Airs Thursday, January 31 at 8 pm. Taking vocal cues from Sam Cooke and James Brown and wrapping them in the cozy warmth of rhythm and blues, singer/guitarist James Hunter hails from England but has American soul running through his blood. In this episode, we listen to Hunter's SMF performance from the Trustees Theater on a double-bill with Allen Toussaint.
Airs Thursday, January 24 at 8 p.m. When American engineer Laurens Hammond invented the electric Hammond organ in 1934 he knew he had created an organ that could be sold to churches as a lower cost alternative to the wind driven pipe organ. However by the 1950's and 60's it had become a standard keyboard instrument for jazz, blues, rock music, church and gospel music. And if you grew up listening to music during that period the Hammond B3 with a Leslie speaker was a very familiar sound. After more than 40 years of playing the Hammond B3 organ, Ike Stubblefield is one of its modern masters. He began his career playing with Motown greats such as the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye and his playing never stopped evolving eventually making him one of the finest B3 players in our time. During this hour we'll listen to Ike Stubblefield and his trio featuring Grant Greene Jr., on Guitar and Marcus Williams on Drums. Ike will play on one of the many Hammond B3 organs from his personal collection.
Airs Thursday, January 17 and 8:00 p.m. Edgar Meyer is a bassist for modern times. Whether he's writing a bass concerto, performing with Yo-Yo Ma, teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, or playing bluegrass with his pals in Nashville, his virtuosity and original compositions have put him in a class by himself. In 2006, the Savannah Music Festival invited Meyer to perform a program of his original compositions with multi-instrumentalists Sam Bush and Mike Marshall, along with violinist and SMF Associate Artistic Director Daniel Hope. While his work can be complex to rehearse and play, it is always engaging and optimistic to hear.
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 Friday, January 4 at 12:00 noon In December of 1891, Czech composer Antonin Dvorak accepted the offer of Jeanette Thurber to become the director of the National Academy of Music in New York City. Mrs. Thurber hoped that the conservatory, which she founded in 1885, would foster the development of American concert music. It was Dvorak's opinion that the future music of America must be based on its folk melodies, which would serve as the real foundation of any serious and original school of composition in the United States. The first half of this special features a performances of Dvorak's music by the Emerson String Quartet, including the String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major Opus 51 and the String Quartet No. 12 in F Major Opus 96 ("The American"). Dvorak’s final two quartets, with their mastery of form, color and expression,are a fitting summation of Dvorak's exceptional achievement in this genre. On the 2nd half of this special we’ll hear the Emerson Quartet performed the Cypresses for string Quartet and his Opus 105, the 13th quartet written by Dvorak.