Music

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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,...
If music is a language, then Native American Dennis Yerry is a multi-linguist, as we learn in this week's podcast . With a background in jazz piano and cabaret, he has played in many clubs around New York City throughout the years, including the Knickerbocker, Tavern on the Green, and the...
Roy Acuff (center) and Pap Wilson (left) with Bashful Brother Oswald on the Grand Ole Opry , early 1940s. Photo courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry Archives On November 28, 1925, a fiddler named Uncle Jimmy Thompson was the first performer on a little radio show broadcast out of Nashville called the...
"I think that the role of an artist is not just to perform, but it's to convey something to bring communities together.' --- Laurie Rubin Mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin has been blind since birth. While her disability has at times proved challenging in her chosen profession, it hasn't...
In this week's podcast, we meet an indie favorite: singer, songwriter, and now author, Josh Ritter. He is the balladeer of the 21st century, creating intricately constructed folk songs with a modern sensibility. Because he is a musical storyteller with songs that sing like short stories, it was...
October 18. 2012 Irvin Mayfield takes a solo during his gig with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Photo by Josh Goleman, courtesy of New Orleans Jazz Orchestra In what may have been a first for the NEA, earlier this month, National Council on the Arts members Irvin Mayfield and...
In this week's podcast, Clive Gillinson talks about the changes he helped bring to Carnegie Hall. In 2005, Gillinson came to Carnegie Hall from the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), where he had first been a cellist before moving to the position of managing director. Under his leadership, the...
In this week's podcast , we visit with two members of the Paschall Brothers , who are 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellows. For 31 years, the Paschall Brothers have been singing the a cappella gospel music of Tidewater Virginia. The group's four-part harmony owes much to its founder,...

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