Music & Culture

Classical Music Posts

Gospel Trailblazer Kirk Franklin Brings The Energy And Hope For A Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

For nearly 30 years, Kirk Franklin has been widely regarded for revolutionizing gospel. He incorporated secular music, particularly hip-hop, while preserving the message and integrity of traditional gospel. Here, he and his powerhouse choir pace through a decades-long, sixteen Grammy award winning discography of faith, praise and encouragement while cracking plenty of jokes. I cannot recall a more moving Tiny Desk home performance. Continue Reading Gospel Trailblazer Kirk Franklin Brings The Energy And Hope For A Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

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Singer Billie Holiday records her penultimate album "Lady in Satin" at the Columbia Records studio in New York City, in 1957. CREDIT: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Why We’re Drawn To Billie Holliday’s Story

All the lights in the house would go dark. The wait staff would turn still. The audience, often largely white, would either wait, in discomfort, or leave, knowing what was to come. On stage, a single spotlight illuminated the jazz artist’s face. And then Holiday, the glamorous jazz singer, would end her set with “Strange Fruit,” a song of protest against lynchings. There would be no encore. Continue Reading Why We’re Drawn To Billie Holliday’s Story

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The Fort Lauderdale duo Black Violin wrote "Time to Shine" after reflecting on what happened last year and ringing in the new one. Mark Clennon/Courtesy of the artist

In New Song, Black Violin Focuses On The Light As They’re ‘Not Supposed To’ Play Violin

Race and challenging assumptions about race is central to what Black Violin does: Outside of playing for fun or for creative expression, Marcus finds it particularly satisfying to disarm people who don’t expect him to be a violin scholar. “The number-one reason I play violin,” he says, “is because I’m not ‘supposed to.’ ” Continue Reading In New Song, Black Violin Focuses On The Light As They’re ‘Not Supposed To’ Play Violin

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Immanuel Wilkins Highlights Struggle And Triumph Of Black Experience In Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Candles and books rest on a trunk at the bottom right corner of the wide shot. There, too, are special photographs of alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins with family in his childhood home in Philadelphia. “One of the brightest things about this pandemic was going home to spend time with my mother, father and grandmother after being on the road for a while,” Wilkins told NPR recently. Continue Reading Immanuel Wilkins Highlights Struggle And Triumph Of Black Experience In Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

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