You might never tell by her youth or her warm and approachable demeanor, but 26-year-old Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti has already had an extraordinary career. Mentored by Yehudi Menuhin starting at age 10, Benedetti won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award a decade ago — and, really, that was just a warm-up.
Imagine the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, in the 1980s. You can't, right? Neither can most music critics. That's why the recent re-release of a record by a popular '80s-era Mogadishu dance band has caught the attention of critics lately.
The founders of Dur-Dur Band now live in Columbus, Ohio. Weekends on All Things Considered asked members Abdinur Daljir and Sahra Dawo to go to a studio there — accompanied by an interpreter — to talk about the newly reissued record and the story that precedes it.
Come on along for the next edition of All This Jazz, which begins at 10pm on Saturday the 4th here on Public Radio 89.5-1. (We'll also re-air the program on the following evening, Sunday the 5th, at 7pm on Jazz 89.5-2, which is our station's all-jazz HD Radio channel.)
With each and every broadcast, All This Jazz delivers two solid hours of modern jazz, both recent and classic --- from Bird to Phil Woods, from Trane to Joe Lovano, from Bix to Roy Hargrove, from Mingus to Esperanza Spalding.
"'The World Is Changing' is groove with a message." That quote, a pretty good summary of the music of Femi Kuti in just nine words, comes from Juan Gélas, the creative director of a new video for Kuti's new song. Femi Kuti is a saxophonist, trumpeter, keyboard player and singer and songwriter. The son of legendary afrobeat musician Fela Kuti, he carries on the tradition of mixing Nigerian beats along with jazz and a healthy dose of politics. Juan Gélas says, "Femi Kuti continues to be a leading protest artist out of modern Africa and his voice talks to us all."
On this episode of Piano Jazz, originally broadcast in 2003, alto saxophonist Phil Woods brings his quintet's rhythm section — bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin — by for a session with host Marian McPartland. Woods has been called "The New Bird," as in the heir to bop alto pioneer Charlie "Bird" Parker.
American Primitive music is flourishing right now. Electric and acoustic guitarists like William Tyler, Steve Gunn and Glenn Jones all have stellar releases out or on the way in 2013, and each digs different paths into this blues-based style.
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 atArtworld Salon and on his own site.
Noodling gloriously, sax men Joe Lovano and Joshua Redman feel their way into the acoustics of a new space with "Blackwell's Message," named for the irresistible drumming of Ed Blackwell, who parlayed his New Orleans parade beat all over the world. Coincidentally, New Orleans' WWOZ is providing the recording crew and a host for a live webcast and broadcast on NPR Music. We have highlights here.
Drummer Allison Miller, a go-to choice for jazz heavies and arena-level singer-songwriters alike, has made time to cultivate her own working band in the past few years. Boom Tic Boom features some of her favorite female instrumentalists in pianist Myra Melford and violinist Jenny Scheinman, as well as a long-running partner-in-crime in bassist Todd Sickafoose, and it interprets her jaunty tunes with plenty of headroom for any onomatopoeia from her percussion palette.
Ever since he started becoming one of the best alto saxophone players in the world, Miguel Zenón has drawn influence from his upbringing in Puerto Rico. Folk melodies, forms and rhythms have inspired many of his technically astounding yet immediately gratifying works. So it makes sense that he's giving back. He's launched an initiative called Caravana Cultural, presenting free jazz concerts and lectures on the island. His latest album Oye!!! was recorded live in San Juan with Puerto Rican musicians.