-East Records set a standard for black creative independence in the 1970s, and the label's extensive catalogue has enjoyed a renaissance as new generations discover those seminal recordings under the catch-all term of "spiritual" jazz. 

When tenor saxophonist Teodross Avery first listened to John Coltrane’s iconic album Giant Steps a couple decades ago, it changed the course of his musical career.

It's Jazz Appreciation Month, and WRTI is highlighting vocalist Laurin Talese as part of a diverse playlist featuring both established and emerging women from around Philadelphia and around the world.

The musical collective unit known as Vertical Current is comprised of talented artists expressing themselves through original compositions and rhythmically savvy interpretations of contemporary jazz classics.

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