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Larry Coryell, the jazz guitarist known as the "Godfather of Fusion," died Sunday night at a hotel in New York City, according to his publicist. He was 73.

Coryell was still performing more than 50 years after his first recordings. He played at New York jazz club Iridium on Friday and Saturday nights, and had plans for a summer tour with his fusion group The Eleventh House.

Four dancers in bright unitards are twisting, gliding and strutting their way through an airy gallery in Minneapolis. They're former members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and they're performing movements the choreographer created.

For seven decades, Cunningham delighted his many fans — and perplexed and mystified others. He died in 2009 at the age of 90. Now, a new exhibition at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center celebrates his dance legacy, and explores his impact on modern music and visual art.

Trudy Pitts On Piano Jazz

Feb 17, 2017

Organist, arranger, composer, teacher and singer Trudy Pitts (1932 – 2010) earned a reputation not only for her technical prowess, but also for her ability to convey a wide range of emotions through her playing. Her formal training was classical: She studied piano at Juilliard and Temple University, but came to jazz by way of the organ.

There are over 21 million refugees around the world, according to the United Nations, and the musical A Man of Good Hope tells the story of one of them: Somali refugee Asad Abdullahi. Several years ago, author Jonny Steinberg interviewed Abdullahi in a rough and tumble township outside Cape Town, South Africa. He was working on a book about South African history.

Hidden Figures star Taraji P. Henson and mathematician Rudy Horne.
Rudy Horne

 

The movie Hidden Figures is about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson - African American women who worked as “human computers” for NASA in the early days of the space race. They helped launch John Glenn into orbit and played a role in the moon landing.

Math is all over the place in the movie. In this scene, Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson, calculates where Glenn’s spacecraft will land when he returns to Earth.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Al Jarreau, a versatile vocalist who defied categorization for decades, died Sunday morning at the age of 76. Earlier this week, Jarreau had been hospitalized in Los Angeles "due to exhaustion," according to his official Facebook page.

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This past week, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber hit a milestone.

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For decades, there have been exactly 40 Broadway theaters all between 41st and 65th Streets in Manhattan. Tonight, a new theater opens that also happens to be the oldest. Are you confused? No one better than Jeff Lunden to clear it up.

Keith Ingham On Piano Jazz

Feb 10, 2017

The British-born pianist Keith Ingham began his jazz career in London after studying Mandarin at Oxford University. In the late '70s, he moved to New York, which led him to connect with the likes of Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman and Susannah McCorkle, for whom he was pianist and musical director.

The music industry can thank Glenn Miller's record label for the idea of gold records. Seventy-five years ago today, his song about a train trip became the world's first solid-gold hit.

"Chattanooga Choo Choo" is about a man going home, and promising his sweetheart he'll never roam. By February 10, 1942, more than 1.2 million copies of the song had been sold — and that was no small thing, the biggest seller in years. The record label, RCA Victor, celebrated by presenting Glenn Miller with a trophy during a live radio broadcast.

The Fred Hersch Trio brings a seductive and crafty intelligence to its version of "We See," the Thelonious Monk tune. Articulating its melody at the piano, Hersch slips in a few leisurely pauses, which slow down and stretch out the form. Then, in the bridge, he ratchets up to twice the speed, evoking the frenetic whir of the factory machinery in Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times.

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst says citrus fruits are a great way to perk up a winter menu. She goes through several seasonal varieties with Here & Now‘s Robin Young, and shares three recipes that use them.


Citrus Tasting Notes

When shopping for citrus, look for fruit that is firm, shiny, and avoid soft and spongy citrus. Always look for fruit that feels heavy in your hand. Most citrus will keep at room temperature or can be refrigerated for about 10 days.

In 1987, the popular sitcom A Different World brought stories of life at historically black colleges into living rooms across the country. For six seasons, the NBC TV show chronicled the goings on at the fictional Hillman College.

Since then, no other show on the small screen has been dedicated solely to the culture of historically black colleges — until now. Thirty years after A Different World's debut, BET has premiered The Quad.

Barry Harris On Piano Jazz

Feb 3, 2017

Barry Harris is a seminal figure in the jazz world. The "keeper of the bebop flame," as critics have called him, Harris is committed to preserving jazz through education and performance. His workshops play an important part in his life and in the lives of many young musicians.

Jazz vocalist John Boutté feels he can no longer afford to live in his hometown of New Orleans. He's not alone. Rising housing costs are pushing many musicians and service workers — the backbone of New Orleans' tourism economy — further and further outside the city limits.

For Brazilian vocalist Liniker Barros, it's almost impossible to avoid politics. As a trans black woman fronting one of Brazil's most compelling soul bands, Liniker E Os Caramelows, she says her mere presence is a statement.

Nick Hakim, sitting in the cold outside at the Songbyrd Cafe, on the flat stretch of a hill in Washington's Adams Morgan neighborhood, laughs when I say his new record sounds like it's being played back on an old 78.

It's become a January tradition for NPR to look ahead to some of the most anticipated jazz albums of the year. Bassist Christian McBride, who hosts NPR's Jazz Night In America, and jazz critic Nate Chinen of NPR Member station WBGO join NPR's Audie Cornish to preview three albums coming out in 2017.

Read some of McBride's and Chinen's thoughts below, and hear more of their discussion — including a reflection on the relationship between musicians and critics — at the audio link.

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