The Stradivarius violin gets its name from master craftsman Antonio Stradivari. When he died in 1737, his secrets died with him: No one has ever been able to duplicate the sound of the violins or violas he made.
His instruments have taken on a mythical quality. Today they fetch millions of dollars at auctions; Sotheby's will soon auction off a viola that it expects to sell for $45 million.
Blessed with perfect pitch and a resonant voice, vocalist and pianist Diane Schuur received her training at the Washington State School for the Blind. Today, Schuur is a two-time Grammy winner who has performed at Carnegie Hall and the White House.
Clint Eastwood is best known for his work in Hollywood, but he's also a composer and jazz aficionado. Combining his love of both art forms, he's included classic jazz recordings in his films — including Play Misty for Me, which features the famous Errol Garner ballad.
The late composer/arranger/bandleader Henry Mancini would've turned 90 last month; he died at 70 of pancreatic cancer. Much like Quincy Jones, who turned 81 in March, Mancini had a legendary and stylistically diverse tenure in American music, from hip jazz and chart-topping pop to crossover projects and big-band charts and configurations extraordinaire, with lots of award-winning TV and film scoring along the way.
Sean Keane appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.
Born into the famous musical Keane family of Caherlistrane in the north of County Galway, Sean Keane began singing with the Keane Family Ceilidh Band when he was a toddler; he learned the traditional sean-nós style of singing from his mother and his aunts. Today, he remains one of the few Irish singers to incorporate the style, which is a precursor to unaccompanied Appalachian ballad singing.
This April, acoustic guitarist and songwriter Ryley Walker released his debut album, All Kinds Of You, on Tompkins Square Records. The Chicago resident takes inspiration from 1960s folk stars like Bert Jansch and Tim Hardin, and you can also hear hints of Walker's past in free jazz in the way he plays.
Listen to the promising — and funny — guitarist speak with World Cafe host David Dye and perform three songs in our studio.
A new Bob Dylan recording popped up on his site just now. You have to go there to hear it — it's a version of the classic 1945 song, "Full Moon and Empty Arms." The tune is written by Buddy Kaye — known for writing hits for Sinatra, Ella and Elvis — and Ted Mossman, and based on Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.