Music

A Blog Supreme
12:36 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

5 To Watch: Newport Jazz Festival Debuts

Dee Alexander is among the artists leading a band for the first time at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Major jazz gatherings such as the Newport Jazz Festival — which dates back to 1954 — have always relied on big names to attract visitors. The 2013 edition is no different, with headliners such as Wayne Shorter (with Herbie Hancock), Marcus Miller, Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri and Esperanza Spalding.

Read more
Newport Folk Festival
3:08 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Bombino, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2013

Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:36 pm

A young, Niger-born Tuareg guitarist inspired by the wizardry of Saharan rock bands like Tinariwen, Omar Moctar (a.k.a. Bombino) has helped make African music more relatable to U.S. fans, thanks to both his own instrumental gifts and to collaborators like The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who produced Bombino's new album, Nomad.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
12:07 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Creating American Symphonies To Tell 'Distinctly American' Stories

New York-based composer Mohammed Fairouz.
Samantha West Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 7:48 am

To say that you're writing a symphony today is a statement, especially for a young composer like me. The challenge is to find just the right way to commandeer the age-old form, to render it fresh and vital once again within an American context.

Read more
Music Reviews
11:48 am
Tue July 30, 2013

'The Edenfred Files': Darryl Harper's Blues-Infused Jazz

Clarinetist Darryl Harper discovered jazz as a teenager in Philadelphia.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 2:41 pm

In jazz, the clarinet went into eclipse for awhile, drowned out by louder trumpets and saxes. The instrument has long since made a comeback, and the modern clarinet thrives in settings where it doesn't have to shout to be heard.

Take "Spindleshanks," a little out-of-sync boogie-woogie for Darryl Harper's clarinet and Kevin Harris' piano. It's from Harper's The Edenfred Files. In his long-running Onus Trio, the spare unit Darryl Harper features on most of his new album, he can sing softly as an owl in the night.

Read more
Newport Folk Festival
11:02 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Tift Merritt, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2013

Meagan Beauchemin for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 3:01 pm

Tift Merritt was first known as a decorated country singer — her 2004 album Tambourine was even nominated for a Best Country Album Grammy — but the North Carolina native has spent the years since wandering down far-flung side roads. Merritt keeps finding ways to place literal and figurative distance between herself and Nashville: She's lived in New York City and France, while exploring the sounds of folk, cosmopolitan pop and even classical music.

Read more
A Blog Supreme
4:30 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

'A Walking Encyclopedia Of Rhythms': Remembering Steve Berrios

Steve Berrios performs with the Fort Apache Band in New York City earlier in 2013.
Andrea Zapata-Girau Courtesy of Jerry Gonzalez

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 3:20 pm

It is not easy to play both jazz drum set and Afro-Caribbean percussion. Lots of drummers do it, but few have mastered it in a way that makes their sound in either style unmistakable from the first beat.

The music community lost one of those true innovators Wednesday with the death of percussionist Steve Berrios in New York at age 68. Berrios could move seamlessly from jazz to Afro-Cuban rhythms in a way that perfectly reflected his bicultural roots.

Read more
All Songs Considered
4:00 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Newport Folk Festival 2013: Day Three In Photos

Andrew Bird and Tift Merritt perform at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival.
Meagan Beauchemin for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:02 am

The Newport Folk Festival is a little like summer camp — crowded, loud, fun, full of a lot of your favorite people — and you never want to leave. On this year's last day artists said goodbye by coming together.

Read more
Newport Folk Festival
1:19 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Black Prairie, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2013

Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:45 pm

When Colin Meloy put The Decemberists on long-term hiatus to focus on other projects — including his own set at this year's Newport Folk Festival — the remaining members needed their own fresh musical outlet.

Read more
Tiny Desk Concerts
1:03 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Dana Falconberry: Tiny Desk Concert

Dana Falconberry performs a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Music in Washington, D.C., on May 12, 2013.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:19 pm

Dana Falconberry's songs are gentle, almost invariably delicate, sometimes mysterious and frequently feather-light. But her music's sweet, intricate softness never stands in for strength: This is a confident songwriter, whether she's ambling through six- and seven-minute epics ("Leelanau," "Dolomite") or chirping sweetly in the bouncy "Crooked River."

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:31 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Question Of The Week: Who's The New Dylan?

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan performing Aug. 28, 1963 at the March On Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech.
Rowland Scherman/National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 9:26 am

Read more

Pages