As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, All Things Considered concludes its series about the moments that defined the historic summer of 1963. Back in 1999, Noah Adams explored the history and legacy of the song "We Shall Overcome" for the NPR 100. The audio link contains a condensed version of that piece.
Sam Baker has a backstory that must be told. In 1986, at age 31, he was traveling by train in Peru when a bomb from the terrorist group Shining Path exploded right next to him. The little girl he'd been talking to was killed along with half a dozen others, and his own injuries required 18 operations. His mangled left hand was rebuilt; work on his ears left him with a loud ringing that never stops, though Baker says he's made his peace with it.
Bernard Crusell, a virtuoso clarinetist, a conductor, and the best known Finnish composer before Sibelius composed music rooted in the late classical era showing the influence, in particular of Mozart. The clarinet writing as found in his Clarinet Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op 2 is not surprisingly, quite idiomatic as well as soloistic; the Quartet emerging as a virtual concertante with strings. Clarinetist Chad Burrow, violinist Katrin Stamatis, violist Mark Neumann and cellist Jonathan Ruck perform the work on the third evening of the Festival.
Sarah Jarosz was still in high school when she signed her record deal, and she released her debut album (2009's Song Up In Her Head) shortly thereafter, but the versatile bluegrass star seemed to emerge fully formed. For one thing, the 22-year-old keeps her music sounding warmly pretty — and rooted in accessibly poppy folk — rather than focusing solely on her Grammy-nominated instrumental chops.
The British classical magazine Gramophone announced today the latest round of winners of its annual awards, now in their 90th year. With an expansive roll call of noteworthy albums ranging from early music to opera, the Gramophone Award honorees represent a tantalizing range of musical achievement — but it's a smaller array than in years past.
On a recent Sunday afternoon, 15 members of the Renaissance Street Singers gathered under a bridge in New York's Central Park. With little fanfare, they launched into a free, two-hour concert of music by Palestrina, des Prez and other composers who lived more than 500 years ago.
An essayist, cultural theorist, novelist, educator and biographer who died on August 18 at 97, Albert Murray spent more than five decades developing his thesis that America is a culturally miscegenated nation. His contention was that blacks are part white, and vice versa: that both races, in spite of slavery and racism, have borrowed from and created each other. In all of his writing, jazz music — derived from the blues idiom of African-Americans — was the soundtrack at the center of his aesthetic conception.
Two jazz-piano masters passed away earlier this week; Marian McPartland (shown here) was 95, and Cedar Walton was 79. Both had remarkably lengthy and highly influential careers in the music, as players as well as composers, and we'll be hearing a few different recordings by each of these greats on the forthcoming installment of All This Jazz, on Saturday the 24th.
All This Jazz airs each and every Saturday night here on Public Radio 89.5-1, beginning at 10pm Central. We always offer a rich, wide-ranging playlist of modern jazz, both recent and classic.