Bob Boilen talks with John Paul White during AmericanaFest 2016. Jessica Mowery for NPR hide caption

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Jessica Mowery for NPR

All Songs +1: John Paul White Sings The Song That Changed His Life

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"Even people who come in cold without any knowledge — you still hope that somehow the music will speak to them," Christopher Rouse says. Jeffrey Herman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Jeffrey Herman/Courtesy of the artist

Newlywed Composer Christopher Rouse On His Encoded Musical Love Letters

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Off Stage And Inside The Life Of 'The Boss' Battling With Depression

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This summer, R&B singer Anthony Hamilton took NPR Music on a tour of the places in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. that shaped his voice. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

"Because I grew up in such a strong Hispanic community, I carry that," Luz Elena Mendoza says. "I carry it whenever I go, so that's always strong." Christal Angélique/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Christal Angélique/Courtesy of the artist

Y La Bamba's Luz Elena Mendoza On Valuing One's Voice

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"I write from the perspective of the most nurturing, empowering, 'lifting-you-up'-type voice," Jillian Banks says. "That's what's so great about making music — you can give that to yourself." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

BANKS On What Happens When You Give Your Fans Your Phone Number

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Amisho Baraka Courtesy of Andrew Tucciarone hide caption

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Courtesy of Andrew Tucciarone

Black Evangelical Amisho Baraka: Why I'm Not Voting For Trump Or Clinton

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"I wanted it to be so long that the audience is falling apart," Taylor Mac says. "I'm falling apart. We're all falling apart." Ves Pitts/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ves Pitts/Courtesy of the artist

A Musical History Of The U.S., With An Extra Dose Of Glitter

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On his new album, pianist Pavel Kolesnikov arranges Chopin's Mazurkas like a mixtape. Colin Way/Hyperion Records hide caption

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Colin Way/Hyperion Records

09Mazurka, in A Minor, Op. 17, No. 4

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    Song
    Mazurka, in A Minor, Op. 17, No. 4
    Album
    Chopin: Mazurkas
    Artist
    Pavel Kolesnikov
    Released
    2016

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'Sing For Your Life' Recounts A Journey From Juvenile Detention To The Opera House

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The Handsome Family's Rennie and Brett Sparks split songwriting duties. Rennie writes the lyrics, then Brett puts her words to music. Meow Wolf/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Meow Wolf/Courtesy of the artist

For The Handsome Family, Music Is A Safe Place To Express 'Terrifying Things'

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"I dismissed it as an emotional release, and I didn't listen to it for three weeks. I was not planning on doing anything with the song," Yoakam says of his cover of Prince's "Purple Rain." Emily Joyce/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Emily Joyce/Courtesy of the artist

Dwight Yoakam Looks To The Past — And Prince

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"For me, it is a pure love song," Lisa Hannigan says of her song "Funeral Suit." Rich Gilligan/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Rich Gilligan/Courtesy of the artist

Lisa Hannigan On The 'Pivotal Moment' Of Defining A Relationship

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Sarai Isaura Gonzalez stars in the music video to Bomba Estereo's "Soy Yo." Via YouTube hide caption

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Via YouTube

In 'Soy Yo' Video, Bomba Estéreo Pays Tribute To 'What's Inside Of You'

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"What I really wanted so much was for this record to be helpful for people," Will Sheff says of Away, the new Okkervil River album. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Will Sheff Isn't 'Singing About Death' — He's Singing About Rebirth

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Danny Brown's fourth album, Atrocity Exhibition, will be released this fall. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

All Songs +1: Danny Brown Shares New Song, Talks Nas And New Album

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Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and celebrated critic Virgil Thomson, photographed in 1972. The Library of America has brought out a second volume of his writings on music. Jack Mitchell/Getty Images hide caption

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Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Virgil Thomson: On being a composer

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Tim Page, former music critic for The Washington Post, is rebuilding his life after a traumatic brain injury in July 2015. Maggie Smith/Courtesy of University of Southern California hide caption

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Maggie Smith/Courtesy of University of Southern California