Airs Thursday, February 21 at 8:00 p.m. When the discussion of contemporary American acoustic music arises, several different genres come to mind. If the ingredients of the genre include well-crafted songs, vivid arrangements, instrumental virtuosity, splendid improvisation, complete vocal harmony, as well as a mandolin, a banjo, and a dobro, well, the window gets narrowed down. One group that embodies all of these traits is The Infamous Stringdusters. Listen to the talented young newgrass ensemble The Infamous Stringdusters on this episode of SMF Live, featuring selections culled from their two shows at the Savannah Music Festival in Charles H. Morris Center.
Airs Tuesday, February 19 at 9 p.m. The great drummer turns 70 during the week following the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival, but he's certainly not going quietly into retirement age. Lately, he's been leading a quintet which combines a brilliant saxophonist fluent in South Asian music (Rudresh Mahanthappa), an electric guitarist known for microtonal experiments (Dave Fiuczynski) and the combination of keyboards (George Colligan) and acoustic bass guitar (Jerome Harris).
Airs Thursday, January 10 at 8:00 p.m. The second episode of Punch Brothers music from their 2011 appearance in Savannah. The forward movement of contemporary American stringband music has always been fueled by a tradition that existed outside the classroom setting. When a young person attempts to pursue an American style such as bluegrass, Cajun, country or blues, the earliest method of learning often begins with imitating music from recordings. Later on, participation in jam sessions, lessons with a mentor, and getting connected with better players is the easiest route toward figuring out how to play your instrument. In this episode we listen to a group of mostly non-formally trained string players that has developed a wholly original sound based on their collective approach to music making. Part Two of Two
Airs Saturday, January 5 at 11:00 a.m. The 2012-13 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Les Troyens, led by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. The cast for Berlioz’s epic, which travels from war-ravaged Troy to the North African shores of Carthage, is led by Bryan Hymel as the Trojan hero Aeneas; Deborah Voigt as Cassandra, the cursed prophetess; Susan Graham as Dido, Queen of Carthage; Dwayne Croft as Cassandra’s fiancé, Coroebus; Karen Cargill as Dido’s sister, Anna; Eric Cutler as Dido’s court poet, Iopas; and Kwangchul Youn as Narbal, Dido’s advisor. Les Troyens will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, January 5. The performance will also be transmitted worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 1,900 movie theaters in 64 countries.
Airs Thursday, January 3 at 8:00 p.m. The first of two episodes culled from the Punch Brothers 2011 performance at the Trustees Theater during the Savannah Music Festival The tradition of stringband playing in the United States dates back at least 200 years. In the early 19th century, the fiddle-banjo duo that was essential to the dance music of the day eventually incorporated other instruments such as the guitar, mandolin and double bass. Such an assemblage, of whatever instrumentation, became known simply as a "stringband." By the 1870s, African-American dance houses had musicians who played violin, banjo and bass fiddle, and by the 1920s and 30s, stringbands were among the forerunners of modern country music and bluegrass. Soon, artists began to record stringband music in collaboration with other popular music styles such as blues and jazz. In this episode, we listen to a stringband that has drawn upon nearly every style of music from the past 100 years, the Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile. Part one of two.