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Musical Fireworks for July 4th Weekend on WRTI: All-American Music & the Great American Songbook!

Getty Images/Thananit Suntiviriyanon / EyeEm
Happy July 4th Weekend!

We're celebrating our nation's 245th birthday on WRTI! Join us on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for a festive musical experience to complement your holiday.

On July 3rd, join Debra Lew Harder for a Saturday Classical Coffeehouse show featuring all American performers and composers—from Beach, Bernstein, and Bechet, to Lauridsen, Copland, Strayhorn, and more. Our American performers include Cantus, the Susquehanna Chorale, Hilary Hahn and Natalie Zhu, Mark and Maggie O’Connor, Ronn McFarlane, and of course our own fabulous Philadelphia Orchestra.

Debra’s especially excited to share “Matamondo” — the WRTI broadcast debut of a traditional African song performed by Philadelphia Orchestra members David Kim, Daniel Han, Anna-Marie Petersen and Yumi Kendall, with an ensemble made up of outstanding fellows from the UrbanPromise organization based in Camden, NJ.


Be sure to vote for your All-American Special Saturday Espresso, too!

On July 4th, Bob Craig fills in for BP for Sunday Jazz Brunch from 9 AM to 1 PM, and kicks off Independence Day with music from the pages of The Great American Songbook. He’ll serve up some nostalgia along with those eggs and bacon with different jazz renditions of your favorite standards.

Switching over to the classical side from 1 to 3 PM, we bring you The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert with guest conductor James Gaffigan leading our Philadelphians in a concert featuring works by Gershwin, Dvorak, and Barber. Pianist Jon Kimura Parker is soloist.

At 6 PM, Bob Craig is back on the jazz side and the fun continues with music that celebrates the great outdoors on Voices In Big Band Jazz. Ella’s “Summertime” will grace the airwaves, along with Mel Torme’s “I Want to Go Fishing,” SInatra’s “Summer Wind, and Ray Charles’ version of “Oh What A Beautiful Morning,” and many others.

At 7 PM, Big Band Jazz gets patriotic with songs that are unique to America. Bob Craig will spin songs that just wouldn’t make sense in any other land. Expect to hear Alan Broadbent with the NDR Big Band with a special verison of “America the Beautiful.” “West Coast Blues,” “Take the A Train” and “America” from West Side Story will also be performed by some of your favorite artists.

Then, starting at 9 PM, Maureen Malloy is your host to help you wind down with more music from the Great American Songbook, and some patriotic favorites on In a Mellow Tone.

On Monday, July 5th the fun continues with several all-American hours of music thrughout the day!

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend from all of your friends at WRTI.