Jazz Night in America

We celebrate Threadgill's induction to the 2021 class of NEA Jazz Masters, with a rare retrospective from 2014 that celebrates the genius of Henry Threadgill.

Henry Threadgill's music has always pushed boundaries. Two tubas with two guitars, a "sextett" with seven members, a free-improvising trio with an instrument made of hubcaps, a dance orchestra: Nothing is off the table.

John Coltrane composed these words in December 1964, as part of a poem he called A Love Supreme.

I have seen God – I have seen ungodly – none can be greater – none can compare to God.

How is the jazz community in Philadelphia responding to the global pandemic? Jazz Night in America found a few different answers to that question.

Charlie Parker, the incandescent avatar of modern jazz, didn't live to see 35. His centennial is upon us, and with it comes a chance to celebrate his legacy — as a quicksilver alto saxophonist, a voracious musical thinker and a crucial link in the chain of jazz tradition. Bird, as he was fondly known, gave us a lexicon as well as a literature. Like Louis Armstrong before him and just a few others since, he redrew the possibilities of the art form, and he did it with absolute panache.

Listen to the final episode of Jazz Night In America's three-part series on the Newport Jazz Festival. Philly native Christian McBride, who hosts the program and is also the artistic director of the festival, is part of some of the amazing vintage Newport performances featured this time around.

Join us on Sunday, August 9th at 8 PM on WRTI 90.1 as we present Part 2 of Jazz Night in America's three-part series on the Newport Jazz Festival. Philadelphia's own Christian McBride, the host of the program, also serves as the artistic director of the festival, and has some amazing vintage Newport performances to share.

Join is on Sunday, August 2nd at 8 PM on WRTI 90.1 as we present Part 1 of Jazz Night In America's three-part series on the Newport Jazz Festival. Philadelphia's own Christian McBride, the host of the program, also serves as the artistic director of the festival, and has some amazing vintage Newport performances to share.

The Newport Jazz Festival started back in 1954, and has dazzled sun-drenched audiences with top-tier jazz performances ever since. Philadelphia native and Jazz Night In America host Christian McBride also serves as the artistic director of the festival, and has some special, hand-picked sets that will be featured on the program, which airs on WRTI 90.1 on Sunday evenings from 8 to 9 PM.

Courtesy of the artist

Pioneering bassist and composer Jymie Merritt was born in Philadelphia in 1926. He died on Friday, April 10th, 2020 at age 93. No cause was given by his son, who posted the sad news on social media.

Fifty years ago this August, Miles Davis assembled a group of musicians to record the sprawling, groundbreaking album Bitches Brew. With the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown in his head, Davis plugged in and brought these electric rock sensibilities to jazz.

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