I recently spoke with pianist Lara Downes about her new release “America Again,” which is comprised of various arrangements of a wide range of genres including classical, American popular, jazz and folk ballads. She explains how she put the album together, which contains music “that explores the essential American dream.”
Say, is it the time of year when you may want to escape to an island? You know, just a quick breather to get away from all the hustle and bustle or the minutiae and hyperbole that often happens around this season? Sure, it’s been a very interesting and tough year on all sorts of fronts, so I propose that on this week’s World Music Show (12/3) we take a little trip to a musical island out in the middle of somewhere in which we will just soak up not the gentle rays of the sun, but the calming effects of beats.
Trumpeter Rex Richardson teaches trumpet, jazz improvisation and chamber music at Virginia Commonwealth University and tours throughout the year as a clinician, recitalist and soloist. He has recently commissioned four new works through VCU”s Presidential Research Quest Fund. This is the first time this has been awarded to an entirely artistic endeavor. The new works are by composers Allen Vizzutti, David Sampson, Anthony Plog and Andy Scott.
It’ll be a history lesson on this week’s World Music Show (11/26), as we’ll explore the history of Afrobeat and Hi-life music, from its inception to its legacy. Plus, we’ll dance around to new music from the French band Nouvelle Vague as well as to tunes from the Irish punk band The Pogues and to even some Cafe Samba music.
Looking into the crystal ball for this week’s World Music Show (11/19), I see that I’ll be Playing for Change. Is there a double meaning behind this? Plus, on the horizon, I notice that we’ll find out just what’s happening in Pernambuco, Brazil. And we’ll head to the Oasis (no, not the band Oasis) to hear some very interesting tunes, including a couple from two local bands.