Studio SessionsMusicians perform and discuss their work in the studios of NPR and NPR Music station partners. Live music sessions, interviews, and the best new songs in rock, pop, folk, classical, jazz, blues, urban, and world music. Watch video sessions.
Singer/keyboardist Emily Haines has made a name for herself as leader of Canada's dancey new-wave outfit Metric. But her solo work, by contrast, reflects a different approach that recalls the warmth and intimacy of a '70s singer/songwriter record blended with jazzy, experimental pop.
Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton in Studio on World Cafe - 01/31/2007
A Toronto-based singer-songwriter with an international following and an arsenal of sweet love songs, Ron Sexsmith has seen his songs covered by everyone from Mary Black to Rod Stewart to Nick Lowe. Armed with a passion to keep writing better songs, Sexsmith just released a fine new album titled Time Being.
The Radiators' nearly three decades of prolific performing have made the New Orleans band a bona fide institution. With its fusion of blues, R&B, funk, soul and rock, the group has attracted a stable of dedicated fans — known as "fish heads" — both in its hometown and nationwide.
The Radiators in Studio on World Cafe - 01/26/2007
Sarina Zhang, 8, hit a milestone this year: She finally grew tall enough to reach the pedals of her piano. "Before I turned 8, I couldn't play any of the pedal parts," she explains. "I'd have to stand up if I ever wanted to reach the pedals." She performs Claude Debussy's Arabesque No. 1.
When you hear Timothy Callobre, 10, play classical guitar, you'll be astounded to find out that he's only been at it for a little more than two years. Tim knew he wanted to play guitar from the time he was 4 years old, but he doesn't remember what originally piqued his interest. "It just seemed fun," he remembers. He performs Villa Lobos' Choros No. 1.
"Gioco" means "playful" in Italian, which is why the Gioco String Quartet may be the perfect name for this lively crew of 11- to 13-year-olds. The group has been together for three years. They perform Stone's Second Miniature String Quartet.
Helen McGarr, 12, has an older brother and sister, who both play musical instruments. She says she started playing music because she wanted to be more like them. She performs Frances Poulenc's Flute Sonata, 1st mvt.
Unlike most young musicians, Eunice Kim, 12 never gets nervous before a performance. "I've never really had stage fright before," she says. "I really like playing in front of people, and when I play in front of a lot of people I think I actually play better." She performs Wieniawsky's Polonaise Brillante No. 1 in D Major.
Pianist Kevin Lu, 11, has no problem performing for an audience. "The best thing about music is getting the chance to perform and show off," he says. He especially enjoys performing at competitions. Practicing, however, isn't his favorite thing. He performs Debussy's Dr. Gradus Ad Parnassum.
Cellist Oliver Aldort, 11, plays both piano and cello, but he considers cello his main instrument. By the time Oliver was 10, he had soloed with three orchestras. He knows, without a doubt, that he wants to pursue a career in music. He performs Camille Saint Saens' Cello Concerto No. in A minor.
Any history of rock 'n' roll is sure to acknowledge the influence of piano master Jerry Lee Lewis, who popularized his own brand of rock, often getting so enthusiastic that he'd kick the piano bench out from under him and play standing up.
After more than 30 years of making music, the band America could easily be flailing away on the county-fair circuit. But the group has reinvented itself in recent years, drawing inspiration from younger generations while still holding on to the gentle pop sound that helped make it famous.