Kamasi Washington, a 34-year-old saxophonist from Los Angeles, is changing the way people think about jazz. His sprawling three-disc debut album, The Epic,is selling well alongside softer, more commercial jazz fare, and his recent East Coast tour drew impressive crowds.
NPR Music's Ann Powers turned World Cafe on to the Nashville band Promised Land Sound last year, just in time for the Americana Music Festival. At that time, the trio could have been labeled country-rock, but on its new album, For Use And Delight, it leans more toward the "rock" side of the equation.
Austin bluesman Gary Clark Jr.'s long-awaited new album, The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim, came out last week. It's Clark's first album since his debut, 2012's Blak & Blu, which spawned many festival appearances in the last few years.
It's a good day when you get a chance to talk with Keith Richards and hear that gruff laugh live.On this episode of World Cafe, Richards discusses Crosseyed Heart, his first new solo album in more than 20 years.
JD Souther is a songwriter's songwriter, best known for the songs he wrote and co-wrote for The Eagles — songs like "Heartache Tonight," "Best Of My Love" and the one he performs live on this episode of World Cafe, "New Kid In Town."
The annual Americana Music Festival is taking place in Nashville this week, with an awards ceremony this evening and big concerts and showcases to follow all week long.
One of the people performing is Lera Lynn, World Cafe's guest today. She developed an instant audience through her performances on this season of HBO's True Detective — many discovered her singing in the background in the dive bar The Black Rose while the action took place.
Most often found as a bandmate or a collaborator, Phil Cook is rarely out front. His best-known project, Megafaun, formed when he and other members of the legendary Eau Claire, Wisc., band DeYarmond Edison relocated to North Carolina. Cook has found many like-minded musicians there — for example, MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, with whom he's collaborated extensively.
From the beginning, the work of Zach Condon and Beirut has been put together in a startlingly inventive style. Condon loves Balkan brass, so he made it part of his music, learning to play the instruments in order to produce the sound he'd heard in his head.