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Pramod Pradhan / Hartford Public Library

Basking in warm, sentimental, adulatory acclaim, pianist Emery Austin Smith -- a high-energy octogenarian and one of the last great patriarchs of Hartford’s first Golden Age of Jazz -- returns once again.

The Artistry of Jazz Horn / Facebook

At this moment, one of the hottest, rapidly rising young jazz singers is the phenomenal, 24-year-old Jazzmeia Horn , a life force on stage.

Chuck Kramer / flickr creative commons

And after 15 seasons and 555 episodes and more than 345 Billboard chart toppers, "American Idol" is done with us. Love it or hate it, the show changed the American television business, the American reality television business, the American music business. It gave us Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson and Ryan Seacrest . And it gave us Taylor Hicks and William Hung. And Ryan Seacrest . We unpack the whole thing, the good and the bad.

Morn the Gorn / Creative Commons

I was talking to Rick Coffey the other day about Mendelssohn’s great oratorio “Elijah.”

Lori Mack

According to the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, there were nearly 11,000 people who experienced homelessness in Connecticut last year. Multiple organizations spend countless hours trying to make a difference -- and now, in New Haven, there’s a new program with a slightly different approach.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loT_pYzi3Vw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDDyyDjWM_0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_Dqo--Ly3g Merle Haggard was known by his fans as "Hag." With songs that reflected the working-class values and experiences of his own early life, Haggard found an audience in folks that saw the same. The country musician died Wednesday morning in California. It was his 79th birthday. Haggard's music was drawn from a life that started in 1937 in a converted train boxcar, the...

Courtesy: Briene Lermitte

As much in the American grain as Aaron Copland , William Carlos Williams, or Emily Dickenson , the celebrated composer/orchestrator and conductor/bandleader Maria Schneider is a great, lyrical celebrator of memory, home, and friendship in her latest masterwork recording, The Thompson Fields .

Bruno Tedeschi

I’ve been thinking a lot about chamber music.

Ann Braithwaite / Braithwaite & Katz Communications

Before settling down and committing himself to jazz, blues, classical, and Brazilian music, the rising, young West Coast pianist/composer Danny Green immersed himself for long periods of time in numerous genres, artists, and composers.

The Rolling Stones Rock Cuba

Mar 26, 2016

Historians hailed U.S. President Obama's visit to Cuba as the beginning of a new relationship between the two countries. But for hundreds of thousands of Cubans, the real thrill this week was the visit of some prominent Brits: The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts took the stage Friday before a packed crowd gathered in the 450,000-person capacity Ciudad Deportiva, or Sports City, an open-air venue. The band played 18 songs in two hours, starting things...

Mike Mozart / flickr creative commons

Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche abruptly retired from baseball last week with a year and $13 million left on his contract because the team's front office told him he had to stop bringing his 14-year-old son Drake into the clubhouse so much . Then the actual team rallied behind both LaRoches . But it turns out it all happened 'cause Adam's teammates complained about Drake . But so anyway: Aren't people who bring their kids to work with them just the worst?

'Born To Be Blue' Finds Truth In Inventive Riffs

Mar 24, 2016

Now is a fine time for jazz trumpet fans to get lost at the movies. April will see the release of Don Cheadle's long-gestating Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead , and this week we get the shaggy dog Born to be Blue , the story of Miles' contemporary Chet Baker. Both films are far looser and more experimental than your typical straight biopic, and concentrate almost exclusively on historic low points in their subjects' lives. And Blue even features brief appearances...

Jesse Kruger via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

A quick early spring roundup of musical milestones from hither and yon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3pyCGnZzYA Malik I. Taylor, the rapper known as Phife Dawg who was a founding member of the seminal group A Tribe Called Quest, died Tuesday at the age of 45. His family said in a statement that Phife died as a result of complications from diabetes. NPR's Andrew Limbong tells our Newscast unit that Phife, who was one of two main vocalists for A Tribe Called Quest, brought a lot of humor to the group. "There was a self-deprecating charm to Phife's lyrics — he...

Courtesy/Brandee Younger

Whether you call it pushing the envelope, thinking outside the box, or just plain bending the rules, the boldly independent harpist and composer Brandee Younger creates a genre-crossing, smart, soulful, freewheeling, happy hybrid of hipness.

The winner of NPR Music's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, Gaelynn Lea , produced a "serpentine, earworm melody" with "tremendous heartache in her poetry," according to judge Robin Hilton.

University of Salford / Creative Commons

The great Sir Peter Maxwell Davies – composer, champion of simple living, all-purpose contrarian – left us a few days ago.

Steven Sussman / Steven Sussman Photography

What accounts for the ring of authenticity resonating through Giacomo Gates’ unaffected, yet affecting vocal craftsmanship is that the hipster, singer, and wordsmith from Connecticut always sounds as if he’s telling you all about life-shaping events and emotions that he himself has actually experienced and reflected upon.

Nick M / Flickr Creative Commons

This hour, we feature stories and sounds from the West African country of Nigeria. First, WSHU reporter Ebong Udoma checks in from Abuja, Nigeria, where he's helped launch a brand new multimedia project called Gotel Africa . When completed, Gotel Africa will become the continent's first-ever pan-African news service. We learn more about it.

Copyright 1966 Capitol Records

On a hot August afternoon in 1966, I was driving down a residential street in my hometown of Niskayuna, New York.

jessicameyermusic.com

The music of women composers will be featured in several concerts this week.

Martin Zeman

On Fred Hersch’s 2014 trio masterwork, Floating (Palmetto Records), the superb pianist/composer opens the session’s creative floodgates with "You and the Night and the Music ," infusing the song with streaming contrapuntal lines whose richness, fluidity, and invention make it seem as if there were actually two pianists playing simultaneously.

Sir George Martin, the music producer who signed the Beatles to a recording contract in 1962 and was their intimate collaborator as they together transformed popular music, died Tuesday at the age of 90. Martin's death was confirmed by Adam Sharp, his manager in the U.K. In a statement, Sharp said: Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday March 8th. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support. Martin was often...

Listen To The Music

Mar 4, 2016
Ky / Creative Commons

One of the first things I did with the money I made from my part-time job as a teenager was to buy the next album on my wish list of new music. All my friends did the same, knowing that our growing collection was as much about who we were and what we wanted to be as it was about the music.

Sam Petherbridge / Creative Commons

Like most of the media landscape, public television is changing. The massive hit Downton Abbey wraps up this weekend, and Sesame Street is now premiering new episodes on HBO! But behind the scenes, broadcasters are taking part in an auction to sell of parts of their over-the-air signal. Most of the population has cable so they won’t be affected, but nearly 15 percent of people watch TV with an antennae.

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