Arts and Entertainment

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
10:36 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Jane Bunnett And Chihiro Yamanaka On JazzSet

Jane Bunnett (left) and Candido perform at the Kennedy Center during the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.
Margot Schulman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 3:48 pm

Chihiro Yamanaka and Jane Bunnett come to the Kennedy Center from Japan and Canada, respectively, and each has a compelling story.

Jane Bunnett is from Toronto, yet for more than 30 years, she's championed Cuban music and musicians. She's made dozens of trips to the island, studying and working, bringing instruments to schoolchildren, and inviting players to return to Canada with her and her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer.

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Theater
1:57 am
Thu March 27, 2014

At 81, Playwright Athol Fugard Looks Back On Aging And Apartheid

In 1961, South African playwright Athol Fugard put black and white actors on stage together in his breakout play Blood Knot. He's pictured above in the 1970s.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:18 am

Under apartheid, trying to make an artistic political statement was difficult — artists were subject to scrutiny and even arrest. On the other hand, making a political statement was easy: All one had to do was put black and white actors on a stage together.

That's exactly what South African playwright Athol Fugard did back in 1961 with his breakout play Blood Knot. His newest play, The Shadow of the Hummingbird, is now onstage at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn.

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The Checkout: Live
9:44 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Matthew Stevens Group: Live At Berklee

Matthew Stevens performs at Berklee College of Music, with bassist Vicente Archer.
Michael Borgida Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:40 pm

Of the young guitarists on New York's jazz scene, few are as highly tipped as Matthew Stevens. Best known for his role in Christian Scott's quintet, he's often drafted to execute the new visions of his peers, but also gets calls from veteran musicians like Terri Lyne Carrington and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Stevens also has a knack for writing and arranging, and will soon unveil his own debut recording as a bandleader.

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Kitchen Window
11:33 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Secret To These Sauces Is Nuts

Claire Adas for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 8:26 am

I grew up thinking of nuts as junk food: full of fat and calories, a guilty treat for holidays and special occasions. I remember bowls of salty cocktail mix, nut-covered cheese logs, sweet buttery honey-roasted peanuts and cashews, or Jordan almonds in their strangely addictive sugary coating. They were in the same category as potato chips and candy: irresistible, but not good for you at all.

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Theater
12:57 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Repeat Offenders On The Great White Way

Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale co-star in the new Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County. It's the third time they've played opposite each other.
Joan Marcus

Caissie Levy and Will Swenson were so used to playing lovers that they weren't sure how to play enemies.

They first got romantic in the 2009 revival of Hair, as the doomed couple Sheila and Berger. Then last year, they cast forbidden sparks as the adulterous leads in the rock musical Murder Ballad.

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Music Reviews
12:31 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

After A Painful Year, Bud Powell's Triumpant 1953 Return

Bud Powell pioneered bebop-style improvisation on the piano.
Metronome Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:14 pm

The great bebop pianist Bud Powell played several engagements at the New York jazz club Birdland in 1953. Parts of his shows were broadcast on the radio, and one listener recorded some onto acetate discs. A new collection of those recordings is out now: Birdland 1953 on three CDs from ESP-Disk'. The sound quality isn't much, but the music is terrific.

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Oklahoma Voices
11:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Immigration Inspiration: Oklahoma Novel Framed By Controversial 2007 Law

HarperCollins Publishers

In 2007, Gov. Brad Henry signed some of the country’s strictest anti-immigration legislation into law.

House Bill 1804 by state Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore) made it a felony for the state to provide education and health care services to illegal immigrants, and requires police to investigate the immigration status of anyone “suspected” of being in this country illegally.

Seven years later, the controversial law and its effect on people form the basis for Oklahoma native Rilla Askew’s fourth novel Kind of Kin, now out in paperback.

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Code Switch
4:15 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

They Cast Whom?! Actor Choices To Offend Every Racial Sensibility

From a mixed heritage, Adam Jacobs plays Aladdin in the Disney Broadway production of the same name.
Cylla von Tiedemann AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:48 am

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
3:06 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Nadine Jansen On Piano Jazz

Nadine Jansen
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist and horn player Nadine Jansen got her start as a part of Horace Heidt's amateur show. Performing alongside The Clooney Sisters, Skitch Henderson and Tony Pastor, Jansen learned show business from the best entertainers around. She quickly made a name for herself on the nightclub circuit, particularly in clubs like New York's Capital Theatre and the Blue Note in Chicago.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:02 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Andrew Hill On Piano Jazz

Andrew Hill photographed in his home, 2005.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Fifty years ago today, Andrew Hill recorded what would become his signature album: Point of Departure. Fifty years later, it still sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. Assembling a murderer's row of horn players (Eric Dolphy, Kenny Dorham, Joe Henderson) with a rhythm section for the ages (Hill, Richard Davis, Tony Williams), Hill juxtaposed complex, layered harmonies with charged grooves. The result occupies that rare territory between the comfort of the familiar and the allure of the perceptibly unique.

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