The Legacy Of The Jazz Organ In Philadelphia In mid-century Philadelphia, dozens of organists made jazz a popular, swinging, danceable contemporary music. The city salutes three such pioneers: Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott and Charles Earland.

The Legacy Of The Jazz Organ In Philadelphia

The Jazz Organ Tradition In Philadelphia

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Rich Budesa was one of six organists to perform. WXPN hide caption

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WXPN

Rich Budesa was one of six organists to perform.

WXPN

In mid-century Philadelphia, dozens of organists reshaped jazz into a popular, swinging, danceable contemporary music. Often in trios with drums and guitar or saxophone, these organ players made church instruments into portable orchestras — a tradition that continues to the present day in Philadelphia.

Jazz Night In America visits Philadelphia's World Café Live, where WXPN, WRTI and the Philadelphia Jazz Project organized a tribute to three native sons and daughters of the organ tradition: Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott and Charles Earland. Many top local performers help explain what made their city's jazz organ culture thrive.