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In this week's podcast, we meet 2013 NEA Jazz Master Lorraine Gordon . She's the owner of the legendary New York City jazz club the Village Vanguard. The Vanguard has hosted everyone from Mary Lou Williams to Jason Moran. A jazz haven for more than 55 years, the Vanguard passed to Lorraine...
In this week's podcast, we meet a member of the 2013 class of NEA Jazz Masters: alto saxophonist, Lou Donaldson . For over 60 years, Donaldson has played a swinging bebop---combining elements of bop with a soulful sound that is absolutely his own. It's a style of playing that earned him the...
Preservation by flickr user Gruenemann If you were to criss-cross the country visiting the nation's legendary jazz clubs, one of your first stops would be the Village Vanguard, owned by NEA Jazz Master Lorraine Gordon . Founded by Gordon's husband Max, the Vanguard first opened its doors in...
Bob Koester with the late, great bluesman Big Joe Williams's famous nine-string guitar. Photo by Frank Corpus For most of us, our childhood hobbies---rock collecting, baseball cards---end their lives in dusty boxes in the attic. For select others, they grow into passions that eventually turn...
Video of LgF-mK5wCRo "[T]hat ever-present element of surprise is a celestial synchronicity that not only energizes the film you're making but also hopefully resonates with your audience." --- Kelly Sheehan At the turn of the last century, Kelly Sheehan found herself working with...
Last week, we heard from folk legend Pete Seeger as he shared his memories of fellow musician and good friend Woody Guthrie. In this week's podcast , we continue the conversation with Seeger. Born into a family of classical musicians, Seeger was encouraged to play music from the very start. By...
As noted in this week's podcast, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of singer, songwriter, activist, and folk legend Woody Guthrie. Guthrie traveled throughout the country learning and singing traditional folk music while writing and performing his own songs, which numbered more...
In this week's podcast, we meet country singer/songwriter and 2011 National Medal of Arts recipient Mel Tillis. A natural-born storyteller, Tillis also incorporated humor into his act, and was named Comedian of the Year six times during the 1970s. This is particularly noteworthy considering...
Charles Ahovissi, founder of African Culture Connection (ACC), and ACC youth participant Victoria Beaugard accept a 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Photo by Steven E. Purcell When Charles Ahovissi emigrated from Benin, West Africa, to Omaha,...
At yesterday's National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, First Lady Michelle Obama stands with Mariachi Tesoro de San Fernando. The group is the performing ensemble of the Mariachi Masters Apprentice Program, a 2012 NAHYP Award honoree. Photo by Steven E. Purcell For most musicians,...

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