Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 11:30 am
Yesterday, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced the recipients of its 2014 Performing Artist Awards, including 13 jazz and improvising musicians, who will receive at least $1.7 million in unrestricted grants in total.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:34 am
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Millions of people know the singer Kelis for "Milkshake" - that's her hit from a decade ago. It's the sort of song that nobody really thought was about a milkshake.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MILKSHAKE")
KELIS ROGERS: (Singing) My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard and their like, it's better than yours, damn right, it's better than yours. I could teach you, but I'd have to charge. My milkshake...
Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 3:53 pm
Rap and hip-hop have been around for decades and have become one of America's most successful cultural exports.
But when the Library of Congress added new recordings to its national registry this year, none of them were hip-hop.
Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee discusses that with William Boone, professor in the English and African-American studies department at Winston-Salem State University. He says that hip-hop artists are used to being overlooked by the powers that be.
Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 7:34 am
Prince fans are accustomed to not getting what they want. That's one reason Friday's news came as a shock — that Prince has re-signed, for the first time in 18 years, with Warner Bros. Records, and that an expanded edition of Purple Rain, in time for its 30th anniversary, as well as a new album and unnamed "other planned projects" to come, are all on the way (including a new song, released late last night).
Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm
In northern New Mexico, among the Catholic brotherhoods known as the penitentes, Good Friday is the highest of holy days. The brothers sing ancient Spanish hymns about life, death and piety — hymns they've helped preserve.
Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 8:56 am
Three days of mourning have been declared in Puerto Rico following the death of salsa great Cheo Feliciano in a car accident there early Thursday. The singer was 78. "His music embodied the rhythm of Puerto Ricans living in New York City," U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said in a statement, "and his lyrics helped tell our collective story."
In one corner, you have Metallica's Robert Trujillo. The most popular heavy metal bassist alive, he prowls beast-like across arena stages, rumbling guts with the low B on the 5-string instrument he slings to one side like a battle ax.
Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:57 am
Ke$ha says that to start the day she'll brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. Nicki Minaj likes to "have a drink, have a clink" of Bud Light. And the party-rockin' hip-hop duo LMFAO like Ciroc, and they love Patron. "Shots, shots, shots, shots everybody!"
All that name-checking of alcohol brands encourages teens to drink, researchers say. Adolescents who liked songs like these were three times as likely to drink, and were twice as likely to binge than their peers who didn't like those songs.
Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 12:08 pm
Seventy-five years ago, on April 9, 1939, as Hitler's troops advanced in Europe and the Depression took its toll in the U.S., one of the most important musical events of the 20th century took place on the National Mall in Washington. There, just two performers, a singer and a pianist, made musical — and social — history.
Stage director Kenny Leon is one of the most sought-after creative talents on Broadway today, even if he isn't a household name. He's guided Denzel Washington and Viola Davis to Tony Awards in a Tony-winning revival of August Wilson's Fences, he directed Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett in The Mountaintop and he's got two Broadway shows opening within three months of each other.
Wayne Henderson, trombonist and co-founding member of the popular jazz-funk band The Jazz Crusaders (later known as The Crusaders), died Friday, April 4, in Culver City, Calif. The cause of death was heart failure, according to The Crusaders' manager. Henderson was 74.
Over the weekend, soprano Kristine Opolais sang her heart out — and died twice.
Friday evening she had sung the lead in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. It was her debut in that role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It was a big deal. Opolais was so excited about it that she stayed up until five the next morning.
New Obama administration rules aimed at protecting African elephants are causing widespread anxiety in the music world. From country to classical, working musicians say the policy will make them think twice about touring abroad.
The proposed regulations would place a near-total ban on anything made with ivory moving in and out of the U.S.
David Lamb, who sang in the folk duo Brown Bird, died Saturday at Memorial Hospital in Providence, R.I., due to complications from leukemia. Lamb started Brown Bird as a solo project in 2003 and stayed with the band in various formations until it settled into its final lineup, as a duo, with his partner MorganEve Swain. Lamb was diagnosed with leukemia last year and received a bone-marrow transplant in September, but he suffered a relapse last month. He was 35.
Eurovision attracts more viewers than the Super Bowl. And yet, a lot of Americans have scarcely heard of it. Probably more people know that BJ Leiderman does our theme music. Winners of this pan-European song contest generally become one-hit wonders, if even that, and even more rarely do they make a name for themselves over here. But Sidsel Overgaard reports there have been a few exceptions. The most notable, the band that won 40 years ago this weekend.
SIDSEL OVERGAARD, BYLINE: First it helps to understand what came before ABBA.
Kurt Cobain died 20 years ago today. It's hardly news. You've probably already seen plenty of tributes to his career and what might have been, along with, perhaps, a criticism of the impulse to memorialize his death simply because it's been a round number of years since the event.
Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 10:54 am
Hundreds of acoustic guitars, some dating back to the 19th century, are coming up for auction in New York City. They include Martins, Gibsons, classical guitars from famous Spanish guitar makers, and some exquisite models from Greenwich Village luthier John D'Angelico.
Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 9:27 am
"Nashville is where you go to make country music," Chuck Mead says. "There's a certain song vibration down here. There's a whole songwriting culture and playing culture that really doesn't exist outside of New York, or Los Angeles or Chicago."
Whenever photographer Chuck Stewart was hired by a record company to document a recording session, he would shoot during the rehearsal takes, playback and downtime. The company would take what it needed, the remainder likely never to be developed, much less published. After decades in the photography business, and thousands of album covers to his name, he's amassed a lot of negatives.