Music

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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The Record
2:38 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

These New Puritans: 'You Have To Be Meticulous'

These New Puritans, from left: Elisa Rodrigues, Thomas Hein, Jack Barnett, George Barnett.
Courtesy of the artist

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The Record
3:05 am
Thu May 1, 2014

'Illmatic': The Making Of A Classic

Nas in 1994, the year Illmatic was released.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of Sony Legacy

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:53 am

This summer Nas is traveling the world performing his debut album, Illmatic, in full. The crowds coming out to see him — in Texas, Germany and California — are turning up because the 20-year-old record is an acknowledged classic.

In the early '90s hip-hop was just beginning its takeover of popular music. It was landing on the charts, but more often than not, the songs there were novelties (see: MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice).

For the people who took hip-hop seriously, and especially the fans in rap's hometown of New York City, this was a problem.

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The Record
2:59 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Minya Oh: 'I Was Never Gonna Not Want To Listen To This'

Minya Oh, who reviewed Illmatic in The Source in 1994 under the pen name Shortie and is now a radio personality on New York's Hot 97 who goes by Miss Info. Here she poses for a portrait backstage at a vitaminwater Fader uncapped event in 2012.
Roger Kisby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 9:12 am

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CD of the Month
3:47 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

G. Love, "Sugar"

The CD of the Month for May comes to you from G. Love. It's titled "Sugar"

JOIN THE CLUB TODAY AND RECEIVE A BRAND NEW CD EVERY MONTH FOR A YEAR!

From innocentwords.com:

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The Fresh Air Interview
2:27 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

At 90, 'Fiddler' Lyricist Tells His Story

Sheldon Harnick (right) with the late Jerry Bock, his long-time musical collaborator. Together they worked on musicals like Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 10:13 am

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