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Memorial Day Weekend on WRTI

Unsplash/Aaron Burden

Tune in over the weekend and on Memorial Day for special jazz and classical music for the holiday.

We’ll get started on the jazz side with music to mark the unofficial start of summer. Every hour will begin with a different version of the Gershwin classic, “Summertime,” and will feature a few summery songs, like “Once Upon A Summertime,” “Red Sails In the Sunset,” “Wave,” “Slow Hot Wind,” and many others.

On Sunday, May 29th, join us at 9 PM for a special evening with The Airmen of Note featuring some of our area’s finest. The Airmen will be joined by guest artists Joey DeFrancesco, Terell Stafford, and Kurt Rosenwinkel. This Philly takeover will provide some standards, and also compositions by the featured guest artists.

On the classical side, we’re honoring the diversity and richness of the American experience with music by an array of American composers on Memorial Day, May 30th. Every hour will feature contributions by different American composers, including repertoire staples by H.T. Burleigh, Florence Price, and George Gershwin, along with lesser-known works by Benjamin Carr, Barbara Harbach, and Valerie Coleman.

Throughout the day, you’ll also hear music that honors the tremendous valor of the U.S. Military, including works by Aaron Copland, John Williams, and John Philip Sousa. At 5 PM, we present Memorial in Song, a special hour-long program hosted by baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan (also host of NPR's From the Top) that honors those whose lives have been forever changed by war, including songs written by composers and poets who were soldiers themselves.