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  • Marty Roberts of Los Angeles lounge duo Marty & Elayne is dead at 89

    After performing six nights a week for nearly four decades, Los Angeles musician Marty Roberts has died. He was half of the husband-and-wife duo Marty & Elayne. AILSA CHANG, HOST: The jazz and lounge music world has lost one of its most iconic personalities. Marty Roberts, one half of the married lounge act Marty & Elayne, died last week at 89. MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: For decades, the duo performed five or six nights a week, Marty on drums and vocals, Elayne on piano and flute. (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SWINGERS") MARTY AND ELAYNE: (Singing) You can tell by the way I use my walk I'm a woman's man - no time to talk. KELLY: They were fixtures at the Los Angeles bar and restaurant the Dresden Room, where they played an eclectic mix of jazz standards, original numbers and their own twists on pop hits. (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SWINGERS") MARTY AND ELAYNE: (Singing) Staying alive - ah, ah, ah, ah, staying alive. CHANG: That rendition of "Stayin' Alive," a cameo in the 1996 movie "Swingers," shot them into pop ...

  • Chris Pierce on Mountain Stage

    Enlarge this image Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage Blessed with a soaring, church-built vocal range that's often compared to Ray Charles, Chris Pierce has been all over the scene for the past 15 years. Discovered by Seal while attending USC, the indie, folk and blues singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has kept the rubber hot, touring 150 days a year while sharing the stage with such artists as Jill Scott, Al Green, Robert Cray, and Toots and the Maytals. Making his first Mountain Stage appearance, recorded at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, S.C., Pierce shared power-packed songs from a new, critically acclaimed album titled American Silence. Accompanied by acoustic guitar and vocals, Pierce carved the words of that album's title track into the bones, singing of the American posture – complacency – in addressing and dealing with race issues: "Can we sing a song for you? / Will ...

  • Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares dies at 91

    Enlarge this image Brazilian singer Elza Soares performs at the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro in 2019. Soares died on Thursday. Leo Correa/AP Leo Correa/AP RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares died in her Rio de Janeiro home on Thursday afternoon, family members said on the artist's official Instagram account. She was 91.The singer "moved the world with her voice, her strength and her determination," they said, adding she "will forever be in the history of music and in our hearts and the thousands of fans around the world." The family said Soares died of ''natural causes'' and did not provide further detail. ...

  • Sierra Ferrell seems to have always known where she was headed

    "Jeremiah" "Why'd Ya Do It?" "In Dreams" Sierra Ferrell is a what you might call a free spirit — someone who follows her dreams wherever they take her; like when she joined a troupe of wandering musicians in her 20s. On the other hand, Ferrell seems to have always known where she was going. She started performing when she was just 7 years old. Now, she lives in the musical epicenter of Nashville, getting high praise for her vocal talent and songwriting skills — and if the title of her second album is any indication, that's what she somehow knew she'd one day be doing. It's called Long Time Coming. In this session, Sierra Ferrell sits down to talk about her life and adventures so far, along with live recordings of her performances from last years XPoNential Music Festival. Hear the session and her complete festival performance in the audio and video players above. ...

  • Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST: Kombilesa Mí, Northern Cree, Son Rompe Pera

    YouTube Premiering tonight at 8 p.m. ET. For the second consecutive year, NPR teams up with globalFEST for a thrilling online music festival we call Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST: three nights, nine bands, and a world of musical traditions beamed into your living room. Every January, I attend globalFEST at a New York City nightclub and see some of the most fantastic music I'll experience all year. Not being able to do this live and in person again is a challenge, but it's also an opportunity: Leaving the nightclub for the desktop lets us share this festival with the world. And ... IT'S FREE! For each of the three nights, Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST will present artists in intimate settings (often behind their own globe-topped tiny desks), some of whom are making their globalFEST debuts, while a few others are notable past performers. It's all hosted by African pop star and four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo. She is one of the greatest ...

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