Dr. Billy Taylor ? jazz pianist, educator and regular voice on NPR for many years ? died Tuesday night after a heart attack. Taylor served as artistic adviser at the Kennedy Center. He was 89 years old.
Billy Taylor, a pianist who became one of the country's foremost ambassadors for jazz music ? including many years as an NPR host ? died Tuesday night. The cause was a heart attack, according to his daughter, Kim Taylor Thompson. He was 89.
Renee Blanche has been the host of the Night Tides program since 1994. Every Sunday night, 8 pm - midnight, Renee brings an eclectic blend of contemplative instrumental & electronic music to the KCUR audience.
Ten new albums that have been enjoying quality time with KCUR's Chuck Haddix in 2010
Chuck Haddix has been hosting KCUR's The Fish Fry every Friday and Saturday, 8 pm - midnight, since 1985. Haddix is also the director of the Marr Sound Archives, a collection of 250,000 sound recordings housed in the Miller Nichols Library at The University of Missouri - Kansas City.
Miguel DeLeon's new album Pasiones Del Alma finds the "Mambo man" in a bit of a contemplative mood. But he never strays too far from his love of dance music.
By Susan B. Wilson
Kansas City, MO – Miguel "Mambo" DeLeon has been shaking hips in Kansas City and beyond for more than 20 years. He's opened for Sting as well as many Latin music legends, including Tito Puente and Willie Colon.
Harold O'Neal recently talked about his musical and extra-musical adventures of the past few years.
By Alex Smith
Kansas City, MO – Pianist Harold O'Neal's new album Whirling Mantis doesn't come out of the New York jazz clubs where he most often performs. Instead, the songs were largely inspired by the time he spent studying martial arts here in his hometown of Kansas City.
Unlike Marvin Gaye or James Brown, Johnson never had massive success, in spite of a prolific career. A new box set, Syl Johnson: The Complete Mythology, compiles more than 80 recordings from the late 1950s through early 1970s.
For the first time in its history, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City is presenting Bellini's tragic bel canto opera "Norma." It's the story of a woman who betrays her sacred vows for love; she's then betrayed by her lover's infidelity.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Before a recent rehearsal, KCUR's Laura Spencer met up with soprano Brenda Harris who's tackling the title role of Norma, one that's been described as both "grueling" and "vocally tortuous."
The creative minds behind Buena Vista Social Club have guided an effort by Cuban and African musicians to create a new album, AfroCubism. Deep history underlies the musical interplay on the record, as well as a surprising number of similarities.
A choral group known for its early-music repertoire and a saxophonist steeped in the art of improvisation may not be the most likely musical partners. But the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek have worked together since 1993. Officium Novum is their latest collaboration.
The Grammy-nominated singer has just returned with an album reflecting her new outlook on life.
By NPR Music
A lot has changed in Tracy Bonham's life since the release of her last album in 2005.? She moved back to Brooklyn, N.Y., married Rolling Stone executive editor Jason Fine and even picked up yoga. All of those changes are reflected on her latest full-length album, Masts of Manhatta.
With her signature pompadour and futuristic tuxedoes, singer Janelle Monae is breaking out of Atlanta's alternative hip hop scene.
By Susan B. Wilson
Kansas City, MO – Janelle Monae's recent album The ArchAndroid was produced by Outkast, along with Sean "Diddy" Combs. She's performed across the US and Europe, but at age 24, Janelle Monae has yet to play in or around her own hometown of Kansas City, Kansas. That's until this weekend. KCUR's Susan Wilson recently caught up with her over the phone.
The Kansas City Symphony opens its classical season this weekend featuring new music written as a "curtain-raiser" by a gifted American composer and a violinist, a former child prodigy, who won her first Grammy at 18, and her second, about a decade later, in 2008.
In the jazz world, making it big isn't what it used to be. Record sales are down, instrumentals don't make hit songs, and even Grammy-winners need day jobs. But for those with the right combination of talent, dedication and luck, it's still possible to make a living and good music.
Kansas City musicians Nathan Granner and Jeffrey Rukaman have a new take on the iconic 1955 Frank Sinatra album.
By Alex Smith
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City has seen its fair share of "tribute" bands in the past few years. Midtown bars have hosted sometimes nearly note-for-note renditions of music by Radiohead, U2 and Huey Lewis and the News, to name a few.