Traces of Blue isn't quite a household name just yet, but if you're familiar with NBC's The Sing-Off, you might remember them by their old name, Afro-Blue, the a cappella jazz group hailing from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
They recently took a break from working on their debut EP to stop by NPR's D.C. studios for a special performance.
Ari Hest makes his third appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, W.Va. Originally from the Bronx, Hest began booking and promoting his own shows while attending New York University, releasing three albums on his own label. This eventually led to a 2003 record deal and his major-label debut, Someone to Tell.
The World Cafe crew recently traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the seventh destination in our Sense of Place series. From samba venues to popular bars, get a behind-the-scenes look at our trip through the city. We even venture further down along the coast to explore outside Rio de Janeiro, including Copacabana Beach and Sugarloaf Mountain.
It's one thing for an artist to talk about his failures — that's easy fodder for a good song — but art at its best incites positive change. "Sigh A While," this song from Boston's Kingsley Flood, is written to inspire. Kingsley Flood's Naseem Khuri says this tune is about the failures in all of us, and in particular about the patterns we can fall into. "I wrote the song about a friend who for years assured me he'd quit his job and change the world with his art," Khuri writes in an email. "We were driving around in his beat-up car one day and he was making the same promises.
Jucifer is an odd bird among the droning doom crowd: It's likely to splinter speakers one minute, yet lull you into a false sense of security with a folksy pop song the next. But live, Jucifer is a total body experience — a non-stop, 45-minute HULK OUT of down-tuned distortion deeper than the Mariana Trench.