Music

At first glance, Philip Glass and J.S. Bach might seem like strange bedfellows. But their keyboard concertos, separated by some 285 years, end up complementing, rather than contradicting each other on Circles, a new album from pianist Simone Dinnerstein and the Boston-based string orchestra A Far Cry.

It's hard to think of a more surprising and winning new collaboration than Wajatta, the electro-pop duo of Reggie Watts, the consummate vocal improviser best-known as comedian and bandleader on CBS' The Late Late Show with James Corden, and John Tejada, an elder statesman of West Coast dance music.

First Listen: Sarah Louise, 'Deeper Woods'

2 hours ago

For as long as humans have roamed the earth, forests have captivated a special slice of our collective human imagination. From hot, wet jungles to dry, snowy taigas, forests are sites of refuge, mystery and abundance.

First Listen: Ry Cooder, 'The Prodigal Son'

2 hours ago

From the beginning of his career as a recording artist, Ry Cooder has treated the music of the past as a resource, turning to old (and very, very old) songs for guidance, mentorship, life lessons, spiritual advice.

There's a well-known Russian folktale, "Snegurochka," that tells the story of an elderly couple who yearn to have a child; they create a little girl out of snow, and she comes to life. In her novel The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey reimagined that story and set it in her home state of Alaska — and now the story has made one more leap, to the theatre at Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF ASHLEY MONROE SONG, "WILD LOVE")

Jab'o Starks, the drummer who provided the steady beat for James Brown's iconic mid-'60s band and who stayed with the King of Soul through the early '70s, died at the age of 79 Tuesday morning at his home in Mobile, Ala. According to his manager, Kathie Williams, Starks was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes, a bone marrow disorder, in January 2017, which developed into acute leukemia one week ago, after which he entered hospice care.

'Rent' Is Due And Big Freedia Is Here To Collect

19 hours ago

To twist a meme normally reserved for Drake, get you a Rosali Middleman because she can do both. The Philly-based musician leads Long Hots, the chooglin' psych-rock trio featuring members of Spacin' and Hothead. Grab a tallboy; this is music that boogies your brain into heavy hypnosis.

GZA & The Soul Rebels: Tiny Desk Concert

22 hours ago

GZA's performance at the Tiny Desk was a rare appearance for the legendary Wu-Tang Clan emcee, in part because he's notoriously introverted, and because he brought along The Soul Rebels, an eight-piece New Orleans brass ensemble. Once they stepped behind the desk they got right down to business, opening with the sparkling "Living In The World Today," from GZA's 1995 solo album Liquid Swords.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As a DJ, music and television producer, one-time NYU professor, founder of the online community Okayplayer — and, oh yeah, the drummer and bandleader of The Roots — Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson can't seem to stop adding hyphens to his job.

#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Responds To R. Kelly

May 1, 2018

Activists have been trying since last summer to get the music industry to sever its ties to R&B singer R. Kelly, following years of allegations from women who say the singer sexually and emotionally abused them.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The world of online dating is about to get more crowded: Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to roll out its own matchmaking feature.

The news sent shares of Match Group tumbling. Match is an online dating conglomerate, with ownership in Tinder, match.com and OkCupid, among others. Shares of Match fell 22 percent for the day.

Senior officials with Match welcomed Facebook to online dating in statements made on Tuesday.

Eliane Elias On Piano Jazz

May 1, 2018

Brazilian pianist, composer, and vocalist Eliane Elias grew up with an affinity for both the music of her home country as well as American jazz. She got her start performing with two renowned Brazilian artists, singer-songwriter Toquinho and poet Vinicius de Moraes, before moving to New York in the 1980s, where she took the American jazz scene by storm.

It's a Bird!

May 1, 2018

Young British songstress Jade Bird joins us in Studio A this Thursday May 3. Jade was named "an artist to watch" by Rolling Stone magazine in 2017.

After successful appearances at SXSW and the Tonight Show w/Jimmy Fallon, the talented Americana singer/songwriter will have to put up with our shenanigans.

Listen to Jade's hit "Lottery" on KRCB FM91

@JadeBirdMusic

Gibson Guitars Files For Bankruptcy Protection

May 1, 2018

The company behind the iconic Gibson guitars — whose instruments have been played by Les Paul, B.B. King and Jimmy Page, among many others — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware. The Nashville, Tenn.-based corporation's current properties also include Baldwin Piano, Gibson Pro Audio and Wurlitzer, a company once famous for its organs but whose brand name Gibson now uses only for manufacturing jukeboxes.

From the sounds of blues guitarist and singer Lead Belly to recordings of Southwestern Woodhouse Toads, Smithsonian Folkways has been capturing the sounds of global history for the past 70 years. These recordings are among 60,000 treasured tracks the label has in its library — and it promises they'll never go out of print — from the labor songs of Woody Guthrie and children's songs of Ella Jenkins to New Orleans hot jazz, songs of the civil rights movement, the Honk Horn music of Ghana and so much more.

The two most-nominated shows at this year's Tony Awards might sound familiar, even to those who don't keep an eye on Broadway: Mean Girls, based on the 2004 movie, and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical, based on the long-running animated TV show, each earned a dozen nominations.

Sometimes at a concert, an artist's encore can feel more like a premeditated given than an earned celebration. But if you've ever seen the captivating Anderson East live (high jumps, sheer vocal prowess and all), you might agree that he earns every single encore he plays. And so, it feels just fine that East has called his latest album Encore.

If you’re a kid or the parent of one, you have no shortage of choices when it comes to family-friendly TV shows. Fifty years ago, the options were much more limited. And educational programs for kids were a relatively new genre.

From an August 1969 article in The Atlantic that profiled three stars of children’s television, including the iconic Fred Rogers:

This past fall, when news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal was galvanizing the #MeToo movement, some of us who work in the performing arts had a peculiar experience: Colleagues started asking if they'd sexually harassed us. A few of these colleagues may have been attempting to head off allegations, but many of them genuinely didn't know if they'd crossed a line.

Time's Up Joins Call To Shut Down R. Kelly

Apr 30, 2018

Updated April 30, at 8:00 p.m. ET with a statement from R. Kelly's representative.

A group of women of color within the Time's Up movement are joining a call for the music industry to cut their ties to R&B singer R. Kelly, making it the latest volley in a larger online campaign called #MuteRKelly.

Even though he's had his hand in more than 100 albums, watching Chick Corea play piano feels like seeing him fall in love with his instrument for the first time. Maybe that's why he called his latest album (a collaboration with drummer Steve Gadd) Chinese Butterfly. In Chinese symbolism, the butterfly represents the excitement and fluttering heart of young love.

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