NPR logo Guilty Pleasures: Jason Vieaux's Open Prairie Passions

Guilty Pleasures: Jason Vieaux's Open Prairie Passions

All this week we've been admitting guilty pleasures. Today, guitarist Jason Vieaux has a confession. Have music you're embarrassed to love? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Guitarist Jason Vieaux loves the wide open spaces in Aaron Copland's music. iStock hide caption

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I love Aaron Copland's Americana or, as I like to think of it, his "Open Prairie" period — the expansive spaces explored within the ballets Billy the Kid, Appalachian Spring and Rodeo. Also anything by Gershwin (who I think was a genius) gives me pleasure; and heck, I even welcome certain nostalgic strains of Ferde Grofé if I'm in the mood. (Hey, I'm American, what can I say?)

Seriously though, all of this music was considered totally lame by most of my talented young friends at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and probably most other conservatories in the 1990s. It took me a few years of growing up after college to finally not care if I liked something that wasn't earthshaking. Like a pretty hip Spin magazine reporter once said about the very un-hip band Linkin Park, "They're not a guilty pleasure, because I don't feel guilty."

Cue the Copland!


Jason Vieaux records for the Azica label and heads the guitar department at the Cleveland Institute of Music.