Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles - Vocalist Lizz Wright

Lizz Wright is a jazz singer and composer. Wright was born in Hahira, Georgia in January, 1980. She started singing gospel music and playing piano in church as a child, and also became interested in jazz and blues. She attended Houston County High School, where she was heavily involved in choral singing, receiving the National Choral Award. She went on to Georgia State University in Atlanta to study singing. Since then she has studied at The New School in New York, and in Vancouver. She...
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The food glitterati will gather in Chicago Monday night for the black-tie James Beard Chef and Restaurant Awards, known as the "Oscars of the food world." Most of the categories sound like industry fare: Outstanding Restaurant Design. Best Chef: Great Lakes. Best New Restaurant. Rising Star Chef of the Year. There's not much of interest for anyone outside the foodies and food world orbit. Except, that is, for a sneakily subversive category: America's Classics.

Ballerina Misty Copeland, who made history when she became the first black female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre last summer, now has her own Barbie doll. The doll wears a costume similar to Copeland's for her Firebird role.

Charles Bradley cultivated his booming voice for years as a James Brown impersonator. It wasn't until he was 62 years old that he found mainstream success, singing his own music. Now, he's out with his third album, called Changes.

Carlos Henriquez: The Bronx Pyramid

Apr 28, 2016

Carlos Henriquez spends a lot of time these days in midtown Manhattan as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's bassist — a post he's held since he was a teen. But his roots are uptown in the Bronx. In The Bronx Pyramid, his debut album released last year by JALC's Blue Engine Records, Henriquez acknowledges the neighborhood where he was born and raised. In songs like "Joshua's Dream" and "Brook Ave," the young Nuyorican composer brings together Afro-Latin traditions and his jazz pedigree to pay tribute to the family and community that raised him.

This Saturday, April 30, marks the fifth anniversary of International Jazz Day, a celebration organized by UNESCO to celebrate jazz across the globe. To do our part, we're highlighting some of our favorite jazz musicians to play behind Bob Boilen's desk. Rising stars, young virtuosos, NEA Jazz Masters and veteran ensembles alike have played in NPR's D.C. offices. Here are five standout jazz performances at the Tiny Desk.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

There are masterpieces of the studio, and certainly Sarah Vaughan left plenty of those behind. But the really crushing exhibitions from jazz musicians of her caliber come nightly, in clubs and concert halls, tossed off so repeatedly and seemingly casually that any given tune in any given set reeks of talent. Throw a dart at any one moment and there's probably something there.

Harriet Tubman, who will soon be the first African-American to grace a U.S. currency note, spent her whole adult life raising money either to rescue slaves or help them start life afresh on free soil. While her abolitionist friends in the North were generous contributors to the cause, Tubman also self-funded her heroic raids through an activity she enjoyed and excelled at: cooking.

Tubman's role as a professional cook, which provided her with a much-needed source of money in her long and poverty-stricken life, has often been overlooked.

The names James Brown and Apollo Theater have practically become synonymous; it's hard to think of one without the other. Beginning in 1963, Brown released three albums recorded there. But there was a fourth — recordings from Sept. 13 and 14, 1972 — that has been buried ever since. Now, Get Down with James Brown: Live At The Apollo Vol. 4 is finally out on vinyl, with a CD to follow this summer.

The city of Cleveland agreed Monday to pay $6 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a police officer on Nov. 22, 2014.

The city did not admit any wrongdoing in the killing of Tamir, who was holding an air pellet gun and walking outside a recreation center when he was shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann.

Since the news of Prince's death broke on Thursday, fans have been flocking to the late artist's Paisley Park estate in Minnesota to celebrate his life.

Hundreds of fans, many of whom wore purple, showered the security fence surrounding the property with cards, flowers, stuffed animals and purple balloons, over the weekend to pay tribute to The Purple One.

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ALBUM REVIEW

“A Song Without Words” is the debut solo album for Wayne Linsey, former member of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. Linsey brings a fresh, crisp sound that is contagious to contemporary jazz fans.