music

Jazz Corridor
10:51 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Ali Ryerson’s Luminous Flute Illuminates Her Musical "Dark Side"

Ali Ryerson.
J. Barry O' Rourke Ali Ryerson

“We’ve switched over to the dark side for real now.” No, that’s not an ominous utterance from Dick Cheney. It’s the celebrated flutist Ali Ryerson joking on the phone when discussing her touring quintet’s contemporary, plugged-in sound that marks a giant switch for her from the modern mainstream palette that has long been a hallmark of her acclaimed artistry.

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Japanalia Eiko
4:55 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

End May Be Near For Hartford Cabaret Series

Dan Blow at the piano inside Japanalia Eiko.
David Borawski

Dan Blow, the noted Hartford-based fashion designer who creatively refashioned himself into one of the city’s most industrious and illustrious concert producers, plans to pull up stakes in Hartford to live in the Bahamas; shutter his clothing business, sell his elegant Woodland Street condo, and in a severe blow to the local music scene, perhaps end his enormously popular Music@Japanalia series held primarily in his West End boutique.

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Theme Music
1:01 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

A "Love Theme" for Where We Live

Asylum Quartet members Tony Speranza (left) and Joseph Abad (right).
Chion Wolf WNPR

Last month, Hartford’s very own Asylum Quartet visited WNPR's Where We Live to talk about and perform some music. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:36 am
Fri April 18, 2014

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. It's short for "molecule," meaning you're getting the "real thing," chemically speaking. Except you almost never do.

This hour, we 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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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Life With Cerebral Palsy; Asylum Saxophone Quartet

Chris and Nick Capozziello
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Photographer Chris Capozziello has been photographing his twin brother Nick for years. Despite being twins, there was a major difference between these two: Nick was born with cerebral palsy; Chris was not.

The photography of both brothers’ is featured in the book The Distance Between Us. The story it tells is about how both Capozziellos are living and coping with Nick’s condition. Both join us to talk about their project.

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Music Education
2:05 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Members of Sweet Honey in the Rock Conduct Dynamic Workshops at Wesleyan University

Sweet Honey in the Rock performing in 2007.
Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks sweethoneyintherock.org

Three members of the legendary a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock are finishing up a unique residency at Wesleyan University.

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All Songs TV
11:26 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Rodrigo y Gabriela, 'The Russian Messenger'

Rodrigo y Gabriela in a scene from their new video for the song "The Russian Messenger."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 2:27 pm

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:36 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Jake Shimabukuro and Friends Show How Uke'n Play Ukulele

Jake Shimabukuro
Chion Wolf WNPR

The ukulele was not always obscure. Two of the biggest stars of the 20th century used them as their principal instruments. One is a name you probably don't know, but George Formby was a enormous sensation in Great Britain on stage and in movies in the 1920s and '30s. He specialized in playing a banjo-shaped ukulele, and he trafficked in comical, mischievous songs full of double entendres. 

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Jazz Corridor
1:21 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Singer Marianne Solivan Brings Subtle, Soulful Style to Hartford

Marianne Solivan.
Marianne Solivan

Besides possessing a lovely instrument of a voice graced with rich, sensuous timbres, Marianne Solivan is a gifted, wise singer who never feels compelled to use her ample skills to push the envelope so hard that she murders the enclosed message in the song.

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Coachella
6:42 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Reunited And It Feels A Little Awkward: OutKast At Coachella

Big Boi (left) and Andre 3000 perform on stage at Coachella during the first stop on OutKast's reunion tour.
Adam Kissick for NPR

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All Songs Considered
2:52 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

NPR Music Nominated For Three Webby Awards

OK Go helped us us move our office across town. You can help us win a Webby for the video we shot.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:27 pm

NPR Music has been nominated for many Webby Awards over the years (and even won a few), but we've rarely reached out and asked you to vote for us when we are. This year, the Webbys' eighteenth, we're particularly proud of our nominations.

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A Blog Supreme
1:36 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

5 Points Where Poetry Meets Jazz

Jayne Cortez in 1996. The poet often recorded her poems to improvised music.
Bob Berg Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 12:10 pm

Poetry and song were once the same: The first poems were recited to music played on the lyre. (It's the source of the word "lyric.") Today, poems are published in books and journals, while songs are heard but seldom read. The poet Robert Pinsky tells of a successful songwriter-singer who said, "A little poetry can really help a song, but too much poetry will sink a song."

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Music
1:36 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

First Listen: 'The Space Project'

The Space Project comes out on Record Store Day, which takes place April 19.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 1:20 pm

As of last September — some 36 years after their launch on Sept. 5, 1977 — NASA's Voyager 1 & 2 space probes were some 12 billion miles from home, easily the farthest man-made objects from Earth. Voyager's primary mission ended back in 1980, when both satellites provided the closest, most detailed pictures taken of the gaseous planets of Jupiter and Saturn and their moons before continuing outward into space.

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Party Everyday
8:05 am
Thu April 10, 2014

These Aren't The Rock Hall Inductees You're Looking For

"We're fans, just like the people that come to see us," says Rich Kosak (far right), who plays the role of KISS vocalist Paul Stanley in the Ohio tribute band Mr. Speed.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:32 am

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered

Randy Schmidt is the author of Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter and a music educator in Denton, Texas
Chion Wolf WNPR

If you are a person of a certain age, you probably remember the moment when you were first seized by Karen Carpenter's voice. For me, it was getting into my mother's Pontiac LeMans after a commencement ceremony at Kingswood School in 1970. I was a sophomore at an all-boys school, and nobody wanted to be "Close To" me.

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Jazz Corridor
10:31 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Cabaret Star Brings New, Searing Show to Hartford

Baby Jane Dexter.
BabyJaneDexter.com

Baby Jane Dexter, a consummate and passionate cabaret performer who can wring every torrid ounce of emotion out of classic romantic ballads or edgy original songs with searing social messages, returns for another one of her perpetually power-packed performances at 7:30 pm on Saturday, April 12, at the Music@Japanalia series at Japanalia Eiko, 11 Whitney Street in Hartford.

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Crusader
8:18 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Wayne Henderson, Jazz Crusaders Co-Founder, Dies

The late Wayne Henderson toured with an incarnation of The Crusaders in 1995.
Simon Ritter Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 5:18 pm

Wayne Henderson, trombonist and co-founding member of the popular jazz-funk band The Jazz Crusaders (later known as The Crusaders), died Friday, April 4, in Culver City, Calif. The cause of death was heart failure, according to The Crusaders' manager. Henderson was 74.

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Tiny Desk
2:36 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

The Both: Tiny Desk Concert

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo perform together as The Both at a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:50 am

Singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo are often at opposite ends of the volume knob. But what started as separate sets during a mutual tour, then a few walk-ons during Leo's solo set, is now an adventure in collaboration and mutual songwriting — and the birth of The Both. Months after this Tiny Desk Concert, which we recorded in February, there's an album.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:03 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Celebrating the Ninth Annual Trinity Hip Hop Festival

Self Suffice the Rap Poet is a nationally performing positive teaching artist.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When I say "hip hop," do you think about an art form the exalts bling, consumption, excess, decadence, and vulgarity? What about all the other hip hop artists, exploring other kinds of truths?

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Jazz Corridor
9:50 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Yale Photo Show Offers Intimate Insights Into the Jazz World

Louis Armstrong, Hotel Room, Seattle, 1954. Gelatin silver print.
Milt Hinton The Milton J. Hinton Photographic Collection, milthinton.com

More eloquently than the written word—including even the prose of the great Ralph Ellison or the poetry of the legendary Langston Hughes—poetically expressive black-and-white photographs taken by gifted jazz photographers can capture the elusive but soulful essence of the music and its cradle-to-the-grave love affair with life.

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Remembrances
4:01 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Dance Music Legend Frankie Knuckles Dies At 59

Frankie Knuckles in 2007.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 10:45 am

Frankie Knuckles, a legend in the world of dance music and one of the inventors of house music, a steady, beat-driven style played in nightclubs all over the world, died unexpectedly at his Chicago home on Monday. He was 59.

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Tiny Desk Concert
8:31 am
Tue April 1, 2014

The Haden Triplets: Tiny Desk Concert

The Haden Triplets perform a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:42 pm

Petra, Rachel and Tanya Haden are three sisters in love with the art of singing. Born in 1971 to a famous musical father (Charlie Haden is a world-class upright jazz bassist), they've separately taken on vastly different music projects. You may have heard Petra with The Decemberists or tackling the music of The Who a cappella. Tanya plays in Let's Go Sailing, while Rachel sometimes turns up with The Rentals and other projects.

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Jazz Corridor
9:33 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Future Jazz Superstar Gives the Past a Present Voice

Cecile McLorin Salvant.
Dr. Steven Sussman

Exuding sophistication, swing, and hip maturity far beyond her mere 24 years, Cecile McLorin Salvant, a vocalist with pitch-perfect intonation, unerring enunciation, and a rainbow array of rich timbres, is dazzling the jazz world and beyond with her Grammy-nominated, widely and wildly acclaimed American debut album, WomanChild.

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Music Reviews
8:46 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Cécile McLorin Salvant: Making Old Songs New Again

Miami-born Cécile McLorin Salvant learned about improvisation and sang with her first band after moving to France in 2007.
J.R. Photography Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 3:46 pm

Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant was born in Miami to French and Haitian parents, and started singing jazz while living in Paris. Back in the U.S., she won the Thelonious Monk vocal competition in 2010. The 23-year-old's first album, WomanChild, is now out — and few jazz debuts by singers or instrumentalists make this big a splash.

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Hartford Arts Institutions
2:14 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Bushnell, Hartford Symphony Enter New Partnership

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford.
Credit Niels van Eck / Creative Commons

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra has entered into a major partnership with the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. It is called a "management services contractm" and it ushers in a new era for the HSO.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Remembering Ireland's Great Hunger; Asylum Saxophone Quartet

Irish Peasant Children, Daniel McDonald (1847)

This week, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, even if we aren’t Irish.

But sadly, this holiday meant to celebrate a heritage doesn’t really go too much deeper than green beer and shamrocks in the public consciousness.

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Hartford Symphony Orchestra
5:32 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

It's Homecoming Weekend For Former HSO Music Director Lankester

Michael Lankester led the Hartford Symphony from 1985 to 2000.
Credit Hartford Symphony Orchestra

British born conductor Michael Lankester was the music director of the Hartford Symphony from 1985 to 2000. During his tenure the orchestra flourished with a combination of exciting guest artists, like Yo Yo Ma and Marvin Hamlisch, and programs that mixed traditional works with more challenging avant-garde pieces. 

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Music
4:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Taek Gi Lee: Connecticut Student, Pianist Extraordinaire

South Kent School's Taek Gi Lee competing in the 10th Annual Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.
Credit South Kent School

Taking his seat on the stage of Hastings’ White Rock Theatre, Taek Gi Lee prayed to God. It was the final round of the Tenth Annual Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, which was held in England earlier this month, and the 17-year-old piano virtuoso was nervous. To his right, nearly 600 sets of eyes watched him with fervor. To his left, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra -- armed with bows, mallets, reeds, and brass -- awaited their cue to begin.

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Jazz Corridor
2:27 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Maestros Metheny and Charlap Return for Encore Performances

From left, Chris Potter, Giulio Carmassi, Ben Williams, Antonio Sanchez, and Pat Metheny.
Credit Pat Metheny

Pianist Bill Charlap and guitarist Pat Metheny, two consummate artists who can never wear out the welcome mat with their relatively frequent and invariably fine visits to the area, return once again to present their unique styles with their signature groups.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:21 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

A Salute to Irish Music with Martin Hayes

Martin Hayes is one of the world’s most creative and accomplished fiddlers, hailing from County Clare, Ireland.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The musician Christy Moore said Ireland could never have the equivalent of a folk revival because it never let its traditions lapse. And that's very true. The are probably other places in the world as deeply attached to their traditional music, but I don't know where they are.

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