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The Musical Universe

 

Editor's note: This is an Encore presentation of of our Juan Gabriel tribute published last year shortly after his untimely death.

It takes time to explain an artist like Juan Gabriel to those unfamiliar with who he was. The singer, who died Sunday, was practically a household name throughout the Spanish-speaking world, but his death caused hardly a blip of recognition among most of those who'd tuned in to MTV's Video Music Awards the night of his death.

That's what Alt.Latino is for.

This is an Encore presentation of Alt.Latino.

Even better the second time!

Enjoy.

This week on Alt.Latino, we venture into a long-running conversation about remixing classic recordings. Along the way, we feature a new album released by Fania Records called Calentura, in which the label sent a handful of DJs and producers a treasure trove of original masters from the Golden Age of the brash and innovative Afro-Caribbean music known as salsa.

I can already hear some of you reacting to the concept:

The Thistle & Shamrock: Archie Fisher

Apr 13, 2016

Revisit host Fiona Ritchie's time with legendary singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and broadcaster Archie Fisher. This episode of The Thistle & Shamrock features music from across the decades of Fisher's remarkable career in the transatlantic folk scene.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The large instrumental band Snarky Puppy, which just won its second Grammy Award, is hard to pin down to one place. Its core is now in New York, but its members have toured and recorded all over the world, and their spiritual home is still Dallas, Texas. It's where they'd take in gospel performances in area churches; it's near where they initially met at music school at the University of North Texas in Denton. As bassist and bandleader Michael League explains, you can hear all those collisions in the pocket of their complex and beyond-category grooves.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Chansons

Feb 25, 2016

From the "chant de marin," or sea shanties, of Brittany to the songs of the voyageurs of the Canadian fur trade, enjoy the French songs that extend branches of the Celtic music tree from the old world to the new, with artists Le Vent du Nord, Hilary James, and Chris Norman.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Writing

Jan 20, 2016

From instrumental commissions to new works by singer-songwriters, hear a wealth of recently composed gems by Maggie MacInnes, Wendy Weatherby, Bill Whelan and more.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Join Fiona Ritchie to celebrate the season by exploring festive songs, carols and dances from traditions old and new. In this week's episode of The Thistle & Shamrock, hear music performed by Emily Smith, Maggie Sansone, Ashley Davis & John Doyle, Jennifer Cutting's Ocean Orchestra and more.

The following is an Encore presentation of a program that originally aired on December 17, 2015.

Enjoy!

Holiday music is typically a love-it-or-hate-it sort of thing. I'm a fan — my favorite is Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas — and I even I'll admit that musicians don't have many options for putting a new spin on holiday classics.

Then along came Gaby Moreno and her band.

The Thistle & Shamrock: The Gathering

Dec 3, 2015

We feature family torchbearers for tradition — and forces for innovation in vocal and instrumental music — the Brennans, the Fishers, the Cunninghams and the O'Domhnaills.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Hometown Song

Nov 25, 2015

This week, artists from both sides of the Atlantic are inspired to commemorate personal connections to their hometowns, including Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town" and "Festival Lights" by the McCalmans.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: The Long View

Sep 24, 2015

Fiona Ritchie picks a few favorite extended arrangements of traditional tunes, including classic recordings by Kevin Burke and Alan Stivell.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: ThistleRadio

Aug 19, 2015

Hear classic tracks from ThistleRadio, The Thistle & Shamrock's 'round-the-clock music channel. The playlist includes music by Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, Kris Drever, Dervish and Enya, among others.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Celtic Guitar

Aug 12, 2015

Virtuoso players from old world to new are raising the bar for Celtic roots-inspired guitar music. Hear from Sarah McQuaid, Tony McManus, John Doyle and other musicians who are helping shape the sound of the Celtic guitar.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Ed published the first-ever database of the most popular high school plays and musicals in the U.S. in July 2015. Today, the 2019 numbers are out, so we've updated our original story.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Common Currency

Jul 22, 2015

Follow the instrumental links and song streams that connect musical traditions across miles and oceans. This week's episode features music by Joe Craven, Pauline Scanlon, Tim O'Brien, Colcannon and more.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Drawing meaning, guidance and solace from the sun, moon and stars, this week's selections on The Thistle & Shamrock look to the Northern and Western skies. Hear music from Liz Carroll and John Doyle, Kate Rusby, Ceilidh Minogue and more.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's not as if there were ever clear paths for cello players beyond the European classical tradition, but Akua Dixon made one for herself. The New York City native found work in the pit band of the Apollo Theater, the multi-racial Symphony of the New World, and the bands of many jazz musicians — including drummer Max Roach's Double Quartet. As she developed her jazz chops, she also started her own string quartet, featured prominently on her new self-titled album. Akua Dixon also features her crafty arranging for strings over jazz standards and Afro-Latin grooves.

The Hammond electronic organ was developed with churches in mind, as a lower-cost alternative to pipe organs. But in Philadelphia, a keyboard player named Jimmy Smith was inspired by early jazz experiments on the instrument, and found a devastating way to adapt the new bebop style to the Hammond B-3. It seeded a new tradition of organ players in Philadelphia — major figures like "Groove" Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, Papa John and Joey DeFrancesco, and Trudy Pitts — and kickstarted a new sound in jazz at large.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Made In America

Mar 26, 2015

Travel from the 1920s, with legendary fiddlers Michael Coleman and James Morrison, to the thriving 1970s session scene and hear the evolving sound of Irish traditional music in the U.S.

This week's show includes music from Liz Carroll, The Flanagan Brothers, Laurence Nugent, The Green Fields Of America and more.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Live From Ireland

Mar 18, 2015

Relive some great sets of Irish music, including years of live performances presented by host Fiona Ritchie with the energy and innovation of Eileen Ivers, the joy and virtuosity of Cherish the Ladies, and the pioneering cross-over spirit of The Chieftains.

Every year, each of the eight members of the SFJAZZ Collective is tasked with two writing assignments. The first: Compose a new piece specifically for the band, which gathers some of the most outstanding performers on the modern jazz scene. The second: Rearrange a composition by the elder artist that the Collective has chosen to feature that year. For the 2014-15 season, SFJAZZ is paying tribute to a tenor saxophone titan, a composer of classic tunes and a long-time San Francisco resident: the late Joe Henderson.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Welsh Roots

Mar 4, 2015

This week, The Thistle & Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie presents acoustic roots music from Wales with Cerys Matthews, Robin Huw Bowen, Julie Murphy, Rag Foundation, Ffynnon, Ember and Crasdant. Discover a world of Welsh contemporary folk and new roots sounds in the land of St. David.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Love Songs

Feb 18, 2015

We've heard a lot about romantic love recently. Now, hear of a bond with landscape, language and the natural world, all in the finest Celtic-rooted music.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Songs Of The Bard

Feb 7, 2015

Hear a variety of artists in the intoxicating thrall of the songs — timeless and thriving — of Robert Burns, Scotland's National Bard.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

For decades, David Murray was known as one of New York's most monstrously talented and astoundingly prolific artists — a tenor saxophonist who played and wrote for just about every imaginable context. He's still these things, but he lives in Europe now. So this year's Winter Jazzfest — already jam-packed with over 100 acts in two nights — saw fit to give New York audiences a proper saturation of what they'd been missing, presenting David Murray in three completely different sets.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Winter Heat

Jan 19, 2015

Hot instrumentals and passionate vocals from Kirsty MacColl, Salsa Celtica and Kila offer the perfect insulation against the threat of the coming winter's chill.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Music Migration

Dec 10, 2014

Join host Fiona Ritchie as she uncovers the deep roots across several generations that run under a family tree of songs from the British Isles and Ireland to the Southern Appalachians.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Dream Time

Dec 8, 2014

Kick back with some soothing voices and free-spirited instrumentals in an episode featuring Dougie MacLean, Maire Brenan, Karen Matheson and Davy Spillane.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Myth And Legend

Jul 30, 2014

Explore myth, legend and mystery this week, in ballads and tunes of Celtic origin and inspiration. This episode features Nuala Kennedy, Sinead O'Connor, June Tabor and more.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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