Music

From jazz, to classical and world music, NEPR entertains, inspires and enriches lives seven days a week with its signature music programming. Our hosts provide in-depth knowledge about music they share and keep listeners up-to-date on music events happening throughout the region on air and on Facebook.

Explore and experience a variety of music programming on NEPR:  

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Like everyone else, I'm reflecting on Aretha Franklin tonight after getting word that she's in grave health and has entered hospice care in Detroit. Ree wasn't the first r&b singer to pull me in, but she's been a favorite for over 50 years, and I regard her as the figure whose musicianship and storied background as the daughter of the famed Reverend C.L. Franklin made her the ideal conveyor of gospel-infused soul music to the mainstream. Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Solomon Burke, Etta James and others paved the way, but Aretha took it to the masses.

Aaron Price
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Meet  Aaron N. Price, Connecticut composer, co-founder and artistic director of Connecticut Summerfest and Director of Woodwind Studies at the MusicMakers International Academy.  His works have received international performances, including the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

I’ve wanted to talk with Aaron for some time, not only because of his work as a composer, but especially because of his involvement in the contemporary chamber music scene in our region. As you listen to our talk together, I think you’ll come away impressed not only by Aaron’s infectious enthusiasm, but also by the part that Aaron, and composers and musicians like him, represents as the future for Classical Music in the world today!

I found impeccable footage of T-Bone Walker two weeks ago and have been on the search for more ever since. T-Bone's performance of "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong" was filmed in 1962 for a West German TV special, "Jazz Heard and Seen." He's accompanied by pianist Memphis Slim, bassist Willie Dixon, and drummer Jump Jackson, who were all part of that year's American Folk Blues Festival tour in Europe.

Carolyn Kuan and John Nowacki Presto
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Carolyn Kuan is the Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. She's conducted symphonic programs, operas and ballets with orchestras around-the-world. Kuan is a champion of new music and recently released a recording of Phillip Glass’ music with the Hague Philharmonic.

Preview of Episode #4 - Carolyn Kuan

May 3, 2018
Carolyn Kuan and John Nowacki Presto
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

On May 8th, Carolyn Kuan, Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, will be one of four recipients of the 10th Annual New England Public Radio Arts and Humanities Awards. Kuan has been music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra since 2011.

Charles Neville
Steven Sussman

Charles Neville died on Wednesday, April 25, aged 79, at his home in Huntington, Massachusetts. He'd been ill for several months with pancreatic cancer.

Thomas Schuttenhelm
Tema Silk / NEPR

Today, many composers don't perform on the instruments they write for -- they compose for other musicians. It wasn't that way centuries ago. 

John Oliver in a file photo.
File photo / Masslive / masslive.com/photos

John Oliver, who founded the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Festival Chorus more than 45 years ago, died Wednesday night in Great Barrington. He was 78 years old.

April 6 was the bluesman Walter Horton's birthday. When I first read of him, his birth year was given as 1918, but now I see it listed as 1921, which if accurate means he was 51 when I first saw him at Joe's Place in 1972. He was touring with Chicago bluesmen Eddie Taylor (one of his earliest and longest colleagues) and Carey Bell (a young protege), both of whom were on his new Alligator album, Big Walter Horton with Carey Bell.

Steve Kuhn
Steven Sussman

I spoke with Steve Kuhn in 2004. The pianist had just released the album, Promises Kept, which fulfilled his goal of recording a program of original compositions with a string ensemble. The record was a posthumous tribute to his parents Stella and Carl Kuhn. Bob Blumenthal, a close observer of Kuhn’s career for several decades, said that “in giving full reign to his emotions, Kuhn has created both his most personal and his most beautiful recording.”

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