Music

There was barely a cloud in the sky all weekend at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival this past weekend. But the uninterrupted stretch of three gloriously sunny days wasn't the only stroke of good fortune festivalgoers encountered. Each day at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., was filled with surprise guests and moments of serendipity.

It's been about a month since Amjad Sabri's voice was silenced. He was shot dead in his home city of Karachi by two men on a motorcycle, and his millions of fans are still in shock and anger.

All Songs Considered, Alt.Latino and The Record have teamed up to put on a show as a part of the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors summer program — and, oh yeah, it's free.

A Syrian man whose asylum request had been denied by German officials used an explosives-laden backpack to kill himself and wound 12 other people near a concert in southern Germany. Police are still trying to unravel the motives for the 27-year-old's action.

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports:

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For consumers, "free" is rarely ever free — especially when it comes to social media and other online platforms. In exchange for utilizing services like Facebook, for example, users allow information about themselves — everything from their ages and zip codes to the particular products, services and companies they like — to be collected, sliced, diced, and sometimes given to other advertisers, who pay for access to that information.

"...the Spirituals, in a limited degree, are still in the making."
-James Weldon Johnson

Headliners at the Essence Festival, which marked its 22nd Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans earlier this month, play in the middle of the Superdome, a cavernous arena that, as configured for the fest, seats about 50,000. Up on the stadium's plaza level, a cozier, less formal kind of show takes place. Four multipurpose party rooms deemed Superlounges, which each fit about 1,200 fans, serve as secondary stages.

When musicians Nick Walusko and Darian Sahanaja first met in Los Angeles back in 1983, they immediately bonded over their shared passions: movies, sci-fi and the mysteries of 1960s pop. The two spent countless hours poring over records by bands like Buffalo Springfield, The Mamas & the Papas and The Beach Boys, "just taking apart music and figuring out how all the parts work together," Walusko recalls.

In Colombia, Preserving Songs That Tell Stories

Jul 7, 2016

Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez once said that One Hundred Years of Solitude was a 400-page Vallenato: a traditional music of Colombia's Caribbean coast. The songs are mini-epics, filled with local characters and poetry. It's a style that stretches back 200 years and is still thriving today.

From its mesmerizing ebb and flow and the purity of the choristers' blend alone, you'd be forgiven for thinking this might be one of Henryk Górecki's many sacred choral works. There's a palpable air of serenity and reflection. But instead, it's a song about a little pony and a blue-eyed girl.

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Before the folk rock band The Lumineers released their newest album, Cleopatra, in April, they played a series of secret shows. Emphasis here on "secret."

"There was a large concern about the album being sort-of released via grainy video and leaked out online," said Wesley Schultz, the band's lead singer.

So the band decided to lock up people's phones — not take them away, exactly, but just lock them up for the show. Like a timeout.

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And on this Fourth of July, we've been listening to versions of the MORNING EDITION theme submitted by our listeners. This one came to us from the hip-hop group Jazzy Triggs. They dropped some rhymes on top; a great reason to play it again.

NPR listeners first met fiddle player Sara Watkins in Nickel Creek — the trio of prodigies that brought a youthful spirit to a bluegrass world that reveres its elders. Once she started making solo albums, however, she figured out what maturity sounds like for her.

For this most American of holidays, how do we define our music? What makes it uniquely American?

In 1929 George Gershwin wrote that it's "something deeply rooted in our soil." Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop said, "It's highly energized, rhythmic music derived from the blurring of lines between popular and serious styles."

Sick of getting your view blocked at live shows by people holding up their phones? Apple was granted a patent yesterday for technology that can disable those cameras — at least in specific places.

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