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Arts and Entertainment

Arts, culture and entertainment

When I meet Nineb Lamassu at England's Cambridge University, where he's a researcher, he transports us to his Middle Eastern homeland as opens his computer and plays me a recording of a man reciting a poem.

Somewhere between speech and song, the voice is old, a little gruff, rising and falling rhythmically. Even in Aramaic — I don't speak a word of Aramaic — the effect is hypnotic.

This year's Winter Jazzfest, which took place last week in New York City, presented an explicit theme of "Celebrating Social Justice." Conceptually and musically, Winter Jazzfest pushes the genre forward; after taking in as many of the 130-plus acts across many stages in Manhattan and Brooklyn as they could, our team reported back with some of the festival's highlights.


"Stories like forests are subject to seasons."

There is a sense of pensive melancholy as the wail of Keyon Harrold's trumpet pushes its way past the Hitchcock-esque piano that sets the tone for "Stay This Way." With Philadelphia singer Bilal and Southern rapper Big K.R.I.T. contributing vocals, the song asks if euphoric moments are meant to last, or if they're naturally fleeting.

Near the beginning of the track, Bilal sings almost waveringly:

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Toots Thielemans On Piano Jazz

Jan 6, 2017

This week, Piano Jazz remembers Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans (1922 – 2016), unrivaled master of the jazz harmonica.

Looking to eat healthier in 2017?

How about cutting down the amount of meat in your diet, even for just one day a week? It’s a movement called “meatless Monday,” and Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst brings Here & Now‘s Robin Young three satisfying dishes that put vegetables front and center.

When Lin-Manuel Miranda was a teenager in the 1990s, he liked to make eclectic mixtapes for his friends. In those cassettes, he experimented with the rise and fall of energy in music: A musical theater number might play after a hip-hop song, only to be followed by an oldie or an obscure pop song. It was through mixtapes that he could bridge the gap between two seemingly opposing passions — Broadway and rap.

As 2016 comes to a close, we wanted to take the time to hear from a few people whose words and actions influenced the nation this year.

One such person is actor and activist Jesse Williams. Many may know him as Jackson Avery, one of the many good-looking doctors on Shonda Rhimes' long running medical drama Grey's Anatomy.

In addition to starring in Grey's Anatomy, Jesse Williams dabbles in a lot of things: He's launched two mobile apps, hosts a basketball podcast and is in the midst of filing a remake of the 1990 thriller Jacob's Ladder.

A theater company in Brooklyn, N.Y., recently decided to do a social experiment: Put seven cops and seven civilians in a rehearsal room once a week to really get to know one another. Then, after 10 weeks, ask them to put on a show.

Loston Harris On Piano Jazz

Dec 30, 2016

For more than a decade, Loston Harris has headlined at Bemelmans Bar in Manhattan, delighting audiences with his smooth, soulful voice and piano style. Harris began his jazz career as a drummer, but was encouraged by mentor Ellis Marsalis to switch to the piano. There, he discovered a new instrument and a new musical world.

The New Year holiday tradition continues with the Toast of the Nation jazz party. Spirited, improvised and swinging, each hour was recorded live at Blue Note venues throughout the country and the world.

The Robert Glasper Experiment took a left turn with the recording of its new album, ArtScience. Instead of recruiting big-name guests, the core quartet wrote and recorded it entirely on its own. The band continues to expand on its genre-hopping sound — rooted in jazz but exploring elements of R&B, hip-hop and more — particularly in this performance of "Day To Day."

SET LIST

  • "Day To Day"

Photo: Brian Lowe/KCRW.

In the last week of 2016, Songs We Love is featuring just a few of the songs that, for whatever reason, never got their due this year.

The clarinet and guitar are common enough instruments, but you've probably never heard them sound quite like this. In the hands of guitarist Golfam Khayam and clarinetist Mona Matbou Riahi, the instruments breathe together in music that borrows melody and improvisation from their Iranian homeland and classical structures from the West.

The Radio City Rockettes deal in precision, but the story of the group agreeing to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony next month is a bit of a mess.

At least some of the dance group didn't want to perform for the incoming president's celebration, but a string of messages between dancers, their union and the troupe's ownership group over the latter part of the week caused confusion for many. Ultimately, dancers will now be able to individually choose whether or not to perform on Inauguration Day.

Let's break it down:

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