Music

Yo-Yo Ma opened his recent Tiny Desk concert with the gently rolling "Prelude" from J. S. Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1. It's music Ma has lived with nearly all of his life.

"Believe it or not, this was the very first piece of music I started on the cello when I was four years old," he told the crowd, tightly squeezed between the office furniture on NPR's fourth floor.

Today, we're featuring a mini-concert from an artist you might first know as an actor. Lera Lynn's turn on the second season of True Detective introduced her to a lot of America, including myself. But those in the know have recognized her voice, style and songwriting ability, shown on albums like Resistor or The Avenues.

Stefon Harris On Piano Jazz

16 hours ago

Vibraphonist Stefon Harris is one of the most innovative and impressive artists in jazz, blazing new trails on vibraphone and marimba. While much of his music is on the cutting edge, he has a strong sense of tradition and his technical facility knows no bounds.

On this 2002 Piano Jazz, Harris shows off his fresh, clear sound on a number of duets with McPartland, including "Whisper Not," "Blue Monk," and "Bemsha Swing." McPartland solos on her own "Twilight World."

Aretha Franklin is dead and we still, 50 years after she made her artistic and commercial breakthrough, can scarcely comprehend the still-shocking power of her singing.

Janet Jackson knows exactly what she's doing. After finishing a summer of festival stops, the musical trendsetter has teamed up with Daddy Yankee for a new single to remind us all to take advantage of every last drop of summer fun imaginable.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Lauren Onkey about the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday at the age of 76. In this career-spanning conversation, we share the songs and stories behind one of the most influential artists of all time, from her earliest days singing gospel in her father's church, through her 1980s pop hits, later collaborations with artists like Lauryn Hill and much more.

The world is mourning the loss of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul died August 16 at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. Though her influence was felt throughout music, a critical part of her legacy lies in gospel, where she got her start.

More Than Keeping Time: A Melodic Drumming Demo

23 hours ago

What would you say if I told you that drums can sing? The best jazz drummers have always understood this as fact. Allison Miller has even made it a core part of her artistic mission — as drummer, a composer and a bandleader, notably with her ensemble Boom Tic Boom.

"I would stand like an ant in an arena crowd just to witness his magnetism," Mitski once wrote about Harry Styles, likening him to the popular boy at school, too distant and beautiful to pine after. In a review of Styles' self-titled album, she explored the process of projection, in which you elevate an object of adoration until their ideal supersedes the person.

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