Joshua Redman nearly became a lawyer, but the pull of jazz was stronger. Redman's father was the famous saxophonist Dewey Redman, and the sounds of jazz inspired him to take up the sax himself at age 10.
Saxophonist Joshua Redman has been the darling of jazz critics for more than a decade. With bassist Reuben Rogers and percussionist Ali Jackson Jr., he performs an improvisational set of bebop, blues and Broadway at Zankel Hall.
Not quite folk or alt-country, but more than just a rock group, Philadelphia's Hoots & Hellmouth crafts fiery, cathartic roots-rock that the band describes as "new music for old souls." Hear Hoots & Hellmouth perform a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Hoots & Hellmouth in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 05/25/2007
The Daughter of the Regiment, from the Vienna State opera, features some of the world's finest voices — both singing, and speaking! Soprano Natalie Dessay sings the title character opposite the brilliant tenor Juan Diego Florez, and renowned soprano Montserrat Caballe makes a surprise appearance in the speaking role of the Duchess of Crackentorp.
Vibraphonist Stefon Harris' new album African Tarantella: Dances with Duke features music from Duke Ellington's 1970 "The New Orleans Suite" and "The Queen's Suite." Harris' Quartet performs those songs well as his own compositions in a full concert recorded for JazzSet.
Andrew Bird makes the kind of music that leaves critics groping for labels. A classically trained violinist, former swing jazz musician and now art rock virtuoso, Bird is one of the most imaginative and distinctive voices making music today. Hear Bird in a full concert, recorded live from Washington, D.C.
Andrew Bird in Concert on All Songs Considered - 05/20/2007
Lap-steel guitar and hip-hop beats don't often mix, but Slo-Mo brings them together, straddling the lines separating hip-hop, Americana, folk and pop, with catchy hooks and breezy grooves. Slo-Mo performs a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Slo-Mo in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 05/18/2007
Verdi's Il Trovatore has a truly outlandish story, but its music has made it one of the most popular of all the composer's great operas. World of Opera presents it in a production from Houston Grand Opera.
Terence Blanchard was born in New Orleans — a place where it means something to take up the trumpet. The trumpeter honors the legacy of jazz legend Louis Armstrong at the 2007 University of Michigan Jazz Festival recorded by JazzSet.
Finn has been writing charming, piano-driven pop and rock music for nearly three decades, both as a solo act and as leader of the new-wave/art-rock band Split Enz. Finn performs a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
From the 2006 North Sea Jazz Festival, saxophonist Benny Golson leads an all-star jam in honor of trumpet legend Clifford Brown. Keyboard synthesist Joe Zawinul, performing with the WDR Big Band, revisits the pioneering 1970s fusion collective Weather Report. Listen to both concerts recorded by JazzSet.
As frontman for the Seattle rock band Death Cab for Cutie, and part of the electro-pop duo Postal Service, Ben Gibbard has won over legions of fans for his literate, bittersweet songwriting. Now Gibbard is embarking on a month-long solo tour. Hear him recorded live in concert from Washington, D.C.
Ben Gibbard in Concert on All Songs Considered - 05/10/2007