music

Jazz Corridor
12:39 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Pianist Noah Baerman’s Art and Activism Overcome Adversity

Noah Baerman.
Credit Noah Baerman

With its heady mix of transcendence, activism, deep lyrical expression and soulful sense of swing, pianist/composer Noah Baerman’s triumphant new CD, Ripples, is one of the best and the brightest releases to grace our region in quite some time. It’s a bold, imaginative, inventive work that will, if there is any justice in the jazz world, have infinitely more than a rippling effect far beyond our borders along the Connecticut River.

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New Music
8:14 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Celebrating New Music, Diversity at the 2014 Women Composers Festival of Hartford

Members of the Sylvanus Ensemble, who performed at the 2014 Women Composers Festival of Hartford.
Credit Sylvanus Ensemble

Dissonant harmonies rattled the air of Hartford’s Charter Oak Cultural Center on Saturday evening as members of the Sylvanus Ensemble delivered a delightfully curated program of works by 20th- and 21st-century female composers. 

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Host's Diary
10:48 am
Fri March 7, 2014

The Walrus Was Marty: A Nose Worksheet

Fawcett Publications. Edited by August Derleth, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1969, I was a high school sophomore, and I fell completely -- and embarrassingly uncritically -- for the Paul Is Dead mania. My own interest was fueled by revelations from the previous academic year. Under the spell of a young teacher named Tyler C. Tingley, I had come to see that Beatles lyrics were stuffed with symbolism and multiple meaning.  

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Early Punk Pics
10:31 am
Fri March 7, 2014

A New Exhibit Focuses on New Haven's Punk Past

Tom Hearn captured this candid shot of Debbie Harry after a photo shoot for "Punk" magazine in 1977.
Tom Hearn

Part of The Elm City's rock and roll past will be on display in an exhibit opening Friday night at Cafe Nine in New Haven. It's called The Early Years of Punk in New Haven, and features the work of photographer Tom Hearn.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Mental Illness, Jayson Blair, and Women Composers

The Women Composers Festival of Hartford celebrates its 14th year at Hartford's Charter Oak Cultural Center.
Credit shadowslicer1 / Creative Commons

Life with bipolar disorder is not easy for anyone. For a prominent psychiatrist, it has provided a very important window into how to treat others. Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison from Johns Hopkins University joins us, author of the bestselling memoir about living with bipolar disorder, An Unquiet Mind. We talk to her in advance of her appearance at Friday night's Connecticut Forum.

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Jazz Corridor
3:00 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Bass Wizard Makes Side Door Swing Open

Dezron Douglas.
Credit Gulnara Khamatova / Dezron Douglas

A master of time, tone and fluent invention, bassist Dezron Douglas, one of Hartford’s great gifts to the jazz world, leads his quartet on consecutive nights on Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8, at the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme.

His primetime quartet features the premier pianist Cyrus Chestnut—Douglas’s longtime boss—the drummer Victor Lewis, a consummate synthesizer of subtlety and swing; and the smart saxophonist Lummie Spann, another one of Hartford’s Young Lions making a name for himself both on and beyond the New York jazz scene.

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Jazz Corridor
9:16 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Fats Waller Tribute Comes to Deep River

From left, Kevin Dorn, Bob Barta, and Dan Levinson of the sextet Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm.
Credit Jeff Barnhart

Countless musicians and band leaders over the decades have saluted Fats Waller, the legendary jazz pianist/composer/singer and comic showman whose exuberantly high-living lifestyle and robust artistry were cut short when he died from pneumonia at only 39 in 1943. 

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Host's Diary
5:30 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Most People Are DJs, But Sometimes It's Nice If They're Not

Credit C.P. Storm / Creative Commons

Last Sunday morning, I read with interest this essay by writer Beth Boyle Machlan on the joys of driving with her kids and listening to commercial radio -- the antithesis of the modern i-music experience which involves carefully choosing and curating one's own "playlists," and never subjecting oneself to anything as vulgar and top-down as listening to a whole bunch of songs picked out by other people. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:07 am
Fri February 21, 2014

The Nose Wipes Its Eyes, Blames the Fame, and Explores the Radio Dial

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

Last Sunday, we took a road trip into New York City, but before we left, I read Beth Boyle Machlan's New York Times essay about the joys she sometimes gets driving with her kids, and surrendering their collective eardrums to the serendipities of commercial radio. She learns some of their songs, they learn some of hers... Everybody gives up some of the fierce control we all maintain these days over what we call our "playlists."

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

New Releases From Goodnight Blue Moon and Daphne Lee Martin

Goodnight Blue Moon performed songs from their new EP, <em>A Girl I Never Met</em>
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we check back in with two musical acts that we’ve featured on the program before. Goodnight Blue Moon’s Elm City roots are evident in their music. Their new EP, A Girl I Never Met, features a song that’s based on a poem found in a Fair Haven history book. Goodnight Blue Moon join us in studio to talk about the new release and to play some music.

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Jazz Corridor
9:15 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Myths and Music Resonate at UMass Magic Triangle Series

Saxophonist Jason Robinson.
Credit Scott Friedlander

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Magic Triangle Jazz Series at the University of Massachusetts resonates with myth, magic and improvisational prestidigitation at 8:30 pm on Thursday, February 20, as the acclaimed saxophonist/composer/scholar Jason Robinson and his Janus Ensemble explore three of his new works and adventurous pieces from his latest, celebrated recording, Tiresian Symmetry.

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A Blog Supreme
6:09 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

After 18 Years Of Marriage And Two Children, A Couple Releases Their Debut Albums

Shamie Royston (left) and Rudy Royston, married for nearly two decades, have recently issued their own debut albums as bandleaders.
Mike Molaire/John Rogers for NPR

The basic story behind drummer Rudy Royston's first album sounds like that of many sidemen in jazz. He moved to the New York area. His talent got him into bands led by higher-profile artists like Bill Frisell, JD Allen, Ben Allison and Dave Douglas. And when it came time to document his own composing and arranging, he could rely on the network he had tapped into. Douglas issued Royston's album 303 earlier this month on his own record label, Greenleaf Music.

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Same as It Ever Was
8:22 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Art Exhibit Draws Inspiration From Talking Heads Song

Lisa Daly, Into the Blue Again, photograph

As a first-time curator, Stephen Grant “kind of did it maybe,” in his words, “backwards.” Rather than base his debut show on specific artists and media, Grant started with a concept, a theme.

Having read David Byrne’s part-memoir, part-textbook, How Music Works, Grant was inspired by Byrne’s own seemingly endless desire to be inspired. “I wanted to create a show that embodied that attitude,” Grant said, so he based it on and named it for a classic song from Byrne’s Talking Heads days, “Once in a Lifetime.”

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Jazz Corridor
5:45 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Crooner Wade Visits Hartford

Adam Wade, now and then.
Credit Adam Wade/Orbit Records

Besides being the first African-American to host a network TV game show, the versatile crooner/actor Adam Wade has enjoyed a more than half-century career crowned by countless appearances on stage, screen, and television, and a glorious, too brief flurry of chart-busting recordings in the 1960s. Among his hit singles was his tuneful trifecta of romantic ballads in 1961, "Take Good Care of Her," "As If I Didn’t Know," and "The Writing on the Wall." 

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Earworms Wanted
1:50 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

The Worst Songs Of All Time?

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:57 pm

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Symphonies
3:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Minnesota Orchestra Ends 15-Month Work Stoppage

Credit roibu/iStock / Thinkstock

After a 15-month lockout, the longest work stoppage for any symphony orchestra in U.S. history, the Minnesota Orchestra performed its first homecoming concert last week.

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The Beatles
10:55 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Beatlemania! When The Fab Four Rocked The Lunchroom

I want to hold your lunch! This 1965 lunchbox — considered "one of the Holy Grails" of lunchbox collecting — sold for $936.10 in 2013. It came with a thermos. Another mint condition sample sold for $1,625 last fall.
Courtesy of Hake's Americana & Collectibles

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 3:18 pm

The Beatles are not only considered the top of the heap when it comes to musical acts of the 20th century, they're also apparently the kings of the lunchbox.

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Reggae's Royal Family
7:30 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

A Reggae Romp For The Family, With Marley's Music At Heart

Shy Jamaican boy Ziggy (Jobari Parker-Namdar) and his friend Nansi (Brittany Williams) are main characters in Three Little Birds, an off-Broadway musical driven by Bob Marley's infectious reggae songs — and created by his daughter Cedella Marley.
Michael Horan New Victory Theater

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:04 pm

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:49 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

50 Years of The Beatles!

The Beatles in 1964 at Kennedy Airport.
Credit United Press International / Creative Commons

In February of 1964, the Beatles appeared not once, but on three consecutive Sunday nights on "The Ed Sullivan Show," attracting what was the the largest audience in television history, and still might be the largest percentage of all possible viewers. To some of us, the whole thing is still kind of exciting 50 years later. But why?

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Jazz Corridor
11:55 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Vocalist Gazarek Blends Candor and Genuine Feeling in Her Performance

Sara Gazarek.
Credit Sara Gazarek

At a time when many aspiring, young vocalists mistake blaring volume and grating gymnastics as the height of heartfelt artistic expression, Sara Gazarek, a savvy, swinging singer of exquisite taste, bright wit and creative vitality, is a welcome breath of fresh air. She’s a voice of reason amid the sound and the fury signifying not much of anything.

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Cabin Fever
10:25 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Trade Your Snow Boots For Dance Shoes, And Just Press Play

For our Cabin Fever playlist, we asked for songs that get your blood pumping and body moving, despite weeks of cold, gray days
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:06 pm

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:13 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

An Ode to Opera

Willie Waters is the former director of Connecticut Opera.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Last fall, 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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Power of Music
11:23 am
Fri January 31, 2014

When We First Met "Baby"

Nancy Matlack Elligers on cello with Goodnight Blue Moon.
Chion Wolf WNPR

"This song is about unrequited love - loving someone that just won't be able to give it back to you," said Goodnight Blue Moon's Erik Elligers. He's talking about a song off his band's new EP A Girl I Never Met called "Baby" and it's a song that has special meaning for us at WNPR.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri January 31, 2014

New Releases From Goodnight Blue Moon and Daphne Lee Martin

Goodnight Blue Moon performed songs from their new EP, <em>A Girl I Never Met</em>
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we check back in with two musical acts that we’ve featured on the program before. Goodnight Blue Moon’s Elm City roots are evident in their music. Their new EP is called, A Girl I Never Met and it features a song that’s based on a poem found in a Fair Haven history book. Goodnight Blue Moon join us in-studio to talk about the new release and to play some music.

We're also be joined by another Connecticut musician: Daphne Lee Martin. Her upcoming album Frost is a follow-up to last year’s Moxie, which we featured on the show last year. Daphne joins us to talk about Frost and to catch up on her success since she last joined us.

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Performance
6:48 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Opera Composed at a WWII Concentration Camp is Performed in New London

A scene from "Der Kaiser von Atlantis."
John Waller

An opera written by a Jewish composer while in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II will be performed this weekend in Connecticut. In an egregious bit of Nazi Propaganda, the concentration camp known as Theresienstadt was falsely presented to the world as a model Jewish settlement.

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Music
2:31 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

'Spirit Of Family' Unites Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Darren Phillip Jones

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:58 am

For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.

The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.

That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.

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Music
11:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Perform in Connecticut This Weekend

Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The group will perform at UConn on February 1 at 8:00 pm.
Credit Lulis Leal

The South African a capella vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be in Connecticut this weekend. The group began performing over 50 years ago during the period of apartheid, and became a worldwide sensation after performing on Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album in the 1980s. 

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Folk Aboard
3:32 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

My Road Trip With Pete Seeger

"This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender."
Credit Joseph Holmes / Creative Commons

It was the 1980s and I was a busy musician in New York City. Mine was an eclectic musical life as both a violinist and singer. One day I was seated in a chamber orchestra playing classical violin, the next I was gigging on my electric fiddle and singing back-up in a folk/Latin band.

One day, Mike, the leader of a folk band I played with, called to say that he and I were going to drive Pete Seeger to a music festival in Washington, D.C.

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This is your brain on music!
10:50 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Watkinson Extended Play: Using Music as Medicine

The crowd at Watkinson School.
Chion Wolf WNPR

There is nothing particularly new about the idea that music can be a palliative or a distraction from pain or physical discomfort associated with illness. But over the last 25 years or so, we’ve seen a rising tide of interest in some that lies well beyond that -- a frontier where music’s actual therapeutic and even, curative powers can be discovered.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:45 am
Wed January 29, 2014

The Healing Power of Music: Colin McEnroe at Watkinson School

Kate Callahan and her band play at Watkinson School.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A lot of interconnected things were happening in the 1990s, an oncologist and hematologist  named Mitchell Gaynor discovered trough a Tibetan monk, the so-called singing bowls and began incorporating them into the guided meditation and breathing work he did with his patients.

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