Violinist Joshua Bell has followed the lead of symphony orchestra conductors since he turned 7 and made his orchestra debut. But now he's the one waving the baton — or at least waving his violin bow. Bell recently took over the music directorship of the venerable Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
Zuoxiao Zuzhou is a Chinese singer whose accented, croaky voice is hardly ever in tune. But for his fans he's the voice of a generation — one of the very few voices who dare to speak out. After a collaboration, Cowboy Junkies member Michael Timmins called him "China's Leonard Cohen."
This year is the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth. The man widely called the greatest living Wagnerian tenor is marking the occasion in style — and asking listeners who may have turned away from the German composer to give his music another chance.
Every day at KEXP, we're witnesses to the gifts of musicians from around the world. On one balmy day in Seattle, the bluesy, hypnotic spirit of Sidi Touré brought something extraordinary, as he offered an intimate look into the spiritual influences that guided the creation of Koïma, his newest album.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 6:23 pm
You hear some music you hate. That's fair. We all do on occasion. But can you learn to love — or at least not loathe — that music? Can you intentionally transform the visceral response you have to certain pieces and styles, or does that happen at some more incalculable, subtle level?
Researchers at Australia's University of Melbourne say that the more dissonance (which they describe as "perceived roughness, harshness, unpleasantness, or difficulty in listening to the sound") that we hear in music, the less we enjoy said music. Seems obvious enough, right?
Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:20 am
The pianist Orrin Evans splits much of his time between Philadelphia, where he grew up, and New York, a much larger jazz scene where he gigs often. A hard-charging player, seasoned with the harmonic touch of fellow Philadelphian McCoy Tyner, Evans is in high demand in a lot of places. Last year saw him release his 19th album as a bandleader or co-leader, Flip the Script. It's a trio recording, a format which both intimidates and excites him; here, he takes up the three-man challenge anew.
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 at Artworld Salon and on his own site.
Join us for All This Jazz, our weekly, two-hour, indefatigably catchy rundown of modern jazz, both recent and classic, which begins at 10pm Central on Saturday the 16th on Public Radio 89.5-1. (Also, there's a re-airing of our show scheduled for Sunday night, at 7pm, on Jazz 89.5-2, which is our station's all-jazz HD Radio channel.)
For our second-hour theme on the 16th, we'll survey tunes from a wide range of jazz players with February birthdays.