Nickel Creek was perhaps the best-known acoustic music group of the late '90s and early 2000s. The band formed in 1989 in Carlsbad, Calif., when its three principal members — Chris Thile and siblings Sean and Sara Watkins — were still children.
Whistling polymath Andrew Bird has become a perennial favorite of folk-pop aficionados and classical fans alike. As a trained violinist and a longtime touring musician, he has a way of expertly melding many genres and influences into his own unique brand of baroque pop. Showcasing his impressive skills with the violin, guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel and vocals, Bird is a picture of versatility.
With still another triple-digit high in today's local forecast (are we there yet?), I have started a shortlist of hot-weather jazz cuts --- tunes to set spinning, perhaps, whilst pouring that umpteenth lemonade o'er ice on a Sunday afternoon and staring out at one's sun-bleached and scorching backyard.
Janet Feder came to NPR with an infant guitar, the curiosity of a child and a wild imagination. The guitar was just a couple of months old — hand made for her by Los Angeles-based guitarist and teacher Miroslav Tadic. It's a nylon-string baritone electric! Its player is diminutive — barely taking up any space behind Bob Boilen's desk. Yet, if you look closely, you'll see the products of her immense curiosity and imagination. A small split ring (like the kind you put your keys on) holds a metal bead in place on the top E string near the sound hole.
In 1964, John Coltrane moved from Queens, N.Y., to a brick ranch house on a 31/2 acre wooded lot in the quiet suburb of Dix Hills. This bucolic setting — 40 miles east of the city — is perhaps the last place you'd expect to find a musician creatingthe virtuosic jazz that Coltrane is famous for.
Vermont: Land of maple syrup, ski slopes, covered bridges and snow-capped mountains. Few people would associate the Green Mountain State with the didgeridoo, a wind instrument native to Australia. Until they've heard Michael "Tree" Sampson, that is.
Sampson's a one-man band who performs daily on Church Street in downtown Burlington.
Earlier this year, classical percussionist Mike Tetreault walked onstage at Symphony Hall in Boston for the audition of a lifetime: The Boston Symphony Orchestra was looking for not just one but two new percussionists.
People keep asking me why I recorded Sergei Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony for my first CD release in my new post leading the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra. The simple answer is that it just felt right. But in thinking about it, I can now see many parallels — at least for me — between Prokofiev's music, the city of Sao Paulo and the country of Brazil.
Sorry for the radio silence. More activity soon. Until then:
The 2013 NEA Jazz Masters were announced: Eddie Palmieri (pictured), Lou Donaldson, Mose Allison and Lorraine Gordon. All receive $25,000 and will be honored in a January 2013 ceremony. Four is the fewest number of awardees since 2004, but the program was slated to be cut in the first place last year, so ...