Arts and Entertainment

Assignment: Radio
12:00 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

The Beginning Of A New Chapter

Credit Taryn Trotter

There are some endings that come with growing up, moving away for college, learning to support yourself and graduation. But nonetheless, the opening and closing of a new chapter is hard. I talk to my mentor in my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, about what it’s like to face the next chapter in her life, graduation.

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Assignment: Radio
12:00 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Singing For Each Other

Credit David Milan

College a cappella choirs are more popular than ever, but at the University of Oklahoma, there’s still only one – The Redliners. Assignment Radio’s Madeline Stebbins takes us inside rehearsals and the minds of some of the Redliners the week before the final concert of the semester.

Madeline Stebbins is  an alto in The Redliners. There are 19 Redliners, and every semester they sing pop, rock, and musical theater songs. For some of them this concert is the last one.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
2:34 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Rachel Z On Piano Jazz

Rachel Z.
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist Rachel Z trained at the New England Conservatory before beginning her professional career as a performer with the likes of Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell and the fusion band Steps Ahead. She also worked with saxophonist Wayne Shorter on his Grammy-winning comeback album, High Life.

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Monkey See
10:41 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Daniel Radcliffe And The Blood And Breath Of Live Theater

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 1:55 pm

There is a strong crossover between your Daniel Radcliffe People and your Harry Potter People, for obvious reasons. Next to me at Broadway's Cort Theater on Thursday night, watching Radcliffe in Martin McDonagh's comedy The Cripple Of Inishmaan (a production that's Tony-nominated for Best Revival Of A Play) were three young women. Their first priority: finding out where to await him when the show was over, and strategically how to get a good spot.

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Concerts
2:31 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Blue Note At 75, The Concert

Dr. Lonnie Smith at the Blue Note 75 concert.
NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 9:37 am

The iconic jazz label Blue Note Records turns 75 this year, and it celebrated in Washington, D.C. As the capstone to a week of performances, film screenings and discussions, Blue Note artists gathered in the 2,465-seat Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for a special performance.

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Books
1:59 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Rat Pack's Sammy Davis Jr. Lives On Through Daughter's Stories

Frank Sinatra performing with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
Photo: David Sutton MPTV.net RatPac Press & Running Press (The Perseus Books Group)

In his own words, Sammy Davis, Jr. was "the only black, Puerto Rican, one-eyed, Jewish entertainer in the world."

His daughter, Tracey Davis, shares memories and details of his life in her new book, Sammy Davis Jr.: A Personal Journey with My Father. It's based on conversations Davis had with her father as he battled throat cancer near the end of his life.

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A Blog Supreme
3:21 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

The First African-American Piano Manufacturer

The high-end Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York, now called Langham Place, took in one of Warren Shadd's pianos.
Courtesy of Warren Shadd

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 10:20 am

At the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February, one couldn't help but notice the striking new grand piano on the main stage, emblazoned with the name SHADD. When the many accomplished pianists that wee­­kend sat down to strike those keys, it was equally easy to spot their delight in the instrument.

That piano was the product of a trailblazer in his field. The Shadd in question is jazz drummer Warren Shadd, the first African-American piano manufacturer. That makes him the first large-scale commercial African-American instrument manufacturer, period.

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Kitchen Window
7:50 am
Wed May 7, 2014

It's Time To Toast Farm-To-Table Cocktails

Peter Ogburn for NPR

It was inevitable. With virtually every restaurant working hand-in-garden glove with local farmers, farm-to-table cocktails had to be the next big thing. Since you'll be at the farmers market anyway, look at the seasonal produce as potential drink, as well as dinner, material.

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Theater
2:36 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Dancers Find A Second Act At Palm Springs Follies

With their matching blue wigs, the dancers in the Palm Springs Follies chorus (they're called the "long-legged lovelies") give a whole new meaning to the cliche "blue-haired old ladies."
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:45 pm

The Palm Springs Follies is an old-fashioned musical revue designed for an audience who remembers when this sort of entertainment wasn't old fashioned. But it's not only for older people — it's by older people. The dancers range in age from 55 to 84.

The show, an institution in Palm Springs, is getting ready to wrap up its 23rd and final season in May.

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Music Interviews
4:18 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Sonny Rollins: 'You Can't Think And Play At The Same Time'

"Jazz improvisation is supposed to be the highest form of communication," Sonny Rollins says, "and getting that to the people is our job as musicians."
John Abbott Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 5:27 pm

When you consider that critics have been writing about him for over 60 years, it can seem as if there's nothing left to say about Sonny Rollins. But there is – because over the decades, the "Saxophone Colossus" has never stopped growing or adding to his sound.

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