Throughout Kobo Town's new album Jumbie in the Jukebox, frontman Drew Gonsalves declares his love for the past even as his feet are firmly planted in the present. The music of the Toronto band can drift between classic Caribbean pop styles and even verge on hip-hop, but the singer's perspective remains sharply focused, wry and witty. The song "Postcard Poverty," for example, ribs tourists for whom tropical slums become an exotic backdrop to fun-in-the-sun adventures.
The latest episode of Q2 Spaces takes us to Washington state's Puget Sound and the small sailboat where musician, composer and producer Jherek Bischoff was raised — and to his Seattle apartment, where he surrounds himself with instruments and not much else.
How much do you know about Richard Wagner? Probably two unfavorable facts: He wrote very long, grandiose operas and was Hitler's favorite composer. As true as they are, those simple examples barely hint at the complexity of this endlessly creative and confounding artist.
Every Tiny Desk Concert provides its own particular thrill, but it's not every day that we get to welcome one of NPR's 50 Great Voices to our offices. With the visit of the incredible, honey-voiced Mohammad Reza Shajarian from Iran, we lucked out by having him sing on not just any day, but on the biggest holiday of the Persian calendar: Nowruz, the New Year.
Singer Sarah Vaughan came up in the 1940s alongside bebop lions Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, starting out in Earl Hines' big band. Hines had hired her as his singer and deputy pianist, while Gillespie praised her fine ear for chords as she grasped the arcane refinements of bebop harmony.
Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 12:16 pm
Singer-songwriter Steve Forbert makes his seventh appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Originally from Mississippi, Forbert relocated to New York City and scored a hit in the early '80s with "Romeo's Tune," and has been recording and performing steadily ever since.
Rudresh Mahanthappa creates an explosive blend of South Indian classical music and progressive jazz. A Guggenheim Fellow who's been named the Jazz Journalists Association's "Alto Saxophonist of the Year" for four years running, Mahanthappa makes innovative music that reflects his experience as a second-generation Indian-American. He shares his fascinating style and story on this episode of Piano Jazz.
Join us for the next edition of All This Jazz --- a weekly survey of modern jazz, both recent and classic --- airing every Saturday night here on Public Radio 89.5-1, from 10pm till midnight. (There's also a re-broadcast of our show on Sunday night at 7pm, on Jazz 89.5-2, which is our all-jazz HD Radio channel....)