Music

Boise State Public Radio Music can be heard in Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley at 90.3FM, and across parts of southern and central Idaho, providing outstanding music, arts and cultural programming on air and online.

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Not just classical, Boise State Public Radio Music brings you jazz, americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, celtic and more. 

 

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It seems Governor Brad Little has friends in high places. Not a day after telephoning country superstar Garth Brooks, the musician added a second performance in Boise.

Two eminent avant-garde elders, a chameleonic vocal improviser, and a pioneering community organizer and presenter will make up the 2020 class of NEA Jazz Masters, according to an announcement this morning by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The four incoming inductees — saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, bassist Reggie Workman, vocalist Bobby McFerrin, and jazz advocate Dorthaan Kirk — will officially be recognized next April 2, during a tribute concert and ceremony at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.

Saturday Night Live's 44th season ended over the weekend with the help of host Paul Rudd and musical guest DJ Khaled, who brought with him an all-star cast that included J Balvin, John Legend and SZA.

Many years ago, a relative of mine used the term "music-intense" in conversation to describe a musician we both knew.

I think it's also an apt descriptor for BBC music broadcaster Stephen Johnson. His remarkably diverse aesthetic and personal sensitivity are on full display in his new book How Shostakovich Changed My Mind.

One of the jazz world's most enduring artists, the influential 87-year-old guitarist and composer Kenny Burrell, is facing financial ruin and homelessness.

Conan O'Brien says he has settled with a San Diego man who accused the late night host of stealing jokes.

Robert Alexander Kaseberg sued O'Brien and his writing staff in 2015, alleging that they stole five jokes from Kaseberg's blog and Twitter account. The Associated Press reports that attorneys for both sides of the case filed court documents about three weeks before a trial was slated to begin in San Diego federal court, and that terms of the deal were not disclosed.

When musician Dan Tepfer was a kid, he taught himself to code on an early Macintosh computer that his dad brought home one day.

"What I love about programming is it's so powerful," Tepfer says. "You can be a little kid, with very little power over the world, and you can tell this very powerful machine to do whatever you want it to do, and it will do it for you, flawlessly, over and over again."

On a sunny Thursday afternoon in May, the corner of First Street and LaSalle in New Orleans' Central City neighborhood was lively. Kids tooled around on bikes and grown-up neighbors danced to the sounds of DJ Jubilee and Al Green, spun onstage by DJ Mannie Fresh, the producer whose exceptional skills put Cash Money Records on the map back in the '90s. The party was hosted by PJ Morton — a native New Orleanian and the keyboardist for Maroon 5 — who followed Fresh's set with a long, jammy performance of his song "New Orleans Girl," including both a bounce verse and a trombone solo.

Nashville may be the country music capital, but the industry for which its famous began in Atlanta. Now, a grassroots drive to preserve a historic downtown building is highlighting Atlanta's somewhat forgotten role in early roots music.

At 152 Nassau Street in Downtown Atlanta, an unmarked two-story rose brick storefront houses a piece of Atlanta's music history. This was the site of a pop-up recording studio in 1923.

Our shortlist of the best albums out on May 3 includes Vampire Weekend's first new album in six years, life-affirming "pep talks" from Judah & The Lion, the interdimensional sounds of Big Thief's latest album U.F.O.F., the profound lyricism of Nashville singer-songwriter Caroline Spence, former Civil Wars singer Joy Williams and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the week's best new albums.

Featured Albums:

With a reverence for classics and an experimental spirit, Kelsey Lu is broadening the scope of how strings fit into contemporary pop. Lu's debut album, Blood, out now, is a mash-up of disco, R&B, pop and more that's rooted in her adoration of strings.

Our shortlist of must-hear albums this week includes the incredible sonic adventures of Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker), acoustic, instrumental rock from Rodrigo y Gabriela, a byzantine concept album from The Mountain Goats and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Felix Contreras and Stephen Thompson as they run through their picks for the best new releases out on April 26.

Featured Albums:

  1. Nick Murphy: Run Fast, Sleep Naked
    Featured Songs: "Sanity," "Sunlight," "Novocaine and Coca Cola"

Brittany Yann / Boise State Public Radio

At one point in history, music by the great composers was at the heart of popular culture. Ageless compositions by Brahms and Beethoven may no longer be on everyone’s lips, but an organization dedicated to sharing the richness of classical music is bringing the melodies to communities throughout Idaho.


More than a decade ago, Anaïs Mitchell was running late for one of her shows. The singer-songwriter, in her 20s at the time, was trying to get from one gig to another and found herself lost. Along the drive, a song lyric popped into her head. "The lines that came were, 'Wait for me I'm coming. In my garters and pearls with what melody did you barter me from the wicked underworld,'" she remembers.

Boise State Public Radio

Join Boise State Public Radio for two evenings of live classical music, brought to you by the New York City-based Piatigorsky Foundation. These family-friendly concerts will feature internationally-acclaimed pianist Wan-Chi Su and cellist Evan Drachman.

There are two opportunities to see them play live, both of them free and open to the public:

Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m., Cathedral of the Rockies, 717 N 11th Street, Boise, Idaho 83702

Ellen Reid, a 36-year-old composer, won the Pulitzer Prize in Music on Monday for her opera p r i s m. The Pulitzer jury described the winning piece as a "bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse." The two other finalists were Sustain, an orchestral work by Andrew Norman, and Still for solo piano by James Romig. Reid is the fourth woman to earn the prize since 2013.

Boise Philharmonic/Facebook

Musicians with the Boise Phil voted last week to unionize by joining the American Federation of Musicians. This is a growing trend for regional symphonies and philharmonics. We spoke with violinist Geoffery Hill and assistant concertmaster Kate Jarvis about this decision.

Listening to Mozart may help drastically reduce pain and inflammation, according to a new study from researchers at University of Utah Health published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers of Neurology.

Pianist Jeremy Denk's latest album is a musical odyssey. Starting with the austere tones of medieval composer Guillaume de Machaut, Denk travels in time across the keyboard all the way to the 20th Century landing on the atonality of Karlheinz Stockhausen and the minimalism of Philip Glass.

A meditative quality lingers over our favorite tracks from March. U.K. rapper Dave crafted a 11-minute opus to an acquaintance, grappling at once with toxic masculinity, domestic violence and the cathartic value of therapy. LA rock star-on-waiting SASAMI wades into a solitary quest for universal connection. Caleb Burhans shares his entrancing tribute to the late Jason Molina. And Amanda Palmer unleashed a grand treatise on the human condition.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Aching feet? Sore backs from standing for hours on end? Maybe still drying off from a few drizzles throughout the week? So are we.

But if you are experiencing the comedown that every end of Treefort Music Fest brings, we’ve got you covered.

Treefort Music Fest

Treefort is over! The five-day festival of fun and frivolity has finally found its finish. For one last look back, here’s an audio postcard.  


Koji Crill

Boise State Public Radio has been out capturing the sounds of Treefort Music Fest, and in the process, things get semi-political, we hear different perspectives, and some people take over a parking lot. And of course, we appreciate plenty of performances.


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