June 26, 2003 NPR's Tavis Smiley talks with author and Village Voice staff writer Greg Tate about his soon-to-be-released book Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience. The book explores why some may have considered Jimi Hendrix a musician who played "white" music and why he was never fully accepted by the African-American community.
June 23, 2003 Even Irish music sensation Damien Rice doesn't know exactly how to describe his own songs — part folk, part rock, a little chamber music, tied together with his unique, passionate singing voice. NPR's Melissa Block talks with the European music sensation on the eve of his first American tour — hear samples of his debut solo CD, O.
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June 23, 2003 In the summer of 1998 she began work on her new album, Roads of Travel, and it was released in March, 2003. It includes a duet with her father, Johnny Cash. Other guest vocalists include Sheryl Crow and Steve Earle. Last month, Cash's stepmother June Cash died.
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June 22, 2003 Unknown singer Lizz Wright wowed audiences with her performance at last year's Hollywood Bowl's Playboy Jazz Festival. Now, the 23-year-old Georgia native has moved to New York and is touring with Ray Charles. Wright and guest host Joe Palca discuss her debut album, Salt.
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June 22, 2003 Host Liane Hansen speaks with Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger, co-founders of the pop band Fountains of Wayne. Their new CD, Welcome Interstate Managers, is on S-Curve Records.
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June 20, 2003 National Black Music Month continues on The Tavis Smiley Show as the great ambassador of the blues, Taj Mahal, picks his three favorite blues albums.
June 19, 2003 Pearl Jam was one of the biggest-selling rock bands of the last decade, and one of the few bands to survive the Seattle grunge scene. The group's success comes from its powerful, melodic rock and its intense, charismatic lead singer, Eddie Vedder. NPR's Elizabeth Blair profiles the band, now on a major U.S. tour. Hear some of their songs and extra portions of their interviews.
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June 17, 2003 She is creating a buzz in the jazz community. Critics have remarked that the young jazz artist has a "penchant for leisurely tempos, soulful interpretations and gloriously resonant low notes." Producer Roy Hurst talks with the singer-songwriter about her critically acclaimed debut album, Salt.
June 15, 2003 Host Liane Hansen speaks with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, son of musician Alice Coltrane and the sax legend John Coltrane. Though John Coltrane died before Ravi was two years old, ultimately Ravi followed in his father's footsteps and has become a respected bandleader. Ravi Coltrane's new cd, Mad 6, is on Eighty-Eights/Columbia Records, and his website is http://www.ravicoltrane.com.
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June 14, 2003 Host Scott Simon speaks with German chanteuse Ute Lemper about the comparisons between her and Marlene Dietrich, about German history, and about her new album But One Day..., which for the first time includes songs she wrote the music and lyrics for herself. But One Day is on the Decca Records label.
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June 11, 2003 In part two of our five part commentary series looking at each of the major genres of Black American Music, Teresa Hairston of Gospel Today magazine points out the three greatest gospel recordings.
June 10, 2003 Pink Martini's debut album, Sympathique, has been selling steadily, racking up a respectable 600,000 sales in the five years since its release. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on the pressures on the band and its charismatic leader Thomas Lauderdale to avoid the sophomore curse of a second release that doesn't live up to the first.
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June 9, 2003 The 78-year-old singer is currently performing at Birdland in New York City. Previously, Carroll spent 25 years playing at Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel. This year, she received three lifetime achievement awards; one of them was the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award. Carroll has a number of albums to her credit; her latest is the new solo album Morning in May.
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June 9, 2003 Correspondent Tony Cox talks with Stanley Clarke about his absence from the traditional music scene, motion picture and television scoring, and his new CD. Music from Stanley Clarke's new CD, 1, 2, to the Bass, is featured.
June 5, 2003 It was one of the catchiest, most familiar — perhaps most maddening — tunes to come out of the 20th century. It was heard in cartoons and accompanied plate spinners on the Ed Sullivan Show. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of composer Aram Khachaturian's birth, NPR's Tom Huizenga profiles the man behind "Sabre Dance".
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