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music

Flickr Photo/Jan Kjellin (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Seattle-based music writer and critic Charles R. Cross about why it's almost always better to know less about a musician's personal life and political views. The Puyallup Tribe announced they're canceling rock musician Ted Nugent's shows at the Emerald Queen Casino, saying comments Nugent recently made about President Obama helped push them to cancel the shows.

Ross Reynolds talks with author David Kinney about this new book "The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob."

Broadcasting live from the land of legal weed and sliding into the frame like a giant Pacific octopus, here comes Lese Majesty, the third album from Seattle's Shabazz Palaces. It's definitely hip-hop, but... was that a drum? Human? Synthesizer? Sample of an old record? We may never know. MC and producer Ishmael Butler keeps his cards close.

From Wikipedia

In 1932, a new singing style was emerging: crooning. What we might consider easy listening now wasn't necessarily received cordially by its contemporaries. Cardinal O'Connell of Boston described it as "imbecile slush" and "a degenerate form of singing.”

Flickr Photo/Mike Arieta (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The "Frozen" shark has been jumped.

How many months have we been saying, “enough of that song from Disney's 'Frozen!'” The song “Let It Go” has been inescapable on the web, television and the radio. But it's not so bad — it’s not like Pearl Jam is doing it.

That is, until Friday night in Milan, Italy, when Eddie Vedder and the boys were in the middle of playing their song, “Daughter.”

I guess it reminded Eddie of his own daughters, that he's gotten older and so have you.

People who can't clap on the beat drive comedian Aaron Michael King crazy, especially one group in particular. He devoted a whole YouTube sketch to ... some white people he knows.

Rodney Crowell performs with the ease and swagger of a man comfortable in his ways. He carries his songs the way he carries his old guitar: out in the open, no case, almost as an extension of his body.

Seattle Symphony YouTube Video

Critics are squabbling over Seattle Symphony's latest program: teaming up with Sir Mix-A-Lot and some dancing women at Benaroya Hall in a performance of "Baby Got Back."

You don't associate orchestral music with liking big butts and not lying, but the video of the performance is a hit — more than two million views on YouTube so far. (Scroll down to watch the video.)

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot about his upcoming performance with the Seattle Symphony.

Update: The performance was a hit, with women from the audience getting on stage and dancing to Mix's classic, "Baby Got Back."  

A Conversation With Saxophonist Kenny G

Jun 5, 2014
Kenny G
AP Photo/ Jim Cooper

Sax man and bestselling instrumentalist of all time, Kenny G, needs no introduction. Following stints with Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra (at the age of 17) and The Jeff Lorber Fusion, the Seattle native and UW grad embarked on a solo career in the early 1980s.

Flickr Photo/@HyeonsikMoon (CC-BY-NC-ND)

When the League of American Orchestras' annual meeting kicks off in Seattle on June 6, the almost 1,000 conventioneers will have more than classical music on their minds. American symphony orchestras are thinking about survival in an era where potential audiences have the world available at the tap of a smart phone.

Classical musician and radio host Dave Beck of Seattle's KING-FM jokes "there are lots of people in classical music audiences whose hair is even grayer than mine."

Flickr Photo/Charlie Brooks (CC-BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde speaks with cultural historian, musician and writer Peter Bacon Hales about Jimi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower," which is the subject of a chapter in his new book, "Outside The Gates Of Eden: The Dream Of America From Hiroshima To Now."

Flickr Photo/Carlos (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds interviews saxophonist and bandleader Jacob Zimmerman and vocalist Katie Jacobsen about an evening of music from Disney films they’ll be performing with others Saturday night at the Royal Room in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood.

Zimmerman has performed marching band renditions of Disney favorites in the Disneyland All-American College Band. Jacobsen loved Disney music as a kid, and then got into it again when she began giving voice lessons and all the girls wanted to sing Disney songs.

Quinton Morris, violin professor.
Courtesy of Quinton Morris

He's only 36 years old, but violinist Quinton Morris has the kind of resume that would make anybody a little jealous.

Solo performance at Carnegie Hall? Check.

Today marks 100 years since Sun Ra was born — or, as the musician might have put it, since he arrived on Earth. An influential jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader, Sun Ra always insisted he was just visiting this planet.

Over three days, the annual pilgrimage of 25,000 rollicking concertgoers to the Sasquatch Music Festival turns central Washington's picturesque Gorge Amphitheater along the Columbia River into the largest city in Grant County.

Post Updated 1:45 a.m. ET Tuesday:

Macklemore posted an apology on his website late Monday. He said he picked out items that he could use to disguise himself so he could move freely around an event. "I wasn't attempting to mimic any culture, nor resemble one. A 'Jewish stereotype' never crossed my mind," his post reads.

Flickr Photo/Vikalpa

At 22, Joshua Roman became the Seattle Symphony's youngest-ever principal cellist. With his mop of curly brown hair and his baby face, Roman was a distinctive presence at Benaroya Hall.

But just two years after the young musician took up his post, Roman decided to leave the orchestra to carve out his own career as a concert performer.

From Wikipedia

Almost every partner dance is a descendant of the waltz.

The oldest of ballroom dances, the waltz has roots as far back as the 13th century. As it evolved and entered the ballrooms of Europe, the waltz was viewed as taboo because partners were permitted to make contact. But like the tango and other exciting and challenging dances, the waltz spread until by the middle of the nineteenth century it was firmly established in the U.S.

Today’s standard waltz rhythm that we now know and love became popular due to the musical creations of composers such as Johann Strauss.

The only people inhaling at Seattle Symphony concerts will be the wind-instrument players. The Symphony says it has no plans to follow the lead of the Colorado Symphony and hold marijuana-friendly concerts.

Courtesy of Mackenzie McAninch/Alex Crick

Ross Reynolds interviews and plays the music of Seattle guitarist, singer and songwriter Ayron Jones. Jones talks about his musical inspirations and the themes of his lyrics.

His band Ayron Jones and the Way was formed four years ago. The group were regional champions at a worldwide battle of the bands called Hard Rock Rising. They gained the attention of Seattle hip hop hero Sir Mix-A-Lot, who produced the band's first album, "Dream,"  last Fall.

The great outdoors is a perennial theme in classical music, usually expressed through bucolic or picturesque works. But the Seattle Symphony knew that to appear on Spring for Music — an annual festival of adventurous programming by North American orchestras — it required a more unusual, daring take on this theme.

The Atlanta-based rapper named Future has become an influential figure in hip-hop and pop over the last couple of years, writing songs for Rihanna and Ciara, and landing guest spots from Miley Cyrus, Pharrell and Drake. Just before he put out his brand new album, titled Honest, he spoke with Frannie Kelley and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the hosts of NPR Music's Microphone Check, about standing out from the crowd and his apprenticeship with Atlanta's long-standing Dungeon Family.

Billie Holiday will not be singing unless she "feels it." That's practically her thesis statement in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Lanie Robertson's play about a drug-ravaged nightclub show near the end of Holiday's tortured life. War stories and bawdy jokes are never a problem — and neither is pouring a drink — but if the audience wants a show, they have to wait until Lady Day can give them something real.

Holly George-Warren's book, "A Man Called Destruction."

Ross Reynolds talks with author Holly George-Warren about her new biography of musician Alex Chilton, "A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man."

13 Jazz Artists Awarded Over $1.7 Million

Apr 23, 2014

Yesterday, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced the recipients of its 2014 Performing Artist Awards, including 13 jazz and improvising musicians, who will receive at least $1.7 million in unrestricted grants in total.

Flickr Photo/Derrick Coetzee (CC BY-NC-ND)

Composer John Luther Adams was as surprised as anybody when the Pulitzer Prize committee called him Monday, April 14, to let him know he'd won the prize for his composition "Become Ocean."

Ke$ha says that to start the day she'll brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. Nicki Minaj likes to "have a drink, have a clink" of Bud Light. And the party-rockin' hip-hop duo LMFAO like Ciroc, and they love Patron. "Shots, shots, shots, shots everybody!"

All that name-checking of alcohol brands encourages teens to drink, researchers say. Adolescents who liked songs like these were three times as likely to drink, and were twice as likely to binge than their peers who didn't like those songs.

Over the weekend, soprano Kristine Opolais sang her heart out — and died twice.

Friday evening she had sung the lead in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. It was her debut in that role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It was a big deal. Opolais was so excited about it that she stayed up until five the next morning.

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