Music

Music Interviews
6:42 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Dave Douglas: Jazz Hymns Honor A Dying Wish

Dave Douglas' new album, Be Still, includes hymns he played at his mother's funeral service.
Austin Nelson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 12:16 pm

Dave Douglas has been an important player in the jazz world for more than two decades, producing a broad body of work as both a trumpet player and a composer. His newest album, Be Still, has a bittersweet backstory: It contains his arrangements of several hymns that his dying mother asked him to perform at her funeral service.

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Music Interviews
6:42 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Rod Stewart: Big Dreams, Bigger Hair

Rod Stewart is a Grammy-winning artist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. He has two new releases this fall: the memoir Rod and the holiday album Merry Christmas, Baby.
Penny Lancaster Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 9:11 am

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Music Interviews
5:14 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Andre Rieu On The Allure Of The Waltz

Andre Rieu's latest release is an album and DVD of Christmas music called Home for the Holidays.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 7:33 pm

On a list of the world's highest-grossing tours of last year, you'll find a lot of familiar names: U2, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga. And then, at No. 9, is an outlier: Andre Rieu, Dutch violinist and conductor of the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat December 15, 2012

A Civil Rights Figure's Long Road — To Carnegie Hall

Myrlie Evers-Williams leads her three children — Reena (from left), Van and Darrell — at the family piano, circa 1965.
Courtesy of the Evers family

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

You know the old joke: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." Myrlie Evers-Williams took a different route.

Her late husband, Medgar Evers, was the Mississippi head of the NAACP; he was assassinated for his work in 1963. Evers-Williams wound up moving to Southern California, where she became an educational, corporate and political leader and, in the 1990s, chairwoman of the NAACP.

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Religion
6:02 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Singing Loud And Proud: Choir For LGBT Mormons Breaks Out

The One Voice Choir is not officially part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the ensemble is invited to perform this weekend at an LDS church-sponsored event intended to reach out to the LGBT community.
Andrea Smardon KUER

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 1:13 pm

Growing up in Utah, Ross Owen watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on television every Sunday with his family.

"It was almost like watching a rock concert, and I thought, 'Oh, I'd love to do that,' " he says.

But by the time Owen was old enough to join the choir, he was no longer a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he had been excommunicated after he came out as gay.

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Music News
5:10 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Indian Musicians Remember Their Teacher, Ravi Shankar

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:27 am

The world mourned the death this week of Indian maestro Ravi Shankar, whose name became synonymous with the sitar. Tributes eulogized Shankar as the great connector of the East and West who'd hobnobbed with The Beatles and collaborated with violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin. Less has been said about the roots of the music he spent a lifetime perfecting and innovating.

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World Cafe
5:01 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Gary Clark Jr. On World Cafe

Gary Clark Jr.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:58 pm

Gary Clark Jr.'s new album Blak and Blue is his major-label debut, but the blues guitarist is hardly a newcomer. Clark made his first album at 17, and by then he'd already spent several years hanging out in the blues clubs of Austin, Texas.

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A Blog Supreme
4:17 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

5 Jazz Christmas Albums For 2012

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra's new album is called Christmas Time Is Here.
Courtesy of the artist

There's a certain intensity of spirit in jazz and improvised music, to the point where it occasionally aligns with religious worship. You especially see it around Christmastime, when certain musicians who happen to be Christians purpose their craft in observance of the season.

Of course, sometimes jazz musicians just like playing familiar songs.

Here are five records, all from 2012, which run the gamut of Christmas jazz. From deep meditations on the holiday's narrative to more offbeat ways to get into the spirit, inventiveness isn't a scarce resource this winter.

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Music Interviews
1:49 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Ravi Shankar: Remembering A Master Of The Sitar

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 9:01 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli sitting in for Terry Gross. Ravi Shankar, who popularized the sitar and Indian music in America, died this week at the age of 92. He befriended the Beatles, gave George Harrison sitar lessons, and inspired Harrison to launch the first superstar benefit concert, 1971's the Concert for Bangladesh.

That's when Ravi Shankar, tuning up before his performance, responded to the polite but clueless support of the U.S. audience. His ad lib was good humored but pointed.

(APPLAUSE)

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Music Interviews
1:49 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Hall Of Famer: Randy Newman Makes The Cut

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 9:01 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. This week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its latest round of inductees, and among them is singer/songwriter Randy Newman. You have to have 25 years as an artist to qualify for the Hall of Fame, but Newman has clocked a lot more time than that.

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