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"Art only becomes something when people interact with it, experience it, and allow it to have meaning in their lives." --- Brad Mehldau Brad Mehldau burst onto the jazz scene in the early 1990s, drawing comparison to jazz great Bill Evans. With a penchant for offbeat covers (such as...
For Grammy-winning pianist and composer Danilo Pérez, jazz isn’t so much a form of music as it is a way of life. Born and raised in Panama, Pérez began studying music at the age of three with his father, who worked as a singer and bandleader. He went on to study at the Berklee College of...
This week's podcast introduces Lynn Hill, an Air Force veteran, author, and performer. I saw her last month, at the Atlas Theater's annual Intersections Festival here in Washington, DC, where she performed her own poetry in Holding It Down . Holding It Down is an extraordinary theatrical...
Last September, in opening remarks during a National Academy of Sciences workshop on the arts and aging , I posed some questions about research in this field. As reported in Aging and the Arts: Building the Science (2013), an account of the workshop, jointly sponsored by the NEA and the National...
In this week's podcast, we meet 2005 NEA Jazz Master George Wein , who has been a legendary presence in the performance world for over 60 years. In 1954, he fundamentally invented the idea of the outdoor jazz festival when he launched the first one ever held in the United States in Newport,...
To help you kick off Jazz Appreciation Month, here are some listening suggestions from rising star jazz pianist Helen Sung and former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine. Almost anything by Wayne Shorter, definitely one of my all-time favorites! It’s hard to pick only one tune from his album...
Beer and Beethoven, hot dogs and Haydn. It’s an unusual menu, but one that’s been working well for the Happy Dog Saloon. Several times a year, the Cleveland bar hosts Ensemble HD, a classical music group made up of members of the Cleveland Orchestra . The first time the group performed...
Michael Begay (second from left) working with the ETHEL String Quartet as part of the NACAP activities to bring musical education to Native-American communities. Photo courtesy of NACAP
"When I was a teenager, I felt stuck on the reservation," says Michael Begay, a 28-year-old composer of Navajo heritage who grew up in Arizona. "It felt like I was...
Ask someone to name a classical musician, and they'll likely reel off names such as Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, or Tchaikovsky. Ask them to name a classical musician from the 21st century however, and the task might become a little more difficult. Yo-Yo Ma , however, is an exception. Since...
In today's peek at the latest issue of NEA Arts , we meet Ryan Holladay. When Holladay is not creating location-aware sound works for spaces such as the National Mall and Central Park with his brother Hays---under the bluebrain moniker---he's showcasing off other multi-media artists who are...

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