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The Two-Way
11:28 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Mars Rover Pulls Off High-Wire Landing

An artist's rendering shows a rocket-powered descent stage lowering the one-ton Curiosity rover to the Mars surface.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 5:26 am

The best place to stand in the entire solar system at 1:14 a.m. ET Monday was about 150 million miles away, at the bottom of Gale Crater near the equator of the Red Planet.

Looking west around mid-afternoon local time, a Martian bystander would have seen a rocket-powered alien spacecraft approach and then hover about 60 feet over the rock-strewn plain between the crater walls and the towering slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.

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The Record
9:12 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Chavela Vargas, Legendary Ranchera Singer, Dies

Chavela Vargas performing in Buenos Aires in 2004.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:23 pm

A legend of Latin American song has died. Chavela Vargas was a cultural icon across the Spanish-speaking world, with a voice that redefined notions of beauty and an attitude that brashly bent gender roles. Vargas died Sunday; she was 93.

She was born Isabel Vargas Lizano in Costa Rica, but audiences knew her as Chavela, a hard-partying, rabble-rousing, fiery singer who adopted Mexico as her homeland and began singing on the streets in her early teens.

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Newport Jazz Festival
6:39 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet + 1, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2012

John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet performs at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • John Hollenbeck Claudia Quintet + 1 Live From Newport

A powerhouse behind the drum kit, John Hollenbeck is also becoming one of the great composer-bandleaders of the age. After last year's large ensemble show, he returns to Newport with his unusual small group, the Claudia Quintet (and a sixth member on piano). The band's latest release What Is The Beautiful? sets poems by Kenneth Patchen to music; much like the album, vocalists Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann stand and deliver on stage.

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Newport Jazz Festival
6:08 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz Festival 2012

Saxophonists Lihi Haruvi (left) and Matthew Halpin (center) and violinist Alex Hargreaves (right) of The Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors perform at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors Live From Newport

Boston's esteemed Berklee College of Music, just up the road from Newport, has produced top jazz musicians for decades. Driven by the leadership of Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez, the school has expanded its jazz vision internationally, developing an initiative to recruit from and bring on tour around the world. Berklee's current Global Jazz Ambassadors are joined here by professional musician Adam Cruz, whose shimmering 2011 debut album Milestone showed off his talent both in front of the band and behind the drum kit.

Personnel

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Newport Jazz Festival
5:09 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Miguel Zenón's Rayuela Quartet, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2012

Saxophonist Miguel Zenón performs with pianist Laurent Coq at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Miguel Zenon Rayuela Quartet Live From Newport

It may be billed as a gig for the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, who is making his third Newport appearance in four years, but he would refuse complete credit. He teamed up with the French pianist Laurent Coq to co-write an album's worth of music inspired on the high-modernist Julio Cortázar novel HopscotchRayuela, in the original Spanish. It calls for a cello and a trombone — Dana Leong plays both — and a drummer who can play tablas, so an obvious choice was Dan Weiss. Together, the quartet's literary and musical imagination runs wild.

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