Arts and Entertainment

Live At The Village Vanguard
2:05 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Brian Blade Fellowship: Live At The Village Vanguard

John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:23 pm

A Brian Blade Fellowship concert feels a bit like a family reunion. Its core — drummer Blade, pianist Jon Cowherd and bassist Chris Thomas — has played together for more than 20 years, and its horn players have stayed loyal to the operation, too. Its repertoire feels rooted in a deep emotional well where sacred abuts secular and jazz meets its Southern folk cousins. Sparks always seem to fly when it gathers for an infrequent recording or string of tour dates.

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Book Reviews
6:13 am
Wed December 4, 2013

NPR's Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2013's Great Reads

Browse More Than 200 Of This Year's Standout Titles" href="/post/nprs-book-concierge-our-guide-2013s-great-reads" class="noexit lightbox">

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 12:53 pm

Over the past five years, we've published more than 80 year-end book lists. So this year, we decided to try something new. Introducing NPR's Book Concierge, your personal guide to the best books published in 2013.

NPR staff and critics selected more than 200 standout titles. Now it's up to you: Choose your own adventure! Use the categories to search through our favorite books and find the perfect read for yourself or someone else. Happy reading!

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Kitchen Window
1:32 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Get Freshly Minted This Holiday Season

Emily Hilliard for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 2:03 pm

When I was growing up, my uncle Richard farmed mint. In the late summer, he and his crew would mow the mint fields like hay and collect the leaves in enclosed wagons, then drive them down to the still, where they would seal them and pump them full of steam. The steam caused the oil in the leaves to turn to vapor, which re-liquefied when pushed through a condenser.

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Music Reviews
4:14 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

27 Years Ago, Keith Jarrett Was A One-Man Band

Keith Jarrett circa 1986.
Toshinari Koinuma Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 5:57 pm

Keith Jarrett is a jazz legend. His catalog of recordings includes solo piano improvisations, trio and quartet works, classical performances, early sessions with Charles Lloyd and late ones with Miles Davis. But there's nothing quite like Jarrett's new double-CD set No End: It was recorded in his home studio in 1986, and he plays all the instruments — notably drums, bass and electric guitar.

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Arts and Entertainment
1:07 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Fate Of Oklahoma Pop Culture Museum Remains Uncertain

An artist's rendering of the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in Tulsa.
Credit Oklahoma Historical Society

Promoters of a museum dedicated to all things pop culture in Oklahoma plan to once again seek funding from the Legislature, but the fate of the Tulsa-based museum remains uncertain.

The Tulsa World reports the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, or OKPOP, would be a 75,000-square-foot building dedicated to the state's contributions in music, film, television, theater, pop art, comic books, literature and humor.

But state lawmakers have not yet committed to it for the 2015 fiscal year.

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Music Interviews
4:34 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Ben Allison: Leading A Stellar Band Far Beyond The World

The Stars Look Very Different Today, the new album from bassist and composer Ben Allison (far right) and his band, comes out Dec. 3.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 6:55 pm

Most music fans will recognize the title of Ben Allison's new album, The Stars Look Very Different Today, as a reference to the song "Space Oddity," itself a reference to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Music Interviews
7:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Bringing Jazz On Walkabout: Jon Batiste And Stay Human

Jon Batiste (second from left) and the Stay Human band.
Peter Lueders Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 1:25 pm

Pianist Jonathan Batiste was born and raised in New Orleans as part of the Batiste jazz family dynasty there. He was playing with the family band by age 8. Eventually he took his talents to Julliard, and that's where he met the rest of Stay Human: Joe Saylor on the drums, Ibanda Ruhumbika on tuba and Eddie Barbash on alto sax.

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History
4:08 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

'Project Unspeakable' Asks The Big Questions

A group of people inspired by a book on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are creating theater around the idea that his death could have been part of a conspiracy. And the questions don't stop there.

Theater
4:41 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Around The U.S., Holiday Theater With Local Flair

Seven In One Blow, which plays at New York City's Axis Theater, is one of many recurring holiday-season productions across the U.S. that bring a distinctly local flavor and history to bear.
Dixie Sheridan

Whatever they are, our holiday traditions tend to be a mixture of the universal and the specific.

If we celebrate Christmas, for instance, we might have stockings and trees just like our neighbors, but we might also be the only ones in town who wear homemade elf hats while we open presents. It's a mix that helps us feel closer to the rest of the culture while reaffirming what's special about our own little community, family and home.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:03 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Jason Moran On JazzSet

Jason Moran and The Bandwagon perform in the KC Jazz Club.
Jati Lindsay Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 12:27 pm

He's not 40 yet, but Jason Moran is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow, the Artistic Advisor for Jazz at the Kennedy Center, and a Resident Artistic Director at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. He grew up in Houston, teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music and lives in New York, home to an early 20th century piano tradition of which he is more than aware. Moran has led this trio, The Bandwagon, for more than a dozen years.

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