NPR Music

A Blog Supreme
2:25 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Melissa Aldana Wins Thelonious Monk Competition For Saxophonists

Melissa Aldana performs at the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Paul Morigi Getty Images for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

At a ceremony and concert last night in Washington, D.C., the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz named Melissa Aldana, 24, the winner of its annual competition for young musicians. The highest-profile event of its kind, this year's competition was open to saxophonists.

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The Fresh Air Interview
1:04 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

In Memoir, Linda Ronstadt Describes Her 'Simple Dreams'

Linda Ronstadt performs in 1970.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:37 am

With a career that spans rock, pop, country and everything in between, Linda Ronstadt knows no genre, only what her voice can accomplish. Her most famous recordings include "Heart Like a Wheel," "Desperado," "Faithless Love," and many more. But last month, Ronstadt revealed that she has Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing.

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World Cafe
12:58 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

She & Him On World Cafe

She & Him.
Autumn de Wilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 10:47 am

When actress Zooey Deschanel started recording with producer M. Ward as She & Him in 2006, it was easy to see it as a passing thing. With the duo releasing the third album-length installment of its ongoing collaboration this year — in addition to a holiday record titled A Very She & Him Christmas — it's now pretty clearly a long-haul project.

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All Songs Considered
10:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

New Mix: Beck, Best Coast, Joanna Gruesome, More

Clockwise from upper left: Beck, Cate Le Bon, Arp's Alexis Georgopoulos, Best Coast
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:05 pm

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June and by far the strangest (i.e., best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck hopes to release before the end of the year.

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Code Switch
6:12 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

'It Could Have Been Me': The 1983 Death Of A NYC Graffiti Artist

A passenger boards a subway car painted with graffiti, in New York in 1984.
AP

"It could have been me. It could have been me."

These were the words uttered by painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was deeply shaken after he heard the story of a black graffiti artist who was beaten to death by New York City police. Seeing his own life reflected in the death of a fellow artist, Basquiat went on to create Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), not only to commemorate the young man's death, but also to challenge the state-sanctioned brutality that men of color could face for pursuing their art in public spaces.

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