Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:13 pm
Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, oldest son of New Orleans pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, released an album with his quartet this week. He spoke to weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about the failings of modern jazz, his hopes for the next generation and leaving New York City to move back to the South.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 12:02 pm
All summer long, Weekend Edition has been sampling the sounds of America's street musicians. The latest to catch our ear is Alexis Dawdy, a young violinist who returned to her hometown of Lansing, Mich., to study at Michigan State University — and do a little busking on the side.
"I'm actually not a music major. This is really a hobby that accidentally became a profession," Dawdy says. "I'm studying linguistics, and I'm 17 credits out from graduation. My goal is to do it debt-free, and this helps a lot. This pays for books and this pays for food."
More than half a century ago this week, on Aug. 12, 1958, some of the greatest jazz musicians of the day assembled in Harlem at what was, for them, the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. Fifty-seven players came to East 126th Street to have their picture taken for Esquire magazine.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 9:11 am
The up-tempo string band Scythian makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Featuring twin fiddles and energy to spare, Scythian sets itself apart from other traditional bands by blending Celtic music and bluegrass with touches of French Canadian, zydeco and gypsy styles, a product of founder Alexander Fedoryka's Ukrainian ancestry.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:34 pm
Broadway and film legend Marvin Hamlisch died Monday in Los Angeles at age 68. Also the pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, he began studying at Juilliard at age 7 — and at the time, he was the youngest student to be accepted at there. "My big thing at Juilliard — because I hadn't taken that many piano lessons at that point — was not that I could play Bach or Beethoven, but that I could play 'Goodnight Irene' in any key," Hamlisch told NPR's Scott Simon in 1987.
Now that pianist Leif Ove Andsnes is in his 40s, he's told himself that it's time to "grow up" and immerse himself in Beethoven. This comes at the same time that he's immersing himself in the life of his daughter Sigrid, now 2.
For Andsnes, seeing the world through Beethoven's eyes is one thing, but seeing it through the eyes of a child is something else altogether.
Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 3:10 pm
The Litchfield Jazz Festival leads off with a weeks-long camp for high-school students and New York's finest musicians on the faculty, then climaxes with a two-day festival. This year it's August 11-12 in Goshen, Conn., but here we have two sets from the 2010 festival, featuring two groups with young leaders.
San Antonio native Alejandro Escovedo co-hosts the latest installment of Latin Roots, in which he discusses the Latin character of his hometown's music since the 1950s. Escovedo's prolific rock music has always had strong Latin influences as a result of the time he spent listening to his parents' records.