April 30, 2010 News and notes from around the web, including continuing Jazz Fest coverage, Ethan Iverson on the Heath Brothers, the Undead Jazzfest, a Gabriel Alegria interview, some doubts about ELEW, and some French names on The Checkout.
Duke Ellington in 1967.
Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
April 29, 2010 The Maestro was born Apr. 29, 1899. Which makes it a good anniversary to point out a few features from the NPR archives about him. Here are a few stories, six episodes of Jazz Profiles, and a video clip, just for kicks.
Jack White in the Third Man Records store
Courtesy of Third Man Records
April 29, 2010 White's approach to the record business has been called a throwback and a harbinger of things to come. Most innovative companies in the business are digital in concept, but Third Man's approach is digital where necessary; tangible where possible.
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Before illustrating the new Wildwood books with Colin Meloy, artist Carson Ellis created images for several Decemberists album covers, including The Crane Wife.
Carson Ellis/Courtesy the Artist
April 29, 2010 HarperCollins has signed Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy to a deal to write three novels for middle-school students. Meloy is calling the series Wildwood.
April 28, 2010 If you have plenty of time to kill and a computer with a camera, and a decent graphics card, then go to the Flying Lotus website and download an application he's calling the 'Cosmogramma Fieldlines' augmented reality app.
April 26, 2010 The great Bob Marley called Dennis Brown the best reggae singer in the world. The name "crown prince" stuck with Brown for much of his 30-year career, but his fans say he ranks second to no one. He cut his first hit when he was only 11, and over the next three decades recorded more than 75 albums packed with hits.
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April 24, 2010 When ASCAP handed Dr. Luke the Songwriter Of The Year award in the pop category, they knew what they were doing.
No One Knows About Persian Cats is about a band trying to find a place to make music in a country where popular music is banned.
April 23, 2010 No One Knows About Persian Cats tells the story of Iranian musicians trying to put together a band in a country where heavy metal, rock and hip-hop are illegal. The film won two prizes at last year's Cannes International Film Festival, and opens in this week in the U.S.
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The 5 Browns' latest album features film music.
April 22, 2010 Piano-playing siblings from Utah, The 5 Browns' members were once the media darlings of classical music. They received the kind of mainstream press coverage most young classical musicians could only dream of. Now, a few years following the frenzy, the group is still building its career.
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The Philadelphia Orchestra wants to include more educational concerts, performances in the suburbs and possibly a bigger emphasis on lighter, more popular fare.
April 22, 2010 This week, the Philadelphia Orchestra begins a tour of Korea, Japan and China. For the orchestra, it may be a welcome vacation from problems at home. Sagging attendance and ballooning deficits have raised the possibility of bankruptcy.
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David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's collaboration, Here Lies Love, includes 22 songs about the rise and fall of Imelda Marcos.
Andy Sheppard/Redferns/Getty Images
April 16, 2010 The former Talking Heads frontman has been busy lately. He's written a book, Bicycle Diaries, and designed whimsical bike racks in New York City. Now he's recorded a pop song cycle, Here Lies Love, about Imelda Marcos, the infamous wife of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
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Pat Metheny is currently touring the U.S. for two months with his orchestrion.
April 16, 2010 Among music composers, there's always been a desire to hear their works performed exactly as conceived. One distinguished jazz guitarist acted on that impulse: He built his own collection of computer-controlled acoustic instruments.
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Independent record stores have experienced a resurgence since Tower Records' demise in 2006.
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
April 16, 2010 Conceived in 2007, Record Store Day is held on the third Saturday of April each year. Many musicians celebrate the day with limited-edition releases and in-store performances, but record-store enthusiasts Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo are celebrating differently: They've co-authored a book called Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again.
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Composer Jennifer Higdon's Violin Concerto is this year's Pultizer Prize winner for music.
April 12, 2010 The Philadelphia-based composer wrote her winning Violin Concerto for soloist Hilary Hahn, who premiered the work with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Pulitzer officials described the concerto as "a deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity." Hear an excerpt from the piece.
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The avant-garde saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton gave one of about 2,000 interviews collected at OHAM.
Tom Marcello / flickr
April 12, 2010 Forty years ago, a young librarian named Vivian Perlis had an idea: Why not ask composers who are still living what future historians might want to know? That inspiration eventually led to the creation of Yale University's Oral History of American Music, and Perlis is still at the helm.
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