Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Double Bass Player Dies Onstage

Jane Little, of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra died Sunday, May 15th, doing what she loved best, playing her double-bass and making music onstage.

Image: Dustin Chambers/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Little began playing with the Symphony in 1945 when she was just 16 years old.  In February she was awarded a Guinness World Record  after reaching her 71st anniversary with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  She was 87 years old at the time of her death.

You can read more of Little’s story here on NPR.

Michelle Obama delivers the keynote address at SXSW

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the keynote address at the annual South by Southwest conference and festival in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. She talked about the Let Girls Learn initiative and participated in a panel with Missy Elliott, Diane Warren, Sophia Bush and Queen Latifah.

 

 

Read some interesting commentary on the event at NPR.

 

From DJ to Hit

Who’s writing and performing those catchy basslines on today’s top hits in rap? DJ Dahi. Read NPR’s article here.

 

 

Dahi has a lot to say about the music industry:

“I was really inspired by watching the [2015] MTV Video Music Awards show —Kanye’s acceptance speech about listening to kids. It made me think about the kids who were also watching it. Are we giving them information that’s vital to their upbringing — or are we lying to them? I want to give kids a sense of the world through not only my eyes, but through the eyes of artists they love.” That means less celeb bickering and trivial boasting, and more thoughtful direction for an audience that Dahi feels has been led astray.

Pharrell Williams speaks @ NYU

Pharrell sat down with NPR’s Jason King at NYU last month for over an hour to talk about his new song “Freedom”, politics, childhood, and even tapas!

King’s bio of Pharrell is fascinating, and this interview is a really intimate look at a huge pop star’s surprisingly humble perspective. Watch and read here.

Things you didn’t know about Arvo Pärt

Did you know that since the ’70s Pärt’s music has been inspired by bells?

 

Watch Pärt playing piano!

The Monks of Norcia

The Monks of Norcia, a Benedictine order in Italy, have produced a CD of a gregorian chant. Perhaps surprisingly, this type of CD is currently very popular. The 1994 album Chant sold about 6 million copies!

 

Also, the monks are now brewing beer to bring the community together, and to earn income.

Listen to the NPR story here.

 

Unexpected Americana

Check out Fede Graña Y Los Prolijos’ song “El Gigante” on NPR’s field recordings! The band is from Uruguay and is clearly influenced by americana and bluegrass.

And the lead singer seriously can’t stop smiling!

Fede Grana Y Los Prolijos

Fede Grana Y Los Prolijos

 

The Stray Birds on NPR’s Mountain Stage


From Lancaster, Pennsylvania, folk trio the Stray Birds consists of multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven, and Charlie Muench. Read more or listen on NPR here.

Check out their site for more information and music at www.thestraybirds.com.

 

Understanding Life Through Rap: “I have to have empathy.”

I think that there is a narrative that’s been lost in American culture, but definitely in rap music. It’s very consumer-based. It’s very narcissistic in a way. But I just want to talk about practical stuff, about regular people, because I think our regular lives are amazing, beautiful things. –Michael Render, Killer Mike

Read the full interview on NPR Music here.