NPR Music Essentials
Jun 11, 2013 — After almost six months of new music, it's that time of year when we pause to catch our breath, get our bearings and share our love for the albums that defined the first half of 2013 at NPR Music.
Jun 11, 2013 — We made you a doozy of a mix — 50 of NPR Music's favorite songs from the first half of 2013, including hip-hop anthems, dudes with beards, avant-garde lullabies, dance-music stompers, tear-jerking ballads, funk odysseys and synth-pop singalongs.
Jun 6, 2013 — Download new music from EDM star Pretty Lights, Bon Iver side project The Shouting Matches, hip-hop recluse Quasimoto, teenage sensation Lorde and many more.
May 23, 2013 — The great composer and bandleader was distraught over the 1967 death of Billy Strayhorn, his songwriting and arranging partner of 28 years. But Ellington took Strayhorn's passing as an impetus, born of necessity, to increase his own productivity. Here are five examples.
May 16, 2013 — He was a soulful reedman, an amazing talent scout for decades and a bandleader of one of the country's most popular acts. Born in 1913, Herman led "Thundering Herds" that were both big draws and well-respected by the likes of Igor Stravinsky. Here are five recordings which still sound fresh today.
May 2, 2013 — In this installment of Heavy Rotation, we partner with KCRW to bring you an exclusive download from Laura Mvula's Morning Becomes Eclectic session, as well as music from the post-punk band Savages, Portland songwriter Nick Jaina, Baltimore rapper Ellis and funk guitarist Shuggie Otis.
Apr 26, 2013 — Bremen may be best known for its love of soccer and Beck's beer. But in April, more than 20,000 jazz fans and industry professionals descend upon the German port city for a festival designed specifically to showcase new acts from across Europe.
Apr 18, 2013 — The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies. Appreciative musicians often wrote them tributes like these.
Apr 16, 2013 — For centuries, the country turned its back on black musicians — including the jazz artists whose creations embodied freedom and empowerment. Today, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is one of Africa's largest musical gatherings. Here are five musicians who played the festival this year.
Apr 9, 2013 — Download new music from hip-hop veteran N.O.R.E., indie-rock favorites Telekinesis and Phosphorescent, soul man Charles Bradley, folksinger Samantha Crain and many more in this special edition of Heavy Rotation.