WNPR

Arts/Culture

WNPR Arts and culture reporting focuses on the world of ideas in fine art, crafts, writing, music, theater, performance, design and creative activities that make us unique and make us human

Kevin Gruetzner

Returning to the art of the acoustic piano trio, Kevin Hays is celebrating the release of his new, right on the mark album North, which his website proclaims focuses on “history, beauty, and hope.”

neetalparekh / flickr creative commons

What makes a great audiobook? What makes a great audiobook narrator? (And, for that matter, what makes a not-so-great audiobook and audiobook narrator?)

Love, Politics, and Leonard Cohen

Nov 14, 2016
Rama / Creative Commons

Leonard Cohen, one of our greatest poets, died last Monday and was buried on Thursday next to his parents in a cemetery in Montreal. The cause of his death was leukemia. The likely cause of the leukemia was a lifetime of smoking. 

Abby Gillardi / flickr creative commons

You may have heard there was an election last week. You may have heard that the outcome... surprised some people. You may have heard that the press made some mistakes, here and there, in its coverage.

This hour, we look at this election season's media winners and losers.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell has died in Nashville at the age of 74. His wife, Jan, said through an intermediary that the legendary musician and songwriter had died Sunday in his sleep in Nashville.

Photonesta / Flickr Creative Commons

Okay, this show comes with a trigger warning.

We talk about things people eat, and some of those things are not for the squeamish. This is a conversation about disgust, and specifically, how our reflexive response of disgust may get in the way of things we probably need to think about doing.

Courtesy ECSU

Connecticut is hosting two celebrations of Latin American culture.

Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to a publicist for his U.S. record label.

Cohen died Monday, but news of his death came out late Thursday. His Facebook page had this announcement:

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries.

Brandon Carson / Creative Commons

Patti Smith wasn't seeking fame when she landed in Manhattan in 1969.  She was a fan of the greats of the day - like Dylan, Mapplethorpe, Pollock, Ginsberg - who she followed and emulated, hoping to find her own creative space next to those she most admired. 

Courtesy Joe Carter

Guitarist Joe Carter, a Bridgeport native who fell madly in love with Brazilian music on a life-changing night in a club in Rio de Janeiro, has over the years transformed himself into one of the premier samba jazz guitarists either north or south of the border. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

He's an Academy Award winner, a Golden Globe winner, a BAFTA Award winner.

He's the star of American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, What About Bob?, Mr. Holland's Opus, W., Madoff, and many more movies and TV shows.

Facebook

South African classical guitarist Derek Gripper is obsessed with the lilting and intricate music of the West African instrument known as the kora. Gripper, who performs this Friday night at Wesleyan University, has translated many kora compositions for guitar.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In a world of buzzing smartphones, endless meetings and persistent deadlines, how can we be more in-tune with ourselves and more creative in our endeavors?

This hour, we talk mindfulness and creativity in the 21st century.

To Catch a Burglar

Nov 2, 2016
Robert Martin / Creative Commons

George Leonidas Leslie robbed the Manhattan Savings Institution of $3 million in 1878. At the time, it was considered one of the safest buildings in the world. He made detailed models of the bank and its vault from blueprints he charmed from a bank employee. 

Maurice Robertson

Hartford is transformed this weekend into “the Jazz Brass City” of Connecticut as two of its venerable downtown landmarks flow with molten music forged by trumpet great Eddie Henderson at the Polish National Home and by trombone virtuoso Delfeayo Marsalis at the Hartford Club. 

William Murphy / Creative Commons

It has been 100 years since the Easter Rising in Ireland -- when Irish nationalists rebelled against the British government in Dublin and other parts of the country in 1916. The rebellion eventually led to Irish independence and civil war.

Takahiro Kyono / flickr creative commons

Leonard Cohen's 14th studio album, You Want It Darker, dropped last Friday. Coupled with a new David Remnick profile of Cohen in The New Yorker, the reviews have been pretty gushing. The Nose's take isn't quite as one-note.

Terrapin

Tribute bands -- bands that emulate famous groups or individual performers -- are a big business. Elvis and The Beatles might be the inspiration for the tribute band trend, but tribute acts have become a subculture all their own. 

Carol Rosegg / Westport Country Playhouse

Sana Sarr is 11 years old. He goes to a magnet school in Bridgeport. He's in the sixth grade. 

Peabody Awards / flickr creative commons

Ira Glass -- host of This American Life, creator of Serial, professional dancer -- used our show as his prime example in "a principled defense of fun on public radio." And then he called the kind of failure that we aim for many days of each week "where you'll find the future."

We want to know more about all that stuff.

Asylum Hill Congregational Church

Gary Miller wasn’t primarily a musician; he was a clergyman.

As many thousands of you around here know, Gary was the senior minister at Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford for 12 years, beginning in 1999. And he was beloved by that sprawling, interestingly diverse congregation.

Vector Portal / Creative Commons

Al Capone told everyone who asked him what he did for a living that he was a "property owner and taxpayer in Chicago." He was really a powerful multimillionaire in 1920's Chicago who made money from the illegal sale of alcohol during Prohibition and the vices that usually accompanied it: gambling and prostitution.

Carl Van Vechten / U.S. Library of Congress

As narrator, bandleader, trumpeter and composer, Ron McCurdy is the central dynamic force powering his acclaimed, multimedia presentation of a Langston Hughes trailblazing magnum opus, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.

haru__q / flickr creative commons

Everybody loves a bulldozer. In fact, we all grew up loving bulldozers, didn't we? From Benny the Bulldozer to Katy and her big snow, from all the Tonka toys to all the die cast model Caterpillars, the bulldozer is more of an icon in American popular culture than we maybe realize.

Betsy Kaplan / WNPR

Against Everything is a book about self-improvement. Before you tune out, I ask you to challenge your notion of 'self-improvement.' 

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