When violinist Kev Marcus and violist Wil B met on the first day of their high school orchestra class, they decided to take the classical music they were learning to the next level.
“It was as always just completely classical, classical, classical, classical, classical,” Marcus says. “We started experimenting and finding our own voice … and that’s why we still play, because every time we pick up the instrument, it truly is like an extension of ourselves instead of us reading Bach or Beethoven.”
The Tampa Bay area boasts some world class performing arts venues. But you don't have to pay big ticket prices to hear great music. As part of WUSF’s ongoing Art Populi series on live, local music, we visit a restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg where jazz reigns every Monday night.
There's plenty of opportunities to see popular live music acts in the Tampa Bay area, but some major artists rarely pay us a visit. One local tribute band is putting their own unique flair on songs you may never get to hear live.
As part of our ongoing Art Populi series on live, local music in the Tampa Bay Area, we're taking a look at a new group that's trying to expand the way people think of classical music. Called Terroir New Music, the group pairs live performances with craft beer. Their first concert is Thursday, May 4 at the bar c. 1949 in Tampa.
In 2008, Mexican artist Pedro Reyes took the concept of turning swords into plowshares literally and created an art campaign called Palas por Pistolas. People voluntarily gave up more than 1500 weapons, which he first melted down to turn into the same number of shovels, then used them to plant a corresponding number of trees.
Shortly after that, government officials pointed out there was a similar gun return policy in the city of Juarez and asked Reyes if he wanted to use those weapons in his art. He said yes, and in return, received more than 6700 firearms.
But instead of shovels, this time Reyes broke them down and turned their components into musical instruments.
“Same as a shovel plants a tree, a musical instrument is also something that is alive," Reyes says. "Every time you use it, you generate a new sound, a new event and people can gather around the music and I believe that just instruments are kind of the diametrically opposite to what a gun is - like, the guns are the rule of fear and music is the rule of trust.”
Marian McPartland, who gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation — died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. She was 95.
Albert Murray, the influential writer and critic who helped found Jazz at Lincoln Center, died Sunday at home in Harlem. He was 97 years old. Duke Ellington once described him as the "unsquarest person I know."
For Murray, jazz and blues were more than just musical forms. They were a survival technique — an improvisatory response to hardship and uncertainty, as he told NPR in 1997: "You don't know how many bars you have, but however many of them you can make swing, the better off you are. That's about it."
Stevie Wonder's message is about 5,000 signatures short of being signed, sealed and delivered to Tallahassee.
A day after George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the singer announced during a concert in Quebec City that he wouldn't perform in Florida until the state's Stand Your Ground law is abolished.
More than 10,000 people have followed Wonder's lead, signing a MoveOn.org petition to boycott Florida until the self-defense law is repealed.
Listen: Jim Copeland looks back on his music career.
When it comes to performing, Jim Copeland is a pro. He’s been directing choirs since his dad volunteered him to lead music at a friend’s congregation, Nebraska Avenue Church of Christ. He was just 15 at the time.
"In fact, I had to ride a streetcar over there because I didn’t have a driver’s license at that time," said Copeland, 78.
Since then, Copeland has racked up quite a resume.