music

Jazz Saxophone Legend Jimmy Heath Has Died

Jan 19, 2020

Jimmy Heath, a prolific saxophonist, composer and bandleader who played alongside some of the biggest names of jazz, including Miles Davis and John Coltrane, has died.

Heath died Sunday morning in Loganville, Georgia of natural causes, his grandson told NPR. He was 93 years old. His family was at his side, including his wife of 60 years, Mona Heath, his children Mtume and Rozie, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and his brother, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath.

South Beach Jazz Festival

Happy New Year Sundialers, here’s a rundown of the Thursday, Jan. 2, episode of Sundial:

Tampa Bay Times’ Investigation Looks At The ‘Baker Act’

The Tampa Bay Times recently released an investigation about the ‘Baker Act,’ the Florida law that allows families to involuntarily institutionalize people considered impaired because of mental illness. The investigation revealed that the law is impacting children as young as 6 throughout Florida. 

It's no longer uncommon for pop songs to experience a slow rise to the top of the pop charts. Just this year, Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" followed a long and remix-strewn path to 19 weeks at No. 1, while Lizzo experienced huge hits with songs originally released in 2017 ("Truth Hurts") and 2016 ("Good As Hell").

NWS Archives

A national audience will see New World Symphony co-founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas receive the Kennedy Center Honors for Lifetime Achievement this Sunday night.

Singer Marie Fredriksson, who co-founded the hitmaking Swedish pop group Roxette, died yesterday in Sweden. She was 61 years old.

Before she became one of the most recognizable voices of her era, Fredricksson grew up in a tiny village, where her mom was a factory worker and her dad a postman. There wasn't any day care, so he'd take her along while delivering mail and sing to her — the experience was formative.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

The fast-rising rapper Juice WRLD has died at age 21 after a medical emergency at Chicago's Midway Airport. TMZ first reported the death, saying that witnesses saw him having a seizure after disembarking from a private plane.

The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed his death to NPR, saying that the autopsy for Juice WRLD — whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgins — will most likely take place on Monday.

The 62nd Grammy Awards nominations are here, and it appears to be Lizzo's year to lose.

The singer, songwriter, flutist and rapper was nominated across five of the night's top categories, including song of the year, record of the year, best new artist, best pop solo performance and best R&B performance.

Lil Nas X was nominated for best new artist, album of the year (for his debut record, 7), and record of the year, where his Gen Z opus "Old Town Road" is up against Post Malone, Bon Iver, Swae Lee, H.E.R., Ariana Grande, Lizzo and Billie Eilish.

Leslie Odom Jr. played Aaron Burr in “Hamilton.” Now’s he’s singing his own tunes on a new album of original songs.

Guest

Leslie Odom Jr., Tony and Grammy-Award winning performer, actor and singer.  His new solo album released in November is called “Mr.” He plays William Still in the new film “Harriet.” (@leslieodomjr)

JORDAN STRAUSS / Associated Press

A Miami federal judge sentenced South Florida rapper Kodak Black to three years and ten months in prison Wednesday on weapons charges, far less than the maximum 10-year sentence he could have received.

“Young people do stupid things and I normally give them a break for that,” Judge Federico Moreno told Black. “The problem is that you have been doing stupid things since 15.”

For this edition of Heavy Rotation, take a listen to NPR member stations' most-loved songs of October. You'll find new music from Frank Ocean and the R&B stylings of Sampa the Great.

All songs from this month's Heavy Rotation are available to stream on the Heavy Rotation Spotify playlist at the bottom of this page.


Massive anti-government protests in Chile over the past few weeks have united demonstrators in song. Last week, up to a million people protesting in Santiago were joined by a cavalry of guitarists. They played a song called "El Derecho de Vivir en Paz," which once stood as an anthem for resistance against the brutal regime of Augusto Pinochet that began in 1973.

At the place where music, technology and politics converge, you'll find ... discord. A group of more than 380 musicians — including well-known indie artists like Ted Leo, Deerhoof, Damon & Naomi, Zola Jesus, Downtown Boys and Sheer Mag — pledged in an open letter on Thursday to cut all business ties with Amazon over the work of its gargantuan Amazon Web Services subsidiary.

Among all the other things that transpired at and around President Trump's reelection campaign in Minneapolis Thursday night, his team played the music of a hometown hero: Prince's "Purple Rain." Soon after, the estate of Minnesota's late musical hero made it clear just how unhappy it was — and

Legendary actress, singer and style icon Diahann Carroll died on Friday at her home in Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer. She was 84 years old.

Carroll's longtime manager, Ronni Lynn Hart, confirmed her death to NPR.

In her illustrious career, Carroll won a Tony Award and was nominated for an Oscar. But she is perhaps best known for making television history when she starred as the titular character on the NBC sitcom Julia, which debuted in 1968.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. Monday

Ric Ocasek, leader of the Boston-based rock band The Cars and an influential music producer, has died, a New York Police Department spokesman confirmed to NPR. He was found unconscious Sunday afternoon at his townhouse in Manhattan. (There is some confusion about Ocasek's exact age: The NYPD said that he was 75; public records list his age as 70.)

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