By Carlos Delgado, 14 January 2021
Strong performances and thrilling music power this engaging adaptation of August Wilson’s 1984 play.
By Nick Barrickman, 7 January 2021
Daniel Dumile was most respected and admired for the series of albums he released as the masked rap artist MF Doom.
By Shannon Jones, 6 January 2021
Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Theatre Orchestra, who have not been paid since March, were replaced by outsourced non-Met musicians at the opera’s New Year’s Eve gala.
By Nick Barrickman, 5 January 2021
Fletcher’s energetic and melodic vocals complemented the pumping synthesizer beats on Whodini’s earliest records.
By Elliott Murtagh and J. L’Heureau, 4 January 2021
An examination of some of the most popular music in 2020 and its social backdrop.
By Hiram Lee and Matthew Brennan, 31 December 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the music industry in 2020. With live performances cancelled and music venues forced to shut down, vast numbers of performers were thrown out of work.
By Matthew Brennan, 23 December 2020
Pride was the first African American artist to achieve major success in country music. He produced at least 30 chart-topping country songs through the late 1980s and sold over 70 million records worldwide.
By Verena Nees and Peter Schwarz, 17 December 2020
Beethoven was the most profound musical voice during a period in which humanity progressed in quantum leaps. His works are ineradicably connected with the striving for human liberation.
By Matthew Brennan, 16 December 2020
The arrangement will allow UMPG, owned by the largest music company in the world, Universal Music Group (valued at $33.6 billion), to have exclusive intellectual property rights to Dylan’s music.
By Shree Haran and Kapila Fernando, 15 December 2020
During his five-decade musical career, Balasubrahmanyam sought to unite musicians and artists across the Indian sub-continent.
14 December 2020
By Kevin Reed, 9 December 2020
The documentary about the iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa, who died at age 52 in 1993, presents him as an artist torn between the need to earn a living as a rock music star and his desire to compose more complex and serious orchestral works.
By Erik Schreiber, 3 December 2020
On their debut album, Adulkt Life pay tribute to their musical influences and confront a world in acute crisis.
By Benjamin Mateus, 2 December 2020
The Skagit Valley Chorale rehearsal on March 10 was one of the nation’s first super-spreading events. A University of Colorado study provided a critical recognition that the virus that caused COVID-19 spread predominately in the aerosol form.
By Nazım Özgün, 26 November 2020
Selçuk was a prominent example of the layer of Turkish intellectuals who turned to the working class amid the political radicalization and social struggles of the 1970s.
A conversation with musician, producer Fabrizio Grossi about the pandemic and its impact: “Short of a global revolution, I don’t see a solution”
By Marc Wells and David Walsh, 16 November 2020
Fabrizio Grossi is a veteran bassist, producer and music consultant, sometimes referred to in the media as “legendary.”
Orchestra, opera musicians face severe pay cuts, furloughs, uncertainty in the midst of the pandemic
By David Walsh, 12 November 2020
Management at various orchestras, operas and other cultural organizations are taking full advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to press forward with their demands as part of an offensive for pay and other cuts under way for more than a decade.
By Matthew Brennan, 10 November 2020
Two interesting music groups in the recent period have been the rock and funk trio Khruangbin out of Houston Texas, and the British soul and funk collective known as Sault.
By Ulrich Rippert, 2 November 2020
Only days after several German newspapers published vicious denunciations of Igor Levit, the world renowned pianist participated in a rally against the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Potsdam.
By Ulrich Rippert, 26 October 2020
The Süddeutsche Zeitung editorial board’s initial defence of its article, as well as subsequent articles in Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Neue Zürcher Zeitung, reveal that these leading newspapers share essentially the same line as the far right Alternative for Germany.
By David North and Clara Weiss, 22 October 2020
Levit has emerged as a powerful voice against the resurgence of neo-Nazism in Germany, which finds its most putrid expression in the growing political power of the Alternative für Deutschland.
By Kevin Reed, 19 October 2020
Eddie Van Halen, the renowned electric guitarist with the popular rock band Van Halen, died in Santa Monica, California, at age 65 on Oct. 6.
More than three-quarters of event workers have lost all of their income
By David Walsh, 14 October 2020
The devastation has implications that go beyond even the immediate economic situation, as desperate as that is. The coronavirus crisis is threatening to wipe out a considerable portion of cultural life in the US.
By Kevin Reed, 10 October 2020
Wakeman has released a new progressive rock album in advance of the 50th anniversary of the first successful orbit of Mars by a man-made probe.
By Fred Mazelis, 26 September 2020
Management is demanding major concessions from its musicians, who have been furloughed without pay since March.
By Erik Schreiber, 22 September 2020
A skilled and engaging rapper, Nas remains committed to a message reflecting his confusion, racialist politics and considerable business interests.
By Paul Bond, 19 September 2020
Hibbert was widely respected and liked as a person, as well as admired for his work. That he was one of the most important international ambassadors for reggae owed much to his personal integrity.
By Nick Barrickman, 14 September 2020
The US singer-songwriter’s musical film and visual album seeks to focus its lens on the African continent and its diaspora, with decidedly limited effects.
By Elliott Murtagh, 4 September 2020
Hip-hop stars Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z sing the praises of Black capitalism in their new single “Entrepreneur,” part of TIME magazine’s “New American Revolution” campaign.
By John Andrews, 29 August 2020
Today, fans throughout the world are celebrating the centenary of the birth of Charlie Parker, an inventor of bebop and one of the greatest figures in the history of jazz.
By Matthew Brennan, 27 August 2020
The album was created in conjunction with a stage play about the 2010 Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine explosion in West Virginia, which killed 29 coal miners.
By Paul Bond, 26 August 2020
A turning point for Bream was hearing recordings of Andrés Segovia (1893-1987), another great guitarist, whose transcriptions of Baroque compositions helped shape the modern repertoire.
By Matthew Brennan, 13 August 2020
The new self-titled album distributes a considerable amount of opposition and anger across 11 songs. The results are uneven.
By Fred Mazelis, 5 August 2020
Anthony Tommasini now opposes the use of blind auditions.
By Fred Mazelis, 21 July 2020
Lotoro has devoted three decades to the research and discovery of music written and performed in defiance of Nazi barbarism.
By Erik Schreiber, 14 July 2020
Despite its musical interest, the new album by rap duo Run the Jewels shows Killer Mike and El-P to be seriously disoriented, or worse, in the current upheavals.
By Marc Wells, 8 July 2020
Ennio Morricone will undoubtedly be mourned by millions of people around the world. He composed scores for 70 award-winning films, and more than 70 million recordings of his music had been sold by 2016.
By Kevin Reed, 4 July 2020
Canadian-born singer-songwriter Neil Young has released Homegrown, 45 years after it was recorded, an album of twelve songs that brings us back to his music of the early 1970s.
The Strokes’ The New Abnormal and Hamilton Leithauser’s The Loves Of Your Life: Two decades on from the rise of “indie rock”
By Matthew Brennan, 23 June 2020
Two of the more notable bands to emerge from the early 2000s “indie rock” music scene, which was centered in New York City, have recently produced new albums.
“It’s bigger than black and white, it’s a problem with the whole way of life”
By Elliott Murtagh and J. L’Heureau, 22 June 2020
Atlanta rapper Lil Baby has released a new song about the ongoing protests against racism and police brutality.
By Fred Mazelis, 15 June 2020
The New York Philharmonic and other orchestras are canceling performances for the rest of this year.
By Matthew Brennan, 1 June 2020
Few musicians were involved in as many stages of development in jazz, or popular music generally, after World War II as Miles Davis (1926-1991).
“Lost our connection after the war”
By James Brewer, 25 May 2020
Robbie Robertson: “The story of the Band is beautiful. It was so beautiful it went up in flames.”
By Elliott Murtagh and J. L’Heureau, 23 May 2020
The 18-year-old pop star’s debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, was the most popular album on the planet in 2019.
By Paul Bond, 19 May 2020
The cultural background of a disoriented avant-garde in the aftermath of World War II and the division of Germany helped shape the music of Schneider and his peers.
By Erik Schreiber, 15 May 2020
The new album, which resonates during our time of quarantine, reflects the singer’s personal growth, as well as the regressive influences of her Hollywood-celebrity environment.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 14 May 2020
A new staging of Beethoven’s Fidelio is a highlight in these times of lockdown and quarantine.
By Paul Bond, 13 May 2020
His long-time collaborator Fela Kuti once declared “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.”
By Hiram Lee, 12 May 2020
Little Richard played a significant role in shaping rock ’n’ roll in the 1950s and left an indelible influence on the world of music and pop culture in the decades that followed.
By Paul Bond, 30 April 2020
Huge global audience figures show a support for the keyworkers at the frontline that is not answered by any corresponding practical measures from the ruling class.
By John Andrews, 20 April 2020
COVID-19 has claimed the life of Lee Konitz, one of the foremost improvisers of post-war jazz.
By Erik Schreiber, 14 April 2020
The newest movie from acclaimed Portuguese director Pedro Costa offers visual beauty, pessimism and little insight or hope.
By Hiram Lee and Matthew Brennan, 13 April 2020
In his art and his very personality, Prine pursued an existence entirely opposed to the sort led by those whose criminal negligence made possible his death from COVID-19.
By David Walsh, 11 April 2020
Oboist Liang Wang and trumpeter Matthew Muckey disputed their 2018 firings. An arbitrator heard the case and found that the musicians had been terminated without just cause.
By Hiram Lee, 6 April 2020
Among the more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the nearly 70,000 lives lost, may be counted those of numerous well-known musicians and performers.
By Matthew Brennan, 31 March 2020
The songwriting and musicality on both, at its best, is unusually direct, serious and invigorating. The two performers attempt to grapple with changes in social life—and social moods—and manage to give them intriguing musical expression.
John Eliot Gardiner leads all nine Beethoven symphonies at Carnegie Hall, and speaks about their significance
The great composer’s music has “to do with social equality, revolution and counterrevolution”
By Fred Mazelis, 23 March 2020
An opportunity, just before the coronavirus forced the closing of concert halls, to hear the works of the master played on period instruments.
By Fred Mazelis, 21 March 2020
Hundreds of employees will be joining tens of millions of others as the coronavirus pandemic leads to skyrocketing unemployment.
By Matthew Brennan, 16 March 2020
Tyner was the last living member of the famed “classic” John Coltrane quartet, which included bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones.
By Joe Lorenz, 13 March 2020
The concert, “Spirituals: From Ship to Shore,” was organized and led by Dr. John Wesley Wright, an award-winning tenor and professor at Salisbury University in Maryland, as part of a week of study into the history of the musical genre.
By David Walsh, 29 February 2020
The latest stage of the manufactured sexual misconduct controversy surrounding the 79-year-old singer is no more edifying than the earlier ones.
“One must not forget”: A musical tribute in Berlin to Jewish members of the Deutsche Oper orchestra persecuted by the Nazis
By Verena Nees, 21 February 2020
A moving concert paid tribute to four Jewish members of the Deutsche Oper orchestra who were forced into exile or murdered after Hitler came to power in 1933.
“What we think changes how we act.”
By Erik Schreiber, 19 February 2020
Gill consciously broke with musical convention to develop his own style of guitar playing and to create a distinctive sound for his band. Similarly, he sought to understand the origins of social and political conditions, rather than accepting them as given.
By Fred Mazelis, 5 February 2020
The son of Rudolf Serkin, he was a musician of intelligence, passion and integrity, a solo recitalist and chamber musician, who also performed with orchestras worldwide.
By Matthew Brennan, 29 January 2020
The event, hosted by the Recording Academy, is the most prominent such ceremony in the music business in the US. Grammys are handed out to musicians, singers, producers, engineers and songwriters.
Wozzeck at New York’s Metropolitan Opera: Alban Berg’s opera on the tragic fate of an impoverished soldier
By Fred Mazelis, 16 January 2020
Wozzeck’s depiction of the impact of war and inequality on the lives of the poor is timelier than ever.
Including an interview from 1996
By David Walsh, 3 January 2020
Sleepy LaBeef, singer and musician, died the day after Christmas at his home in Arkansas. The musical world and all of us are poorer for the loss.
By Hiram Lee and Matthew Brennan, 31 December 2019
It was an especially difficult and challenging year for popular music, dominated by the contradiction between the self-absorption and disorientation of the official musical world and growing signs of global popular opposition.
By Clara Weiss, 6 December 2019
The music of Polish-Jewish composer Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996), who spent much of his life in the Soviet Union, has been recently rediscovered. It counts among the most significant bodies of work produced in the 20th century.
By David Walsh, 5 December 2019
In an interview with the Spanish online publication El Confidencial, opera legend Domingo explained that these “have been the most difficult months of my life.”
By Fred Mazelis, 16 October 2019
Otello and Falstaff, from the last years of the 19th century, continue to amaze contemporary audiences.
By Kevin Reed, 11 October 2019
Filmed at a live performance in Amsterdam in June 2018, the concert features Waters’ reinterpretation of the catalog of Pink Floyd and his solo career in light of present social and political crises around the world.
By David Walsh, 26 September 2019
Domingo’s action came in response to two Associated Press articles, in August and September, in which 20 women, 18 of them anonymously, accused the opera star of inappropriate behavior.
“Go on strike ‘til you get it right!”
By Kathleen Martin, 21 September 2019
The former autoworker spoke to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter about life in the auto plants and why he supports the striking workers.
By Richard Phillips, 23 August 2019
Virtuoso jazz guitarist Bill Frisell discussed some of the conceptions underpinning his musical approach and his forthcoming album during the Australian leg of his recent Asian tour.
By David Walsh, 17 August 2019
On August 13, the Associated Press posted an article by Jocelyn Gecker alleging that Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo had sexually harassed a number of women over a period of several decades.
By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2019
This latest work stands out as an unusually open and humane collection of songs in a genre that has been lacking in those elements far too much in recent years.
The 2008 music vault fire
By Kevin Reed, 30 July 2019
The social and legal fallout from the June 2008 music vault fire in Hollywood, which destroyed an invaluable popular music archive at Universal Studios and which Universal Music Group (UMG) covered up for years, is ongoing.
By Hiram Lee, 13 July 2019
Together with the composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto pioneered a “new wave” in Brazilian popular music during the mid-to-late 1950s that had a worldwide impact.
By Matthew Brennan, 29 June 2019
His early recordings spanned a remarkable musical range, from funk-driven pop songs and New Orleans jazz and blues to at least a half-dozen other musical styles and influences.
By Matthew Brennan, 3 June 2019
Amazing Grace, a concert film currently showing in select theaters around the US, captures the two-day recording of singer-pianist Aretha Franklin’s 1972 gospel concert album of the same title.
Michigan State University performs stirring rendition of Babi Yar, Dmitri Shostakovich’s anti-fascist symphony
By Nancy Hanover, 1 May 2019
Shostakovich’s masterpiece was performed by the Michigan State Symphony Orchestra, the University Chorale, the State Singers, noted baritone Mark Rucker and conductor Christopher James Lees at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall on April 27-28.
By Matthew Brennan, 22 April 2019
Best known as a member of the 1960s pop trio the Walker Brothers, Scott Walker became an elusive and yet influential figure in the rock and electronic music genres in later years.
By Hiram Lee, 19 March 2019
Drummer Hal Blaine died March 11, one month past his 90th birthday. Blaine was an incredibly prolific studio musician who appeared on countless recordings during the 1960s and 1970s.
“This is not just about Tchaikovsky, it’s about culture as a whole”
By Kristina Betinis, 12 March 2019
CSO players and supporters demand funding for the arts, not wars.
By Andy Thompson, 20 February 2019
Facebook suspended four pages run by Maffick Media, including In the Now, Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed, which posted content critical of US foreign and social policy.
By Matthew Brennan, 14 February 2019
The now ubiquitous and mandatory theme of every awards show—identity politics—was on heavy display Sunday.
By Matthew Brennan, 2 February 2019
Trained as a classical cellist, McCalla’s eventual decision to pursue folk-based music and song-writing led her to the rich New Orleans music environment where she has been a fixture for much of the past decade.
By Matthew Brennan and Hiram Lee, 31 December 2018
Many of the year’s best musicians refused to limit themselves to one “lane,” “border,” genre or supposedly separate culture.
By Paul Bond, 6 October 2018
Aznavour grew up with a love of music and theatre and leaves a legacy of some 1,200 songs, innumerable recordings, and some notable film appearances.
By Fred Mazelis, 25 September 2018
New Yorker music critic Alex Ross claims that Bernstein’s legacy is being exaggerated.
By Verena Nees, 3 September 2018
The 20 nearly sold-out concerts by international youth orchestras struck a clear musical counterpoint to the xenophobic and nationalist policies of the global political elites.
3 September 2018
One of the greatest musical figures of the 20th century
By Fred Mazelis, 25 August 2018
There was no one else who combined Bernstein’s genius as a composer, conductor, educator and pianist.
One of the greatest musical figures of the 20th century
By Fred Mazelis, 24 August 2018
There was no one else who combined Bernstein’s genius as a composer, conductor, educator and pianist.
By Hiram Lee, 18 August 2018
Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin died August 16 at the age of 76. She was a major figure, one of the great performers of the second half of the twentieth century.
By Hiram Lee, 15 August 2018
On his new album Acoustic Classics, country singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell revisits a selection of his songs in new stripped-down all acoustic recordings.
By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2018
Vanished Gardens, a new collaboration between jazz musician Charles Lloyd and country singer Lucinda Williams, is a seamless and enjoyable blend of multiple genres of music.
By Matthew MacEgan, 27 July 2018
The album is intended to be the musical component of a larger multimedia project entitled Reasons to Be Cheerful, which is an attempt at spreading “positivity” in the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency.
By Matthew Brennan, 25 July 2018
The film is a dark comedy written and directed by Boots Riley, artist, political activist and rapper from Oakland, California. He is best-known as a longtime member of the music group The Coup.