Music

News of the classical, jazz, and XPoNential worlds

Join us for the next All This Jazz, starting at 9pm on Saturday the 12th, right here on KWGS / Public Radio Tulsa.

On this decidedly Mom-Centric Weekend, our program’s third-hour theme -- running from 11pm till midnight -- will be Jazz for Mother's Day. Thus we'll hear "Mother Mercy" by Andrew Hill, "Mother's Song" by Gregory Porter, and "Momma" by Sean Jones, to name just a few. And elsewhere in our show, we'll dig the music of Eddie Daniels, Duke Ellington, The String Trio of New York, Brew Moore, Keith Jarrett, and more. Join us!

Virginia Mayhew On Piano Jazz

May 11, 2018

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Virginia Mayhew has appeared in major New York jazz venues from the Blue Note to Carnegie Hall, toured internationally and twice represented the U.S. as a Jazz Ambassador. She is also an active jazz educator and founded the Greenwich House Music School Jazz Workshop.

On this 1998 episode of Piano Jazz, Mayhew and McPartland join forces to perform "All the Things You Are" and "Body and Soul." They wrap up the show with a free piece, improvised live in studio, and McPartland closes the hour with "Darn that Dream."

The Weather Station On Mountain Stage

May 11, 2018

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Tamara Lindeman is the principal force behind The Weather Station, known for pairing her narrative songwriting skills with topical matters and subtle reflections of everyday life.

Accompanied by William Kidman on guitar and keys, Ben Whiteley on bass, and Ian Kehoe on drums, The Weather Station's sound can easily trace back to Joni Mitchell — but Lindeman is her own artist, with a distinct viewpoint and ability to weave a powerful story from it.

Live on Classical Tulsa: The Catalyst Quartet

May 11, 2018
The Catalyst Quartet: violinists Karla Donehew Perez and Jessie Montgomery, cellist Karlos Rodriguez and violist Paul Laraia
Frank Christel

This week, the Catalyst Quartet was in town to perform for all of the fourth graders in the Tulsa Public Schools as part of Chamber Music Tulsa's contribution to the Any Given Child program.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton takes a quick run through May 11's essential album releases with NPR Music's Felix Contreras, Jewly Hight, Tom Huizenga, Lyndsey McKenna and Stephen Thompson. Featured albums include the irresistible pop of Charlie Puth, classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein, early folk recordings from The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, infectious guitar rock from Illuminati Hotties and more.

A very pregnant Abigail Washburn points to Bela Fleck at the Tiny Desk and says "and just so you know, this is his fault." I won't spoil the video by telling you his response.

It isn't typically news when a jazz group makes a change in personnel. But The Bad Plus isn't a typical jazz group, and its announcement, this time last year, landed like a bombshell. In short: Ethan Iverson, the band's pianist, would be leaving to pursue his own projects. Orrin Evans, an esteemed peer, would be stepping in. For a group that has always stood for musical collectivism — and never accepted any substitutions — this was a shakeup of existential proportions.

In the 2010 documentary Agadez, The Music And The Rebellion, director Ron Wyman explores the culture of the Tuareg people of North Africa — specifically their music. As pointed out in the film, one name has become synonymous with Tuareg music. The guitarist and singer-songwriter Bombino, born Omara Moctar, grew up amid the social, political and economic unrest in the Sahara in the 1980s and '90s.

On the day we talked to him, Joshua Hedley came into the studio with a cold; he was all apologies and sniffles, a cough chasing his hello. Yet when the longtime Nashville favorite entered the recording booth, a seeming miracle occurred. His trademark tenor emerged clean, warm, and on point, rounding out each note beautifully within his classic country songs.

New phases are the unseen forces of life. In persons, in movements, they are the quietly unfolding moments and soul detritus that build momentum over time, only revealed as a crescent of new being. That's the poetry of a new moon, a solar body that exists, but is invisible to the unaided eye, and only rarely illuminated by an eclipse.

After a 14-year absence, Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited rocked until dawn at Glamis Arena, an open-air stadium packed with some 20,000 fans of three generations. Mapfumo — Mukanya to his fans, a reference to his totem, the baboon — moved his family out of the country in 2000, to escape turmoil and harassment under the regime of Robert Mugabe.

Imagine you're at a party with your most favorite music geek friends. The conversations range from favorite new albums, and favorite Smiths or Belle and Sebastian B-sides to best Neil Young guitar solos and Drake features. Then comes the big one: What was the greatest year in music? That's a question that we discuss and debate regularly in the World Cafe offices.

Listen for the next All This Jazz -- beginning at 9pm on Saturday the 5th, right here on KWGS / Public Radio Tulsa -- when our thematic hour (running from 11pm till midnight) will be T.V. Themes. We'll hear jazz greats as varied as Sarah Vaughan, Gary Burton, Woody Shaw, Benny Golson, and Lalo Schifrin performing television tunes from yesteryear as well as today. And elsewhere in our program, we'll dig Art Farmer, Carla Bley, Dan Tepfer, Wayne Shorter, Giacomo Gates, and more.

Last month, the National Endowment for the Arts crowned four new NEA Jazz Masters, including Todd Barkan, a jazz advocate whose early interest in Latin jazz piano turned into a successful five-decade career as a prominent impresario, club owner and record producer. Guitarist Pat Metheny continues to redefine the parameters of his instrument through innovative technique and signature sound. Pianist Joanne Brackeen's unique style commands attention, and Dianne Reeves has become one of the world's preeminent jazz vocalists, whose genius in retrospect seems ceaseless.

James McMurtry On Mountain Stage

May 4, 2018

Texas-based singer and songwriter James McMurtry has been a favorite at Mountain Stage since he made his first appearance on the program in 1989. Host Larry Groce notes in his introduction that McMurtry "can create a character, set a scene and give you the kind of details and feelings that make you have an experience instead of just listening to a song."

Even though the world will eventually come to an end, there's still beauty and hope in all of us and in song. That about sums up the wistful mystery that is the music of Darlingside. The quartet brought dystopian storytelling wrapped in choral harmony with this performance at the Tiny Desk. Their singing is layered on a bed of percussive and melodic tones, made with guitars both acoustic and electric, violin, cello, mandolin and a tiny synthesizer.

This month, Chamber Music Tulsa brings the exciting Catalyst Quartet to Tulsa to introduce chamber music to all of the fourth graders in the Tulsa Public Schools system. But you don't have to be in grade school to hear a special live performance by the quartet in our studios on the May 11 episode of KWTU’s Classical Tulsa!

In 2011, Alejando Rose-Garcia burst onto the scene armed with a guitar and suitcase kick drum and released his first album as Shakey Graves. Seven years later, he's about to release his latest studio album, Can't Wake Up, out on May 4. It's a record that explores themes of death and dying, sleep and sleeplessness, and it has the most interesting sonic landscape to match the lyrical content.

Aspiring orchestral musicians have long known that the road to a professional career is arduous and paved with risks. But new research from the U.K. shows that even attaining the brass ring of an orchestral job does not necessarily provide financial security. In fact, even with salaried, full-time employment, many British orchestral musicians are struggling to pay their bills.

Jade Bird is a whirlwind of talent, energy and spunk. Her raw and robust voice is a prominent feature on most of her songs. It's here, in this solo piano ballad "If I Die" where you can hear the 20-year-old's voice and musical talent shine.

SET LIST

  • "If I Die"

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


For as long as humans have roamed the earth, forests have captivated a special slice of our collective human imagination. From hot, wet jungles to dry, snowy taigas, forests are sites of refuge, mystery and abundance.

Eliane Elias On Piano Jazz

May 1, 2018

Brazilian pianist, composer, and vocalist Eliane Elias grew up with an affinity for both the music of her home country as well as American jazz. She got her start performing with two renowned Brazilian artists, singer-songwriter Toquinho and poet Vinicius de Moraes, before moving to New York in the 1980s, where she took the American jazz scene by storm.

From the sounds of blues guitarist and singer Lead Belly to recordings of Southwestern Woodhouse Toads, Smithsonian Folkways has been capturing the sounds of global history for the past 70 years. These recordings are among 60,000 treasured tracks the label has in its library — and it promises they'll never go out of print — from the labor songs of Woody Guthrie and children's songs of Ella Jenkins to New Orleans hot jazz, songs of the civil rights movement, the Honk Horn music of Ghana and so much more.

This past fall, when news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal was galvanizing the #MeToo movement, some of us who work in the performing arts had a peculiar experience: Colleagues started asking if they'd sexually harassed us. A few of these colleagues may have been attempting to head off allegations, but many of them genuinely didn't know if they'd crossed a line.

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