Avi Avital is one of the world's leading classical mandolinists, gracing concert halls from Tel Aviv to Munich to New York. But the young Israeli says he discovered the mandolin only by coincidence.
"When I was a kid, I had a neighbor who played the mandolin — the neighbor from upstairs," Avital tells NPR's Guy Raz. "It was one of those buildings where all the doors are open and all the neighbors are friends and more close than relatives. It was like one big family.
Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 12:32 pm
American soprano Evelyn Lear — whose roles ranged from title role in Berg's Lulu to Mozart to Sondheim — died at age 86 Monday at a nursing home, though the cause was not announced. (Her late husband of more than fifty years, the bass-baritone Thomas Stewart, died six years ago.)
In American-born producer Maga Bo's world, the berimbau — a type of bow native to Brazil — becomes an element in a time-traveling collage of organic sounds. On his new album, Quilombo do Futuro, vibrating strings, booming drumheads and vocal melodies that might go back centuries coexist with rhythmic sound effects and club-friendly beats.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:27 pm
With Supreme blogger Patrick Jarenwattananon on vacation, we asked jazz music directors from around public radio to highlight songs that have been in heavy rotation at their stations. Today's pick comes from Gary Walker, music director at WBGO in Newark, N.J.
Every July, fans of Latin alternative music gather in New York for the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) to see and hear their favorite bands and maybe catch a peek at artists who will become big stars.
For the third year, Alt.Latino is packing our bags for a week of panel discussions, musical showcases, and opportunities to meet and greet bands and industry folks.
At the Newport Jazz Festival, we're visiting the Quad and Harbor Stages, where the first rows of audience sit snug up to the performer. With her understated style, love of the lyric and freedom, Gretchen Parlato makes that closeness work. Everyone leans in and listens.
In a good jazz rhythm section, the players function independently and as one. Their parts and accents crisscross and reinforce each other, interlocking like West African drummers. Beyond that, the bass is a band's ground floor. When it changes up, the earth shifts under all the players' feet. From moment to moment, Linda Oh's bass prowls or gallops, takes giant downward leaps, or stands its ground.