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.

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Dance and music inspired by Puerto Rican culture.
Charlie Billups / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/titoytitabillups

 

Dan Román began composing as a young teenager growing up in Puerto Rico. He doesn't know why he started, exactly — just that simply playing instruments wasn't enough.

(r-l) Lennie Tristano and Charlie Parker with Hot Lips Page, Lester Young, and Max Kaminsky, at Birdland, 1949
Bettmann/Corbis / Jazz Wax

Among Charlie Parker's many admirers, Lennie Tristano was especially respectful of Bird's character and astute in his assessments of the saxophonist's music.  The blind pianist recognized Parker as the single most important innovator of modern jazz, and rejected the commonly held view that bebop was formulated in a workshop-like atmosphere at Minton’s and Monroe’s and other after-hours venues.

Composer Kate Soper plays Polyxo in a scene from her opera "Here Be Sirens" in New York City in 2014.
Noah Arjomand / Courtesy Kate Soper

Opera fans, and even non-fans, are familiar with the music of Bizet's "Carmen" or Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." Lesser-known is the world of new opera, like "Here Be Sirens," composed by a Smith College professor and on stage in Northampton, Massachusetts, this weekend.

Nat King Cole Centennial

Mar 18, 2019

Nat King Cole was born on March 17, 1919. For his centennial, I'm posting a couple of recordings by the great singer-pianist, and a rare photo of Nat with Dick LaPalm. LaPalm was an advance man and factotum for Nat between 1950 and '65, and then a tireless advocate for his legacy and a friend and counsel to the Cole family until his death in 2013. Nat and Dick are seen in the photo walking along Michigan Avenue in LaPalm's hometown of Chicago. He's a giveaway in profile, but even from behind, there can be no doubt that this is Mr. Cole.

Three of the four gentlemen in this photo were guiding lights in my Worcester youth. Howie Jefferson (far left) was a great tenor player who could have been a contender on the national scene but chose to stay close to home and ply his trade at weddings and bar mitzvahs and GB gigs galore.

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