Music

The Record
7:03 am
Tue July 9, 2013

A Music Festival Grows In The Rainforest

Palsandae, a South Korean troupe, whose wild, very loud music is at times not far removed from the ecstatic free-playing of Sun Ra's Arkestra or the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Leslie Liew Courtesy of the photographer

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:27 am

The international summer festival circuit is full of contenders, celebrating cultures and subcultures while hustling for global vacation dollars. For musicians, festivals mean exposure, a paycheck and a rolling party of peers. For communities, they're a revenue engine and self-promotion platform. For music-hungry fans, they're vacation anchors, or vacations unto themselves.

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Music Reviews
4:27 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

On Two New Albums, A Modern-Minded Brass Band Cuts Loose

Virginia's No BS! Brass Band adopts and ultimately expands the brass-band tradition.
PJ Sykes Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:36 am

Brass bands often bring New Orleans to mind. But some 1,000 miles away from southeast Louisiana, there's a different kind of brass band at work: the No BS! Brass Band of Richmond, Va.

Since the late 1970s, the brass-band repertoire has morphed into a new sound with the addition of funk, hip-hop and post-bop jazz. With as many as 13 members, No BS! Brass Band picks up on — and expands — that new tradition.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:42 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Skinny Lister: Tiny Desk Concert

Skinny Lister performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
Lizzie Chen NPR

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

I wish I could say I first found Skinny Lister in a pub some late evening while folks were dancing on the tables. I trust that that happens, but my unforgettable experience with this kick-ass English folk-punk band was at a hotel lobby in midday, in the midst of a sober crowd in Austin, Texas.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:38 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Music Is The Mission, Not Money

The Benedict Music Tent in Aspen.
Alex Irvin courtesy of the Aspen Music Festival and School

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 2:45 pm

One of the great summertime classical gathering spots in America is the Aspen Music Festival and School.

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Music Interviews
4:22 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Yiddish Preservationists Take Their Subject To The Stage

Michael Alpert and Ethel Raim perform as part of the An-sky Yiddish Heritage Ensemble.
Janina Wurbs Courtesy of The Center for Traditional Music and Dance

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:49 am

The name of the An-sky Yiddish Heritage Ensemble doubles as its mission statement: The quartet of performers and researchers has built a repetoire of old Yiddish folk songs dating back 100 years to the shtetls of Ukraine, in hopes of keeping that music from disappearing. Michael Alpert, who sings in the group, says it's part of a revival of Eastern Eurpoean Jewish culture that's be going on for nearly 40 years.

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Music Interviews
8:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

George Benson Follows The Path Of His 'Unforgettable' Idol

George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is a tribute to his hero.
Greg Allen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 12:22 pm

You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:22 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Cheick Hamala Diabate: Tiny Desk Concert

Cheick Hamala Diabate performs a Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices.
NPR

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

There was an awful lot of dancing going on the first time I stumbled upon the music of Cheick Hamala Diabate. On the dance floor at U Street's Tropicalia that night was a rich cross-section of D.C. life, all entranced by the music of Mali.

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Music
6:55 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

The Big Apple: Wind & Rhythm Celebrates NYC's Compelling Spirit

They have topped out the skyscraper in New York that started out with the name Freedom Tower but has been formally named One World Trade Center. It is gorgeous and is the tallest building in the western hemisphere. What an incredible accomplishment for a city that shows it’s steely resolve. 

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NPR Story
1:24 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Ron Carter On Piano Jazz

Ron Carter first appeared on the national scene as a member of Miles Davis' second great quintet, which coalesced around the recording of Davis' album Seven Steps to Heaven.

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Song Travels
11:43 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Mark O'Connor On 'Song Travels'

Mark O'Connor.
Jim McGuire Courtesy of the artist

Violinist Mark O'Connor is one of the most versatile fiddlers in music today: He seems equally at home playing bluegrass, country, jazz and classical. With its roots in Texas fiddling, O'Connor's music has shaped an entirely American school of string playing. His approach to teaching violin is considered a rival to the Suzuki method.

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