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Music
11:03 am
Sat April 11, 2015

In 'Snowy Egret,' A Fierce New Band Takes Flight

Myra Melford's new album is titled Snowy Egret.
Bryan Murray Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 8:04 pm

Jazz pianist and composer Myra Melford's latest album is a suite of music inspired by the Memory Of Fire trilogy — a three-volume history of the Americas by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.

More simply, it's the recorded debut of what she calls a "killer band."

In an interview with NPR's Arun Rath, she explains the genesis of Snowy Egret — the name of both her new album and the group behind it.

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All Songs TV
7:03 am
Sat April 11, 2015

And The Kids, "Devastation Celebration"

And The Kids
Courtesy of the Artist

The video for And The Kids' "Devastation Celebration" opens with a black box warning, "No functioning instruments were harmed in the making of this video." You can imagine what happens next.

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Music News
1:03 am
Sat April 11, 2015

From Ballrooms To Concert Halls, Mexico Kept This Cuban Style Alive

Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. It's here that well-dressed couples dance to danzón.
Courtesy of Betto Arcos

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 9:54 am

The Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. The classic 1930s ballroom is located in a working-class neighborhood near downtown, and every week, it sees dozens of well-dressed couples of all ages moving to an orchestra of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, clarinets and percussion instruments.

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Jazz
1:03 am
Sat April 11, 2015

A Young Jazz Saxophonist Wants You To 'Get Up And Move'

Saxophonist Hailey Niswanger's new album is PDX Soul.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:58 pm

Since she was a teenager, saxophonist Hailey Niswanger has been drawing attention in the jazz world, and not just because she's a woman in bands most often populated by men. Niswanger's alto- and soprano-sax mastery is captivating. Now 25, she's just released her third album as a bandleader, PDX Soul, and is preparing to go on tour with fellow Portland, Ore., native Esperanza Spalding.

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Music Reviews
4:38 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Review: Anat Cohen, 'Luminosa'

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 6:30 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Mountain Stage
12:49 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

The Mastersons On Mountain Stage

The Mastersons.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

The Mastersons' members make their first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the West Virginia State Capitol grounds. The husband-and-wife team of Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore were seasoned musicians in their own right before joining forces after a chance meeting at a Colorado festival.

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All Songs Considered
12:15 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Your Song Of The Week: Kendrick Lamar's 'King Kunta'

Kendrick Lamar's latest album is To Pimp A Butterfly, which includes the song, "King Kunta," the number one song in our listener survey this week.
Courtesy of the artist

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Song Travels
10:35 am
Fri April 10, 2015

José Feliciano On Song Travels

Jose Feliciano.
Rick Diamond Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 10:50 am

One of the great living guitarists, José Feliciano has received eight Grammy Awards and has been nominated 17 times. In 1996, he received Billboard magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Beach Slang: Tiny Desk Concert

Maggie Starbard NPR

James Snyder writes songs as if he were in the room next door — hushed and vulnerable in his own space, but aware and perhaps even thrilled that someone might be listening. With Beach Slang, these uplifting confessionals become euphoric punk anthems about squeezing every second out of life. So it's telling and endearing that, when he played a solo acoustic set in the NPR Music offices, Snyder giggled with the nervous energy of a songwriter who's just been walked in on by a large group of strangers.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, With The Vaccines' Pete Robertson

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 12:01 pm

This week's guest Quizmaster is Pete Robertson, drummer for the English rock group The Vaccines. The band recently announced a new full-length, English Graffiti, due out May 26. It's their first ever recorded in the U.S.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:23 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Twitter Outrage Takes Toronto, Canceling Two Pianists

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa
Gilbert Francois Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 12:20 pm

Valentina Lisitsa is a pianist whose worldwide reputation was built on social media. She is now experiencing a major backlash due to what she's been writing on Twitter.

It came to a head with the cancellation of Lisitsa's scheduled performances Wednesday night and Thursday night with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which announced earlier this week that she would not be appearing to play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the ensemble and Finnish conductor Juka-Pekka Saraste. Both TSO management and Lisitsa have said she will still receive her full fee.

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World Cafe
5:27 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Latin Roots: Essential Boleros

Jazz singer Dinah Washington, who popularized the song "What A Diff'rence A Day Makes."
Hulton Archive Getty Images

To hear Beat Latino host Catalina Maria Johnson tell it, the bolero is everywhere — and not just in the Spanish-speaking world. The bolero, like so many Latin styles, originated in Cuba, but it's since spread around the world.

For her look at essential boleros, Johnson plays two songs you probably know, but may not know as boleros: the international standard "Besame Mucho" and the English-language ballad "What A Diff'rence A Day Makes" from Dinah Washington.

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World Cafe
5:20 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Will Butler On World Cafe

Will Butler.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 9:37 am

Will Butler, the keyboard player and jack-of-all-instruments for Arcade Fire, has been playing smaller stages lately and liking it. Arcade Fire plays sheds and festivals — led by his brother, singer Win Butler — but he's been playing 150-seat clubs as a solo artist who's just released his debut album, Policy.

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Music Reviews
3:32 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Review: Becca Stevens Band, 'Perfect Animal'

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 9:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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All Songs Considered
2:18 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

All Songs At 15: What A Life Of Rock And Roll Will Do To You

Courtesy of the host

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

This week's Throwback Thursday is offered without comment, and just enough context to help us make our point:

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Alt.Latino
11:03 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Fried Neckbones With Sazón: An Ode To Latin Soul

Kali Uchis is one of Alt.Latino's favorite young artists.
Courtesy of the artist

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Mountain Stage
10:38 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Larkin Poe On Mountain Stage

Larkin Poe.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

The Atlanta duo Larkin Poe makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.

Members Rebecca and Megan Lovell have appeared on the show once before, along with their sister Jessica, as bluegrass trio The Lovell Sisters. After taking a break from that project in 2009, the two took the name of their great-great-great-grandfather and adopted a raucous Southern rock sound that got them nicknamed "the little sisters of the Allman Brothers."

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Favorite Sessions
10:23 am
Thu April 9, 2015

KCRW Presents: Toro Y Moi

Toro Y Moi performs live for Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW.
Jeremiah Garcia KCRW

Before Toro Y Moi released its new album What For?, frontman Chaz Bundick and his band played it front to back for a small audience at Apogee Studio in Santa Monica. Bundick is a musical chameleon, and after a dance/electronic release under the name Les Sins, he's confidently planted his flag in the field of guitar-driven psych-pop. Here, Toro Y Moi performs a perfect springtime jam called "Empty Nesters."

SET LIST

  • "Empty Nesters"
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A Blog Supreme
2:33 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Remembering Ralph Sharon, Tony Bennett's Pianist

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 8:05 am

Pianist Ralph Sharon, the longtime accompanist for Tony Bennett, died March 31 at age 91. In the audio link above, Tom Cole has a brief report for NPR's Morning Edition, and below, Walter Ray Watson filed this remembrance for NPR Music.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
2:23 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz In Concert

Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz performs at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Frank Stewart Jazz at Lincoln Center

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 11:34 pm

The public youth music education program known as El Sistema has reached hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, largely through participation in classical music ensembles. In 2007, drummer Andrés Briceño and head of the Simón Bolívar Conservatory of Music Valdemar Rodríguez introduced a jazz program to El Sistema, with the goal of promoting the music throughout Venezuela. The flagship ensemble, Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz, presents the work of both American jazz masters and Venezuelan composers, and like its orchestral counterparts, has now toured the U.S.

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Mountain Stage
2:51 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Malcolm Holcombe On Mountain Stage

Malcolm Holcombe.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Malcolm Holcombe makes his second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Born and raised in western North Carolina, the singer, songwriter and guitarist has been championed by heavyweights such as Emmylou Harris, Wilco and Steve Earle.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
2:37 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

The Thistle & Shamrock: Julie Fowlis

Scottish folksinger Julie Fowlis.
Courtesy of the artist

Raised in the Outer Hebrides, Julie Fowlis is reaching international audiences with her Gaelic songs, and is one of a small group of singers bringing the music into the cultural mainstream. On this episode of The Thistle & Shamrock, we explore her music and examine her role in the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning 2012 Pixar film Brave.

World Cafe
2:26 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Matthew E. White On World Cafe

Matthew E. White.
Courtesy of the artist

A few years ago, Matthew E. White and his crew formed a production company and studio in Richmond, Va., and called the enterprise Spacebomb. White and Spacebomb's first album, 2012's Big Inner, was produced primarily as a demo to showcase the group's strengths.

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All Songs Considered
2:13 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Viking's Choice: Red Death, 'Strategic Mass Delirium'

Red Death.
Angela Owens Courtesy of the artist

D.C. hardcore is ridiculous right now.

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All Songs Considered
10:47 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Viking's Choice: Luxury, 'You Must Change Your Life'

"Somehow, almost mysteriously, that rock band is a part of what it means for the three of us to be priests," says Jamey Bozeman (pictured right).
Jared Swafford Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:41 pm

Baby-faced and rail-thin, Lee Bozeman didn't look like the kind of guy who would ram a microphone stand into the floor. But in the '90s, when Luxury got to "Flaming Youth Flames On" in its set list, the guitar came off and the sweetly gut-punching crooner flailed his body into the ultra-sassy punk song that teased, "Make you gasp / Make your heart skip a beat." It was an eye-opener to any teenager who witnessed it, especially since Luxury's spectacle was most often seen in church youth halls.

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Americana Music Awards
9:59 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Loretta Lynn, Live At The 2014 Americana Music Awards

Loretta Lynn.
High Five Entertainment

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 8:46 am

It doesn't get much better than Loretta Lynn singing her life's story on the stage of Ryman Auditorium. That's the stuff of legends; the stuff on which country-music dreams have been built for more than a few decades.

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Americana Music Awards
9:56 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Rodney Crowell, Live At The 2014 Americana Music Awards

Rodney Crowell performs at the 2014 Americana Music Awards.
High Five Entertainment

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 8:46 am

Backed only by Ry Cooder and his magnificent riffs, Rodney Crowell offered up a tender take on "God I'm Missing You" as part of his Americana Music Awards performance. The song of longing was composed as a collaboration between Crowell and a poet friend of his, Mary Karr, and was originally voiced by Lucinda Williams on Crowell and Karr's 2012 album Kin.

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Americana Music Awards
9:55 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Rosanne Cash, Live At The 2014 Americana Music Awards

Rosanne Cash performs at the 2014 Americana Music Awards.
High Five Entertainment

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 8:46 am

Look no further than this performance to understand and appreciate the current state of American roots music: It's alive and very, very well. Rosanne Cash, along with a band led by her husband and producer John Leventhal, worked through "A Feather's Not A Bird" from 2014's The River & The Thread, perhaps the finest record of her exceedingly fine career.

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Americana Music Awards
9:55 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Parker Millsap, Live At The 2014 Americana Music Awards

Parker Millsap performs live at the 2014 Americana Music Awards.
High Five Entertainment

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 8:45 am

Young Oklahoma upstart Parker Millsap took the Americana world by storm in 2014, thanks in part to fiery live performances like this one. Here, Millsap (accompanied by Michael Rose on upright bass and Daniel Foulks on fiddle) preaches his "Truck Stop Gospel" in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, known as the Mother Church of Country Music.

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Americana Music Awards
9:55 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Hurray For The Riff Raff, Live At The 2014 Americana Music Awards

Hurray For The Riff Raff performs live at the 2014 Americana Music Awards.
High Five Entertainment

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 8:45 am

One of the most captivating voices in Americana music, Hurray For The Riff Raff's Alynda Lee Segarra turns the personal into the political in "The Body Electric," from 2014's Small Town Heroes. The song and album wowed fans and critics with its understated urgency, and this performance is just as impassioned and unflinching as the narrative it conveys.

SET LIST

  • "The Body Electric"

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