NPR Staff


WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:06 am
Fri July 3, 2015

Simone Dinnerstein On A Trip To Cuba And Making Music Out Of Difficulty

Dinnerstein's performance in Cuba followed the release of Broadway-Lafayette, an album of piano concertos.
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 9:52 am

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein is just back from Havana, where she performed with Cuba's National Youth Orchestra. She is also working with young people back in her hometown, New York. One of her goals? To introduce students to the composer she's best known for performing — Johann Sebastian Bach. She's taking digital pianos into public schools in a program she calls "Bach-packing."

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Music Interviews
6:48 pm
Sun June 28, 2015

The Sound Of Twin Danger: Frank Sinatra Meets The Clash

Twin Danger's Vanessa Bley and Stuart Matthewman
Sunny Khalsa Courtesy of the artist

Cocktail jazz isn't a sound you hear very much in pop music these days. But a duo known as Twin Danger is causing a scene with their self-titled debut album and live shows.

It's a familiar mood for saxophonist Stuart Matthewman; he co-wrote many of the biggest hits for Sade, like "No Ordinary Love" and "Your Love Is King."

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Wed June 24, 2015

New Documentary Finds Nina Simone 'In Between The Black And White Keys'

The documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? explores Nina Simone's rich and complicated life.
Courtesy of Peter Rodis/Netflix

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 6:34 pm

Even those who didn't live through Nina Simone's heyday can recognize her songs, or at least her voice. Born Eunice Waymon, the passionate performer and activist died in 2003, and today her recordings still loom larger than the rest of her story.

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Music Interviews
5:11 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Robert Glasper Puts His Trio On Shuffle

Robert Glasper's new piano trio album is called Covered.
Don Q. Hannah Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 6:18 pm

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Jazz Night In America
5:36 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

All In The Family: Father-Son Pairings In Jazz

Saxophonist Joshua Redman (left) performs on stage during the "Jazz sous les pommiers" jazz festival on May 9, 2013 in Coutances, France. Dewey Redman (right) performs in St. Paul, Minn., in 2007.
Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images and Chris Felver Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 8:13 pm

Jazz is all about great collaborations, and in honor of Father's Day this weekend, composer and bassist Christian McBride, host of NPR's Jazz Night In America and a regular All Things Considered guest, stopped by for a conversation about fathers and sons.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:37 am
Mon June 15, 2015

How To Annoy Your Dad: Play The Harpsichord

Mahan Esfahani's new album, Time Present and Time Past, combines Baroque and minimalist works for the harpsichord.
Bernhard Musil Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 8:55 pm

"The harpsichord is an easy target, isn't it?" Those are the fighting words of Mahan Esfahani, a good-humored harpsichordist who is a proud defender of his instrument.

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Music Interviews
5:13 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

The Hills Are Alive: Maria Schneider Lets Memory Guide The Music

Maria Schneider's latest album is The Thompson Fields.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 10:41 pm

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2:03 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Charlie Hunter: One Less String Attached

Charlie Hunter.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 11:02 am

The last time Charlie Hunter came to the NPR studios, he brought an eight-string guitar with fanned-out frets that included bass strings. He's now pared down to just seven strings, but his guitar still produces a big, fat sound. Let The Bells Ring On is Hunter's new album, and it features two jazz innovators: trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and drummer Bobby Previte. It's a record that goes every which way, but in places is rooted in gospel and the music on which he grew up.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:14 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Amid Violence In Baghdad, A Musician Creates A One-Man Vigil

Karim Wasfi, conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, at his home in Baghdad, has been playing his cello at the sites of explosive attacks in Baghdad.
Ahmed Qusay for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 11:29 am

The roar of a car bomb has been the prelude to Karim Wasfi's performances of late.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:48 am
Sat June 6, 2015

For Benedictine Monks, The Joy Of Making Albums And Beer

The monks of Norcia, Italy have recorded their first album, Benedicta.
Christopher McLallan Decca

Originally published on Sat June 6, 2015 12:44 pm

"The monastic life is very plain and ordinary," says Father Cassian Folsom, the founder and prior of the Monks of Norcia, ensconced in the St. Benedict Monastery in central Italy. "You get up, and you pray, and you do your work and go to bed and then the next day you do the same thing."

A large portion of the monks' daily routine is singing. "We chant the Divine Office and the Mass every day," Folsom tells NPR's Scott Simon. "And if you put all of those moments together it takes about five hours a day. Three hundred sixty-five days a year."

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