Music

Joyce DiDonato is one of the most acclaimed opera singers of her generation; this year, she won the Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Her latest album, In War and Peace: Harmony Through Music, is a collection of baroque arias from the 17th and 18th centuries divided into two sections — one addressing war, the other, peace. DiDonato joined NPR's Ari Shapiro to discuss this newest recording, a project she hopes will be a force for healing. "Music, because it goes to the heart and bypasses...

More than a year ago, the world first heard the official cast recording of the most successful Broadway musical in recent memory. The album would ultimately go double-platinum and top Billboard 's rap chart, owing in part to fired-up fans hitting repeat, memorizing lyrics and absorbing the show's richly textured world. But just a week after the Hamilton cast album dropped last fall, its seemingly tireless creator was already teasing something new. "So the show is done," Lin-Manuel Miranda...

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards, show producers worked a truly impressive number of performers into the Nov. 2 telecast, utilizing everything from moving medleys to photo montages and mentions of legends seated in the audience. But no other appearance received half the attention of Beyoncé 's "Daddy Lessons" collaboration with the Dixie Chicks . As with just about anything Bey-related, the announcement that she would take the stage at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena during...

The Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi brought in a full band for a stunning live performance. He has a giant global following — and for good reason, as demonstrated by this rendition of his piece "Petricor." SET LIST "Petricor" Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW. Watch Ludovico Einaudi's full Morning Becomes Eclectic set at KCRW.com . Copyright 2016 KCRW-FM. To see more, visit KCRW-FM .

When Maggie Rogers brought Pharrell to tears with her electro-pop earworm " Alaska " last summer, fans of the viral hit quickly scoured the web for more music from the young musician, but came up mostly empty handed. Apart from some high school recordings Rogers posted to Bandcamp , "Alaska" was her only official release. Now the wait is over. Rogers is back with a worthy followup called "Dog Years," a slick, slithering and fantastically broody dance-pop track likely to be her second internet...

Calling themselves "an accidental brass quartet," the members of The Westerlies , like the prevailing winds, blew east to New York from their hometown of Seattle, where they were childhood friends. Young musicians today routinely resist being pigeonholed into a single genre. Such is the case with this unconventional band, which, through its compositions and tight ensemble playing, reveals a built-in sympathy for improvised jazz, rigorous classical structures and sunshiny pop. Trumpeters Riley...

HBO's new Westworld series is only five episodes deep, but the sci-fi western has already established itself as a reliable source for musical easter eggs. Nearly every episode has featured a player piano in the background clinking out versions of popular rock songs. The slightly out-of-tune instrumentals end up sounding like something Scott Joplin might have played. Fans who've longed to hear full versions of what have only been tiny snippets in the show can now stream (or buy) an EP with...

Jazz great Wynton Marsalis , a virtuoso trumpet player and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, has written — wait for it — a violin concerto. As the daughter of the late virtuoso violinist Roman Totenberg , I was intrigued and wanted to know more. So I spent an hour with Marsalis — and the violinist he wrote his concerto with and for. (More on that later.) At 55, Marsalis has spent a lifetime exploring the roots of American music. True, he admits, he has never played the violin, but he adds that...

Grandaddy will release its first new album in more than a decade next year. It's called Last Place and is due out March 3 on Danger Mouse's 30th Century Records. In announcing the album today the band released a new video for the song "Way We Won't," a perfectly rendered, classic Grandaddy tale of alienation and heartache in a digital age. While the song describes a broken couple who wind up living on the roof of a big box store, the video takes a different view. Actor Jason Ritter stars as a...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3J0iwwsq-w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp3zaeOyL7Q They're officially the coolest kids to come out of Forest Hills High in Queens, N.Y., and that's saying something. The street where the Ramones — Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy — went to high school is now named for them, as they beat out other former students such as Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. It's a natural fit for a band that personified street-tough punk rock to have a street named...

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