In the last few years, Philadelphia’s jazz and classical station, WRTI, has been making big investments in its studio and programming, including the ability to record and film live performances. Local artists are in the mix of already-recorded performances via their VuHaus platform. Now, they’re part of the newly launched microsite “Live Sessions from NPR Music Stations Across America.” The campaign launched officially on November 11, 2019, and will allow regional, national, and international audiences to be exposed to the jazz performed in our city. We talked with station stalwart J. Michael Harrison about what it means for our community.
What does this move mean for the jazz community in Philadelphia?
WRTI on NPR Music Live Sessions represents a unique opportunity to showcase the extraordinary talent base in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, as well as the global community at large. I can’t express how significant this opportunity is for us. The expansive reach that NPR Music offers is motivational from the perspective of how vast the exposure opportunities are. It is also incredibly inspiring to participate knowing the commitment and standard of excellence associated with the brand. This is indeed a major event for us and for the musicians. As this initiative gains momentum and establishes a consistent workflow, the benefits will be plentiful for the jazz community.
What is this new initiative in relation to other WRTI programming?
The new initiative essentially remains the same as our past efforts. For WRTI that means to continue to champion music as a vital cultural resource. What’s changing is that now we’re featuring music video content that’s available on NPR Music’s “Live Sessions” (nprmusic.org/wrti). This is not only exciting, it is indeed monumental. We’ve been granted a special opportunity to significantly broaden the reach of the jazz video content that WRTI produces.”
Is there an upcoming performance that WRTI is particularly excited about?
We invite the WRTI audience to enjoy our current content that’s available on NPR Music Live Session via the link below. We will be adding content weekly moving forward and encourage the WRTI family to keep and ear and eye glued to our media platforms to catch all the activity and stay updated on the new content. A few highlights in the weeks to come include video performances featuring Ola Onabul’e, Bria Skonberg, Claudia Acuna, and Michelle Lordi. We’ll also be introducing signature video content from Charles Tolliver, Lucas Brown, Joe Magnarelli, Jonathan Scales and more. The future is bright! Stay tuned!