music

Verse and Voice
12:46 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

The Cause

brankomaster Creative Commons

When you jump off a bandwagon, it rolls on
toward the cities’ high places,
and you’re left without music on an empty road,

nothing to guide you. Not even the moon
drenches each milepost. No joyous faces
when you jump off a bandwagon. It rolls on,

its pipers shrill, its drummers too loud,
yet you listen: thick notes, then thin traces
and you’re left without music on an empty road.

Just you versus you—your pro, your con,
your rabbits in hats, your sleeves, your aces
when you jump off. A bandwagon? It rolls on.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:19 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Musical Prodigy Emily Bear: What Explains Maturity and Talent in Children?

Credit MaxiuB/flickr creative commons

As a result of repeated sound exposure while in the womb, it now appears a baby can later recognize these sounds, even the theme song of its mother's favorite television show. In other words, there is "neural memory." This is what we learned from a Science magazine story, examining the key findings of a Swedish study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (The author is cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen.) Does this explain something about the child musical prodigy? 

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Manufacturing
8:20 am
Fri May 30, 2014

DIY Dulcimer Kits Are a Musical Hit in Connecticut

Students at the Middle School of Plainville play dulcimers in teacher Laurel Schwartz's class.
Diane Orson WNPR

The word dulcimer means "sweet sound." There’s no better way to describe this American folk instrument.

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Arts Festivals
10:52 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Pop-Up Festivals Hope to Take Visitors Beyond Downtown New Haven

The New Haven festival draws many visitors in June, and the organizers hope people will see more than just the downtown area.
Judy Sirota Rosenthal New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas

The New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas has attracted visitors from all over the world to downtown New Haven. Organizers are now looking beyond downtown to the neighborhoods.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Kerri Powers and Quiet Life: Music With a Sense Of Place

Singer-songwriter Kerri Powers performing in WNPR's studios.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our show is, as much as anything, about a sense of place, and about things that matter to people who live here. When we talk to artists and musicians, we want to know about the places that influence them. This hour, we have two conversations that are firmly planted with Connecticut roots.

Kerri Powers is a singer-songwriter who grew up in Massachusetts, even though her voice might read “West Texas.” She lives in suburban Connecticut now, but the songs on her new self-titled record might well fit in a small southern bar. This weekend, she’s performing at the Hartfolk Festival at the University of St. Joseph - we hear her music and get a preview.

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Jazz Corridor
3:37 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Nicki Parrott, Peerless Aussie Double Bassist and Vocalist, Leads Trio In Hartford

Nicki Parrott.
Nicki Parrott

As part of his musical legacy, the late Les Paul, the legendary guitarist, electronic wizard and iconic guitar designer, played a key role in encouraging Nicki Parrott, the gifted Australian-born double bassist, to spread her wings a bit and also become a first-rate, expressive jazz singer.

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Music Education
5:35 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

How Do You Get Latino Kids Into Classical Music? Bring The Parents

The 85 musicians in the Santa Cecilia Orchestra are paid professionals who play with other symphonies and in Hollywood studios.
Courtesy of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:53 am

Outside the concert hall at Occidental College, in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood, children are invited to test out the instruments the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will play later. Alexa Media Rodriguez, 8, says she and her family have never before been to an orchestra concert. She heard about the orchestra when some of the musicians visited her school.

"I brought my dad, my stepmom," she says, "my sister, my brother and my sister's cousin ..."

That's the thing about this orchestra, says conductor Sonia Marie De Leon De Vega: The children are bringing the parents.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:21 am
Fri May 23, 2014

The Nose is Wary of Marrying Harry

Jim Chapdelaine is a musician, producer, composer, and recording engineer.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Can the culture of one nation ever understand that of another? Critics say Fox's newest reality show in which 12 witless contestants believe their in a fight to the near death for the attention of England's Prince Harry. "I Wanna Marry Harry" is said to represent a new low in reality television.

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Jazz Corridor
12:04 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Israeli Trio Fuses Modern Jazz With Middle Eastern Sounds In Connecticut Debut

Trio Shalva. From left, Assaf Gleizner, Nadav Snir-Zelniker, and Koby Hayon.
Peter Salo

While playing his weekly gig at Manhattan’s Caffe Vivaldi some four years ago, pianist Assaf Gleizner, a Tel Aviv native, decided to please his parents by mixing traditional Israeli folk music with the modern jazz fare that he and his fellow Israeli sidemen, Koby Hayon and Nadav Snir-Zelniker, were to serve that night at the popular West Village restaurant and live music hot spot.   

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Music Manufacturing
12:18 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Organ Company In Hartford Still Pulling Out All the Stops After 100 Years

Anne Wysocki, a voicer at Austin Organs, tunes a chimney flute that will be added to an organ in Cincinnati originally built by Austin in 1929.
Shana Sureck WNPR

If you ask Michael Fazio how long he’s been in the pipe organ business, he’ll say, “How do I get out of it?”

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Jazz Corridor
2:48 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Jazz Goes to Church In Its Sunday Best

The interior of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford.
Asylum Hill Congregational Church

Long a welcoming haven for jazz, Asylum Hill Congregational Church embraces Duke Ellington’s sacred music Sunday, May 18, at 4:00 pm as it presents "The Best of the Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts" with full-scale, soulful re-creations blessed with four mighty choirs singing, a powerhouse jazz band swinging, and a tap dancer tapping in the historic Hartford church’s majestic sanctuary.

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Spotlight on the Arts
4:18 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Goodspeed's Fan Friendly "Damn Yankees"

Lora Lee Gayer and cast perform "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO" from "Damn Yankees."
Diane Sobolewski

You could make the case that America’s obsession with sports really took hold thanks to baseball in the 1950s. When Broadway producer/director/writer George Abbott turned to "Damn Yankees" as his next musical in 1955, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

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Live Music
10:27 am
Fri May 9, 2014

West End Blend Is the Soundtrack to Your Party

This wall of sound goes by the name "West End Blend."
Chion Wolf WNPR

Have you heard of West End Blend? You should.

Hartford may not be known for its funk, but nobody told this 14-piece band. Horns? Check. Rap? Got it. Hearty, soulful vocals? Yup. Toe-tapping beats? Of course.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

West End Blend Brings the Party; Local Professor Monitors Ukrainian Elections In Person

"West End Blend" is a 14-piece group that started in Hartford.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When you’re right in front of West End Blend, it’s hard to not be physically blown away by their powerful sound and deep grooves. The band is about to put out an EP that they hope will capture at least some of the live energy of their stage performances. We hear a special concert and conversation with West End Blend recorded at the TELEFUNKEN factory and studio in South Windsor.

We also talk to a local professor, just days before he leaves for Ukraine to be an elections monitor in their upcoming, very controversial vote.

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Ovation Factory Closing
1:24 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Guitarist Joel Weik Has a Unique Perspective On Ovation Guitars

Guitarist Joel Weik prefers Ovation Guitars in an amplified "live concert" setting.

Last month, Fender Musical Instruments announced it will close the Ovation guitar factory in New Hartford in the coming weeks. For now, that means all Ovation guitars will be made in factories overseas. 

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Jazz Corridor
3:37 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Sicilian Singer/Songwriter Sissy Castrogiovanni Sizzles at Middletown’s Buttonwood Tree

Sissy Castrogiovanni.
Sissy Castrogiovanni

In the exciting, event-packed upcoming days, jazz gets happily hitched to lyrics sung enticingly and beautifully in Sicilian dialect by the young, sensational, Sicilian-born Sissy Castrogiovanni on Saturday, May 10, at 8:00 pm at Middletown’s Buttonwood Tree. 

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All Songs Considered
4:45 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

'Ultra LP' Version Of Jack White's New Album Has Some Crazy Surprises

Cover art for Jack White's new album Lazaretto.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 4:41 pm

Jack White has announced plans to release a version of his upcoming Lazaretto album on vinyl, with a whole bunch of special features that'll make you rethink the possibilities of the enduring format.

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Classics in Concert
3:37 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Spring For Music: A Rare American Oratorio At Carnegie Hall

James Conion leads the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY on May 09, 2014.
Melanie Burford/Prime Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:16 pm

When NPR Music and WQXR present the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus' performance of R. Nathaniel Dett's The Ordering of Moses at Carnegie Hall Friday, there will be one significant difference from its first airing: it should be free of interruptions.

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Mountain Stage
3:17 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Lake Street Dive On Mountain Stage

Lake Street Dive.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:26 pm

Lake Street Dive makes its second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.

The four virtuoso musicians who comprise Lake Street Dive met as students at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music. They became friends and formed a group to play outside of class; it was originally conceived as a "free country" project. That sound quickly morphed into one that includes influences from jazz, R&B and classic pop.

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Hartford Stage
3:13 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Hartford Stage Production Garners Ten Tony Award Nominations

" A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder" leads all Tony nominations with 10, including "best musical".
Joan Marcus

The Tony awards were announced earlier this week, and a musical that got its start at Hartford Stage leads all nominations.

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Jazz Corridor
11:02 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Two Modern Jazz Powerhouses Generate Merry May Mayhem

The Cookers, including Billy Harper, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart.
The Cookers

Thanks to The Side Door Jazz Club, one of Connecticut’s newest and hottest venues, and the Hartford Jazz Society, the nation’s oldest jazz society in continuous operation, May gets off to an explosive start with performances by two powerhouse modern mainstream ensembles that believe in the aesthetic primacy of unabashedly hard-swinging jazz crackling with unashamedly soulful feeling. 

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Host's Diary
8:30 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

The Bee Trucker Song

Via WikiMedia Commons

I sometimes notice that people think we have a lot more time than we really do, getting a daily show on the air. 

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Sound effects
4:12 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Songwriting With Colin: "Truckin' Bees"

Chion Wolf's Gibson Hummingbird.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's not too often I get to write a song with Colin, but I love when it happens. We had about two hours until showtime when Colin dropped off the lyrics to the song we wanted to use as an intro to our show about bees -- specifically about how bees are trucked to different locations throughout the country. I could hear the tune in my head right away.

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Jazz
8:15 am
Tue April 29, 2014

The Public School Where The Duke Lives On

Trumpeter Geraldo Marshall and trombonist Johannes Utas, students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, rehearse for their school's 40th anniversary celebration.
Lauren Migaki NPR

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 12:52 pm

Duke Ellington didn't consider himself a jazz musician.

He said he was a musician who played jazz. And what a musician: pianist, bandleader, composer of more than 1,000 songs including standards like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady."

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Tiny Desk
10:31 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Quilt: Tiny Desk Concert

Quilt performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:00 am

It's right there in the band's name, but the music of Quilt is truly a tapestry. Its songs are made of small bits of verses and choruses that, heard individually, may not seem to fit. But in the hands and voices of this band, they stitch together beautifully. Interweaving harmonies and guitar lines from Anna Fox Rochinski and Shane Butler set the tone for these tunes — soft and benevolent, dreamy and quivering, with poetry that's thoughtful and playful. The opening song at this Tiny Desk Concert, "Arctic Shark," questions and enchants.

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Live Music
9:11 am
Fri April 25, 2014

The Sea, The Sea Shares a Brand New Song

Mira Stanley and Chuck e. Costa of The Sea, The Sea.
theseathesea.com

Singer-songwriter duo Chuck e. Costa and Mira Stanley of The Sea, The Sea visited WNPR recently and played a brand-new song not available on their brand new debut album, Love We Are We Love. It's called "Let It Be Said," and you can listen to it below from their recording session for WNPR's Where We Live.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

The Sea, The Sea (and The Sea)

Jeremy Keith Creative Commons

It’s time for the next installment in our new series featuring local artists and musicians. This hour, we hear from folk-pop duo Chuck Costa and Mira Stanley of The Sea, The Sea. Their debut album, Love We Are We Love, dropped earlier this year. Both recently stopped by our studio to talk about and perform some of their new songs.

Later, we hear a tale from the sea. Kate Moore served as Keeper of Bridgeport’s Fayerweather Lighthouse for most of the 19th century. A Bridgeport historian and Coast Guard Ensign will tell us about her heroic and inspiring devotion to Long Island Sound’s busy seaway.

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Made in Connecticut
3:46 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Ovation Guitars to Cease Production in Connecticut

Ovation Guitars in New Hartford.
warriors-bikers-people-places-things.blogspot.com

Connecticut's historic Ovation guitars will no longer be made in the state. The New Hartford factory will close this summer.

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Music
2:02 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Robert Ellis On World Cafe

Robert Ellis.
Davis Ayer Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 12:18 pm

Robert Ellis and his road band perform songs from his fine third album, The Lights From the Chemical Plant, in this World Cafe session. After his last record, 2011's Photographs, Ellis wanted to push his music in less of a country-oriented direction, so he worked on the new album with producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings Of Leon).

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A Blog Supreme
11:42 am
Wed April 23, 2014

13 Jazz Artists Awarded Over $1.7 Million

Roscoe Mitchell is one of six jazz musicians awarded the Doris Duke Artist Award for 2014.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:30 pm

Yesterday, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced the recipients of its 2014 Performing Artist Awards, including 13 jazz and improvising musicians, who will receive at least $1.7 million in unrestricted grants in total.

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