You can find our next guest on most Monday nights at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where he is part of Comedy Bazaar and he offers his signature riffs on his particularly interesting cross-cultural dilemmas.
TEHRAN VON GHASRI: My name is Tehran. It's like the capital city of Iran. You're, like, wondering, what were my parents thinking, naming me Tehran, right? But I'm half black, half Iranian, which comes with a lot of advantages. I have a lot of fun at the airport. It's true. Homeland Security knows me on a first name basis.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR news. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we are going to spend some time across North Africa and the Middle East. It's the first day of spring, and that means it's the Persian New Year. We are going to celebrate Nowruz later in the program, with a comedian who's putting a new spin on the holiday. That's in just a few minutes.
Rap and hip-hop were both a driving force, and a coping mechanism, for people in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. In particular, the music of Tupac Shakur resonates with Arabs, long after the U.S. rapper's own death. But why? Michel Martin looks for an answer, along with Khaled M, a Libyan-American rapper.
The release last year of a 2007 reunion by the late Sam Rivers' trio confirmed what a creative drummer Altschul is. He has been one for decades. Altschul was a key player on the 1970s jazz scene, when the avant-garde got its groove on. Now, as then, he's great at mixing opposites: funky drive with a spray of dainty coloristic percussion, abstract melodic concepts with parade beats, open improvising and percolating swing. He's a busy player, but never too loud — he's also busy listening.