American soprano Evelyn Lear — whose roles ranged from title role in Berg's Lulu to Mozart to Sondheim — died at age 86 Monday at a nursing home, though the cause was not announced. (Her late husband of more than fifty years, the bass-baritone Thomas Stewart, died six years ago.)
In American-born producer Maga Bo's world, the berimbau — a type of bow native to Brazil — becomes an element in a time-traveling collage of organic sounds. On his new album, Quilombo do Futuro, vibrating strings, booming drumheads and vocal melodies that might go back centuries coexist with rhythmic sound effects and club-friendly beats.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Norah Jones has been a star since the 2002 release of her debut album, Come Away With Me, which sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. and won eight Grammys. Her success hasn't let up: Subsequent releases have all reached gold or platinum status.
Jones' fifth album, Little Broken Hearts, came out in May, and was recorded with producer Danger Mouse. Here, Jones sits down with World Cafe's David Dye to discuss her creative process.
Big K.R.I.T.'s distinction as a rapper is the way he spreads his vowels out over his beats like gravy. There's little that's harsh in his phrasing, even as his lyrics can be tart or tough. In general, though, his tone over the course of Live From the Underground is a voice of coolness, of relaxation or resignation, even occasionally serenity.
World class fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad talks about the music that keeps her sharp for competition for Tell Me More's series, "In Your Ear." Muhammad and the rest of the U.S. women's team recently won gold at the Korfanty Sabre World Cup competition.
Lucero — bright star in Spanish — has been creating quality punk-inflected country since the late '90s. Hailing from Memphis, frontman Ben Nichols gives the act a gruff Southern twang with both his voice and his guitar. Since the release of 2001's eponymous debut, Lucero has recorded five more studio albums and plays an impressive 200 shows a year in the U.S. and Canada.