May 23, 2015 |
LUXEMBOURG - Listeners probably thought they knew what they were getting at the Philadelphia Orchestra's Thursday opening concert of its 2015 Europe tour here. But after guest soloist Lisa Batiashvili played a hot Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 , she and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin regrouped in the rear of the stage where the piano was parked. They played Tchaikovsky. The two had cooked it up in Philadelphia before leaving on tour, choosing the first of the composer's Six Romances Op. 6 ("Do Not Believe, My Friend")
May 14, 2015 |
Look out, YouTube. Move over, Vimeo. There's a new online home for music videos, a kinder, gentler website and mobile app (partly) grown and launching in Philadelphia on Wednesday. VuHaus ("view house"), as it's called, is backed by six public radio stations, including WXPN-FM, and promises a panoramic perspective on "adult alternative" music styles - from Americana to electronica, blues to rap to rock. It's opening the portal with an impressive crop of live concert streams from Wednesday through Friday from the Non-Comm (noncommercial radio)
May 8, 2015 |
The music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn - alone or in collaboration, as they were for nearly 30 years - represents some of the most sophisticated and complex works in jazz. Together (though rarely in the same room) they penned eccentric yet commercial compositions such as "Tonk" and "Strange Feeling," in which arrangements added subtle classicism to ferociously masculine orchestration. Each had signature strengths. Ellington was capable of fascinating ethno-rhythmic interplay and romantic melodicism ("Chinoiserie," "Afrique")
May 6, 2015 |
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts opened its season Saturday afternoon not in sylvan Fairmount Park but amid the golden glow of Mother Bethel AME Church's stained glass, its audience in the fervent communion of common purpose. Baltimore and social justice were on everyone's lips, even if nothing so specific could have been foreseen when plans for the concert were first laid. It was the kickoff of the Mann's Liberty Unplugged! festival, the music center's months-long focus on Frederick Douglass, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela, and so it was. But social justice being the unfinished business it is, by the time these musical performances and poetry readings reached the stage, they had gathered a new, grievous urgency.
May 6, 2015 |
Shortly after Mauritanian vocalist Noura Mint Seymali stepped to the microphone in West Philadelphia on Sunday night, it became clear just how special the closing event of Crossroads Music's 2014-15 concert season would be. As the full-bodied electric bass of Ousmane Touré and the drumming of Philly's own Matthew Tinari began to pump behind her, Seymali delivered trilling and thrilling lines of exotic vocalization. Her confident control of melisma was impressive; her youthful power was well-measured (although it did require some quick sound-mix adjustment so she wouldn't overwhelm everything)
May 2, 2015 |
Pokey LaFarge creates music built on an amalgam of styles - early jazz, ragtime, jug band, country blues, Western swing - that long predate him. "They never seemed like they were so old growing up, and they don't really seem too old to me now," the 31-year-old singer and guitarist says over the phone from his home in St. Louis. "It just seems like it's real and it's honest and true - just a well to draw from. I think the only thing that makes it strange for people is that it's just old enough to where they don't have a point of reference for it. " Whatever the case, LaFarge has always brought a distinctive songwriting voice to the music, which helps give it a renewed relevance.
April 17, 2015 |
WHEN TATTLE mentioned a couple of days ago that Tim McGraw had announced The Concert for Sandy Hook Promise, with proceeds benefiting an organization with the crazy, un-American goal of protecting kids from guns, we wondered how that might play with a portion of his fans. Uh, not well. The Washington Post reports that McGraw (along with his openers , Billy Currington and Chase Bryant ) have received a backlash from gun-rights advocates. Tim's motives seem reasonable.
April 16, 2015 |
IN A MUSIC world full of auto tune and hyper-polished production, Lee Ann Womack prefers to keep it simple. The singer's latest release, "The Way I'm Livin'," features Womack's minimalist spin on songs by nonmainstream singer-songwriters. Womack, best known for her 2000 country/pop crossover hit, "I Hope You Dance," is bringing her stripped-down sound to World Cafe Live on Sunday. The songs' transition to the stage should be smooth, since the album was recorded almost completely live.
April 13, 2015 |
THE WOMAN who managed money seized from criminals in Delaware County now has a criminal record herself after allegedly stealing the illicit funds to, among other things, buy her way into Flyers games that she later bragged about on Facebook. Mary Lynch, 48, was charged yesterday with theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, identity theft and related offenses after allegedly embezzling more than $100,000 in drug forfeiture funds while working as a financial administrator at the D.A.'s Office, officials said.
April 13, 2015 |
A simple suburban church with superb acoustics has become a temple of serious music in South Jersey. At Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church in Washington Township, an ambitious concert series continues Sunday with five "chamber music all-stars" performing string quintets by Mozart and Brahms, says Martha Frampton, series founder. The seventh season will conclude May 17 with "Storytelling and Folk Dances," including a Spoken Word cantata and featuring downtown New York musicians Doug Balliett and Brandon Ridenour.