Today on World Cafe: Next, we feature a unique duo. Sekou Kouyate, from Guinea in West Africa, has been described as "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora" for the way he electrifies the 21-string African harp. Joe Driscoll is an American living in England; he's a rapper, beat-boxer and loop-maker.
British folk musician Bert Jansch died in October 2011, about 10 months after recording this interview with World Cafe. A founding member of the folk-jazz-blues band Pentangle, along with fellow guitarist John Renbourn, Jansch was one of the most influential players of the '60s, though he never became hugely well-known.
This past week, the bassist and vocalist Mimi Jones released three albums at once. They weren't all her music, but they were her work: As the founder and producer of the record label Hot Tone Music, she brought all three albums to fruition.
Fifty years ago, on Feb. 12, 1964, Miles Davis led a band through one of the most exciting gigs to ever take place at New York's Philharmonic Hall. The show was a cultural event: a benefit for voter registration in Louisiana and Mississippi at the high point of the the civil rights movement, and an unofficial homage to John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated a few months before.
In the 1950s, Philomena Lee was a naive Irish teenager who got pregnant, gave birth in a convent, and was forced by the nuns to sign away her parental rights. The 2013 film Philomena is based on what happened five decades later, when Lee went looking for her son with the help of a journalist. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena is up for several Academy Awards, including one in an unlikely category.
Truth be told, I was scared. We've stuffed a lot of musicians behind the Tiny Desk, but when I saw Fanfare Ciocarlia (pronounced "fan-FAR-eh cho-car-LEE-ah") at Globalfest the week before the band arrived at NPR, I couldn't fathom how we'd corral these 12 musicians and their various assorted horns and drums into that truly tiny space.
You will always find some great big band swing, jazz and blues...and our Great American Songbook on BBSN! Plus this weekend, you will be hear songs of the heart, for Valentine's Day. Join us for a great mix of your favorites and discover some unexpected tunes, too! It's Big Band Saturday Night, now going into my 20th year for the show! Join us this weekend at 8 o'clock, on 89.5.