Jazz Philadelphia

Philadelphia lost seven great musicians in the first four months of 2020. As a matter of cultural endowment, the loss represents the equivalent of whole libraries reduced to ash. These elders were the children of auto mechanics, beauticians, restaurant workers, scientists, unionizers and ministers — people who added measurable value to their communities. Each of the departed took the lived experience of Black America and articulated it with an instrument. They nurtured generations of musicians in this calling.

Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Trumpeter Wallace Roney died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on March 31, 2020 at the age of 59. But his life in Philadelphia and beyond will always make him a Hometown Hero.

September 14, 2020. Philadelphia born-and-bred trumpeter Wallace Roney learned from legends, played with legends, and ultimately died one too soon, passing away from complications of the coronavirus this past March at age 59. The former Young Lion whom JazzTimes once dubbed “the man with the golden horn” got to play alongside his heroes—giants like Philly Joe Jones, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, and Miles Davis. The story goes that Roney was the only trumpet protégé Miles ever took on; he never hoarded his riches.

Dimitri Louis

“The way I look at it, ‘jazz’ is a lineage,” said London-to-Philadelphia transplant bassist, composer, and teacher-mentor Anthony Tidd. He’s reflecting on the fact that he’s as known for collaborations with nu-jazz masters Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, and Roy Ayers as he is working within The Roots and playing alongside hip hop greats such as Common, Ursula Rucker, and Black Eyed Peas.

Although you can hear exceptional jazz on WRTI 90.1 every night and 24/7 online on our jazz stream, April is a time for a special focus on this classic American art form. Join us for great music and unique features as we mark Jazz Appreciation Month.

When saxophonist Olivia Hughart (now a college freshman) was in middle school in Lower Merion, there were few girls in her jazz big band, despite the fact that there were many girls in orchestra and band. In an effort to bring girls together from her school disctrict who shared an interest in jazz, she founded the organization Key of She Jazz.

Jimmy Katz

September presented jazz enthusiasts in Philadelphia with a full calendar, with so many events in planetary orbit around the sun that was John Coltrane's 93rd birthday celebration. But September’s got nothing on October.