NPR Music

A Blog Supreme
4:27 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

How Taxes And Moving Changed The Sound Of Jazz

The bebop innovator Dizzy Gillespie on 52nd Street in New York, which was filled with small jazz clubs in the 1940s.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

This week — when many of us at NPR rushed to file our U.S. federal income-tax returns, then moved to a new headquarters — I'm reminded of a moment in jazz history. Namely, the mid-1940s, when a new style called bebop came into popularity.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:07 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Appreciating A Pillar Of The Chicago Sound: Trumpeter Bud Herseth

The late trumpeter Bud Herseth, former principal player for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for over 50 years.
Jim Steere courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 10:06 am

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Deceptive Cadence
6:15 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Caroline Shaw, 30, Wins Pulitzer For Music

Caroline Shaw, winner of this year's music Pulitzer, performing with the ACME ensemble in New York in September 2012.
AJ Wilhelm for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 6:16 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
4:57 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Remembering Colin Davis, A Conductor Beloved Late In Life

The late Colin Davis conducting the last night of Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall in September 1968.
George Freston Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 2:59 am

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:03 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Yo La Tengo: Tiny Desk Concert

Yo La Tengo performs a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2013.
Marie McGrory/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:35 pm

It's not often that someone on the NPR Music team gets to see his or her favorite band perform a Tiny Desk Concert. After all, you can only have one favorite band, and NPR Music supports a staff of about 20; that means that, of the 250-plus Tiny Desk Concerts we've produced, fewer than 10 percent could possibly have qualified for favorite-band status.

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Books
7:03 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Tall Glass Of Rock Star-Ness: A Q&A With Questlove

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson also teaches a class at New York University called "Topics in Recorded Music: Classic Albums."
Ben Watts Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 9:38 am

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is the drummer and co-founder of the Grammy-Award winning band The Roots, which now serves as the house band for the talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Questlove is coming out with a memoir in June called Mo' Meta Blues, co-written with Ben Greenman. After reading it, you'll feel like you know Questlove. The book is intimate and funny. Plus, you'll come away with a crash course in hip-hop history.

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Music Interviews
4:57 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Nick Drake's Producer Remembers 'A Real Musician's Musician'

The cover photo from Nick Drake's 1969 debut, Five Leaves Left, produced by Joe Boyd.
Album cover

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 11:33 pm

English folk musician Nick Drake died decades before the song "Pink Moon" found him a wide audience, thanks to a series of Volkswagen ads back in 1999. They sparked a resurgence of interest in Drake's work — music largely ignored in his day but now inspiring legions of young musicians.

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Music Interviews
5:09 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeahs On Love Songs, New York And Transforming On Stage

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new album is titled Mosquito.
Dan Martensen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 11:04 am

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Music Interviews
6:27 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Thao Nguyen's Musical Life Is Far From 'Common'

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's new album is titled We The Common.
Nick Walker Courtesy of the artist

Thao Nguyen, of the folk-rock group Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, has been on a musical journey since she started performing in her teens in Northern Virginia. Delicate yet fierce in her vocal delivery, she writes often about her social concerns — and it was a trip to a California women's prison that inspired much of her latest album, We the Common.

Ngyuen and her band are on the road for the first time in several years; she spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden from a tour stop in Kansas City.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Extreme Drama: The Life And Music Of Richard Wagner

Rudolph Cronau's drawing of Wagner's opera house, Bayreuth, flanked by his birthplace (left) and place of death.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 10:11 am

Richard Wagner was, and still is today, arguably the most controversial figure in classical music. A self-appointed deity and hyperdriven genius, Wagner is often considered the ultimate megalomaniac. He dreamed up and achieved a single-minded plan to change the course of classical music history.

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