Music News

The Record
3:57 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Albert Murray, Writer And Co-Founder Of Jazz At Lincoln Center, Dies

Writer, historian and critic Albert Murray in New York City in 2000.
Chris Felver Getty Images

Albert Murray, the influential writer and critic who helped found Jazz at Lincoln Center, died Sunday at home in Harlem. He was 97 years old. Duke Ellington once described him as the "unsquarest person I know."

For Murray, jazz and blues were more than just musical forms. They were a survival technique — an improvisatory response to hardship and uncertainty, as he told NPR in 1997: "You don't know how many bars you have, but however many of them you can make swing, the better off you are. That's about it."

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A Blog Supreme
3:16 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Jazz Piano Giant Cedar Walton Dies At 79

Cedar Walton in 2008.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:48 pm

Cedar Walton, one of the top jazz pianists to emerge in the aftermath of bebop, died Monday morning at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to his wife, Martha. Walton was 79.

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Planet Money
11:31 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Robin Thicke's Song Sounds Like Marvin Gaye. So He's Suing Gaye's Family.

This is Robin Thicke.
.

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:59 pm

"Blurred Lines," this year's song of the summer*, sounds a lot like Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up," one of the songs of the summer of 1977.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Jazz Pianist Cedar Walton Dies

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 12:21 pm

Cedar Walton, a National Endowment for the Arts "jazz master" known as "one of the great hard bop pianists," died early Monday at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to WBGO's The Checkout. He was 79.

His NEA bio page says that:

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Ecstatic Voices
12:03 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Sufi Mystics Get A Modern Soundtrack

Riad Abdel-Gawad creates new Sufi music by translating sacred chants to the violin.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:35 am

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Music
12:03 am
Sat August 17, 2013

William Tyler Speaks 'Truth' Through His Guitar

William Tyler performs in Iowa City.
Clay Masters

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:35 am

William Tyler takes the stage at the Trumpet Blossom Café, a vegan restaurant and bar in Iowa City. Surrounded by effects pedals for his guitar, he wears jeans and black cowboy boots, and his fingernails are about an inch long.

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The Record
11:49 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Fall Pop Preview: A 'Roar' Of 'Applause' For New Music

This week, Lady Gaga (left) released the song "Applause," from her forthcoming album ARTPOP, and Katy Perry released "Roar," from Prism.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 2:07 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:07 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Why Is One Of The World's Top Violinists Judging Miss America?

Does this mean Josh Bell will start using "There She Is, Miss America" as an encore?
Louie Aguinaldo iStock

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The Record
1:04 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Why Steinway Is Likely To Be Sold To A Hedge Fund Manager

The Steinway Musical Instruments factory in Queens, N.Y.
Ilya Marritz

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:16 am

Steinway & Sons, the 160-year-old musical instrument maker, is set to change hands.

Last month, a private equity firm emerged as the company's likely buyer. But a mystery bidder — rumored to be hedge fund manager John Paulson — has swooped in at the last minute, and now looks likely to take control of one of the oldest manufacturers in the United States. Paulson made billions betting against the housing market at a time when many thought housing prices could only go up. His reported offer for the company is $458 million.

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Ecstatic Voices
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Life As Prayer: The Singing Nuns Of Ann Arbor

Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz (right), vicaress general and music director for Dominican Sisters of Mary. On the group's new album, she plays organ and composed three selections.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:31 pm

In the cloistered world of classical music recordings, there is great interest in choral music by Catholic nuns these days. In the past year, two separate albums by a group of monastic nuns shot to the top of the classical charts.

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The Record
2:41 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

Hip-Hop Turns 40

DJ Kool Herc hosted a party in the South Bronx in 1973 that is credited with kick-starting hip-hop.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 4:09 pm

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the day Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell threw his first party in the function room of 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the South Bronx. While that Kool Herc back-to-school party marks the official beginnings of the global culture we call hip-hop, what the mainstream media at large now calls "hip-hop" is a far cry from the creative culture that emerged following the gang truce between the warring tribes of the South Bronx. When most people say "hip-hop" what they're actually talking about is rap.

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Music News
7:28 am
Sat August 10, 2013

In West Virginia, A Band Camp Of Sorts Prizes Old-Time Music

Students jam at one of the Augusta Heritage Center's themed, week-long summer music camps.
Stephanie Coleman for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 5:43 am

A group of 20 students sits in a big circle in the front parlor of a Victorian mansion at Davis & Elkins College. Everyone has a fiddle. And all eyes are on the teacher. Heads bop and toes tap as Dave Bing plays a West Virginia tune called "Camp Chase." Outside, a bevy of banjos plink out a mournful melody. Down the road the mandolin and guitar classes combine to jam on a new tune they've learned.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:55 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Versatile Opera Star, Director, Teacher Regina Resnik Dies at 90

Regina Resnik as Ellen Orford in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes in 1948.
Metropolitan Opera Archives

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 11:11 am

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Remembrances
2:24 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Jack Clement Worked With Some Of Country Music's Best

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 3:45 pm

We remember recording producer Cowboy Jack Clements, who died Thursday in Nashville at the age of 82. In the 1950s, he helped record Elvis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison when he worked at Sun Records in Memphis. He also discovered Jerry Lee Lewis and began a life-long friendship with Johnny Cash. Clement later provided the signature sound to one of Cash's biggest hits, "Ring of Fire."

The Record
9:13 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Inside Listening: The Mountain Goats' Bassist On His Own Band's Albums

Peter Hughes (left) and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.
D.L. Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 12:44 pm

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Music News
9:02 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Remembering The People's Throat Singer Of Tuva

Kongar-Ol Ondar at the 72nd Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Genghis Blues was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Short.
Scott Nelson Getty Images.

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:57 am

The technique known as throat singing is an ancient style still practiced in Tuva, a small republic between Siberia and Mongolia's Gobi desert. Traditionally, it was practiced by herders.

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All Tech Considered
1:04 am
Fri August 9, 2013

On Vine, Brands Look To Deliver Their Message In Six Seconds

Jethro Ames uses the camera on his smartphone to take six- second videos on Vine. He's produced clips for various companies like GE Appliances and MTV.
Daniel Hajek NPR

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:06 am

Try telling a story in six seconds. With the social media app Vine, owned by Twitter, users are doing just that. They're creating everything from artistic pieces to random comedy sketches in six-second videos that loop endlessly.

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Music
12:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Reunited After 50 Years, An Algerian Buena Vista Social Club Makes Its U.S. Debut

Oud player Rachid Berkani, 76, is one of the musicians of El Gusto.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 2:31 am

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Tue August 6, 2013

George Duke, Legendary Jazz Keyboardist, Dies

George Duke.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:42 am

George Duke, the legendary jazz keyboardist, died on Monday, his publicist tells NPR.

Duke's career spanned five decades and he always straddled the line between disparate genres, collaborating with artists such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa, George Clinton and some of Brazil's top musicians.

Here's how NPR's Felix Contreras describes him:

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A Blog Supreme
11:47 am
Mon August 5, 2013

The 2013 Newport Jazz Festival In GIFs

Esperanza Spalding performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Clap your hands now! From Michel Camilo's stomping, tassled Oxfords to Esperanza Spalding's vibrating upright-bass strings and a whole lotta dancing, here's the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival forever enshrined in animated GIFs. See a gallery of Adam Kissick's pixel portraits here — and follow us on Flickr.

A Blog Supreme
1:14 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Newport Jazz Festival 2013: Day One In Photos

Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 3:12 pm

It's almost like a joke now: Which Newport festival weekend is going to get more rain? Folk or Jazz? Because the Narragansett Bay doesn't play around.

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The Record
12:57 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Jay Z Video Puts Hip-Hop And Art Back In The Same Room

Jay Z and Marina Abromovic eye to eye.
Courtesy of Jay Z's Life Times

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:24 pm

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Music Interviews
5:27 am
Sat August 3, 2013

From A Jazz Trio, Hypnotic Work That Hardly Sounds Like Jazz

Dawn of Midi. Left to right: drummer Qasim Naqvi, bassist Aakaash Israni and pianist Amino Belyamani.
Falkwyn de Goyeneche Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:02 am

It takes a while to orient yourself when you're listening to the band Dawn of Midi. The new album Dysnomia is a 47-minute-long composition by what looks like a jazz triodrums, bass and piano. But it sounds like something completely different — looping, minimal electronic music. And there's no improvisation here: It's performed the same way, note for note, every time.

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Ecstatic Voices
12:03 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Songs Of Africa: Beautiful Music With A Violent History

Fred Onovwerosuoke founded the St. Louis African Chorus 20 years ago.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:00 am

For the next year, NPR will take a musical journey across America, which is one of the most religiously diverse countries on earth. We want to discover and celebrate the many ways in which people make spiritual music — individually and collectively, inside and outside houses of worship.

The founder of the choral group Sounds of Africa is Fred Onovwerosuoke. He was born in Ghana and brought up in Nigeria, and his choir in the heart of the U.S. — St. Louis, Mo., to be exact — has recorded his arrangements of African sacred music by a composer named Ikoli Harcourt Whyte.

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A Blog Supreme
9:33 am
Fri August 2, 2013

What To Expect From The 2013 Newport Jazz Festival Webcast

Get ready for the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:02 am

If you didn't manage to fly in, drive up or sneak your way aboard a yacht bound for coastal Rhode Island — well, we can't help you get to the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival. But if you're not near Aquidneck Island this weekend, you can still catch a lot of the festival from our live NPR Music webcast, presented with WBGO and WGBH.

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The Record
12:25 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

How The Hot 100 Became America's Hit Barometer

Courtesy of Billboard

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:40 am

Listen at the audio link to Chris Molanphy and NPR's Audie Cornish talk on All Things Considered about the history of Billboard's Hot 100 chart.


Hear that? On the radio? That slick, dreamy crooner dude, singing about how he's going out of his mind over that girl? Well, she's an animal — baby, it's in her nature. He used to play around with hearts that hastened at his call. But when he met that little girl, he knew that he would fall.

Wait a sec ... what song is this? Which dreamy dude is this? What year is this?

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The Record
11:12 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Maxwell's, The Beloved New Jersey Venue, Closes

Maxwell's, in Hoboken, N.J., hosted Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and the Replacements, to name a few.
George Kopp

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:32 pm

The rock club Maxwell's is a tiny space that's hosted some of the biggest names in music for more than 30 years. R.E.M., Nirvana and many more bands have squeezed onto Maxwell's stage in Hoboken, N.J. Native son Bruce Springsteen recorded the music video for "Glory Days" there.

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A Blog Supreme
3:30 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 2:20 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.

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All Songs Considered
3:00 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 8:02 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.

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All Songs Considered
11:37 am
Mon July 29, 2013

The 2013 Newport Folk Festival In GIFs

Jim James gets his groove on.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:03 am

Rain or shine, people love to dance at the Newport Folk Festival — maybe it's the fresh air, maybe it's boats tootin' in the distance, maybe it's the ramblin' good time folks like Beck, The Avett Brothers, Jim James and

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