The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is playing the Charline McCombs Empire Theater Wednesday night. We spoke with tuba/banjo player and percussionist Ben Jaffe.
"We’re going to be playing some selections from our newest album, 'That’s It,' and we’re also going to be performing some songs that we only pull out specifically this time of year, specifically holiday songs that are unique to New Orleans," Jaffe said.
Jaffe said the difference between Preservation Hall and some other bands is New Orleans, but it’s also the players themselves.
This is FRESH AIR. At 44, the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann may be the most popular tenor of his generation and one of the most versatile. Music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews two of his recordings this year, dedicated to both Verdi and Wagner, celebrating the bicentennials of their birth.
Local singing ensemble Voci di Sorelle is celebrating a decade of singing together, but the group didn't set out that way, according to founder and Artistic Director Ruth Moreland.
"Well actually this group started as just a one-time composition project," Moreland said. "When we got together in the summer of 2003 it was just magical."
So magical that they couldn’t see stopping. Now they’re celebrating their first decade at a Christmas concert they’re calling "Sing We Noel." The concert takes place on Sunday, December 15 at the Chapel of the Incarnate Word.
Taylor Muse is the 31-year-old bandleader and songwriter of Quiet Company, an indie-rock band from Austin. A native of East Texas raised in a Southern Baptist church, he now reluctantly carries the banner of "that atheist rocker from Austin."
"Every band that I was in up until college was a Christian band," Muse says. "It was part of our identity as people, our identity as a community. It was everything."
Every year, radio stations are deluged with new Christmas albums, and Texas Public Radio is no different. This year, I came across one that made its way to the top of my listening stack. The Canadian group Ensemble Polaris boasts diverse instrumentation, including guitar, banjo, mandolin, bagpipe, musical saw, recorders and winds.
A hard-hitting multi-Tony award winning musical is coming to the Majestic Theatre. "American Idiot," the highly-acclaimed musical that was borne out of the seminal Grammy Award-winning Green Day album of the same name, is coming December 13-14.
"'American Idiot' is about three disaffected teens growing up in a place called Jingletown, USA," said Dan Tracy, who plays Tunny in the production. "They’re all trying to find their way to a better life and each of them gets lost in their own way."
San Antonio's performing arts group Urban-15 is known for its driving drumbeats and wildly creative costuming. Their longevity and unique calling has made them one of the city’s iconic puro San Antonio aspects. But every December they put away the drums and costumes, put on holiday music, and turn on the lasers.
"The holiday laser show is multiple lasers that are choreographed to some of the holiday favorites," said Urban-15 Music and Media Director George Cisneros.
Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 5:22 pm
Telemundo recently announced that its telenovelaEl Señor de los Cielos (Lord of the Skies) will be back for a second season; production began this week in Mexico City. This resurrection sets it apart from almost every other telenovela because, unlike American soap operas, telenovelas have a clear beginning and a definitive ending, airing for a set number of episodes.
As if putting on large scale plays and musicals weren’t enough work, The Playhouse had to find a way to put itself back together after weather damage it suffered from a thunderstorm last May. A rain-damaged roof soaked through and ceiling plaster came raining down on the seats at their Russell Hill Rogers Theater.
As Playhouse CEO Asia Ciaravino notes, fixing a theater is tough work for people who just want to entertain you in one.
A new exhibit at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum is getting some heated interest and the reason is probably because if its subject mater, and size. It’s not exactly something you can hang on your wall.
"The sculpture at Blue Star is approximately 70 ft. long," said Blane de St. Croix, the artist who created the sculpture he calls Broken Landscape III.