Viola da gamba players are a special breed — a tiny subset in the already small world of early classical music. They rarely meet their own kind, but once a year they come together for a week in July at an annual jam session they call a conclave. Wendy Gillespie, who just finished her term as president of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, says attending the event is the highlight of her year.
The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet has been serenading audiences in its native Washington, D.C., across the country and even as far as France for more than two decades. But its members are finding ways to bring something new to their performances. Bandleader and co-founder Ginny Carr says she wrote the words and music to all 10 songs on the quartet's new album, Hustlin' for a Gig — a relative rarity in a jazz world defined by time-tested standards.
Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:14 pm
James McMurtry's career started hot, thanks to a lucky series of circumstances in 1987. First, at a friend's behest, he entered and won a high-profile songwriting competition. Then, when John Mellencamp got involved in a project written by McMurtry's father (the novelist Larry McMurtry), it gave the young folk-rock musician a chance to get his demo tape into Mellencamp's hands.
Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 11:07 am
Moya Brennan heads up this episode from the Mountain Stage archives, recorded live in West Virginia in December 2007. Brennan grew up in County Donegal, Ireland, as the eldest daughter in a musical family of nine children. Following the lead of their music-teacher mother and bandleader father, all 11 Brennans would often play together in the family pub.
The English piano-rock band Keane formed back in 1997, but it wasn't until 2004 that the group's album Hopes and Fears took off on the strength of the smash single "Somewhere Only We Know." A Best New Artist Grammy nomination followed, and in the years since, the group has released three more albums: 2006's Under the Iron Sea, 2008's Perfect Symmetry and this year's Strangeland.
This weekend, NPR Music and our partners WBGO and WGBH are presenting 16 hours of live video webcasting from the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival. For your convenience, here's a breakdown of what you'll see online and hear on WBGO. Everything is subject to change, as with all broadcasting; for the latest, check out npr.org/newportjazz, where you'll find the streaming video.
Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 6:23 pm
Why yes, that was indeed Daniel Barenboim carrying the Olympic flag at the opening ceremonies.
Filmmaker Danny Boyle's sprawling opening ceremonies pageant featured a cameo by the London Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle and comedian Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr. Bean, in the theme from Chariots of Fire.