Memorial Day Weekend

Museum Without Walls

Today it’s considered the unofficial start of summer, but the final Monday of May was originally known as Decoration Day. It originated in the years following the Civil War and became the official holiday of Memorial Day in 1971. The initial name was derived from the fact that decorating graves was, and remains, a central activity of an ancient folk custom established long before America’s Civil War. Join WRTI jazz as we celebrate this custom throughout the weekend with songs of freedom and patriotism.

U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Josh Kowalsky

May 18, 2020. The Airmen of Note are at it again—this time as the historic band celebrates 70 years of dazzling audiences worldwide with the commemorative release, Air Power. Be it live tour performances or special broadcasts, The United States Air Force Band's big band jazz ensemble continues to make its music accessible to everyone.

All Memorial Day Weekend: Double Takes on WRTI!

May 24, 2017

Wait, what... it’s summer already?! We’re doing a “Double Take Memorial Day Weekend” at WRTI with the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend. Hear “double takes” of your favorite classical composers and jazz standards. And of course, we’ll play classical and jazz favorites all weekend long as we honor the meaning of Memorial Day.

Everybody has one or two favorite jazz standards, knowing them best as vocals, instrumentals, or even as big band arrangements. So, all Memorial Day Weekend, WRTI will explore the great renditions of jazz standards. Celebrate the unofficial start of summer by doing a "Double Take" with WRTI. At the top and bottom of every hour we'll play both an instrumental and a vocal version of a well-known standard. 

Join us from Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25 during jazz hours as we remember those who fought for our country by presenting jazz performed by United States military bands. Jeff Duperon kicks off the festivities on Friday, May 22nd at 6 pm with music from The West Point Jazz Knights, the U.S. Army Blues, and many other military bands, old and new. This music continues all weekend long, until the Hot 11 Countdown kicks off at 10:30 pm on Monday.  

Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer, but was established to honor fallen troops who gave their lives for our country. Join WRTI as we honor both aspects of this holiday weekend. We'll provide the perfect music to fuel your holiday barbeque all weekend long, featuring a type of jazz that - historically - goes hand-in hand with patriotism – Big Band!

Join us as we bring you the classic jazz tunes that you know and love to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend.  At the top of each hour, WRTI jazz hosts will play three classic tunes in a row.  We'll page through the jazz songbook, spending moments with artists such as Sarah Vaughan and Benny Goodman. 

You'll also hear new interpretations of jazz classics, like Gregory Porter’s rendition of “Work Song,” and Cecile McLorin Salvant’s “What A Little Moonlight Can Do.”  Relax the weekend away with your favorite tunes on your favorite radio station, WRTI!