music

Neil Case

When you sit in the passenger seat of DJ Billy E’s sky-blue van and he turns a few nobs on the console, tens of thousands of watts of bass are pushed out from a wall of subwoofers behind your head and crash down, not just on your ears, but on your entire body. It makes every little nose hair dance around and tickle. It’s hard to breathe there’s so much pressure. It is absolutely thrilling.

More than a year ago, the world first heard the official cast recording of the most successful Broadway musical in recent memory. The album would ultimately go double-platinum and top Billboard's rap chart, owing in part to fired-up fans hitting repeat, memorizing lyrics and absorbing the show's richly textured world.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Gordon Oliver “Ollie” Wareham says all of his songs tell a story.

Family of Larry Rosen

Larry Rosen was always looking for his next big project. A decade ago, he'd recently finished producing a series for PBS, "Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis," but he was not a guy interested in taking a break. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts was new and, as usual, Rosen saw an opportunity: bring jazz to the gleaming new concert hall, one with acoustics that could be adjusted to different kinds of music. 

Konpa music has dominated the Haitian music industry for decades. But while the genre’s roots are firmly in Haiti, today its leading bands are often not. This year, the top two albums came from bands right here in Miami, which many now consider the “capitol of konpa.”

David G. Zuckerman

This morning, I woke up to vindication. It came in the form of a news alert on my phone telling me that Bob Dylan is now a Nobel Prize winner in literature. Not that I needed vindication so many years after the incident at my high school graduation. OK, maybe I did because I immediately wondered if the early 1990s-era administration of Minisink Valley High School in New York State got the same alert.

jlacpo / Flicker

It was in a Miami Beach High School classroom in 1974 that I first heard the name Bob Dylan. The teacher thought that Dylan's “Like A Rolling Stone,” written some 10 years before, was important enough in the evolution of pop culture to share with a bunch of 15-year-olds.

Bruce Springsteen also heard “Like a Rolling Stone” at age 15 and remembers: “I knew I was listening to the toughest voice that I had ever heard. It was lean and it sounded somehow simultaneously young and adult…It make me feel kind of irresponsibly innocent. It freed your mind the way Elvis freed your body”

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

Juan Gabriel, a singular superstar who transcended borders and the trappings of gender with meticulously crafted pop songs and a flamboyant showmanship that earned the nickname the "divo of Juarez," has died, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner.

Juan Gabriel was 66 years old and he was found at a residence in San Monica with no apparent foul play.

Mexican President Enrique Peña-Nieto tweeted his condolences calling him one of the country's "greatest musical icons."

It’s not exactly something you’d expect to see hanging in the Louvre. A very unusual art exhibit is on display at the University of North Florida Gallery of Art.

Art For Your Ears: Subtropics Marathon Airs Experimental Music

Mar 4, 2016
Diego Saldaña-Rojas / For WLRN

  On Saturday, 20 sound art pieces will be performed and displayed at the 24th annual Subtropics Marathon, a six-hour sound art and experimental music event.

"We don't try to pin down exactly the kinds of things these are. We're interested in experimental music, meaning music that is being made today, no matter what it is," said Gustavo Matamoros.

Mike Stocker

About 21 minutes into the documentary “Sweet Dillard,” the camera captures a moment of high drama in the band room of Fort Lauderdale’s Dillard High School. Christopher Dorsey, the school’s music teacher, checks his cell phone and says calmly, “We’ve been invited back to Ellington.”

A cheer goes up from the kids in the band. Because “Ellington” is the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition, an annual high school jazz festival and competition that takes place at New York City’s Lincoln Center.

Tiny Desk; Big Exposure

Jan 29, 2016

The deadline for NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest is next Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Tiny Desk Concerts are intimate concerts, featuring new videos of original music recorded at the desk of “All Songs Considered’s  Bob Boilen. Last year, NPR Music published 84 Tiny Desk Concerts, and they seem to be catching on.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Religiously, there’s nothing more Mexican than la posada, the December street procession that re-enacts the Virgin Mary’s search for a place to give birth to Jesus. Musically, there’s nothing more Mexican than mariachi — that roaring mix of trumpets, violins, guitars and flamboyant sombreros.

Put them together, as Homestead's burgeoning Mexican-American community did this month, and you've got the perfect Mexican Christmas.

But the mariachi part was an exuberant debut: It was the first public performance by the city's new mariachi academy.

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