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.
Piano Jazz introduces yet another amazing young jazz pianist who's bursting onto the scene. Pollack is just barely out of high school, but he's already exciting fans and fellow musicians in San Francisco with his virtuosic technique, exciting compositions and an imaginative approach to jazz.
Two of the most renowned and prolific players in jazz, banjo great Bela Fleck and fusion pianist Chick Corea combine their talents on a new disc called The Enchantment. The two musicians recently sat down for an interview and in-studio performance.
Chick Corea & Bela Fleck in Studio on World Cafe - 06/29/2007
Gomez's sweetly layered, melodic songs draw together elements of folk and rock, grounded by a strong pop sensibility. An accomplished guitarist, Gomez got his start in instrumental jazz before shifting gears. Hear Gomez give an interview and in-studio performance.
Jarrett is known to spontaneously improvise entire concerts with no planning beforehand. He is equally versed in jazz, classical music and the American songbook. Marian McPartland cornered Jarrett after his Carnegie Hall concert and asked him to guest on Piano Jazz.
NPR station WFUV has a backstage view of one of the country's most impressive music festivals, held each year in rural Tennessee. Rita Houston, host of The Whole Wide World talks with special guests Gillian Welch, Manu Chao, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Elvis Perkins.
Los Straitjackets' new album marks a radical departure from the tight instrumental rock of its predecessors: On it, the band enlisted three vocalists to help perform classic rock 'n' roll songs in Spanish. Hear Los Straitjackets give an interview and in-studio performance.
Los Straitjackets in Studio on World Cafe - 06/27/2007
Violinist Foster Wang, pianist Victoria Lee and cellist Anthony Sabatino, each 17 years old, met while studying music in the pre-college division at the Juilliard School in New York City. They perform the opening movement from Mendelssohn's Piano Trio in D minor. "The piece is like a big conversation between the three of us," Victoria says.
Crawford Wiley, 17, made the jump from piano to organ three years ago after trying out the organ at his church. "I started to realize there is so much more you can do with the organ," he says. "The sound is so loud and the repertoire is so interesting." Crawford especially loves practicing at his church after hours, when no one else is around. He plays music from Hermann Schroeder's Little Prelude and Intermezzi.
Teen Keyboardist Thrives on Big Sound of the Organ
Pianist Michelle Cann, 18, was born into a musical family: Her father conducts a school band, and her sister is a concert pianist. Cann has played trombone, violin, steel drums, bells, guitar, tuba and organ, as well. She plays music from the Piano Sonata No. 1 by Alberto Ginastera.
Give Her an Instrument, She'll Learn How to Play It
Clarinetist Ashlee Miller, 17, credits her teacher, Igor Begelman, with shaping her sound. "In the one year I've worked with him, he's completely transformed my playing," she explains. "I went from playing etudes to touring with a major orchestra and beating out graduate students in competitions." Ashlee is a student at North Carolina School for the Arts. She plays music from the Clarinet Sonata No.2 by Brahms.
Eighteen-year-old David Song has learned a great deal about leadership by being the concertmaster in several youth orchestras. "You really have to be humble," he says. "Being a concertmaster doesn't mean you can order people around. You have to know exactly what's going on in the piece." David plays the opening movement from Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2.
With a sound that recalls classic pop songwriters like Francoise Hardy, chanteuse and multi-instrumentalist Keren Ann combines literate, worldly pop with delicate vocals and subtly catchy melodies. Hear an interview and in-studio performance.
Doe just released A Year in the Wilderness, and recently sat down in the studio to play a few of his new songs. In between performances, he talks about the mythic qualities of the American West, as well as the differences between song lyrics and poetry.
Singer Tierney Sutton burst onto the scene in 1999 with rave reviews for her first solo album, Introducing Tierney Sutton. Five albums later, critics and fans continue to marvel at her delicate, reflective vocal style. Hear an interview and performance on Piano Jazz.