News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More

Thomas Swan

BB King

New B. B. King Documentary for PBS >>

Thirteen Films, producers of the American Masters series, presents a new documentary coming February 12 at 9 PM (check your local listings) to PBS to celebrate black history month - B.B. King: The Life of Riley. The documentary will feature a treasure trove of whose who in the music, brought together to pay tribute to the iconic King. Bono, Eric Clapton, Aaron Neville,John Mayer, Bonnie and Ringo share their own perspective on King and what he meant to them and their careers

Jesse Cook

Jesse Cook's 'One World' CD is a Nice Musical Journey to Behold >>

It's not often that instrumental guitarists can hold my attention, but Jesse Cook is no ordinary guitarist and his newest CD, One World, is no ordinary CD. His music has been described as nuevo flamenco, but listening to the CD, one finds he is not apt to stay in that box for more than a couple measures, much less an entire song. Nevertheless, Cook's flamenco roots are still very much visible. It seems it is his home, and the launching pad with which he begins each journey (song) anew.

Ranbir Kapoor/Katrina Kaif in Happier Times

The Continuing Saga of Ranbir Kapoor & Katrina Kaif >>

After his break up with girlfriend Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor sought the safe refuge of his parents. He rented an apartment near them and has since then proceeded to keep a low profile, avoiding both the media and Katrina Kaif. It is difficult, due to the widely varying accounts, how serious this break up is. It has been suggested it might be an effort to promote their new films, Katrina's Fitoor and their joint venture Jaaso Jaagas.

Soprano Renée Fleming Dons Hanna in Susan Stroman's 'Merry Widow' Production on PBS in June

Renee Fleming Headlines 10th Anniversary Gala >>

The Cleveland Orchestra went full out in its 10th anniversary in south Florida. The headliner for the grand night was opera diva. It was a grand night, full of pomp, circumstance and music. The music was conducted by musical director Franz Welser. It was an affair that very few cities could hope to host. Miami just happens to be one of those cities. Fleming was not only star of the show, she was the star of the show

Orchestre National de France Promo Bill

Orchestre National de France in US for Short Tour >>

Orchestre National de France will begin a 6 date tour of the United States beginning this Sunday January 24 and continuing on to the end of the month. The brief tour will be the final interactions music director Daniele Gatti has with the orchestra. Their musical director since 2008, Gatti is set to take over as musical director of the Royal Concertgebouw, which calls Amsterdam home.

Stefon Harris

Stefon Harris: Bringing the Vibraphone Back >>

Stefon Harris is a good looking guy, make no mistake about it but it takes more than good looks to do what Mr. Harris does. He makes playing the vibraphone look cool. Nothing against the vibraphone, mind you. It provides a nice tone and enhances any jazz piece. However, it is a giant, lumbering piece of equipment that anchors you to a specific area of the stage. Plus, while it does produce nice tones, they aren't overtly dominant ones. Hopefully, Lionel Hampton is up in heaven somewhere looking down on Mr. Harris making the vibraphone cool.

Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif

Is Alia Bhatt the Other Woman? >>

If Katrina Kaif felt like Deepika Padukone was looking over her shoulder, you could hardly blame her. Every story was Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika this, Deepika and Ranbir that. After all, they had a history together. Granted, it was very turbulent but they both care for each other deeply. So, if Ranbir would start to wander, it would probably be with Deepika. However, rumors are saying no. Instead, try Alia Bhatt. She was the cause of the friction that lead to the rumored split.

American Ballet's Misty Copeland Embraces What Being a 'Black Ballerina' is All About

'A Ballerina's Tale' Comes to Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Dowwnload >>

IFC Films presents A Ballerina's Tale: The Story of Misty Copeland, coming to Blu-ray, DVD and digital download Feburary 2. One of the most visually sriking ballerinas to grace the stage, Misty Copeland had to overcome more than most dancers on her way to the top. She would become the first African American woman to be named principle dancer of the American Ballet Theatre. A Ballerina's Tale tells the story of the behind the scenes struggles and prejudices Copeland had to endure on her way to the top.

Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif

Did Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor Break Up? >>

Clearly, Katrina Kaif has too much time on her hands or the Bollywood journalists are waiting for Deepika Padukone to make her annual trek across the tabloid pages because Katrina Kaif is all over the news. Whether she is coming or going, it is hard to ascertain from the Bollywood insiders. To hear them, she is like a Kardashian with an overactive thyroid. Three stories doing the rounds say she's tryting to patch up things with Ranbir Kapoor, is engaged to Ranbir(?) and might be leaving Salman Khan for Ranbir, again?

Stefon Harris

Stefon Harris & Sonic Creed Bring the Jazz >>

Saturday January 30th, 8 PM, Miller Theatre, the Columbia University School of Arts is the place to be. Vibraphonist and composer Stefon Harris takes the stage with his new band Sonic Creed. I don't feel the need to talk this cat Stefon Harris up. You should be in the know already. He is where it is happening. My man has armed himself with a new band. The Music Gods annointed them with the name Sonic Creed and them mothers and Mr. Harris plan to lay a whole bunch of funk, postbop, R & B tinged jazz on you. That is if you are at the Miller Theatre at Colubia University School of Arts at 8 in the PM, dig?

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan and What is Talent? >>

Bob Dylan's "Someday Baby" hits the radio and it is a good little song. Off The Modern Times album, it suffices. It's obvious talent fades with age and beautiful, right? Gone is the god who blew the world asunder with the Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde album. He let go of what made him Bob Dylan. Is this typical with others? Two classical pianists of note,Georgian born Khatia Buniastishvili and Ukrainian born Valentina Listisa continue frustrate critics with the way they interpret the sacred classics, which have been trodden on so much they have almost become deriviative. Are they failing their talent? What does it mean to be talented anyway?

Ranbir Kapoor/Katrina Kaif in Happier Times

Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan's Secret Meeting >>

When Katrina Kaif was seen with Salman Khan, all of India was turned on its ear. Kaif had just broken up with Ranbir Kapoor, although that is up for debate, and it was odd to many that she would be seen in the company of her ex, who she left for Ranbir. So, what happened and why did they meet up? What's the secret behind Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif's secret meeting?

LA Dance Project

Dance @ The Wallis Kicks the New Year Into High Gear >>

With the new year on us already, an exciting slate of dance programs is in the offering. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts located in Beverly Hills has an thrilling line up the next couple of months that include LA Dance Project's Harbor Me and Debbie Allen's Freeze Frame among others. World renowned choreographers Debbie Allen, Benjamin Millepied, Justin Peck, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and Daniel Ezralow show off their talents. Legendary American ballerina Suzanne Farrell will be on hand to launch Dance @ The Wallis on January 24 and stick around to teach a master class. It is an excellent chance to watch a master lend some of her experience and knowledge to the next generation.

Mike Nichols and Elaine May

'American Masters' 30th Season: Mike Nichols >>

Coming to PBS January 29 is the first documentary about film director Mike Nichols. A part of the American Masters Series, Mike Nichols: American Masters was directed by Nichols' former comedy partner Elaine May and will feature new interviews with such Hollywood luminaries as Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Paul Simon and others. It is the first episode in the special 30th anniversary of the PBS series.

Osmo Vanska

Osmo Vaska and the Composers of Tomorrow Concert Jan. 29 >>

Osmo Vanska will conduct the Minnesota Orchestra in the eighth annual Future Classics Concert Series. The concert will feature seven of the top emerging composers of today. The concert will take place Friday January 29th at 8 PM at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis. Tickets range from $20 to $40 dollars and the show will be hosted by former Portland, Oregon alum Fred Child. All seven composers will be present to introduce their work

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