February 25, 2010 As a radio host in California, every time I played any cuts that included the bass/drums duo of Marc and Paul van Wageningen, I butchered their surname on air. The brothers have released their first album under their own names, and they don't put ...
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Conguero Poncho Sanchez gave Frank Foster's swing classic, "Shiny Stockings," a new identity as a mambo.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment
February 22, 2010 Jazz musicians have long mined Broadway, the Great American Songbook, and even pop music for material. Here are five Latin interpretations of songs written by jazz musicians, a process that isn't as easy as playing the chords of a jazz composition over a mambo rhythm.
February 11, 2010 Just in time for Valentine's Day comes a CD of recordings from Ella Fitzgerald brought to you by ... the US Postal Service. The deluxe reissue of Love Letters From Ella comes with a reproduction of her stamp — which got Felix Contreras investigat...
February 8, 2010 Castaneda is the sort of musician who isn't afraid to challenge the established order. He's carving out a place for himself in Latin jazz on an instrument you don't often hear in his style of music: the Colombian harp. Castaneda recently parked himself behind Bob Boilen's desk and crafted a transporting mix of tradition and improvisation.
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"Doc, check out the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity on this one."
February 5, 2010 Believe it or not, there is a scientific study that helps explain how jazz tickles the brain. Well, sort of. In 2008, scientists at Johns Hopkins University took a look at how jazz musicians' nervous systems work while improvising.
January 29, 2010 The tradition of smartly-annotated jazz albums is a long one — and another of the many things George Avakian is known for. On the eve of this year's Grammy Awards, the famed record producer fielded some questions about the history of liner notes....
January 29, 2010 The jazz vocalist has a long history with the Grammy Awards: namely, that he keeps getting nominated, and keeps not winning. He's got a good chance this year with his 2009 tribute to Coltrane and Hartman, but he also has lots of stories to tell fr...
January 28, 2010 The attention around the passing of the former New York area DJ is another example of just how much jazz filters into our collective consciousness. In his memory, tell us: who were the jazz DJs you listened to?
January 21, 2010 The Canadian saxophonist and composer was set to perform in Haiti — and then the earthquake hit. She talks about returning to her home in Toronto, and setting up a fundraising concert for the relief effort.
January 15, 2010 An item in the Washington Post indicated that President Barack Obama may need some new music for his iPod. Felix Contreras offers his help in picking new jazz.
Mitchell, circa 1970. The music producer's work began in the 1950s and extended into the 21st century.
Michael Ochs/Getty Images
January 8, 2010 Though you may not know him by name, you certainly know his work: Mitchell produced a string of hits by Al Green in the early to mid-1970s. His work with Green was part of an expansive body of work that began in the 1950s and extended into the 21st century.
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Lhasa de Sela lived a life that criss-crossed borders and influences, just as her music did.
courtesy of the artist
January 4, 2010 A 37-year-old singer and songwriter, Lhasa died New Year's Day after a 21-month struggle against breast cancer. Lhasa de Sela lived a life that criss-crossed borders and influences, just as her music did.
December 24, 2009 This holiday season, we encourage you to look in every corner in your part of the world to find the local jazz talent, and let them know you're listening and appreciate their music. And let us know what you find.
Dr. Billy Taylor (left) and Ramsey Lewis perform at this year's A Jazz Piano Christmas.
December 17, 2009 Felix Contreras, who hosts and has helped produce NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas, relates stories told backstage by Billy Taylor, Joe Sample, Slide Hampton, Arturo O'Farrill and others.
December 8, 2009 Seeking all jazz vinyl collectors: Felix Contreras, who just rediscovered his record collection, has a few questions for you.
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