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  • Friday, June 19, 2020

    Rhiannon Giddens has released a video of her performing a new song she's written, "Build a House," featuring Yo-Yo Ma on cello, in honor of Juneteenth. "This song came knocking about a week ago and I had to open the door and let it in," Giddens says. "What can I say about what’s been happening, what has happened, and what is continuing to happen, in this country, in the world? There’s too many words and none, all at once. So I let the music speak, as usual. What a thing to mark this 155th anniversary of Juneteenth with that beautiful soul Yo-Yo Ma. Honored to have it out in the world." Watch it here.

    Journal Topics: Artist News Video
  • Thursday, June 18, 2020

    Rhiannon Giddens led a Live With Carnegie Hall session with Francesco Turrisi in recognition of Juneteenth, examining the music and history of minstrelsy, the most popular form of entertainment in America during the 1800s, and its influence in the creation of the American cultural identity. They look at the global context of minstrelsy through the journeys of the banjo and the tambourine and examine what there is to reproach versus celebrate in the birth of American music. You can watch it here.

    Journal Topics: Artist News Video
  • Thursday, June 18, 2020

    In honor of Live From Here, the public radio show hosted by Chris Thile in its current and previous iterations from 2016 till last week, we offer our thanks to everyone there who made the show such a joy for its listeners and viewers, and for providing a unique showcase for so many artists. In celebration, we have assembled some of our favorite performances from the show by artists who have recorded for Nonesuch Records, including Thile, Punch Brothers, Rachael Price, Rachael & Vilray, Gaby Moreno, Vagabon, Gabriel Kahane, Lake Street Dive, The Staves, Dan Auerbach, Robert Finley, Randy Newman, Brad Mehldau, and Nickel Creek. You can watch them here.

    Journal Topics: Artist News Radio Video
  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020

    The filmed version of the Broadway show David Byrne’s American Utopia, directed by Spike Lee, will debut on HBO later this year. "Spike and I have crossed paths many times over the years, obviously I’m a huge fan and now finally here was an opportunity for us to work together," said David Byrne. "I am absolutely thrilled with the result ... Thrilled that this show and the subjects it addresses will now reach a wider audience." "It is my honor and privilege that my art brother, Mr. David Byrne, asked me to join him in concert, to invite me into his magnificent world of American Utopia,” Spike Lee said. “And dat's da ‘once in a lifetime’ truth, Ruth. Ya-dig? Sho-nuff. Peace and love. Be safe.”

    Journal Topics: Artist News Film Television
  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020

    Randy Newman was the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night. He gave a performance from home of "Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)," a song from his 1974 album, Good Old Boys. You can watch it here. "Maybe you’re cheatin' / Maybe you’re lyin' / Maybe you have lost your mind / Maybe you only think about yourself," the lyrics go. "Too late to run, too late to hide now / The time has come for us to say goodbye now / Mr. President, have pity on the working man."

    Journal Topics: Artist News Television Video
  • Monday, June 15, 2020

    Congratulations to Yola, who has been nominated as Artist of the Year in the 2020 Americana Honors & Awards. She is also featured on the self-titled debut album from The Highwomen, which is up for Album, Song, and Duo/Group of the Year; that last category also includes a nod for Our Native Daughters, of which Rhiannon Giddens is a member. Winners are due to be announced during the Americana Honors & Awards on Wednesday, September 16, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, depending on COVID-19 safety restrictions.

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Friday, June 12, 2020

    While sheltering at home with his family during the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, pianist and composer Brad Mehldau wrote twelve new songs about what he was experiencing; he was able to record them safely in a studio, together with interpretations of three tunes that mean a great deal to him personally. The resulting album, Suite: April 2020, is available now as a limited-edition deluxe 180-gram vinyl LP. One thousand numbered and signed copies are available for $100 exclusively from the Nonesuch Store, Bandcamp, and Discogs; a minimum of $90 from each sale will be donated to the Jazz Foundation of America’s COVID-19 Musician’s Emergency Fund (after distribution fees). Suite: April 2020 is also available digitally today, with CD and standard vinyl editions due September 18; a portion of their sales also will benefit JFA’s Fund. A video for the album track “remembering before all this,” with an introduction by Mehldau, is available here.

    Journal Topics: Album Release Artist News Video
  • Friday, June 12, 2020

    While we can't go out to take in great live music, here are some events taking place online to enjoy while staying home this weekend: Rhiannon Giddens' February concert with Francesco Turrisi and Jason Sypher at SFJAZZ gets its digital premiere tonight; she gives a live performance on Sunday for the Bang on a Can Marathon, which includes sets by Terry Riley, Nico Muhly, and more; also on Sunday, Gaby Moreno performs live on QChamberstream to benefit Color of Change; and Sam Amidon performs on The Momentary's Instagram Live.

    Journal Topics: Artist News Web Weekend Events
  • Monday, June 8, 2020

    Kronos Quartet has released a short film edited by Evan Neff scored to its performance of an excerpt of Peace Be Till, which composer Zachary Watkins wrote for the group in 2018. In the piece, Dr. Clarence B. Jones, the former personal counsel, speechwriter, and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reads King's defense of nonviolent direct action in his famed Letter from Birmingham Jail, which Jones calls "the symphony of social justice." In 1963, Jones had smuggled King's words from the Birmingham, Alabama, jail cell in which he was being held for his participation in a peaceful demonstration.

    Journal Topics: Artist News Video
  • Friday, June 5, 2020

    Laurie Anderson's new radio show, Party in the Bardo: Conversations with Laurie Anderson, premiered on WESU Middletown 88.1FM today—her birthday—and can be heard online for two weeks via WESU. "We are in a national emergency, with no boundaries, an emergency that keeps shifting from day to day, as marches and protests demanding racial equality and justice for George Floyd happen all over the country and all over the world," she says. "The pandemic has kept many people isolated for weeks or months with no definite end in sight. And what's amazing is that what finally brings people flooding out into the streets is not anger or greed or fear. It is a tremendous surge of empathy. It is a passionate and shared and long overdue outrage, a huge and global cry for justice. And this is being met by the President of the United States not with gratitude for the sense of fairness in the American people. No, this movement of empathy and fairness and solidarity is being met with tanks and threats. It's almost as if the surge of goodness itself cannot be tolerated, because it cannot be understood."

    Journal Topics: Artist News Radio
  • Friday, May 29, 2020

    The Magnetic Fields' new album, Quickies, which was released digitally earlier this month, is now available in a five 7" vinyl box set. You can take a quick look inside in the unboxing video here. The album is twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, performed by Merritt and band members Sam Davol, Claudia Gonson, Shirley Simms, and John Woo, along with longtime friends and collaborators Chris Ewen, Daniel Handler, and Pinky Weitzman. "Miniature gems," says the Guardian. "Extraordinary." A single CD is available outside the US now and will be in the US June 19.

    Journal Topics: Album Release Artist News
  • Friday, May 29, 2020

    The cast of Dave Malloy's Octet reunited as their characters for a "Friends of Saul" Zoom meeting to perform "The Forest" from the musical in a new video from the Signature Theatre. You can watch the performance from Adam Bashian, Alex Gibson, JD Mollison, Justin Gregory Lopez, Kim Blanck, Kuhoo Verma, and Margo Seibert in the video, edited by Lindsey Augusta Mercer, here.

    Journal Topics: Artist News Video

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