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A Special Celebration of Jazz Giants Throughout April

Vocalist Julie London
Vocalist Julie London

April is Jazz Appreciation Month - and we're celebrating with special tributes to jazz artists at 7 pm, 10 pm, 1 am, and 4 am every day of April. Each week there will be a different theme.

Starting off with a rhythm-filled week of the finest drummers in jazz, we'll then move to the horn players, the pianists, and the masters of the reeds. In honor of Duke Ellington's birthday on the 29th, we'll showcase the great bandleaders. And finally, vocalists will serenade you through the weekends of April.

WRTI jazz hosts will lead the tributes with biographical vignettes, followed by a set of music by that day's featured artist. Read More...

Highlights include: drummers Albert "Tootie" Heath and Mike Clark, horn players Nat Adderley and Clifford Brown, pianists Dave Brubeck, Beegie Adair, and Gene Harris, reed players Jimmy Heath and Pepper Adams, bandleaders Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Carter, and vocalists Julie London (pictured above) and Betty Carter.

Listen: Julie London sings "Fly Me to the Moon" - featured on the popular TV series Mad Men

Watch and Listen: Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young circa 1950

Jazz."It's simple, complex, relaxed, intense," explains renowned jazz pianist and educator Billy Taylor. "It embodies a bold tradition of constantly emerging musical forms and directions, and though it is fun to play (and hear) it is very serious music - jazz is an important musical language that has developed from a single expression of the consciousness of black people, into a national music that expresses American ideals and attitudes to Americans, and to people from other cultures all around the world."

Join WRTI's celebration of "America's Classical Music" by tuning in or listening online throughout the month. We know you'll love the music. And maybe you'll also learn something new about jazz!

Jazz Appreciation Month Schedule:
Week of April 1: Drums
Week of April 5: Horns
Week of April 12: Piano
Week of April 19: Reeds
Week of April 26: Bandleaders
All Weekends in April: Vocalists