music

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.

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.

Lake Street Dive On Mountain Stage

May 5, 2014

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.

Joan Marcus

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

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. 

The Bee Trucker Song

Apr 29, 2014

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

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.

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."

Quilt: Tiny Desk Concert

Apr 26, 2014

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.

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.

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.

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.

Robert Ellis On World Cafe

Apr 23, 2014

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).

13 Jazz Artists Awarded Over $1.7 Million

Apr 23, 2014

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.

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.

End May Be Near For Hartford Cabaret Series

Apr 20, 2014
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.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

5 Points Where Poetry Meets Jazz

Apr 11, 2014

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."

First Listen: 'The Space Project'

Apr 11, 2014

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.

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

Apr 10, 2014
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.

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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