Author Carole Boston Weatherford joins Jeff to discuss her new book, Becoming Billie Holiday, a fictional verse memoir. The world knew the famous jazz singer and songwriter (1915-1959) as Billie Holiday, but her name at birth was Eleanora Fagan. Neglected by her parents, abused by a neighbor, and sent to reform school, she scrubbed marble steps, drank bootleg liquor, smoked, worked in a brothel, and then found her voice--all before leaving Baltimore
This week Jill Pasternak's guest is pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. He performed on the 2008 Oscar-nominated score for the film <em>Atonement</em> by composer Dario Marianelli. He's also released an album featuring Camille Saint-Saens' Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 5 with L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romand, conducted by Charles Dutoit.
Robin Meloy Goldsby may have been destined for show business. She had the requisite musical roots –- her father, Bob Rawsthorne, played drums for the PBS program Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. She also had the early childhood experiences: Through her dad's involvement in Pittsburgh show business, she had the opportunity to act and play piano in various local productions.
Violinist David Kim was named Concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. Born in Carbondale, Illinois in 1963, Kim started playing the violin at the age of three, began studies with the famed pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the age of eight, and later received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Juilliard School. In 1986, he was the only American violinist to win a prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
Like many artists of his generation, singer Ed Reed saw his career interrupted by drug use and incarceration. JazzTimes magazine recently ran a piece on the Narcotic Farm, a prison for addicts in Lexington, Ky., known for the jazz players who performed behind bars. San Quentin, where Reed did his time, also hosted some notorious jazz players, including Art Pepper, Frank Butler and Frank Morgan.
Music Director of The Academy of Vocal Arts since 1977, Maestro Macatsoris began his conducting career in Italy at the Conservatory in Milan. He went on to study conducting privately with such famed maestri as Fausto Cleva, Max Rudolf, and Tullio Serafin, and studied composition with Vincent Persichetti. Among his many performance credits are appearances with Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, Pennsylvania Opera Company, San Francisco Opera Center, and numerous regional opera companies.