WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:56 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Too Much Of A Good Thing? Jane Ira Bloom's Beautiful Ballads

Jane Ira Bloom.
Johnny Moreno Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:08 pm

When soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom plays Kurt Weill's "My Ship" on her new album Sixteen Sunsets, a pale glow around her notes comes from a simple special effect: pointing her horn under the hood of a piano whose strings are free to resonate. Bloom has always been preoccupied with sound, and has one of the prettiest, clearest tones around on soprano.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:51 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Dave Brubeck Was The Macklemore Of 1954

Dave Brubeck received a posthumous tribute at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:23 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

From taffeta to tackles: Soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Karin Cooper Courtesy of Washington National Opera

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:05 pm

She's probably not among your first, or second, or 10th, or 20th-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:30 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Remaking All That Jazz From Shanghai's Lost Era

Electronic music producer Dave Liang and jazz singer Zhang Le collaborated on a new album of Shanghai jazz standards from the 1930s and 1940s.
Zhuang Yan Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:55 pm

You may not hear it when you're listening to Shanghai jazz standards from the 1930s and '40s, but dig deeper into their history and you'll find a generational skip in the record.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:08 am
Sun January 26, 2014

94 Years After Her Death, Maud Powell Finally Wins A Grammy

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 9:20 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:54 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Heavenly Music From Hildegard Of Bingen, A Soon-To-Be Actual Saint

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 4:43 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:31 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Minnesota Orchestra's Labor Dispute Is Over. What's Next?

The Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management have finally bridged their long and bitter labor dispute.
Ann Marsden Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:44 pm

After 15 months of acrimony, the longest labor dispute at a major American symphony orchestra has ended. The Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians reached an agreement last night and players will return to work on February 1. While all sides are relieved, most admit the hard work of rebuilding some seriously damaged bridges is just about to begin.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:48 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The 'Ode To Joy' As A Call To Action

A Chinese student at the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, where speakers playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony were rigged up to drown out government broadcasts.
Battle Hymns Productions

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:39 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
9:38 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan?

Left to right: Kamala Sankaram as Mukhtar Mai, Steve Gokool, Theodora Hanslowe, Leela Subramaniam, Kannan Vasudevan, Manu Narayan.
Prototype Opera Festival

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Mukhtar Mai is from a small tribal village in Pakistan. In 2002, her brother was accused of sexually molesting a woman from a wealthy land-owning clan. What happened next was horrifying, says singer and composer Kamala Sankaram.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:24 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Sax Great Jimmy Heath 'Walked With Giants,' And He's Still Here

Jimmy Heath and friends at a session at New York's WOR Studios in 1953. Left to right: Miles Davis, Kenny Drew, Art Blakey, Jimmy Heath.
Temple University Press / Jimmy Heath collection

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 11:31 am

In the room he uses as a practice space and office in his apartment in Corona, Queens, Jimmy Heath recalls a hit record from long ago.

"It's a song Bill Farrell, a popular singer, had years ago," he says, and then sings: "You've changed, you're not the angel I once knew / No need to tell me that we're through / It's all over now, you've changed." Then the 5'3" musician with the big sound picks up his tenor saxophone and blows.

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