Working as a jazz musician in the 21st century is difficult enough, but hardly anybody tries to make a go of it with a big band anymore. Yet that's exactly what Ted Nash does on his latest album, Chakra.
At 34, John Legend has sold millions of records, won nine Grammys, collaborated with many of the biggest stars in music (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, The Roots, et al), and achieved the kind of statesmanlike musical-ambassador status usually afforded to artists twice his age.
Memphis' Stax Records was an international sensation, putting out hits like Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming," "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the MGs and Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness." But behind the music, Stax's story features racial harmony in a city with a troubled history. There are tragedies, lost opportunities and legal disputes, but also some of the most soulful music you'll ever hear.
Born and raised in Houston, pianist Robert Glasper literally grew up in jazz clubs. His mother performed with a jazz band, and she preferred to bring her young son with her, rather than leave him with a sitter. Glasper and his mother were also active in music at their church — his mother sang and played piano, and by age 12, her son had assumed some of the piano duties.
World Cafe's Sense of Place: Toronto series continues, as Jian Ghomeshi welcomes us to the set of his popular CBC radio and TV show, Q. The program covers arts and culture daily through in-depth interviews.
Ghomeshi has a unique perspective on Toronto's music scene, having been a member of Moxy Früvous, a politically satirical a cappella band from the '90s. In conversation with host David Dye, the Iranian-Canadian musician talks about how immigration has shaped Toronto as a city and as a music hub.