Originally from Minneapolis, José James began chasing his dreams of jazz singing at 17. He found his way to London and New York, and eventually ended up at The New School to study jazz vocals. James was always interested in a musical place where jazz, R&B, hip-hop and more can all come together.
On this day 50 years ago — June 12, 1963 — Bob Dylan's career was just taking off when he heard the news that civil rights activist Medgar Evers had been assassinated. Dylan responded with a song that he eventually performed at the March on Washington and the Newport Folk Festival.
Composer Mark Adamo has made beautiful music out of classic books. His Little Women is among the most produced American operas today. He also wrote the words and music for his operatic adaptation of Aristophanes' Greek drama Lysistrata.
His latest work, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, has proved more controversial. The opera, which premieres June 19 at the San Francisco Opera, tells the story of Mary, Jesus and his disciples.
Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:04 am
Vocalist Marissa Mulder has made a distinct mark on the New York cabaret scene with a voice that recalls that of the legendary Blossom Dearie. Mulder earned a spot on the Times Square Chronicles' Top 10 list in 2011, and her current show, Illusions, has been similarly well-received.
On this episode of Piano Jazz, Mulder and host Jon Weber talk about bringing new life to old standards and perform a set of the songs she holds dear.
Combining found sounds and toy instruments with electronics and orchestral instruments, the music of Puerto Rican-born composer Angélica Negrón crafts a sound that's at once futuristic and nostalgic. Her compositions draw from ambient music, found sound, visual art and the hidden potential of everyday objects, as well as the classical music tradition.
Formed in 1983 by four prize-winning graduates of the Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris, the Parisii Quartet won early acclaim with its triumphs at three major international competitions. Much in demand in Paris, the Parisii performed the entire Haydn cycle at the Opéra Bastille, performed the Beethoven cycle at the Salle Gaveau, and has appeared frequently at the Musée d'Orsay. Appearing in major concert halls and festivals across Europe, the Quartet has since toured regularly across the United States.
It might come as a surprise to learn that people of Haitian descent are the largest ethnic minority in Cuba. But that's the history behind The Creole Choir of Cuba, a vocal and percussion ensemble that performs songs about history, faith and social change in the Caribbean.
First things first: Aoife O'Donovan's first name is pronounced EE-fuh. It's worth knowing how to speak it out loud, because a lot of people are going to talk about O'Donovan's first solo album, Fossils, which comes out Tuesday.
The lead singer of the folk-country band Crooked Still recently performed a special set for NPR affiliate FolkAlley.com, which included the catchiest song on Fossils, "Red & White & Blue & Gold."