NPR Music

The Record
12:54 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Long Before The Harlem Shake, We Did The Shimmy

Gilda Grey, the dancer who is sometimes credited with naming the shimmy, in London in 1928.
Planet News Archive SSPL via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:47 am

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The Record
6:20 am
Thu February 21, 2013

After 30 Years, I Finally Went To A Barry Manilow Concert

Barry Manilow performing at the opening night of his show Manilow On Broadway in January.
Desiree Navarro WireImage

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Deceptive Cadence
4:39 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

From Bow To Baton: Violinist Joshua Bell Conducts Beethoven

Violinist Joshua Bell conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields by doing what comes naturally to him. The celebrated soloist is also the London orchestra's music director.
Chris Chrisodoulou Sony Classical

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:16 pm

Violinist Joshua Bell has followed the lead of symphony orchestra conductors since he turned 7 and made his orchestra debut. But now he's the one waving the baton — or at least waving his violin bow. Bell recently took over the music directorship of the venerable Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:02 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Night Beds: Tiny Desk Concert

Night Beds' members perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 6, 2013.
Marie McGrory for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:42 pm

Winston Yellen didn't start singing until he was 18 — he's 23 now — but he's already got one of 2013's most arresting new voices. As the singer for the country-rock group Night Beds, Yellen often performs a cappella, with tremendous soul and nuance.

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Music News
3:20 am
Mon February 18, 2013

'China's Leonard Cohen' Calls Out Political Corruption

Zuoxiao Zuzhou performing at his first concert in Beijing in two years on Jan. 18.
Yao Lei Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:42 am

Zuoxiao Zuzhou is a Chinese singer whose accented, croaky voice is hardly ever in tune. But for his fans he's the voice of a generation — one of the very few voices who dare to speak out. After a collaboration, Cowboy Junkies member Michael Timmins called him "China's Leonard Cohen."

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Author Interviews
1:59 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

Days With John And Yoko: A Writer Remembers

John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, pictured above in January 1970, are the subjects of Jonathan Cott's new book Days That I'll Remember. Cott met Lennon in 1968 and was friends with the couple.
Anthony Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 17, 2013 5:00 pm

As the European editor of Rolling Stone, Jonathan Cott spent his time interviewing legendary musicians like Mick Jagger and Pete Townshend. But in 1968, he finally got the opportunity to meet his hero, John Lennon. Cott was nervous.

"He said, 'There's nothing to be nervous about,'" Cott recalls. "'It's going to be OK, and we're doing it together, and that's what really matters.'"

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Music News
5:21 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Haitian Musicians Get By With A Little Help From Their Friends

Singer-songwriter Amos Dolce on the set of the video for his song "Haiti, Haiti," which Konbit Mizik produced.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:23 am

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Deceptive Cadence
4:42 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Jonas Kaufmann On Wagner: 'It's Like A Drug Sometimes'

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann.
Petra Stadler courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 6:00 pm

This year is the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth. The man widely called the greatest living Wagnerian tenor is marking the occasion in style — and asking listeners who may have turned away from the German composer to give his music another chance.

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The Record
1:28 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

A Brief History Of The Grammy Sales Bump

Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, winner of Album of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards. To date, the band's winning album, Babel, has sold 1,737,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 5:21 pm

As televised prize-givers, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences are slouches. The dozen prizes given out in a typical Grammy Awards telecast is the lowest of any major awards-show telecast, from the Oscars to the Emmys. NARAS gives out the bulk of its little gramophones in an untelevised ceremony.

But as sales-juicers? The Grammys are unparalleled.

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A Blog Supreme
4:02 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Survey The Portland Jazz Scene With Five Great Tunes

Pianist Darrell Grant is one of the anchors of the Portland jazz community.
Hiroshi Iwaya Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:19 pm

No matter what a certain television series tells you, Portland, Ore., isn't all that weird. Sure, we make great coffee, ride bicycles, eat organic food — and, yes, there are a lot of hippies and hipsters here. But Portland is much more than that.

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