Josh Jackson

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.

Courtesy of the artist

Since 2017, Slingshot—a collaboration between NPR Music and the digital music service VuHaus—has provided a platform where 'taste-making' music stations share stories about the music scene and emerging artists in their communities. Now, Slingshot is shining a spotlight on jazz in Philadelphia: its history, its present, and its future, with stories produced by WRTI.

Jack Bradley Collection, Louis Armstrong House Museum

Describing Louis Armstrong biographer Ricky Riccardi as merely enthusiastic about Satchmo would be a gross understatement. It’s easier to say he’s dedicated his professional career to setting—and resetting—Armstrong’s historic life to record.

Getty Images/blindspot

On Tuesday, June 2nd at 6 PM, WRTI presented a special live program addressing Black Music as a form of social engagement.