music

Mike Dunphy

When jazz vocalist Dianne Mower makes her way through a jam-packed house onto the tiny Japanalia stage on Saturday night in Hartford’s West End, odds are it will be an emotional and unifying moment for everyone within earshot.

David Borawski

After a triumphant five-year run that offered a sparkling array of top live cabaret entertainment in Hartford, the flamboyant, innovative impresario/fashion-designer Dan Blow wraps up his popular Music@Japanalia Series at 7:30 pm on Saturday, June 28, with a grand finale performance by the noted, Hartford-based diva Dianne Mower.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Each year, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center honors people whose writing advances social justice and inspires action. This year, the two winners of the Student Stowe Prize crafted essays on two issues that are very important in 2014.

Madeline Sachs, a high school student from Chicago, spoke on the inequity of juvenile sentencing standards, an issue that’s important as Connecticut lawmakers grapple with -- and still fail to implement -- a new law to come into compliance with a Supreme Court ruling on the issue. We hear some of her presentation and talk with a civil rights lawyer.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Maybe you think of the banjo as primarily a bluegrass instrument, but try not to forget that prior to about 1830, it was played pretty much exclusively by African-Americans, and it seems to have as ancestors several African instruments. 

Hör∂ur Sveinsson

In an international cultural coup d’etat this weekend, highly-skilled jazz performers from Iceland and Israel roll into Old Lyme to seize absolute emotional and aesthetic control over at The Side Door Jazz Club, the Connecticut shoreline’s key strategic jazz center.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas is back! The theme of this year's festival is "Transformation and Tradition," and runs from this past Saturday through June 28. You don't want to miss it.

John Dankosky and Where We Live will brighten your breakfast with a performance of a "comic-rap-scrap metal musical." They're just getting started. You also hear about corsets, bicycles, and hunter-gatherers.

Brittany Hill / WNPR

Today we make our annual trip to one of our favorite shows each year - broadcast live from the International Festival of Arts and Ideas -- a fifteen-day celebration of arts and creativity in downtown New Haven. Each year, the festival fills the city with live music, theater, film, lectures, tours, and conversation.

linda369369 / YouTube

Beatboxer Shodekeh has the skills to improvise along with a symphony. How does he do it?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It has been a strange week for mixing gay right, media, and politics. Texas Governor Rick Perry surprised a San Francisco audience when he said, "I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at homosexual issues the same way." Anderson Cooper had an edgy conversation with a Texas -- what is it about Texas? -- state rep who supports the so-called "conversion therapy."

The New Sounds Of Brazil: Artists To Watch

Jun 12, 2014
Terra Tractus

A multi-media spectacle of light, music, theater and dance begins performances next week inside the Stony Creek quarry along Connecticut’s shoreline. 

Eliseo Cardona

With his ability to pluck and bow powerful portraits of emotions ranging from the foot-stomping, rustic joy of a barn-packed hoedown (think of robust Regionalist murals by Thomas Hart Benton) to the contemporary solitude and loneliness of an urban dark night of the soul in New York City (think of Edward Hopper’s loners), Erik Friedlander is a one-of-a-kind cellist/composer.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Most of us don't have time to sift through the endless amount of content on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and Soundcloud...but luckily, we don't have to.

Ville Säävuori / Creative Commons

It's hard to believe that 2014 is almost half over, and there is so much music you may have missed. Luckily, "The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd" is picking up the slack. If that ABBA's Greatest Hits album is starting to bore you, Anthony Fantano gives you some suggestions for new music.

Do you prefer your music to be locally grown? Chip McCabe also joins us to preview the Connecticut Music Awards, which highlights some of the very best Connecticut music each year.

Shana Sureck / WNPR

The little seaside town of Stonington has a storied reputation when it comes to one historic instrument. For the last 40 years, it's been a center of harpsichord production.

Linda Oh / Facebook

Linda Oh, the phenomenal young bassist who was born in Malaysia to Chinese parents, and raised in Western Australia, performs music from her acclaimed, atmospheric and aptly-named CD, Sun Pictures, as she leads her quartet at 8:30 and 10:00 pm on Friday, June 6, at Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street in New Haven.

The Cause

Jun 3, 2014
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.

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? 

Diane Orson / WNPR

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.   

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?”

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.

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.

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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