WXXI AM News

Music

Do you care if the music you listen to has meaning for the person who created it? Are you okay with music by committee? The New York Times recently told the story of one of the biggest pop hits of the summer. It’s a song called "The Middle," and it wasn’t performed by anyone who had anything to do with it. The producers sculpted this song because they thought it would sell, and it has.

Should we care about the origin of the music we hear? Our guests discuss it.

Matt Savage is not just a musical prodigy who has become an international talent; he's one of the inspiring autism stories on the arts scene.

Savage will play two shows at the opening night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival; then he's heading off on a kind of world tour.

He joins us to discuss his talent, and how to learned to cultivate it, despite growing up without much music in the house in his early childhood. Our guests:

Matt Savage is not just a musical prodigy who has become an international talent; he's one of the inspiring autism stories on the arts scene.

Savage will play two shows at the opening night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival; then he's heading off on a kind of world tour.

He joins us to discuss his talent, and how to learned to cultivate it, despite growing up without much music in the house in his early childhood. Our guests:

It’s a “singing intervention!” Do you want to sing, but feel nervous or dislike the sound of your voice? Did you play and instrument as a child, but haven’t picked it up in years?

Today is Make Music Day, so we spend the hour celebrating music in all its forms, including the human voice. We also discuss the science behind singing, and how it can change your brain. Our guests:

Fans and critics of Kanye West are reacting to the rapper's recent comments about political figures and slavery. West has tweeted about his support for President Trump and right-wing figures, and has said slavery was a "choice."

In a piece in the Atlantic Monthly, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that West wants a "white freedom," and is distancing himself from blackness. West argues that he's a "free thinker."

We talk to local musicians, music writers, and music lovers about West's comments, the criticism, and whether West has lost touch with his roots. In studio:

Do professional musicians want us to stop using Spotify and other streaming services? A fresh analysis of what artists gets paid paints a rather bleak picture. We'll talk to local artists who are trying to break through. Our guests:

Mary Gauthier is a country musician who recently said that she wasn't sober until she was 27, and couldn't write until she was 30. Twenty-five years later, she's an unlikely voice for veterans. Gauthier's newest album includes songs co-written with veterans. The songs explore a range of subjects, including the service of women in uniform, and the pain of loss.

Gauthier will perform in Rochester Tuesday night, but first she's our guest on Connections.

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame is inducting its 2018 class. We talk to three of the inductees — some of the greatest musicians of all time. They discuss their process, their time working with fellow greats in music, and what it means to them to be in the Rochester Music Hall of Fame.

In studio:

  • Steve Gadd, drummer of choice of Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Eric Clapton
  • Tony Levin, bassist for Peter Gabriel and King Crimson
  • John Beck, professor emeritus at the Eastman School of Music
  • Tracy Kroft, vice president-elect of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame

The RPO's 96th season will include music from the classic repertoire, as well as programming aimed at the family. We sit down with music director Ward Stare and Curt Long, the new CEO.

Our conversation includes the criticism that some orchestras have received for not featuring enough music by women and people of color -- something the RPO says it is addressing this season. Our guests:

Webster native Kate Lee won a Grammy award in 2017 as part of the O'Connor Band, which won for Best Bluegrass Album. Lee has become a standout lead vocalist and violinist, and she plays alongside her husband Forrest O'Connor.

They're in Rochester this week, giving lessons to Webster students, and playing a concert on Friday night at the Eastman theater. But first, they're our guests on Connections.

You can find videos of the O'Connor Band here

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