It's Thursday night in downtown Johannesburg and some 500 people are packed into Bassline, a warehouse-like club in a hipster-friendly neighborhood. They're here for South Africa's longest-running sound system, or crew of reggae DJs. But tonight they get something extra: a young woman sporting dreadlocks and an army cap gets on the mic to freestyle.
Legendary pianist Mose Allison has appeared on Mountain Stage four times over the years — and this is his very first performance, recorded January 15, 1989. Born in Tippo, Miss. in 1927, Allison has always straddled the line between blues and jazz, never favoring one genre over the other.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 2:54 pm
The narrative of jazz history often credits the music as a powerful, progressive force for racial integration in American culture. But what about gender equality? On that score, jazz in its first few decades would have to be given a less than stellar grade.
It's Good Friday, so let's stay with the theme of Easter celebrations. Today, we hear from a woman whose life changed when she volunteered to help plan a simple Easter program for her church in Memphis, Tenn. Earnestine Rodgers Robinson had no musical training, but perhaps by divine intervention, her decision to volunteer actually set her on the path to a career composing classical music.
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:50 am
José Feliciano became a household name with his cover of The Doors' "Light My Fire," but he's also a classical composer and has been called "the greatest living guitarist" by critics worldwide. He has received eight Grammy Awards and been nominated 17 times.
In this Piano Jazz episode recorded in 1992, we remember the remarkable talents of Shirley Scott, the "Queen of the Organ," as she solos on "Skylark" and joins host Marian McPartland for a piano duet of "In a Mellow Tone."
Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book isHelguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work atArtworld Salon and on his own site.
What is a mistake? By going through examples with his improvisational jazz quartet, Stefon Harris gets to a profound truth: many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don't react to them appropriately.