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Celebrating 20 Years of "The Bridge" on WRTI

(left to right) J. Michael Harrison, host of "The Bridge," with Cornell Rochester, Odean Pope, and Gerald Veasley.

This year, J. Michael Harrison is celebrating 20 years of his show, The Bridge, on WRTI. As part of the celebration, there will be a very special installment of the Kimmel Center’s Sittin’ In, a live series of free concerts/jam sessions.

For the session on April 12th,J. Michael has managed to reassemble a trio that first made waves at the Moers Festival in Germany back in 1995; the trio included tenor saxophonist Odean Pope, bass guitarist Gerald Veasley, and drummer Cornell Rochester.  

It’s been more than a decade since these fine artists have played together, so this will be quite a reunion. The free show starts at 8 pm on Wednesday, April 12th in the Kimmel’s SEI Innovation Studio.

Along with the usual DJ sets in the live performance, this month’s Sittin’ In will include some very special presentations.  J. Michael Harrison will be honored with the Jazz Journalists Association’s Jazz Hero Award. This annual award defines Jazz heroes as: “ Advocates, altruists, activists, aiders and abbetors of jazz who have had significant impact on their local communities.”

Shortly before the trio performance, J. Michael will interview Odean Pope, and acknowledge Odean as the 2017 recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Living Legacy Award. This Award recognizes distinguished performers who have made a special commitment to jazz education, and who have worked to impart his or her unique knowledge of the art of jazz to emerging artists.

Odean Pope, Gerald Veasley, and Cornell Rochester visited the WRTI studios on March 22nd. The second installment of the interview will air during the 11 pm hour of The Bridge on Friday, April 7th. Next week, listen for a special Arts Desk feature by Maureen Malloy on J. Michael’s 20-year musical journey.