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

Carlos Duplessis / flickr creative commons

New York magazine's Will Leitch has called ESPN's new documentary "O.J.: Made in America" a masterpiece, and he thinks it'll be "the only thing this country's going to be talking about" as it airs next week. The Nose has already seen it, and it's all we're going to be talking about this week.

Tracy Lee Carroll / Creative Commons

This Saturday, you have no excuse to say there's nothing to do in Connecticut. That's because it's the state's Open House Day for residents and visitors to explore the state -- from the smallest of historical sites to the largest of museums. This hour, we preview just a sliver of what is out there. What little gems exist where you live?

UpstateNYer / Creative Commons

It has always been my belief that the summer music season is so irresistible because it combines two of life’s most attractive features: (1) summer, and (2) music.

Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons

"Hamilton," the wildly popular musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, will likely win several Tony Awards this weekend for changing the form of musical theater from what most of us perceive it to be. He uses rap lyrics that challenge what we think we know about the founding of our nation.

Courtesy Eric Wyatt

Born and bred in a jazz-saturated home in Brooklyn, New York, the globe-trotting, big-toned, take-no-prisoners tenor saxophonist Eric Wyatt has been on a lifelong quest to discover and hone his own sound and voice.   

Richard Ha / Flickr Creative Commons

Every year, we do a Song of the Summer show. It always makes people angry. There is no evidence that it has ever made people happy. A lot of it has to do with the way we define the term.

Vice / Flickr

Between orthodoxy and cultism exists a narrow divide; a proving ground of public opinion where spirited groups vie for entry into the hallowed halls of true religion. Few are more firmly planted in this place than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

It's strange to describe the apparent purchase and forgiveness of nearly $15 million in medical debt as "impish," but bear with me.

Steve Terrell / Wikimedia Commons

There has never been a time in the last ten presidential cycles when voters have disliked two presidential front-runners as much as they dislike Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Yes, the country is becoming increasingly polarized, but that doesn't explain why the candidates aren't well-liked by their respective parties.

Concord Music Group

Paul Simon's 13th solo studio album, Stranger to Stranger, is out on Friday. It has apparently been gestating for going on four years, and it's full of Harry Partch's microtonal instruments like cloud chamber bowls and the chromelodeon. Dean Drummond's zoomoozophome even makes an appearance. At the same time, the album is pretty rockin' and fun.

Ravid Kahalani

The music industry loves to label bands in categories like folk, funk, or jazz, but Ravid Kahalani, founder of Yemen Blues, proudly calls his ensemble "just good music."

Enid Farber / Mario Pavone

Appropriately titled Blue Dialect, bassist/composer Mario Pavone’s fourth piano trio album flows with the fluent, articulate grace and freedom of a great, witty conversation, reveling in spontaneous, interactive musical dialogues in which everyone gets to speak his mind. 

Wikimedia Commons

Krista Tippett must know something. After all, she's been hosting a show -- originally called Speaking of Faith and now called On Being -- for about 15 years. She talks to the wisest of the wise and the sagest of the sage, about matters of existence, transcendence, and, you know, what does it all mean? What kind of universe is this anyway?

More than 2 million Syrians have fled to Turkey, driven out by the fighting that erupted in their homeland in 2011. But none can claim an odyssey quite like that of Mohammed Faris.

As Syria's first and only cosmonaut, Mohammed Faris rocketed into orbit with two Soviet colleagues in 1987. He conducted experiments and photographed his country from space. By the time he returned to Syria, most everyone in the country knew his name.

Ray Hardman / WNPR

Over the last year, the Connecticut Historical Society has been traveling the state asking residents "what was it like growing up in Connecticut?" 

Netflix

Comedian Maria Bamford's new Netflix single-camera sitcom, "Lady Dynamite," premiered last Friday. And it's... odd. It's surreal. It's sad. It's a comedy that's very much about mental illness and loneliness and anxiety. And it's a comedy that's very much about itself too.

Shawn Robbins / Creative Commons

As celebrity milestone birthdays go, Dylan’s 75th passed pretty quietly last Tuesday.

Steven Sussman

If you were selecting a patron saint of jazz for Hartford, a strong contender for canonization would most certainly be Paul Brown, a miracle worker whose countless good works for the music and local jazz musicians over many decades brought great joy, peace and comfort to the capital city.     

"The way kids speak today, I'm here to tell you." Over the course of history, every aging generation has made that complaint, and it has always turned out to be overblown. That's just as well. If the language really had been deteriorating all this time, we'd all be grunting like bears by now.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

In the more than six years that it's been on the air, we've never taken The Colin McEnroe Show to the Peabody Museum before. (Crazy, right?) And: In the more than six years that it's been on the air, we've never done a Colin McEnroe Show about dinosaurs before. (Crazy! Right!?)

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

The Rio 2016 Olympics are set to start in less than three months’ time. But Brazil’s Zika outbreak is worse than we thought. And there’s ongoing political unrest. And Rio’s water supply comes with an extra helping of “trash and contamination.” What to do? Postpone the games? Move them? Both?

Kevin Bishop

Many of you around here know Kevin Bishop, a violist and Hartt School grad who has established himself as one of the region’s most enterprising musical figures.

Smoakandarrow / Flickr

Flash fiction goes by many names: micro-fiction, nano-fiction, short-shorts, and with the emergence of Twitter-fiction; twiction and twisters have also entered the fray. Whatever you choose to call it one thing's for sure: these pint-sized tales often punch way above their weight.

UConn

When Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart asked the University of Connecticut to provide a guest narrator to read "A Visit From St. Nicholas" during a 2014 holiday concert at the school, he was expecting to get UConn's president or perhaps a distinguished professor.

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