music

Imagine the following experiment: you choose people at random and play snippets of songs they've never heard. A grocery clerk in Illinois listens to an 8th century Berber ballad. A child in Beijing listens to Childish Gambino.

How would listeners react? Would they immediately recognize something universal, say "Oh, this song is clearly for dancing!" Or would the differences in musical style and language leave people confused?

In the 1970s, William Eggleston shocked the New York art world when the Museum of Modern Art exhibited his color photographs (Until then, most
serious photography had been black and white). Eggleston's pictures of the everyday established color photography and turned him into an art star. At the age of 78, the Memphis native surprised people yet again by releasing his first body of original music last October, an album titled Musik.

Miami Herald

Florida lawmakers are making final preparations for the 2018 legislative session, which is set to begin Tuesday,  Jan. 9. There will be a lot on the docket for both chambers, but there's no question that this session will take place under the dark cloud of sexual harassment controversies. A couple seats are empty from lawmakers who resigned after being embroiled in such cases. 

Music has long been used as a vehicle to drive social awareness forward. Artists like Bob Marley and Gil Scott-Heron tackled political issues head-on in their lyrics and used their voices to speak for the forgotten, marginalized people. Such artists are found in all corners of the world.

In Haiti, Joseph Emmanuel “Manno” Charlemagne followed this tradition fervently, writing songs about Haitian politics and the circumstances of his countrymen. Charlemagne died Sunday, Dec. 10, in a Miami Beach hospital where he was being treated for cancer.      

Associated Press

The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors last night (Dec. 3) recognized those in the arts who've made lifetime achievements in American pop culture and ushered in some new traditions in the process.

Adam Shaw, bass in hand, peels a sweat-soaked strip of blonde hair away from his face and steps up to the mic. He growls into the microphone as a swarm of fans, clad in black, bounce on their feet around them, screaming back at the band.

Courtesy of Sweat Records

Miami Sound Machine and Miami bass dominated Miami music in the 80's and 90's.

Back then, bands like 2LiveCrew were at the top of the hip-hop scene in Miami. Ten years before that, KC and the Sunshine Band's "Shake Shake Shake" blasted over the airwaves. 

Now, Pitbull and DJ Khaled top the charts on mainstream radio. But there’s more to Miami's music scene than just these famous artists. A lot more. And Lauren Reskin is standing at the gate of the industry in the Magic City. 

"¡De...spa ... cito!"

The song of the summer actually became the Song of the Year at the 18th annual Latin Grammy's held in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.

"Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee also picked up Record of the Year, Best Urban Fusion Performance and Best Short Term Video.

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums By Women.

Omar Cruz / Estefan Enterprises

Miami is set to represent at Washington’s glittering 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors in December when singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan becomes the latest hometown icon to receive the prestigious award and the first Cuban-American to earn the distinction.

It's accurate, but not entirely helpful, when thinking about the business of music to imagine in your mind a tangled knot about the size of an elephant. The free ends, rope made up of different gauges and materials, trail out from its center, resembling an asterisk. Holding each is a representative from one of the industry's many stakeholders — record labels and publishing companies, legislators and record store owners, tech companies and non-profit advocates. Oh, and artists too.

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