Music

bennygolson.com

North Carolina Central University became the first university in the state to offer a jazz degree in 1977. The university has since been a force on a state and national level in keeping the jazz scene alive.

The university is now throwing its 23rd annual Jazz Festival this week. Ira Wiggins, director of their jazz department, founded the festival in 1990 with hopes of creating a space for students to meet and learn from seasoned jazz musicians. This year the festival features jazz artists Carl Allen and Benny Golson. Benny Golson is a world-renowned saxophonist, composer, and producers.  Ira Wiggins and Benny Golson join Host Frank Stasio to talk about the state of jazz education today, and give us a sneak peek of the festival.

losplanerosdela21.org

When Juan Gutiérrez arrived in Harlem from Puerto Rico in the early 1970s, he had hopes of becoming a professional concert musician. But soon enough he started longing for a community that embraced and celebrated his roots.

US Army image of a bassoon from the US Army Band Europe.
Flicker user SJrankin

  The music critic and composer Cecil Gray once said: "The bassoon in the orchestra plays the same role as Gorgonzola among cheeses -- a figure for fun. Actually, the bassoon can be the most romantic and passionate of instruments, and Gorgonzola can be the finest of cheeses, but they must both be treated properly."  Why would anyone pick up the bassoon?

Mount Moriah band
Andrew Synowiez / mountmoriah.com

Mount Moriah is getting ready to continue their national tour for their critically-acclaimed album, "Miracle Temple." The band was signed by Merge Records and this is their first release under the new record label. "Miracle Temple" offers fans more of Heather McEntire's soulful vocals and lyrics but takes chances with a more intricate sound. Host Frank Stasio talks with founding members Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller about the band's incredible success.

In 1955, John R. Cash was a sometime auto mechanic, sometime appliance salesman who liked to play the guitar and sing, mostly gospel songs. The "R" in his name didn't stand for anything — and, in fact, he'd been named J.R. at birth and had to come up with "John" when he joined the Air Force. He'd spend the rest of his life reinventing himself.

Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo met at music school at age 12, and they've been on a mission ever since to make classical music a little less serious. The two accomplished musicians are bringing their classical music comedy show to Greensboro and Greenville this weekend. Igudesman & Joo join host Frank Stasio in the studio to listen to some of their performances and talk about mixing classical music with pop songs, props, and slapstick.

NC Composer Robert Ward
Robert Willett / News & Observer

The acclaimed classical composer and Durham resident Robert Ward has died. He was 95 years old.

Ward was known and honored for his contributions to the world of classical music and was chancellor of the UNC School of the Arts (then called N.C. School of the Arts) from 1967 to 1974 before joining Duke University as a music professor.  He composed many symphonies and operas over his lifetime, including an operatic adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1962.

Keith Weston
MelShoots

Every weekend it's my pleasure on Back Porch Music to share with you scores of selections from WUNC's wide-ranging folk music library.  It's always a musical adventure that I often find surprising and inspiring myself - and I hope you do, too. From fiddle tunes to singer-songwriters, the term "folk" applies to such a large range of sounds and textures.

Carolina in the Morning
Johns Hopkins University, The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music

If you’ve ever attended a public event or high school choir performance in North or South Carolina, chances are you’ve heard the song “Carolina in The Morning.” But which Carolina does the iconic tune refer to?

Tokyo Rosenthal
tokyorosenthal.com

Tokyo Rosenthal is an Americana musician. And while Americana might be a traditional sort of music, Tokyo Rosenthal isn’t your traditional artist.

His sound combines rock, country and blues, and his songs revolve around issues of social justice. Host Frank Stasio talks to him about his newest album, and Tokyo Rosenthal plays live in the studio.

The Royal Hawaiian Quintet Performing on the U.S. Mainland
University of Hawaii at Manoa Library, via flickr, creative commons

  

The sound of American Country music owes much of it's success to an unlikely source: the 19th century Hawaiian music scene. Hawaiian music at that time was dominated by the steel guitar. During the instrument's century-long international migration, it influenced the direction of many genres.

We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day in true public radio form - a conversation with the award-winning host of NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock. Fiona Ritchie has spent more than 30 years digging into the evolving Celtic music tradition, bringing public radio listeners well-established and newly emerging recording artists in Europe and North America.Today, we got her to dish on the Irish, her children and NPR, too.

gravyboys.com / Christer Berg Photography

The Americana music of The Gravy Boys hit the scene about eight years ago. They’re now three albums in and expanding their acoustic sound. Their newest album is called Crackerjack Whistle, and they’ll be playing in Raleigh tomorrow night.

You're about to watch one of the best fiddlers on the planet and a subtle guitar master work their magic. For too many of us, Irish music is something that merely gets trotted out around this time of year, associated with St. Patrick's Day and the coming of spring — and made a cliche by commercialism and whatever other shallow notions make cliches what they are.

Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle
annaandelizabeth.com

While many popular musicians today seek out the newest digital technology to enhance their performances, there’s a young musical duo from rural Virginia who are moving in the opposite direction. Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle call themselves simply “Anna and Elizabeth.”  Both accomplished traditional Appalachian musicians on a variety of instruments, together they have resurrected a storytelling tradition called the “crankie,” whose technology outdates their combined age (which is 50).

darkershadesofsymphony.com

Front man Michael Seebold describes his band, Darker Shades of Symphony, as neoclassical metal. If you’ve never heard of that genre, you’re probably not alone.

'The Next Best Thing' by Overmountain Men
Overmountain Men

Musicians David Childers and Bob Crawford bonded over a shared love of Appalachian music and history. The result is the second CD from their band "The Overmountain Men." Crawford is also the bassist for the Avett Brothers, while Childers has had a long career with the Modern Don Juans.

culturalequity.org

Alan Lomax dedicated seven decades of his life to recording and distributing the sound of as much of the globe as he could reach. Beginning as a 17-year-old from Austin, Texas, Alan traveled with his father, John Lomax, to plantations, farms and prisons in the deep South.

The Old Ceremony

Feb 15, 2013
www.oldceremony.com

The Old Ceremony is well-known to music lovers in the Triangle.

The band has been playing together for eight years and now their new album “Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide” will receive an international release. Host Frank Stasio will be joined by the Old Ceremony as they talk about the evolution of their music over the years.

For seven generations her family has passed down English, Scottish and Irish ballads that crossed the Atlantic with their ancestors in the 1700s. Join Fiona and an intimate audience at the Swannanoa Gathering's Traditional Song Week to enjoy Appalachian ballads and stories of a unique singer, author, tradition bearer and cultural treasure: Sheila Kay Adams.

Steep Canyon Rangers 'Nobody Knows You' wins Grammy for best bluegrass album of 2012
Steep Canyon Rangers

Here's an update on how some artists with North Carolina connections fared at the Grammys on Sunday February 10.  This article was originally prepared as a Grammy preview looking at the Carolina Chocolate Drops and The Avett Brothers with some of their recent appearances on "The State of Things" on WUNC.

Update 6:11 p.m.

"The Goat Rodeo Sessions" from Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile win for Best Folk Album 2012, edging out the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

jonshain.com

Jon Shain grew up in a run-down mill town outside of Boston, but got a sense for the finer things in life at Duke University. He also became aware that the well off don’t always recognize the plight of the poor.

'Lovesick Blues' by Chris Stamey
www.chrisstamey.com

Chris Stamey has been a fixture on the local music scene for decades. He grew up with Mitch Easter and played with the likes of Alex Chilton, The Sneakers and the DBs. He's a sought after producer, and he even studied classical music and composition at UNC-Chapel Hill. But through it all, he's also been writing songs.

Chris Stamey has a new album of his own music out Wednesday called "Love Sick Blues."

  Not so long ago, Anna Rose Beck didn't think she could sing. She came to Durham to study biomedical engineering at Duke University, but eventually music pulled at her, and she decided to make it her life.

George Higgs
Tim Duffy, Music Maker Relief Foundation

North Carolina blues musician George Higgs died on Tuesday. He was 82 years old.

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