Airs Thursday, July 31 at 8 p.m. Nearly a quarter of a century ago, banjo master Bela Fleck formed a band that drew on bluegrass, jazz, blues and rock, combining the talents of four unique musicians that play acoustic and electric instruments. They call themselves the Flecktones, and the dexterity they use to make their instruments roar, and the obvious joy that they share in doing so, explains the group's longevity and their loyal fan base. Tune in for part one of a SMF performance by the original lineup of the Flecktones, including pianist and harmonica player Howard Levy.
Airs Monday, July 28 at 8 p.m. Vijay Iyer might be a genius. He has a master's degree in physics, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Technology and the Arts from Berkeley. He's also a largely self-taught pianist — and a powerhouse player at that — and composer for string quartet, theatre, film, orchestra, spoken-word multimedia, free improvisation, ESPN commercials, etc. And as a jazz bandleader, his quartets and trios translate his post-idiomatic artistic outlook into spiky, supercharged songs.
Airs Monday, July 28 at 11 a.m. This week on the Pittsburgh Symphony pianist Shai Wosner will join maestro Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos for a performance of Mozart's wonderful Piano Concerto No. 15 and then Mr. Wosner will give us a delightful rendition of Franz Schubert’s Hungarian Melody. The concert will open with Mozart’s Serenade No. 6 in D Major, The "Serenata notturna," and we'll also hear Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and from the archives we'll remember Fritz Reiner leading the orchestra in Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, (Movement 4).
Airs Sunday, July 27 at 6 p.m. Film, music and art are often the best ways to capture the will and the mood of the people in times of turmoil. Art sometimes has the power to move millions where politics fails. So in this program we attempt to identify some prominent artistic voices in the Middle East, North Africa and in South Asia and evaluate their take on liberal ideals, on sectarian violence, on terrorism and how they're being received by audiences in both the Arab and Muslim communities and in the West.
This summer, All Things Considered has been taking a look at the changing lives of men in America. And that means talking about how the country educates boys.
In Berkeley, Calif., a private, non-profit middle school called the East Bay School for Boys is trying to reimagine what it means to build confident young men. In some ways, the school's different approach starts with directing, not stifling, boys' frenetic energy.
In the new novel Land of Love and Drowning, the Virgin Islands and the ocean around them make for a magical setting.
The book follows three generations of one family living through the modern history of the territory as it passes from Danish to American hands.
It's also laced with magical realism: One main character can sense people's arrival; another family only gives birth to men, generation after generation; and one woman has a hoofed leg instead of one of her feet.
Artist Willie Baronet is on a 24-city, 31-day trek from Seattle, Wash. to New York City looking for supplies.
He's been buying handmade signs from homeless people for an art project called We Are All Homeless. Those signs are little more than a peripheral blur for many people. Baronet wants us to slow down, read them and understand.
"It really started because of my discomfort, my guilt, the way I felt, whenever I encountered a homeless person on the corner," he tells NPR's Eric Westervelt.