music

Jazz Corridor
11:19 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Blues Legend Spotlights Young Saxophonist’s Soulful Side at Collinsville’s Bridge Street Live

Grace Kelly

If you’re looking for a house-rocking, soul-drenched, exuberantly emotional concert, the place to be is Collinsville’s Bridge Street Live on Thursday, December 18, as blues master James Montgomery and his super blues band jam with the skyrocketing, young jazz saxophonist Grace Kelly in a funk-filled funfest.

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Christmas Angelicus
2:03 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

A Connecticut Holiday Music Tradition Continues This Weekend

Chorus Angelicus.
chorusangelicus.com

In 1990, when five-time Grammy Winner Paul Halley left NYC for the northwest corner of Connecticut, he formed the acclaimed children's choir Chorus Angelicus, and it's adult counterpart Gaudeamus. 

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Live Music
1:40 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

The Meadows Brothers Perform at WNPR

Ian Meadows of The Meadows Brothers, who sings and plays guitar.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Connecticut-based music duo The Meadows Brothers recently visited WNPR's Where We Live to perform and record some live music. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Connecticut Photographer Creates Historical Tintypes; The Meadows Brothers Perform

Ty Morin's tintype of John Dankosky.
Chion Wolf WNPR

If you've ever seen a photograph from the Civil War era, there's a good chance it was created using a process known as tintype photography. These pictures are honest and organic in nature, and they're beginning to make a comeback within the modern photography world. 

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Metcalf on Music
8:58 am
Thu December 11, 2014

"Peter Pan": a Critique of Pure Snark

Peter Pan and the Lost Boys in NBC's recent live televised production of "Peter Pan."
NBC

Unless you were marooned on an ice floe last week, you know that NBC brought forth its second live broadcast of a musical in as many years.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

A Little Jealousy is Good for Us All

Look Into My Eyes Creative Commons

In his new book, Jealousy, Peter Toohey explores the lesser talked about side of the green-eyed monster. That is, he takes a look at some of the ways that jealousy can actually be good for us. 

This hour, Peter joins us for a panel discussion about jealousy's impact on creativity. We take a look at how the emotion has fueled some of society's greatest books, plays, songs, and paintings -- and discuss what these works, in turn, tell us about ourselves. 

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Jazz Corridor
6:51 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Jazz Icon Lee Konitz Performs Two Shows at New Haven’s Firehouse 12

Lee Konitz.
Facebook

For even as distinguished a venue as New Haven’s Firehouse 12, presenting the iconic, brilliant, forever bold 87-year-old alto saxophonist/composer Lee Konitz in separate shows at 8:30 and 10:00 pm on Friday, December 12, is a real coup.

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Local Music
2:22 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

The Soothing Sounds of Northampton's Winterpills

Winterpills members Philip Price and Flora Reed in WNPR's studios.
Heather Brandon WNPR

Colin McEnroe has been working for an age to get Winterpills to appear on his show. A new album was recently released by the band, Echolalia, allowing WNPR a perfect reason at last to bring in members Philip Price and Flora Reed.

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Lady Cora Jams
1:35 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Downton's Elizabeth McGovern Plays Sadie at Hartford's Infinity Hall

Elizabeth McGovern fronts the band Sadie and the Hotheads.
Sky Arts sadieandthehotheads.com

Elizabeth McGovern doesn't want her role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, to overshadow her identity as a musician. But she does admit it drives people to come see her band. Sadie and the Hotheads have just released a new album, Still Waiting. They'll be at Hartford's Infinity Hall on December 14.

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Night Folk
8:05 am
Tue December 9, 2014

The Music Midnight Makes: In Conversation With Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell in 1970.
Henry Diltz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:20 am

It turns out that Joni Mitchell keeps the same hours as the Morning Edition staff. She recently showed up at NPR's studio in Culver City, Calif., just before midnight to discuss Love Has Many Faces, a four-disc collection of songs dating back to the 1960s.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Elizabeth McGovern's Sadie and the Hotheads, and Winterpills

Elizabeth McGovern at the screening of the restored version of "Once upon a time in America" at the Cannes Film Festival.
Credit JJ Georges / Creative Commons

Casting is an underrated art. There used to be an Academy Award for it, and there probably still should be. We honor actors, but not the people who pick the perfect actor for the role, so that actor doesn't have to act quite so much.

"Downton Abbey" is immaculately cast, and the choice of Elizabeth McGovern to play Cora, the Countess of Grantham, seems especially nuanced and inspired. Cora is an American Jew, a transplant to English nobility, who wears all the status and tradition comfortably without fully buying into it. McGovern herself is a transplant, married to a British director for 22 years, long enough to slip effortlessly into Cora's skin.

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Agriculture
7:30 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Organic Farmers Bring Back Song to the Fields

Rodger Phillips and his wife, Isabelle, run Sub-Edge Farm in Farmington, Connecticut.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

Work songs can be found around the world, sung by a variety of laborers from field workers to fishermen. 

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Opera at Infinity
12:39 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Opera and Lobster Hushpuppies at Hartford's Infinity Hall

CLO's production of Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier"
Connecticut Lyric Opera

Grand opera returns to Hartford after a five-year hiatus.

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Metcalf on Music
9:01 am
Thu December 4, 2014

December Music Hither and Yon, Mostly Hither

Hartford Independant Chamber Orchestra
Bill Morgan Media, LLC

Thanksgiving week brought a brief lull, but from now until Christmas, the local concert schedule is busier than a Rich Rosenthal eatery.

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Arts Funding
2:44 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Connecticut Arts Organizations Receive NEA Grants

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is among the organizations receiving NEA grants.
Nathan Turner Litchfield Jazz Festival

Several performing arts and literary publications in Connecticut have been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, totaling $290,000.

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Calling All Musicians
12:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Introducing Our Tiny Desk Concert Contest

Introducing our Tiny Desk Concert Contest.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 10:30 am

Want to play a Tiny Desk Concert? Now's your chance: NPR Music and Lagunitas are holding a contest, and the winner gets to perform at my desk here at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:37 am
Tue December 2, 2014

The Plight of the Composeress

Paula Matthusen.
Chion Wolf WNPR

For centuries, female composers have often found themselves overshadowed by their male counterparts. Take Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Alma Mahler, for example. Their names don't roll off the tongue quite as easily as Felix Mendelssohn, J.S. Bach, and Gustav Mahler's do. 

But why?

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Metcalf on Music
5:36 am
Thu November 27, 2014

The Ten All-Time Best Christmas Songs (of All Time)

Marta Crowe Creative Commons

Last week, while discussing some of classical music’s great Christmas works, I casually mentioned that I might want to extend the conversation to the pop music side.

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Music Technology
5:13 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Pandora's New Deal: Different Pay, Different Play

David Lowery, of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, says he's wary of the way Pandora pays for music.
Cooper Neill Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 12:18 pm

The Internet radio service Pandora made its name by creating personalized stations using tools such as "like" and "dislike" buttons for listeners. But a deal between Pandora and a group of record labels has raised concerns that the company is favoring certain songs over others because it's paying the musicians behind those songs a smaller royalty.

When Pandora emerged a decade ago, its big selling point over traditional radio was that it created a station just for you, as the company's Eric Bieschke told NPR last year.

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

Celebrating Local Stories: Quilters, Singers, and Sweethearts

Joe Hudson.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When Laura and Joe Hudson moved to Bristol, Connecticut, they brought with them some of their Southern traditions. 

For Laura, that tradition was quilt-making. For Joe, it was singing gospel music. 

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Metcalf on Music
8:57 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Christmas Music: There's a Lot More Than "Messiah"

Hartford Chorale performs Handel's "Messiah."
Hartford Chorale

Merry Christmas!

Oh, sorry – too soon?

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Jazz Corridor
7:41 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Pianist Fred Hersch Leads Tight-Knit Trio at Historic Chester Meeting House

Fred Hersch.
John Rogers

A rare artistic species, the great pianist/composer Fred Hersch is a true original, as independent a voice and as rugged and self-reliant an individual creating in the American grain as, say, Henry David Thoreau or Walt Whitman, Bill Evans or Thelonious Monk.

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Middlefield
9:15 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Making Music Together: The Eastern Connecticut Recorder Society

The Eastern Connecticut Recorder Society practices together in Middlefield.
Diane Orson WNPR

Amateur musicians have loved playing music since the word was first derived from the Latin - ‘amare’ – meaning ‘to love’.  Once a month in Connecticut,  a group of amateur recorder players meet to improve their technique and sight-read skills, and to enjoy the experience of making music.

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Music
4:46 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

What's a Lautenwerk? Find Out at Annual Concert in Hartford

The keyboard of Edward Clark's lautenwerk.
Ray Hardman WNPR

This Friday night, Concora presents a concert featuring keyboard music from the time of Johann Sebastian Bach.

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Metcalf on Music
6:56 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Puccini: Don't Forget the Kleenex

Giacomo Puccini.
Creative Commons

The first truly modern composer?

Stravinsky? Schoenberg?

I say a case can be made for Giacomo Puccini.

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Jazz Corridor
8:09 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Guitar Gods Rule Supreme From Worcester to Hartford and Norfolk

Pat Metheny
Credit Jimmy Katz

Guitar gods Pat Metheny, a master maker of melody and texture, and the thunderous, Thor-like, lightning-tossing duo of Eric Johnson and Mike Stern rule supreme in the next few days in the Jazz Corridor with individual appearances ranging from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Hartford and Norfolk.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Is America Still Awash in a Sea of Twee?

Credit Thai Weber / Flickr Creative Commons

This is one of those shows where you may start by saying, "huh?"  But with any luck, 30 minutes from now, you'll start to say, "Oh!" 

I got interested in the word "twee" and in the idea that it's a mostly undocumented cross-platform artistic movement.

There is no question that, in the 1990s, a musical movement called "twee pop" arose, first in England, spearheaded by a label called Sarah Records. Acts like The Field Mice and Talulah Gosh were embraced as twee by fans who wore their twee-ness with pride.

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Spotlight on the Arts
10:59 am
Tue November 11, 2014

How One Connecticut School Went From Funeral Parlor to Top Arts School in the Nation

Choreographer's Showcase 2013, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.
GHAA

Nearly 20 years ago, I made my first visit to the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts at its original site, just past Colt Park in Hartford, heading south on Wethersfield Avenue.

I pulled into a parking lot protected by a tall, chain-linked fence. It acted like a divider between a worn-out apartment building in the deteriorating neighborhood, and the old funeral parlor that had been resurrected as Hartford’s arts magnet high school.

The school has come a long way since then. Last month, it was honored as the nation’s top arts school by the Arts Schools Network.

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Music
11:19 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Celebrating Composer Irving Fine

Irving Fine at Tanglewood in 1962.
Library of Congress

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer Irving Fine. Concerts and celebrations are taking place in New York, Washington, and coming up this weekend, here in Connecticut.

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Metcalf on Music
7:41 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Pump Down the Volume

Noise can hurt.
Dishpig Eldritch

Music can theoretically unfold at every conceivable volume, from barely audible to ear-splitting. Increasingly, however, for reasons that I sort of understand but not entirely, music these days tends to be experienced at one of two basic levels: Loud, and Insanely Loud.

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