Music News

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

NPR listeners first met fiddle player Sara Watkins in Nickel Creek — the trio of prodigies that brought a youthful spirit to a bluegrass world that reveres its elders. Once she started making solo albums, however, she figured out what maturity sounds like for her.

Sick of getting your view blocked at live shows by people holding up their phones? Apple was granted a patent yesterday for technology that can disable those cameras — at least in specific places.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

The band Winger is perhaps best remembered for its late 1980s rock anthems, like "Seventeen." Its musicians could play. They wrote catchy songs, and of course, they had the hair. MTV viewers ate it up.

"Me being the Peter Pan of rock that I was, doing double pirouettes with my bass and you know, a real ham in the camera, it took off," says Kip Winger, the group's lead singer and bassist, who formed the band after touring with Alice Cooper in the late '80s.

Imagine being able to text your favorite music artists at their personal phone number. You might be able to tell them how much you loved their latest single. You might be able to tell them about yourself and later receive a happy birthday wish from them.

This is exactly what Grammy-nominated rapper and singer Ryan Leslie is doing with his company, SuperPhone. The app lets him manage conversations with 54,000 of his friends, family, fans and colleagues from his personal phone.

Keyboardist and composer Bernie Worrell, who helped shape the sound of the band Parliament-Funkadelic and influenced countless artists across a wide range of genres, died Friday at 72.

Worrell announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer.

Musician and composer Frank Zappa was a lot of things: biting satirist, ferocious critic of societal norms, outspoken defender of free speech. He saw himself as not only an entertainer, but also a serious composer. And he saw no contradiction in being all of these things at once, to the consternation and confusion of the many journalists who interviewed him.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Before he turned twenty-five, Van Morrison had written a rock and roll standard ("Gloria"), essayed arguably the greatest-ever Bob Dylan cover ("It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" — both with Them), made a top-ten American hit ("Brown Eyed Girl") and recorded two very different, very compatible LP masterpieces, Astral Weeks and Moondance — the former concerned with "childhood, initiation, sex, and death," per Greil Marcus in Stranded, the latter with rebirth, experience, love and living for its own sake.

Very few musical gatherings during the crowded summer festival season have been going on as long as CMA Music Fest, which launched under the name Fan Fair in 1972 and now descends upon Nashville just after the heat and humidity set in each June. One of the secrets to its longevity is that it's always been a place where country fans can encounter artists up close; folks who get a bit of face time with their favorite artists, maybe even a hug, are prone to keep coming back.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Jazz saxophonist KEN FIELD of the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble will talk about his band's upcoming gig at the Roswell UFO Festival in New Mexico.  They will be playing on the main stage on July 1 at 1pm.  The concert is free.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Dâm-Funk's Time Machine Boogie

Jun 14, 2016

DJs can be a cagey bunch, protective of their knowledge, reluctant to reveal favorite digging spots to even their closest friends or, in the case of Afrika Bambaataa, peeling center labels off in the shower so that only he knew the groove, all so as to keep their secret weapons, well, a secret. But not Damon Riddick.

Shalimar the Clown is Salman Rushdie's eighth novel. Published in 2005, it tells the story of a young man who seeks revenge after he's jilted by the love of his life. There's intrigue, violence, and conflict between tradition and modern society — the sort of stuff that makes for grand opera.

Now, Shalimar the Clown is just that. Adapted by composer Jack Perla and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph, the opera premieres tonight at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Rushdie says the novel sprang from one tragic image.

It's been a while since we've heard from Lorde. Now, a new song the singer co-wrote with her fellow New Zealanders in Broods, has just come out. "Heartlines" is a bubbly, revelatory dance track with references to "jumping state lines" and midnight car rides. The artists not only share a country, but also a producer, Joel Little, who helps shape the sound of both Lorde and Broods.

Maracuyá means "passion fruit" in Spanish. For the DJ collective Maracuyeah, it's all about a passion for music — and connection.

At the D.C.-based group's fifth anniversary party, the dance floor at Judy's Bar & Restaurant is packed with a diverse crowd, from punk artists to recently arrived immigrants and buttoned-down, office types. Nohora Arrieta Fernandez, a Ph.D. student at Georgetown University who identifies as Afro-Colombian, says there's something for everyone here.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

It's not quite right to say the news came as a shock when the Metropolitan Opera announced Thursday that Yannick Nézet-Séguin would become the house's new music director, beginning in the 2020-21 season. He follows in the footsteps of James Levine, who said in April that he was stepping down after leading the Met for four decades.

Composer and author Paul Bowles first went to Morocco in 1931. He fell in love with the country, returning often and eventually moving to Tangier, where he lived from 1947 until his death in 1999. Among the things Bowles valued most about Morocco was its varieties of music.

Copyright 2016 WWNO-FM. To see more, visit WWNO-FM.

When the New York City Opera (NYCO) announced its final performances and imminent bankruptcy in September 2013, opera lovers, not just in Manhattan, were shocked.