The Kennedy Center is the home of the low blow tonight, as five-time DownBeat Magazine baritone sax poll winner Gary Smulyan joins the committed, brilliant pianist Benny Green. Listen for rhythmic energy, quirky Thelonious Monk melodies, humor, and the Washingtons -- Peter and Kenny (no relation) -- ideal on bass and drums.
Nick Noble lightens the mood on this edition of Folk Revival. Laugh with him as he spins humorous, funny, silly, and satritrical cuts for April Fool's Week. Featuring the likes of The Smothers Brothers, Bud & Travis, Peg Espinola, Shel Silverstein, the Highwaymen, Betty Lehrman, the Limeliters, and many more.
Pianist Thomas Lauderdale is a cofounder of the celebrated orchestral ensemble Pink Martini, which bridges classical, jazz, world music and old fashioned pop. On this Song Travels, Lauderdale brings along a few of his musical collaborators, including NPR’s Ari Shapiro, who proves to be as good a singer as he is a journalist. Lauderdale solos on “Malagueña” by Ernesto Lecuona, and duets with Feinstein on George Gershwin’s “The Man I Love.”
It may be impossible to overstate the importance of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs to American music. A pioneering banjo player who helped create modern country music, his sound is instantly recognizable and as intrinsically wrapped in the tapestry of the genre as Johnny Cash's baritone
or Hank Williams' heartbreak. His most recognizable compositions are "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" which was used as the chase theme in the movie "Bonnie and Clyde" and the theme song for the TV show "Beverly Hillbillies". In an article in the New Yorker in January, Steve Martin wrote, "A grand part of American music owes a debt to Earl Scruggs. Few players have changed the way we hear an instrument the way Earl has, putting him in a category with Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Chet Atkins, and Jimi Hendrix." Country great Porter Wagoner probably summed up Scruggs' importance best of all: "I always felt like Earl was to the five-string banjo what Babe Ruth was to baseball. He is the best there ever was, and the best there ever will be."
Dave Rawlings, a Nashville singer-songwriter and producer, says Scruggs remains every bit as influential and fresh seven decades later. He said it's impossible to imagine nearly every guitar player mimicking Jimi Hendrix, but with Scruggs and the banjo, that's the reality. "The breadth and clarity of the instrument was increased so much," he said. "He invented a style that now probably 75 percent of the people that play the banjo in the world play Scruggs-style banjo. And that's a staggering thing to do, to play an instrument and change what everyone is doing." Tuesday night, April 3rd, The Bluegrass Junction will pay tribute to Scruggs who died Wednesday morning at age 88 of natural causes.
Vocalist Susie Arioli and fellow Canadian, guitarist Jordan Officer, were draw together by their love for classic jazz and the standards. The aggressive show-biz style of today’s pop stars, is not for these two, who would rather draw their audiences in with a softly delivered lyric and intimacy that’s even more appealing because of it’s rarity in the music world of today. Judy talked with Susie and Jordan on stage at the Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland, where they chatted and performed.
We've all made a fool out of ourselves !! Let's celebrate that and join host Tom Shaker as he features classic soul songs with "Fool" in the title. It all starts at 7pm!
NY Times writer Stephen Holden calls her "both the Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald of bossa nova." Vocalist Leny Andrade embodies the spirit of jazz and soul of her native Brazil. With reedman and friend, Paquito D'Rivera this is a swirling swing through bossa nova, samba and choro.
How important is it to preserve for public use, properties of scenic, historic and ecological value in Massachusetts? Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al speaks with Leigh Rae about the ongoing efforts of the Trustees of Reservations. This segment may get your conservation juices flowing.
SPECIAL APRIL FOOLS DAY INQUIRY: Inquiry welcomes ROBERT TRIVERS, a Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University. His new far ranging and fascinating book is THE FOLLY OF FOOLS: THE LOGIC OF DECEIT AND SELF DECEPTION IN HUMAN LIFE. Professor Trivers takes a uniquely evolutionary approach to what may seem to the layperson as a psychological or sociological state: self-deception. Tonight, Professor Trivers describes some non-human examples of deception. He also touches on a few of the numerous examples of deception and self-deception that occur in human love and sex relationships. Finally, as an example of self-deception on the social and corporate level, Trivers discusses the ingrained blindness of NASA that led to the Challenger and Columbia disasters.
On July 11, 1897, three brave men took off in a balloon in attempt to fly-over the North Pole. The real fate of this expedition would not be discovered for over thirty years. They were only the latest in a line of explorers who risked their lives in the brutal and unforgiving cold of the Arctic. Why did they do it? Tune in to Inquiry tonight when we talk with writer and biographer ALEC WILKINSON about his thrilling new history THE ICE BALLOON: S. A. ANDRÉE and the HEROIC AGE OF ARCTIC EXPLORATION.
March is Women's History month and we're answering the question “...but can she play?” by exploring this documentary film and work in progress. The project focuses on "the music and stories” of female jazz horn-players and encourages jazz education for girls. Join host Bonnie Johnson as she pays tribute to generations of women in jazz and speaks with award-winning journalist, Director-Producer Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn about the project.