Arts and Culture

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Who's afraid of the Bix bad Beiderbecke?

Hartford has an amazing jazz history, and Colin has a lot of jazz musician friends. This hour, a little onstage jazz party.

Colin and the panel look to make jazz accessible to mere mortals. They talk about what makes jazz jazz, invite the audience to sing, and teach the audience to scat.

Composer Nathan Fletcher.
Courtesy Nathan Fletcher

A short-form chamber opera composed by Connecticut native Nathan Fletcher recently premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Fletcher’s music blends traditional classical styles with influences from musical theater and film.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour: "the search for William Grimes."

We talk to author and film producer Regina Mason about her quest to find her great-great-great-grandfather -- a New Haven resident and runaway slave. 

Faces of Ancient Europe / Flickr

In looking to our past, a curious trend appears. A vast amount of mankind's great accomplishments in art, music, science, technology and language seem to emerge from a relatively small number of cities:  Athens, Hangzhou, Florence, Rome, Calcutta, Vienna, and Silicon Valley-- just to name a few.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Southeast Connecticut.

Coming up, we tour the 300,000-plus-square-foot facility. What makes its exhibitions so critical today? 


Tucked away in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery is an ornate gravestone bearing the names of William Wirt Winchester, his infant daughter Annie, and Sarah Lockwood Pardee -- Winchester’s wife, who outlived her firearms magnate husband by some 40 years.

NEON Rated

I, Tonya is a big, brash, brightly-colored, quirky comedy that happens to be telling a story that's ultimately kind of super sad. It's that mixture of tones -- a cinematic style seemingly at odds with the film's content -- and its Oscar-nominated performances by Margot Robbie and Allison Janney that have earned the movie a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Nose picks it apart.

Andrew Wilkinson / flickr

The history of mazes and labyrinths spans thousands of years. From Bronze Age stone carvings, to Medieval gardens, to modern-day laboratories, these elaborate designs continue to be used for a variety of reasons and in some surprising places.

JT / Flickr

Americans like to argue, a lot. In politics, in media, and in society at large, arguing has (arguably) become the default means by which we handle disagreement. But is it the most effective way, and has our readiness to wage a war with words gotten out of hand?

Mort Walker, the renowned comic strip artist best known for his cartoon depicting the high jinks of the loafing Army private "Beetle Bailey," died Saturday at the age of 94 at his home in Stamford, Conn.

Walker drew Beetle Bailey as a daily comic strip for 68 years, making him the longest-running artist in the medium's history, according to a statement from King Features, which performed the original syndication for the strip.

bbcamericangirl / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Goodspeed Musicals has canceled an upcoming performance of a musical by Woody Allen. The decision is in response to decades-old allegations that the Hollywood director had inappropriate sexual contact with his adopted daughter.

Focus Features

Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Anderson, and Best Supporting Actress for Lesley Manville. Oh, and including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Daniel Day-Lewis. It's Day-Lewis's sixth nomination in the category. He's won the award three times previously, including for his work in Anderson's There Will Be Blood. If Day-Lewis were to win again this year, he'd join Katharine Hepburn as the only people ever to win four acting Oscars. It'd be a fitting end to a career that Day-Lewis says is over.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Xhenet Aliu is a native of Waterbury, CT, a city that once hosted a strong brass manufacturing industry.

Visitors to the Dr. Seuss museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, will be greeted by a new mural starting Tuesday. That’s after the original one was taken down, following criticism that it was racist. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Brian Dunnigan is a web designer and co-founder of the Hawthorn Watch Co. in Vernon, Connecticut.

Coming up, we discuss the inspiration behind his business and talk about Connecticut’s role in manufacturing the hands of time.

But first: mastering the skills of traditional craftsmen.

We hear how an exhibit at the Connecticut Historical Society celebrates the bond between artists and their apprentices.