music

Courtesy of Marisol Blanco

For the last 12 years, Marisol Blanco has been fighting against numbers. 

Specifically, she has been hard at work dispelling the notion that dancing Salsa is about counting steps and following a mechanical style. "That's just atrophying the brain of dancers," she says.

 

For this Havanera, who hails from the the culturally rich Guanabacoa neighborhood, it's all about understanding the African history of Cuban music, how it has created its percussion and steps. Then the rest – and the body – just follows. 

Alexia Fodere / Miami Herald

Ultra Music Festival will return to downtown Miami, a remarkable development just two months after the homegrown event seemed destined to move out of the city, far from its longtime home on the waterfront.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Like many Venezuelan expats living in South Florida, Kendall resident Paola Berriros still has family and friends suffering under the authoritarian regime of president Nicolás Maduro. She fled Venezuela when the country's humanitarian crisis was brewing 15 years ago. 

Now Berriros' 6-year-old daughter, Karina, has learned to play piano, violin and sing under Musicall - a South Florida non-profit that gives children from all backgrounds access to music education. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

For the last several weeks, Chicago-based composer and percussionist Ben Wahlund has been a resident artist at The Studios of Key West, absorbing the island and its people, both the tourists and the service workers who provide the only-in-Key West experiences for them.

Wahlund's observations and encounters have been transformed into a dozen musical compositions that he's calling "Mile Marker Zero."

WLRN's Nancy Klingener talked to Wahlund about his work and got a preview of some of the pieces he'll be performing on Saturday, July 13, at The Studios of Key West.

From a casual distance, the music of João Gilberto sounds like it might belong to that ancient realm known as "easy listening."

Updated at 9:34 p.m. ET Saturday

João Gilberto, one of the principal architects of the Brazilian musical style bossa nova, has died at his home in Rio de Janeiro, according to a Facebook post by his son. João Marcelo Gilberto wrote that his father, who was 88 years old, died following an undisclosed illness.

Credit Niall Macaulay / cheer.productions@mac.com

It used to be that Cuban artists from the island who performed in Miami had to be ready for backlash from anti-Castro exile groups.

In 1999, for example, Miami officials tried to prevent the Cuban dance band Los Van Van from performing in the city. When the band eventually got to perform, they were met with thousands of demonstrators. They were against Los Van Van and considered the group loyal to the communist government.

What sounds like music to us may just be noise to a macaque monkey.

That's because a monkey's brain appears to lack critical circuits that are highly sensitive to a sound's pitch, a team reported Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The finding suggests that humans may have developed brain areas that are sensitive to pitch and tone in order to process the sounds associated with speech and music.

After 18 years, Apple is killing iTunes — well, sort of. The media management software for most Mac users (and many Windows users) is being broken into separate pieces for separate uses: Music, podcasts and television will soon have their own apps on the new Catalina Mac operating system.

Apple announced the move on Monday along with new hardware, including a new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, and entertainment and lifestyle features.

Courtesy of Tabou Combo

Tabou Combo is one of the biggest bands to come out of Haiti. They're celebrating just over 50 years of being what they call the “ambassadors of konpa.”

They've taken their infectious blend of Haitian rhythms to the U.S. Africa Europe and throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

And there's a good chance if you grew up in a Haitian household, Tabou Combo was always in rotation.

Yvon Andre, better known as Kapi, is one of the founding members of the band. He spoke to WLRN’s Nadege Green.

Lolita De Sola has been singing about home. An emerging musician from Caracas, she made the hard decision last year to leave Venezuela and flee north to Mexico City. The move allowed De Sola to release her first album, Cattleya — which she says she couldn't have made at home given Venezuela's current political and economic turmoil.

"When you have a dictatorship or crisis, the first thing that goes away is culture," she says. "Because you need food. You need more, you know, basic stuff first. Then culture."

Vandaluna Media

Every evening, the members of the Latin Grammy-winning rock group Viniloversus gather at their studio near the Little River area of Miami. They are hard at work practicing for an upcoming tour. The band’s recording gear sits ready, with meters lit brightly on computer screens.

Screenshot

It's common for many young musicians to join a youth orchestra for a variety of reasons: some join for performance experience that might help snag a scholarship; others for fellowship or for  the sheer love of the music.

But perhaps what's not as common is performing solely for a good cause.

The precision. The energy. The limitless swag.

Chris Kakol / Florida Grand Opera

A revival of the 1990s opera "Frida" has made its way to South Florida and follows the trajectory of legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's life.

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