music

Jazz Corridor
9:18 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Elm City’s Gift to Jazz World Celebrates at Big Apple’s Village Vanguard

Wayne Escoffery moved from London to New Haven, Connecitcut and is currently in pursuit of his musical aspirations in New York City.
Gulnara Khamatova wayneescofferymusic.com

Tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, one of the best and the brightest of New Haven’s major contributions to the international jazz scene, hopes that his many friends and fans in Connecticut will show up to help him celebrate several major milestones in his life and career as he leads his new band in a six-night stint from February 3 to February 8 at the Village Vanguard.

Along with the sheer joy of playing once again at the Vanguard, a jazz shrine located in Greenwich Village, Escoffery, a formidable saxophonist, composer, bandleader and consummate sideman, is celebrating his 40th birthday on every one of those nights in the venerable venue.

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Music
3:50 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Carnegie Hall Live: The Chicago Symphony Plays A Colorful Concert

Riccardo Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Todd Rosenberg Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:59 pm

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra arrives at Carnegie Hall with a program that portrays choppy waters and changing tides, opening with Mendelssohn's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture followed by Debussy's La mer.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
7:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Dancin' in the Moonlight: Connecticut Dance Halls

David Foster is the owner of Shaboo Productions and the leader of the Mohegan Sun Shaboo All-Stars.
Chion Wolf WNPR

This hour, we talk about two Connecticut dance halls, each springing from the vision of two very different men who took their respective dance halls down very different paths. One's dream soared, bringing thousands of concert-goers to over 3,000 acts over an eleven-year history. The other's dream stalled, his elaborate dance hall sitting idle for decades.

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Metcalf on Music
1:18 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

A Grammy Brought a Smile to Roomful of Teeth

Roomful of Teeth.
Roomful of Teeth

Last year, a little known new-music vocal octet came out of nowhere to win the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.

If that group had been called, say, the Contempo Voices or Sounds of Today, or something more or less conventional like that, it might have had a slightly tougher time coming to the attention of the restless Grammy voters.

But in fact the group is called Roomful of Teeth. And the music it makes is as original and as attention-getting as its name.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:45 am
Thu January 22, 2015

An Ode to Opera

David Shankbone Creative Commons

In 2012, the New York City Opera -- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills. Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

This is either a problem very specific to the New York Opera, or part of a virus that has been taking down opera companies all over the U.S. and maybe all over the world. In Italy, where opera receives much more public and government support, one fourth of all major opera companies were in a version of bankruptcy as of 2008.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:15 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Live From Watkinson School: Can a Song Change the World?

Credit Jim The Photographer / Flickr Creative Commons

If you want to reach people, sing to them, and make them sing. Experience tells us that singing changes people's relationships to reality, maybe even getting them ready to experience pain in a protest march.

Here's a term that was new to me anyway: "Collective Effervescence". It was coined by the sociologist Emile Durkheim to describe a lot of things, including the state we might achieve if we all got together and sang a song about our political aims. You see this in times of protest, from the streets of Ferguson to the streets around Tahrir Square. When people sing, or hear someone else sing, it activates them.

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Jazz Corridor
12:45 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Rising, Young Saxophonist Alexa Tarantino Headlines at Baby Grand Jazz Series

Alexa Tarantino, a Connecticut native, and a member of a new generation of jazz musicians, brings her talent to the international stage preforming both at home and across the globe.
Alexa Tarantino

Alexa Tarantino, a gifted, 22-year-old alto saxophonist who grew up in West Hartford, has plenty to celebrate as she performs in a duo concert with the Polish-born piano virtuoso Dariusz Terefenko at 3:00 pm on Sunday, January 25, at the Hartford Public Library’s free Baby Grand Jazz Series.

Among the causes for celebration, the versatile multi-instrumentalist/composer has recently graduated from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she earned degrees in jazz saxophone performance and education, as well as a certificate in arts leadership.

Besides the joy of graduation, the emerging saxophonist has a new CD out with Terefenko called Crossing Paths that they’ll be promoting in March on a two-week tour of workshops, clinics, and performances in some of Poland’s premier conservatories. Later this summer, the mini-Poland tour will be followed up with the duo’s appearances in Brazil.

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Music
10:53 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Can Connecticut Win NPR's Tiny Desk Contest?

Do you have what it takes to join The Pixies behind NPR's Tiny Desk?
North Country Public Radio

Back in early December of last year, NPR announced a contest aimed at finding new talent to play for its wildly popular Tiny Desk Concert series. These intimate concerts are held midday in the midst of office cubicles at NPR, and the crowd is a group of lucky producers, editors, reporters, and other NPR workers who get to spend a bit of their lunch with artists as diverse as Where We Live favorites Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and The Pixies

To enter, contestants just have to make a video of a performance of an original song. And -- oh, it has to be behind a desk of any kind or size.

Monday, January 19, is the last day to submit entries, so in case you've been thinking about it, fire up the iPhone and make a video! I'd really like to have bragging rights next time I'm at NPR HQ, knowing that a Connecticut artist took home the prize.

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College Street Music Hall
1:38 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

New Haven Officials Announce New Life for the Old Roger Sherman

A rendering of the planned facade of College Street Music Hall in New Haven.

New Haven's long-shuttered Palace and Roger Sherman Theater will reopen this spring as a music hall.

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Metcalf on Music
6:54 am
Thu January 15, 2015

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra Sponsors an Uncommon Competition

Opening night of the 2010 Harford Symphony Orchestra Talcott Mountain Music Festival in Simsbury, Connecticut.
theothernate Creative Commons

In the rarefied category of sub-five-minute classical compositions of importance -- not a huge body of work -- Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” stands apart.

For one thing, it has become one of those pieces works that confers an instantly weighty, ceremonial feel to occasions, from presidential wreath-layings to high-school basketball senior nights. 

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Jazz Corridor
9:07 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Pianist Eri Yamamoto Brings Lyrical, Melodic Treasures to Baby Grand Jazz Series

Eri Yamamoto.
Jimmy Katz

Although first trained in the intellectual rigors of classical music and later well-schooled in the cerebral practices of free jazz, the exceptional Japanese-born pianist/composer Eri Yamamoto most prizes the invention of pure, basic, heartfelt melody. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

The Scramble: Cartoonist's Psyche, D'Angelo, and "Transparent"

Two Connecticut cartoonists join us to respond to last week's shootings in Paris.
Aurelien Guichard Creative Commons

Today on the Scramble, we talk to two cartoonists about the road ahead from the Charlie Hebdo massacre. I'm still wrestling with some of my own questions about what this story means to the world of satire, which I consider vitally important to the health of the world.

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Metcalf on Music
4:25 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Hail, Hail Classical Music

Roger Reuver Creative Commons

For the past several years, I have taught an informal, one-credit seminar at The Hartt School called "Communicating With Your Audience."

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Obituary
2:25 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Remembering Acclaimed Pianist and Teacher Claude Frank

Claude Frank, 1925-2014.
Credit Columbia Artist Management

Claude Frank died late last month. According to The New York Times, the acclaimed pianist and teacher died from complications from dementia. He was 89.

As a teacher, Claude Frank encouraged his students to explore the entire piano repertoire, including new and avant garde works. As a performer, Frank tended to focus on only a handful of composers, especially the music of Beethoven. 

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Television
2:22 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

'Empire': A World Of Unbuttoned Shirts And Dishy Music Stories

Jamal (Jussie Smollett) welcomes home his mother (Taraji P. Henson), but she has about as much more on her mind as this look makes it seem like she does.
Chuck Hodes Fox

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 1:04 pm

Empire comes to Fox with an interesting pedigree: It was created by Danny Strong (who's written multiple award-winning projects for HBO) and Lee Daniels, who made Precious and The Butler — both films with a sheen of prestige, but both films to which people reacted in complex ways. It stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, who are both past Oscar nominees. The executive music producer is Timbaland, who's worked with all kinds of folks, including Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

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Jazz Corridor
11:51 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Guitarist Sinan Bakir’s Luxuriant Solo Ideas Take Root at Middletown’s Buttonwood Tree

Sinan Bakir
Sevim Yolacti

Guitarist/composer Sinan Bakir, a Nutmeg State transplant who’s originally from Ankara, Turkey, has set Gold Medal standards of excellence in expression in recent years with his two acclaimed recordings and live performances in many venues stretching from Connecticut to New York.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 6, 2015

The Needle Drop’s Last Word on Music in 2014

Anthony Fantano is a local boy who also happens to be "The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd."
Chion Wolf WNPR

If you’re anything like me, a search for the newest, most interesting music is not quite the fun exploration that it should be. It is more of an overwhelming odyssey through countless websites, blogs, and napkins with personal recommendations. And after all that, I usually just buy the new Black Keys record.

Today, we’ll help you if you’re in a similar predicament by presenting "The Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd," Anthony Fantano. He's the host of the wildly popular video blog "The Needle Drop." He got his start on WNPR,but now he has fans all over the world who hang on his every word about music.

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Music
7:42 am
Tue January 6, 2015

The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano Recommends New Ear Candy

Anthony Fantano in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Anthony Fantano, host of The Needle Drop, came by WNPR studios and shared a few of his latest favorite musical sounds.

Appearing on WNPR's Where We Live, Fantano told host John Dankosky that it's been the best musical year that he can remember.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:15 am
Fri January 2, 2015

The Agony and Utility of Ecstasy

C. Michael White is a Professor and Department Head at UConn’s School of Pharmacy.
Chion Wolf WNPR

"Molly" is the nickname for MDMA, or Ecstasy, and it's short for "Molecule", meaning you're getting the "real thing", chemically speaking. Except you almost never do. On this show, we'll talk about the dangers of Molly, the medical uses of MDMA, and the curious romance between the drug and the form of music known as EDM, Electronic Dance Music.

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Jazz Corridor
11:15 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Hartford Public Library Opens New Season of Free Sunday Matinee Jazz Concerts

Eli Yamin
Eliyamin.com

Besides being a gifted pianist, composer, bandleader, educator and co-writer of imaginative jazz musicals for children, New York City musical maven Eli Yamin is a devout, globetrotting evangelist for jazz and blues as a universally healing and unifying communal catalyst, an inspiring historical and cultural force that he calls “the heartbeat of the American experience.”

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A Beautiful Life
3:26 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Remembering Ana Grace Through Music, Love, Community, Connection

Jimmy Greene's new album Beautiful Life
jimmygreene.com

It’s been two years since saxophonist Jimmy Greene lost his six-year-old daughter, Ana, in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On his new album Beautiful Life, Greene memorializes his little girl.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:56 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Best Jazz of 2014

Noah Baerman is a pianist, educator, author, and composer. His latest album is called “Ripples”.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It’s so hard to keep up on jazz, especially for the person with only a casual interest. That’s why, every year, critic Gene Seymour and some musicians get together on our show to talk about what they liked and why. On this show, pianists Noah Baerman and Jen Allen round out the panel.

SONGS (in order of appearance):

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Saxophonist, Wife Remember Daughter's "Beautiful Life"

Jimmy Greene, Nelba Márquez-Greene, John Dankosky.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It’s been two years since saxophonist Jimmy Greene lost his six-year-old daughter, Ana, in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On his new album, Beautiful Life, Greene memorializes his little girl. 

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Uglish
4:17 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Don't Bench That Dentist: A Guide To Ugandan English

Students in Uganda may use Uglish words, but you can be sure they're not learning them at school.
Courtesy of Will R. Potter/Said&Seen

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 1:42 pm

You want to bench a pretty woman and launch your manifesto. Only you get bounced from her muzigo because she's pursuing a pensioner.

In the end, you were lucky. She's just a detoother who's after a rich guy.

Welcome to Uglish (pronounced "YOU-glish"), the Ugandan variant of English. Bernard Sabiti has written the first Uglish dictionary (not yet available outside of Uganda, but he's working on an e-book version for January).

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:58 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Holiday Songs to Perk You Up and Settle You Down

Eric Danton writes frequently about music and pop culture for the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Salon, and Paste, and blogs at listendammit.com.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It's just unthinkable to me that "Why Can't It Be Christmas Time All Year" is not a classic, and a staple of holiday music. But it's not. In fact, you've probably never heard of it or Rosie Thomas, who recorded it. And that helps explain why it has been 20 years since any song became a mainstream hit. "All I Want For Christmas Is You", released by Mariah Carey in 1994, did what is now impossible - it survived its first season, and became a song that is played every year during the holidays, and performed by other people. It got a big boost, of course, from the movie "Love Actually", but that's not the only reason it stuck around. But 20 years is a long time to go without another success in that department.

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Jazz Corridor
7:36 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Phil Bowler’s Reunion Band Celebrates New Release After 20-Year Hiatus

Pocket Jungle with William Bausch, Phil Bowler, Paul Carlon, Scott Latzky and Pete Smith.
Facebook

Every now and then, the jazz world needs a reminder that there are master musicians among us whose distinguished careers, elegant artistry, versatility, intelligence, resilience and well-honed craftsmanship are not given the recognition they so richly merit.

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Remembrance
2:39 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Singer Joe Cocker Dies At Age 70

Singer Joe Cocker, famous for his powerful and raspy voice, has died at age 70.
Ron Wolfson Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:02 pm

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The Last Flight Out of "Old" Cuba; Music From The Sarah LeMieux Quintet

Musicians in Cuba play with heavily used and damaged instruments.
Flickr user "yosoynuts"

Many people were surprised by the news of a new relationship between the United States and Cuba. It was especially surprising for WNPR's Morning Edition host Diane Orson. When the news broke, she was returning from Cuba, and landed back in the United States. She shares her story and we hear the music of the Sarah LeMieux Quintet, who will brings us on an imaginary visit to a Paris nightclub.

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Sounds of the Past
2:06 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Modern Technology at UConn Breathes Life Into Antique Instruments

Sina Shahbazmohamadi works with a 3D-printed instrument piece and measurement device at UConn's Center for Clean Energy Engineering in August.
Peter Morenus University of Connecticut

They just don’t make 'em like they used to, unless you put a bunch of Ph.D.s in a room with a 3D printer. 

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Metcalf on Music
9:49 am
Thu December 18, 2014

S. Claus Mulls Grants to Music Folk

Scott Parrish Creative Commons

With Christmas just days away, I thought Santa, busy guy that he is just now, might appreciate some last-minute gift suggestions for some of the more deserving music folk on his list. 

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