Celebrating wild and wonderful early music is the mission of Britain's excellent I Fagiolini, led by Robert Hollingworth. Last year's world premiere recording of Alessandro Striggio's enormous 40-part Mass, paired with another larger-than-life piece, Thomas Tallis' 40-part Spem in Alium, became something of a sleeper hit, scoring surprisingly big sales and winning a Gramophone Award.
Grammy-winning singer and bass player Esperanza Spalding recently led her band, including a large horn section, through a set of jazzy jams in the KCRW studios. Watching her play funky bass lines while singing with incredible range and soul was truly a sight to behold, especially in "Smile Like That." You can watch the entire performance at KCRW.com.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:49 pm
The formation of Trampled by Turtles can be traced back to the untimely theft of frontman Dave Simonett's musical equipment in 2003. Left with only an acoustic guitar, Simonett formed a new band with a new style that fit his remaining instrument. The result is a folk-rock group that's known for its unbridled passion and raucous energy.
All Things Considered continues its "Mom and Dad's Record Collection" series with former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. The politician currently hosts a TV show on Fox News and plays bass guitar in his rock band, Capitol Offense. His musical tastes are similarly multifaceted: Huckabee says he grew up listening to big-band jazz.
Drummer Mike Reed put together his quartet People, Places and Things to play music by their 1950s forebears. But it makes sense that, after a few years together, they'd also play later pieces, tracking the evolution of Chicago jazz on a new album titled Clean on the Corner. One dividend of their repertory work is that it inspires Reed to write his own tunes in the same spirit, like "The Lady Has a Bomb."
Cafe Racer is a coffeehouse and bar in Seattle near the University of Washington. Last Wednesday, it was the site of a shooting that left four people dead.
Cafe Racer is also a music venue, home to a Sunday-night improvisational jam session called The Racer Sessions. Sunday night's Racer Session wasn't inside — it was too soon for that — but the show did go on.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:50 pm
There are stories both famous and infamous of children pushed into performing careers by their parents (Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Judy Garland ... the list goes on and on). But Vanessa Perez has become a fine young pianist despite her mother's best efforts to keep her away from the performing arts.
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Join NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep as he travels this month to Tunisia, Libya and Egypt to tell the stories of North Africans one year after the Arab Spring. As Steve makes this journey, NPR Music will feature some of the music he is hearing along his travels — in cafes, clubs and on local radio stations.