Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

The blues have traveled far and wide over the last century — exerting a vast cultural influence worldwide, yielding myriad offshoots, and generating fortunes for some of the biggest musical acts of our time. But it's also still the product of local conditions, and bound by hardscrabble local concerns.

On this episode of Jazz Night in America, we'll go to Clarksdale, Miss., to get a temperature reading at ground level, where struggling musicians are finally beginning to reap the benefits of a recent wave of blues tourism.

For the 19th year, Broadway casts have produced a set of CDs for the holiday season called “Carols for a Cure.” Hear more about their charity project and the CDs this week on “In a Broadway Minute” Friday morning at 8 and Saturday morning at 10. 

Pianist Glenn Gould rocketed to fame in 1955 with his startling and original take on Bach's Goldberg Variations. Gould's fans were treated to a remake of Goldbergs in 1982, when he released a slower-paced rendition just before his untimely death. But it's that first, rapid fire 1955 recording that continues to captivate audiences.

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It was 100 years ago this week that Russian violinist Jascha Heifetz made his American debut at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1917. Considered by many to be one of the greatest violinists in history, he was just 16 years old at the time. NPR's Rachel Martin spoke with commentator Miles Hoffman about that appearance and the career that followed.

When the American Repertory Ballet kicked off its new season last month, it also welcomed its new Executive Director, Julie Diana Hench.  A Tempo this week speaks with Hench, as well as Princeton Ballet School Director Pamela Levy, who took on the past last Fall, and Artistic Director Douglas Martin, about ARB's future plans and expanded audience outreach programs.  That's this Saturday at 7 pm. 

Four new musical productions make their way to Broadway before the end of the year. Find out more about them this week on In a Broadway Minute with theater critic Howard Shapiro Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 1 am.

New Jersey’s musical legacy reclaimed its place in Grammy lore Thursday with the opening of the Grammy Museum Experience in Newark’s Prudential Center, paying tribute to a history that includes musical greats like Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and Whitney Houston.

When Johnny Fox was a boy, all his friends were obsessed with superheroes.

"Friends of mine were reading comics about Superman and Batman and I thought, 'You know, this is cartoons and made-up stories,' " he says. "I want a real superhero. There's got to be real superheroes out there."

When he was 8 or 9, his parents took him to the Eastern States Exposition near Springfield, Mass. That's where he found those real superheroes.

This week on A Tempo, host Rachel Katz concludes her conversation with Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, about how orchestras are trying to reach a broader audience and younger listeners, including through support of music education and youth orchestra programs.

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