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.

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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.

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