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Archive | Music

Ben Folds. Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Center.

In the Moment: Report on ‘Declassified’ with Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles at The Kennedy Center

Under the masterful, musical code-switching curation of National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Artistic Advisor Ben Folds, the future for new audiences finding their way to the usually buttoned-up, High Arts atmosphere of a classical music venue was very clear at the most recent NSO Declassified concert. The one performance-only Declassified on Friday evening, January 12th, was […]

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An Interview with ‘The Summer Club’ – Previewing ‘A Big Band Valentine’s Day’ at Philadelphia Theatre Company

Since its premiere in the Jersey-shore town of Cape May in July 2014, The Summer Club has been bringing the retro sound of the Big Bands, the sophisticated stylings of the Swing era, and the tight-knit camaraderie for which the Rat Pack was known to audiences throughout the greater Philadelphia area. On Wednesday, February 14, […]

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Bandstand CD

New Records: Listening to ‘Bandstand’ and the Music of Alan Menken

This report on New Records includes three Alan Menken shows that recently received fresh recordings, plus a Broadway show from this year that unfortunately closed after a modest run. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (Ghostlight Records) For years, I’ve wondered what the first Alan Menken-Howard Ashman show sounded like. In 1979, three years before their […]

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Jason Vieaux. Photo by GMD Three.

Review: LiveConnections Presents Fifth House Ensemble + Jason Vieaux at World Cafe Live

LiveConnections Presents kicked off its new season in rousing fashion with an evening of music from the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble and classical guitarist Jason Vieaux – introduced, in keeping with the educational mission of LiveConnections Presents, by an ensemble of high school students from Play On, Philly! performing Steve Reich’s “Music for Pieces of […]

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Singer Sara Jones. Photo by Tim Coburn.

Interview: Jazz Singer Sara Jones

“I don’t perform ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’ that often,” jazz singer Sara Jones admits. “I mean, the song’s a real downer. You have lyrics in that song like ‘lips that taste like tears’ or ‘lose their taste for kissing.’ Think about that for a moment, the idea that tears are running down someone’s […]

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Hilary Hahn. Photo by Michael Patrick O'Leary.

Review: Hilary Hahn Plays Bernstein with The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Leonard Bernstein Centenary continues with concerts by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Last weekend’s performances featured one of Bernstein’s most interesting (and relatively obscure) compositions — his Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium), for solo violin, strings, harp and percussion. That Plato Symposium, allow me to remind you, was a series of dissertations in ancient […]

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Review: ‘Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood’ from The In Series performing at Gala Hispanic Theatre

Engaging, sophisticated entertainment and education that didn’t talk down to the intended audience; children who may not have been familiar with the grand musical and cultural figure, DC’s very own Duke Ellington: that was my takeaway from the In Series very short run of Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood. Marketed as a production for the younger set (and […]

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Peekaboo featured

Review: ‘Peekaboo! A Nativity Play’ at the Hub Theatre

Want to wish yourself a Merry Little Christmas and a Happy New Year in a new way? Then for those with a bent for the uncommon, consider taking in a contemporary retelling of the Biblical Nativity story that honors the traditional New Testament birth of Jesus story, delivers fresh insights that are well-tagged to our […]

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Colin Doyle. Photo by Don Valentino.

Review: ‘The Sea Cadet’ and ‘A Trip to Africa’ at Concert Operetta Theater

Concert Operetta Theater moved into new artistic territory with its November production of two unfamiliar operettas. Daniel Pantano’s Philadelphia company teamed up with a European organization led by Dario Salvi devoted to the preservation of neglected music. Their similar interests came together with a double bill of operettas not heard in America in a century. […]

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Violinist Tessa Lark. Photo by Kate L Photography.

Interview: Violinist Tessa Lark Discusses Her Career and Her Upcoming Performance at the Phillips Collection

Don’t just call Tessa Lark a crossover artist. The fast-rising classical violinist may also be known for playing at jazz clubs in New York and elsewhere, and for her country fiddling at bluegrass festivals. But Tessa’s Kentucky roots and her deep curiosity about world cultures feed right back into her “serious” repertoire in a way […]

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Review: ‘The Exterminating Angel’ at the Metropolitan Opera

Metropolitan Opera audiences, paying up to $393 for a ticket, can relate to the wealthy party guests in The Exterminating Angel. And so do some prestigious critics, who called this “the one opera to see this season.” Don’t they realize that they are being excoriated in this absurdist production? Don’t they see that the joke […]

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Isley

Review: Isley Brothers at The Kennedy Center

The Isley Brothers rocked into The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall this last Sunday night. Though the Hall is still standing, it may never be the same. Since their founding in 1955, the Isley Brothers have recorded numerous Gold and Platinum Albums, with dozens of number 1 hits. Their first Grammy Award came in 1970 with “It’s Your Thing.” Since […]

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Review: ‘Red Roses, Green Gold’ at Minetta Lane Theatre

Calling all Dead Heads! The classic songs of your favorite band have been reincarnated for the stage at Minetta Lane Theatre, in a new jukebox musical Red Roses, Green Gold, directed by Rachel Klein and presented by MWM Live. Inspired by the music and lyrics of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter (with additional material by […]

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Review: NEA Jazz Master Ron Carter Trio at The Kennedy Center

The Ron Carter Trio visited The Kennedy Center this Friday night. Consisting of bassist Carter, pianist Donald Vega, and guitarist Russell Malone, the harmonics couldn’t have been sweeter; the melodies, more agreeably delightful; or the riffs, more creative of joy. Led by Jazz Master Carter, the trio began the evening with several in memoriam pieces for […]

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