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Mahalia Jackson. Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

A Q&A with the Producer of 'Chicago Stories: The Birth of Gospel'

Daniel Hautzinger

"The story of gospel music is actually a more universal story of American music and our country’s history," says the producer of a new Chicago Stories documentary about the genre's origins in Chicago.
Sergio Assad with daughter Clarice Assad and musicians with Scott Yoo. Photo: Arcos Film and Music

Exploring the Diversity of American Music Through Its Influences—and Food

Daniel Hautzinger

In the third season of Now Hear This, Scott Yoo explores the idea of American classical music through several composers and their influences, which range from samba to spirituals to Hindustani music—with explanatory pit-stops for food along the way. 
Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Easter Sunday, 1939. Photo: World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

A Q&A with the Director of a New Marian Anderson Documentary

Daniel Hautzinger

Marian Anderson, who was the first Black soloist at the Metropolitan Opera and gave an unforgettable concert at the Lincoln Memorial after being denied the use of a concert hall, is the subject of a new American Masters profile. We spoke to the director.
Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate

How the "Chickasaw Classical Composer" Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate Draws on North American Indian Culture

Daniel Hautzinger

Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, who scored two recent WTTW documentaries, uses Chickasaw and other North American Indian music and stories as source material for his classical compositions. "I have a mission in my music," he says.
Norman Malone at the piano

'For the Left Hand' Tells the Story of an Indomitable, Late-Blooming Pianist

Daniel Hautzinger

Norman Malone can play piano only with his left hand due to a traumatic childhood injury, but in a new documentary he prepares to make his orchestral debut at the age of 79. “The beating heart of this film is who Norman is," says Howard Reich, the writer and co-producer.
The Chosen Few Picnic and Festival

Chicago's Long-Running, Family Reunion-style House Music Picnic and Festival

Daniel Hautzinger

The Chosen Few Picnic and Festival has been bringing house music and a family reunion atmosphere to a South Side park for three decades, thanks to a set of DJs who helped popularize house music in the first place. The event, virtual this year, takes place July 3.
Ernest Hemingway on the fishing boat Anita circa 1929. Photo: Courtesy of Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

How the Soundtrack of 'Hemingway' Evokes the Romantic Locales of the Writer's Life

Daniel Hautzinger

Havana, Paris, Spain: the soundtrack of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's new Hemingway documentary helps set the places and moods of the writer's life, via the creative music produced by Johnny Gandelsman of Brooklyn Rider and the Silk Road Ensemble.
DJ Ayana Contreras at the AESOP DJ Booth at the 95th St. Red Line Station

Soundtrack Your Commute With These Playlists from the 95th Station DJ Booth

Daniel Hautzinger

Commuters at the 95th Red Line Station pay their fares to an unusual soundtrack: music from a DJ booth. Called AESOP, the booth is a public art installation by Theaster Gates meant to enliven commutes. Two of the booth's DJs share some of their favorite tracks to spin. 
Scott Yoo in Seville, Spain, in Now Hear This

A New Series Exploring the Cultural Connections That Make Music

Daniel Hautzinger

A new Great Performances series explores the broader culture classical music fits into, from the architecture it was played in to the dance, fashion, landscape, and food that help explain it. Learn more about the globetrotting Now Hear This
Early twentieth century, openly gay pianist Tony Jackson. Photo: From the William Russell Jazz Collection, courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection

The Openly Gay Pianist Who Dazzled Chicago in the Early Twentieth Century

Daniel Hautzinger

Jelly Roll Morton, the self-proclaimed "inventor of jazz," didn't praise many people besides himself, but he made an exception for Tony Jackson: "Tony was considered among all who knew him the greatest single-handed entertainer in the world.” And Jackson was openly gay at a time when that was incredibly rare.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards performing Sticky Fingers at the Fonda Theatre in 2015. Photo: Kevin Mazur

How a Chicago Genre of Music Inspired One of The Biggest Bands in the World

Daniel Hautzinger

Without the Chicago blues of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Willie Dixon, promulgated through Chess Records, the Rolling Stones might not exist. 
The Chicago Jazz Festival at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion. Photo: Courtesy of City of Chicago

Centennials Galore at the Chicago Jazz Festival

Daniel Hautzinger

The free Chicago Jazz Festival, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, celebrates the centennials of Dizzy, Ella, and Monk this year – but it also features creative new projects. Dee Alexander, a performer in the Fest, and Neil Tesser, an organizer, discuss the programming with us.
Esperanza Spalding, Smokey Robinson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Gallant, Cee-Lo Green. (Courtesy of: the artist; Nick Spanos; Library of Congress, Photo by Shawn Miller; the artist; Cable Risdon Photography)

Meet the Musicians Who Paid Tribute to Smokey Robinson

Daniel Hautzinger

Cee-Lo Green, Esperanza Spalding, Corinne Bailey Rae, and many others saluted Smokey Robinson with performances when he received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
Beverly Sills, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Richard Goode, and Louis Langrée in a 50 Years of Mostly Mozart broadcast Live from Lincoln Center.

The Main Players of '50 Years of Mostly Mozart'

Daniel Hautzinger

February 3 at 9:00 pm, Live from Lincoln Center celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Mostly Mozart Festival.
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