music

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.

The standard, highbrow obituary of Pierre Boulez would highlight the obvious facts and benchmarks of his life. 

They'd mention that he was born in France in 1925. That he conducted, sans baton, many of the world's leading orchestras. And that Boulez was known as an avant-garde composer. 

But I want to hightlight his collaboration with someone you may not expect: Frank Zappa. 

Yeah, that Frank Zappa. Leader of Mothers of Inventions. Freak Out! And the song with that all important message — "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow."

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.

Art Basel Week Live Music: No Velvet Ropes

Dec 3, 2015
iii Points

Live music has been a part of Art Basel week since the early years, but often it's been a side dish of the visual art shows or served with a heap of art-world exclusivity.

Over the years, music promoters have built a music-festival component to Miami Art Week meant to welcome crowds regardless of their standing in the world of art collection.

James Profetto / WLRN

  Pompano Beach has a new cultural center, in a home that has had roots in the city since the 1920s.

The Ali house was once a welcoming place to many African-American performers and musicians during segregation.

Laura Rawlings, daughter of the late Florence and Frank Ali, mentioned times when her mother’s room would be occupied by Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong.

“It just brings back memories of my mom and how I used to be sneaking in here — her room,” says Rawlings.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Students at two Miami elementary schools got a lesson in singing together from choral group Seraphic Fire Friday.

The group is based in Miami but performs all over the country. It is providing music classes in local schools this year.

Most students at North Miami’s Natural Bridge Elementary had never sung an Israeli folk song before. Some are just learning English.

But Seraphic Fire singer James Bass had more than 100 students belting out the words to “Zum Gali Gali.”

How One Family Is Bringing Steel Pan Back

Oct 8, 2015
Lisann Ramos / WLRN

Henry Potter was a 10-year-old in the Virgin Islands when he was first captivated by a noise from a churchyard.

He remembers:

“I’m like, ‘What is that ting-ting-ting?’ so I looked in and I saw kids playing and I watched them. The next day I went back. And probably about the third day, the guy who was in charge of the band, he asked me, ‘Do you wanna play?’ I’m like scared but I said yes. He said, “Well no problem, you can come, you can come and learn to play.’”

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