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The Musical Universe

 

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 2020 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.

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.

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.

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/.

The full archive of this performance is no longer available.

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/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Season Of Light

May 7, 2014

Marked in early May, Beltane is one of four quarter-day festivals in the old year. Join our celebration of the natural elements — Air, Earth, Water and Fire — in a Beltane-themed hour of music.

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

Join Fiona Ritchie at the Swannanoa Gathering in the mountains of North Carolina for a conversational, musical encounter with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer Brian McNeill. The musician chats about his globetrotting years with Battlefield Band, his song and novel writing, and his projects uncovering Scottish connections in North America and Europe. His travels always inspire new music, and McNeill shares songs and tunes with the audience.

The Thistle And Shamrock: Fiddle Styles

Oct 16, 2013

Sample a variety of fiddle flavors from the wide world of Celtic music.

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

The Thistle And Shamrock: Gaelic Voices

Oct 9, 2013

Explore the branches of contemporary song sprouting from the roots of ancient vocal traditions.

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

Two Hours Of Jimi Hendrix On World Cafe

Mar 25, 2013

More than 40 years after Jimi Hendrix's death, the guitarist and singer's legacy continues to grow. His label recently released People, Hell and Angels, an album of 12 previously unreleased recordings that Hendrix was working on for a planned follow-up to 1968's Electric Ladyland.

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