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Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful

The former New Jersey poet laureate, born LeRoi Jones, died Thursday at age 79. Much of his work — including well-regarded poetry and plays — reflected his commitment to Black Nationalist ideals. He co-founded the Black Arts movement, and wrote poems that were as controversial as they were influential.
NPR

Singer Maysa On Applying To Home Depot And Earning A Grammy Nomination

Singer-songwriter Maysa spent more than 20 years in the trenches of the music industry, but she didn't let a lack of recognition slow her down. Now she's got a Grammy nomination to show for her hard work. Host Michel Martin speaks with Maysa about life, and her latest album, Blue Velvet Soul.
NPR

Cachet And Cash For Rafał Blechacz, Named 2014 Gilmore Artist

The award is granted once every four years to a pianist with exceptional qualities, chosen by a secretive committee. This time, a young Polish musician who specializes in Chopin has earned the generous $300,000 prize.
NPR

Peter Gabriel's Favorite Artists Remake His Music From 'Scratch'

On the 2010 album Scratch My Back, Gabriel covered songs by the musicians he loves. For the follow-up, he invited those artists — who include Arcade Fire, Randy Newman, David Byrne, Regina Spektor, Lou Reed, Bon Iver and more — to cover his own material.
NPR

A Debut Album At 81 Years Old

Leo Welch had played at picnics and parties and sang with a gospel group, but he didn't record an album until he cold-called a Mississippi record label. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with the blues musician about his new release, Sabougla Voices.
NPR

Nash, Ronstadt Remember The Everlys' 'Sibling Sound'

Phil Everly, half of the record-setting sibling duo The Everly Brothers, died on Friday. Legendary musicians Graham Nash and Linda Ronstadt offer remembrances of Phil Everly, and explain why the Everly Brothers had such a profound influence on their music.
NPR

Pushing A Tradition Forward, Bandolim In Hand

A master of the Brazilian version of the mandolin, Hamilton de Holanda is determined to show the world what the instrument can do — and he's found friends in disparate musical worlds who are helping him prove is point.
NPR

Hip-Hop's Aboriginal Connection

Beat Nation is a traveling art exhibition that mines the similarities between hip-hop and indigenous culture. It's made a big splash in Canada, where indigenous protest movements have recently captured headlines.
NPR

Phil Everly Dies; Transformed Rock 'N' Roll With Brother Don

The tight harmonies in the Everly Brothers' string of hits in the '50s and '60s were huge influences on others such as Simon & Garfunkel, The Hollies, and The Beach Boys. Among their biggest songs: "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Susie" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream." Everly was 74. Brother Don is 76.
NPR

'Our Soul Music Is Mariachi Music': Houston's Mexican Mass

The mariachi Mass brings an ensemble of garishly dressed folk musicians — with their guitars, trumpets and violins — right down to the front of the church, where they play liturgical music.

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