Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:23 pm
This weekend was the first chance critics have had to see musician and actor Andre Benjamin play Jimi Hendrix, in a role that fans have complained has kept him from recording new music with his longtime partner in OutKast, Big Boi. NPR's film critic, Bob Mondello, screened All Is By My Side at the Toronto International Film Festival and sent this missive.
In 1958, at an arts festival in Yorkshire, Duke Ellington was presented to Queen Elizabeth II. They tied up the reception line for a few minutes, exchanging royal pleasantries; our Duke politely flirted with Her Majesty. Soon afterward, maybe that very night, Ellington outlined the movements of The Queen's Suite. He recorded it with his orchestra the following year, sent it to Her Majesty, and declined to release it to the public in his lifetime. It's not clear whether Queen Elizabeth has listened to it.
"I've always felt hip-hop as a culture hasn't really yet embraced its international roots." That's something that Blitz the Ambassador is working to change. Born Samuel Bazawule in Ghana, he grew up listening to Public Enemy. Now, he's a rapper in the U.S. His sound blends his rap influences like Chuck D with the Afrobeat sounds of Fela Kuti and the high-life music of his home.
From within the quaint wooded oasis of the Bunny Glade at the Portland, Ore., festival Pickathon, singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten thrilled us during a brief acoustic set with a brand-new song. "It'll be a radio debut," she said after performing a gorgeously sung version of "Tarifa" with her touring bandmate, Heather Woods Broderick.
Gloria Estefan, the poster girl of the Latin music scene in the 1980s and '90s, the frontwoman for the Miami Sound Machine and the singer who made Middle America get up and conga...
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG MEDLEY)
GLORIA ESTEFAN: (Singing) Doctor, I've got this feeling inside of me, deep inside of me...come, shake your body, baby, do that conga. No, you can't control yourself any longer. Come on, shake your body, baby...the rhythm is gonna get you tonight.