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Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles - Pianist Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper is a jazz pianist and record producer. He was born in April, 1978 in Houston, Texas. Glasper's earliest musical influence was his mother, Kim Yvette Glasper, who sang jazz and blues professionally.

Glasper has said that he first developed his sound in church, where he learned his own way to hear harmony, and was inspired to mix church and gospel harmonies with jazz harmonies. Glasper attended Elkins High School in Sugarland, Texas and the High School for the...
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It's well known that Dear Leader was crazy about movies. What's less known — at least in the West — is that infamous North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il was so crazy about them that he kidnapped a South Korean actress and a movie director in 1978 and forced them to work for him for years. That story is the subject of a new documentary called The Lovers and the Despot.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

As we mourn the golf great Arnold Palmer, we acknowledge another contribution he made to our culture: the tasty and refreshing iced tea and lemonade beverage that carries his name.

Many Americans are familiar with the astronaut heroes of the 20th century space race — names like Gus Grissom and Neil Armstrong. But who did the calculations that would successfully land these men on the moon?

Several of the NASA researchers who made space flight possible were women. Among them were black women who played critical roles in the aeronautics industry even as Jim Crow was alive and well.

Back in 1988, Indian-American director Mira Nair burst onto the scene with her debut feature Salaam Bombay!, a ground-level portrait of Bombay street kids that brought the qualities of Italian neorealism — and its key successors, like Satyajit Ray's "Apu Trilogy" — to a nascent American independent scene. With her new film Queen of Katwe, Nair comes full circle, at least in the sense that she's again addressing the perils of extreme poverty and the resilient children who withstand it.

Say one thing for certain: The lists don't lack for leading lights.

When President Obama doled out the 2015 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals on Thursday, plenty of the artists and arts patrons he draped with awards had familiar names — including Mel Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Terry Gross and nearly two dozen others.

Each of the photos in Capt. William A. Prickitt's album could fit in a locket: headshots of 17 black soldiers who served under the Union Army officer during the Civil War, most of their names handwritten on the mat surrounding the images.

At just 2 inches tall, the square, leather-bound album itself could be easily misplaced among the more than 35,000 artifacts it will join at the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture when it opens this week in Washington, D.C.

For director Antoine Fuqua, remaking the 1960 film The Magnificent Seven was a return to childhood. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the original film reminds him of his grandmother, who used to watch Westerns with him on Sunday afternoons when he was growing up.

"I would sit there with her, and she would make me whatever food I want," Fuqua says. "What I recall about [The Magnificent Seven] was ... listening to her talk about each guy as they were introduced."

If you've ever been to a wedding reception in the U.S., you know there's one question that can get a whole family on the dance floor: "Do you remember the 21st night of September?"

Week 2 of the NFL season is now complete, and what once would have been unimaginable is now becoming commonplace.

I'm talking about protests — player protests — visible, controversial, much-talked-about displays during the playing of the national anthem, before NFL games, in stadiums, around the country.

These protests began nearly a month ago when San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to sit rather than stand while The Star-Spangled Banner was being played during a preseason game.

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ALBUM REVIEW

George Duke, the late jazz/funk keyboardist, had continued his wave of productive albums with “Face The Music.”