music

The Record
4:03 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Essence In New Orleans: A Festival That Knows Its Audience

Mary J. Blige performs during the 2012 Essence Music Festival at Louisiana Superdome on July 7.
Erika Goldring Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:23 pm

For the last 18 years, the Essence Music Festival has been the go-to event for African-Americans, especially African-American women. For three days in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands show up for R&B and gospel concerts and panels on politics, financial planning and parenting.

If it's a party, as creator George Wein describes it, it's a party with a purpose.

"New Orleans is a party city and they party," Wein says. "People party here. If you go to the hotels — 40-floor hotels — [there's] like 40 floors of parties."

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Music Interviews
11:04 am
Mon July 9, 2012

'Brownout,' From Music Experiment To Fan Favorite

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 12:59 pm

The Latin funk group began as a side band by some members of the Grammy-winning Latin ensemble Grupo Fantasma. They wanted to test new sounds but quickly learned they had something bigger to offer. Now, Brownout is getting lots of fans and glowing reviews. Their newest album is Oozy. Member Greg Gonzales talks with guest host Maria Hinojosa.

Essence Fest
1:49 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Alex Boyd brings 'blue-eyed' soul to Essence

He has danced with Debbie Allen, acted alongside Bruce Willis, blended his voice with Patti Labelle's and even dabbled with opera.

But Alex Boyd's true calling has always been classic, old-school soul — despite being one of only a handful of white performers in the genre.

Boyd says he was "over the moon" about his closing night debut performance on Sunday at the Essence Music Festival.

In Memoriam
1:42 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Tremé Brass Band's Lionel Batiste dead at 81

Lionel Batiste, the vocalist, bass drummer and assistant band leader of the Tremé Brass Band, has died. He was 81.

Band leader Benny Jones Sr. says Batiste died Sunday. He says funeral arrangements are incomplete for Batiste, who was known as "Uncle Lionel."

He says Batiste had been ill for about a month.

Jones says Batiste had been with the Tremé Brass Band since it was formed in 1995, but he had been a musician nearly all his life.

Music
10:34 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Coldplay Sharpens Fencer's Game

World class fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad talks about the music that keeps her sharp for competition for Tell Me More's series, "In Your Ear." Muhammad and the rest of the U.S. women's team recently won gold at the Korfanty Sabre World Cup competition.

Barbershop
10:34 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Will Same-Sex Romance Sink R&B's Ocean?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barber Shop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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Music Inside Out
6:05 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Music Inside Out: Three Degrees of David Torkanowsky

David Torkanowsky.
Jipes flickr

Forget "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." In New Orleans, it's more fun to play three degrees of David Torkanowsky.

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Music Reviews
11:50 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Linda Oh: Connecting Points On A Musical Map

Linda Oh
Vincent Soyez courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 11:01 am

In a good jazz rhythm section, the players function independently and as one. Their parts and accents crisscross and reinforce each other, interlocking like West African drummers. Beyond that, the bass is a band's ground floor. When it changes up, the earth shifts under all the players' feet. From moment to moment, Linda Oh's bass prowls or gallops, takes giant downward leaps, or stands its ground.

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Essence Fest
10:36 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Essence 'Youth Day' Kicks off in New Orleans

Opening day of the Essence Music Festival is kicking off with events geared for the young.

Crime, education and issues affecting today's youth will be tackled during the day at the Morial Convention Center before teen musical acts hit the stage at the Superdome.

Among the day's speakers are New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who launched a mentoring project called "Saving Our Sons," to help curb crime and violence in the city. His wife, Cheryl, launched "Girl Up NOLA," which seeks to inspire and motivate young girls.

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Dead Stop
2:52 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Beyond The Music In St. Louis Cemetery No. 2

Ernie K-Doe poses outside his Mother-In-Law Lounge during Jazz Fest in New Orleans in 2001. He died a few months later and was buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.
Pat Jolly AP

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 9:25 pm

There's so much water in, around and underneath New Orleans, that the dead spend eternity in tombs above ground.

Most of the tombs now have a similar design: On top, there's space for a wooden coffin or two, and at the bottom lies a potpourri of decanted family remains. Sooner or later, whoever is up high must vacate and settle lower, making room for the newly dead. That's how families stay together — in a desiccated jumble of grandpas, grandmas, siblings and cousins.

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