Music

Happy Birthday, El Rey! 10 Fiery Tito Puente Cuts

Apr 20, 2014

Celebrating the late Tito Puente's birthday gives us a chance to revel in his mid-1950s RCA years. Backed by major label money, the King of Latin Music was able to realize the sounds he heard in his head on bandstands and in recording studios.

This meant big band dance music, agile soneros whose improvised vocals complimented the bands and small-group percussion experiments.

Transcript

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

Christine Jensen says she has multiple personalities. She's a saxophonist, a composer, leader of a jazz group, and more recently, the conductor of an 18-piece jazz orchestra.

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RATH: That requires yet another personality, a businesswoman to make a generally unprofitable venture work.

Lisa Robinson has done just about every kind of music writing there is.

Rufus Wainwright creates music that is theatrical, emotional and operatic. Listening to his albums can feel like experiencing a Shakespearean play, with wit, tragedy and heartbreak all side by side.

Prince Fans, Prepare For The Deluge

Apr 19, 2014

Prince fans are accustomed to not getting what they want. That's one reason Friday's news came as a shock — that Prince has re-signed, for the first time in 18 years, with Warner Bros. Records, and that an expanded edition of Purple Rain, in time for its 30th anniversary, as well as a new album and unnamed "other planned projects" to come, are all on the way (including a new song, released late last night).

Ryan LaCroix

Tonight, Oklahoma City band Horse Thief celebrates the release of their debut full length album for Bella Union Records.

The band plays a mixture of psychedelic rock and folk rock, along with the guitar sound reminiscent of The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and hints of Fleet Foxes and James.

Horse Thief signed a deal with Bella Union Records in 2013, making them label mates with indie rock favorites Beach House, Fleet Foxes and fellow Oklahomans The Flaming Lips.

In northern New Mexico, among the Catholic brotherhoods known as the penitentes, Good Friday is the highest of holy days. The brothers sing ancient Spanish hymns about life, death and piety — hymns they've helped preserve.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Texas native Gina Chavez did not come to music early on. When she was 18, she went to a country-blues show in Austin to hear singer Toni Price. It was after that she decided she wanted to learn how to play guitar. So she turned to her dad.

Salsa Legend Cheo Feliciano Dies

Apr 18, 2014

Three days of mourning have been declared in Puerto Rico following the death of salsa great Cheo Feliciano in a car accident there early Thursday. The singer was 78. "His music embodied the rhythm of Puerto Ricans living in New York City," U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said in a statement, "and his lyrics helped tell our collective story."

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