Music

A Blog Supreme
4:21 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

The First African-American Piano Manufacturer

The high-end Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York, now called Langham Place, took in one of Warren Shadd's pianos.
Courtesy of Warren Shadd

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 11:20 am

At the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February, one couldn't help but notice the striking new grand piano on the main stage, emblazoned with the name SHADD. When the many accomplished pianists that wee­­kend sat down to strike those keys, it was equally easy to spot their delight in the instrument.

That piano was the product of a trailblazer in his field. The Shadd in question is jazz drummer Warren Shadd, the first African-American piano manufacturer. That makes him the first large-scale commercial African-American instrument manufacturer, period.

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All Songs Considered
10:34 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Black Keys 'Turn Blue': The All Songs Interview

Patrick Carney (left) and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 9:54 pm

  • Listen To The Black Keys On All Songs

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The Fresh Air Interview
12:37 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Sam Baker: Finding Grace In The Wake Of Destruction

Sam Baker's new album is titled Say Grace.
C. Lawrence Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 1:34 pm

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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:03 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Public Service Broadcasting: Tiny Desk Concert

Public Service Broadcasting performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in March 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:34 pm

These guys don't speak or sing a word, but each song sends a clear message. Public Service Broadcasting is a duo featuring the nerdy J. Willgoose, Esq. on guitar, banjo and electronics and Wrigglesworth on drums. The source material for the music is British public-service films from roughly the 1940s through the 1960s.

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Music Interviews
4:53 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Composer Elliot Goldenthal's New Work In An Odd Key

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:31 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

If you're just joining us, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. What connects the films "Drugstore Cowboy," "Pet Cemetery," "Batman Forever" and "Frida?" You can skip Kevin Bacon and connect them all with just one name, composer Elliot Goldenthal.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Author Interviews
5:05 am
Sun May 4, 2014

The 'Marvelous Living' Of Soprano Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman performs late on June 6, 2008 during the 14th Sacred World Music Festival.
Abdelhak Senna AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 1:32 pm

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Music Interviews
5:18 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Sonny Rollins: 'You Can't Think And Play At The Same Time'

"Jazz improvisation is supposed to be the highest form of communication," Sonny Rollins says, "and getting that to the people is our job as musicians."
John Abbott Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 6:27 pm

When you consider that critics have been writing about him for over 60 years, it can seem as if there's nothing left to say about Sonny Rollins. But there is – because over the decades, the "Saxophone Colossus" has never stopped growing or adding to his sound.

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Music Interviews
9:52 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Sri Lankan Opera Singer Followed Her Dream To American Stage

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:32 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Kids in America can dream of becoming an opera singer and performing around the world. The odds are long, but talent, hard work, the right breaks - all of that could make it happen. But what if you grew up in Sri Lanka, off the coast of India?

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:42 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Cian Nugent: Tiny Desk Concert

Cian Nugent performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 11:20 pm

Cian Nugent doesn't know what he wants to be, and that's OK. The Dublin-based guitarist cut his teeth as a 19-year-old pickin' on the acoustic worlds that John Fahey, Jack Rose and Bert Jansch built.

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Music Interviews
4:39 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Connections On A Dance Floor: The Musical Brotherhood Of Young Fathers

Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers performs in Texas in 2013. From left: Alloysious Massaquoi, Graham "G" Hastings, Kayus Bankole.
Joshua Brasted Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:17 am

Even in music's melting pot, Young Fathers are an unlikely trio. Alloysious Massaquoi is originally from Liberia, Kayus Bankole has Nigerian parents, and producer Graham "G" Hastings hails from North Edinburgh, Scotland, where the three first met as teenagers in the early 2000s.

In a conversation with NPR's Audie Cornish, the members of the genre-mashing group say they connected instantly — even though, under the circumstances, they couldn't actually speak to one another:

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