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.”

Neonatal Intensive Care Units help keep premature babies alive, but they can also be very stressful environments. Music therapy can help buffer the jarring lights and sounds to help a baby's brain develop in peace.
Dave Barfield / Tallahassee Memorial Hospital

Research shows that music therapy in neonatal intensive care units helps infants get released from the hospital early. Experts in Florida helped pioneer the practice, and now it's expanding.

The red and orange sun sets over dark water
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF Public Media

Sad songs. Why do we love them so much? And might they be bad for us? Especially for people with clinical depression?

Psychology researchers at the University of South Florida studied this question, and uncovered some surprising results.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at

Disney's Frozen remains one of the greatest box-office successes in history. But in terms of impact and influence, it is perhaps most loved and best remembered for one of its breakout songs.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

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.

Photo provided by the Straz Center

The Florida duo Black Violin performed at the Straz Center in Tampa on Thursday. But this wasn’t your average violin concert.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

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.

WUSF Public Media

Throughout this past year, members of WUSF 89.7 and Classical WSMR have been highlighting live music that makes the Tampa Bay Area a little more special as part of our ongoing Art Populi series.

This week on Florida Matters we hear some of those stories.

Photos by Susanna Hancock/Collage by Stephanie Colombini

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.

Tim Redman

The Florida Orchestra has begun its 48th season, and the orchestra has a new music director. 

Lawmaker Seeks Regulation Of Music Therapy

Sep 2, 2015

A South Florida senator Tuesday filed a proposal that calls for state regulation and licensure of music therapists.

Vinyl Enthusiasts Celebrate Record Store Day

Apr 18, 2014
Tom Mcshane on Flickr

The Internet may be the place for music sales nowadays, but vinyl enthusiasts want to show there's still a place for records by celebrating Record Store Day.


The 7th annual Record Store Day is scheduled Saturday, April 19, 2014, in more than 1,000 stores across the world.


Buyer and inventory manager for Sound Exchange in Tampa, Steve Crace, said in the past, all sorts of people would stop in on Record Store Day.


Dalia Colón / WUSF

You’re probably familiar with the sounds of downtown Sarasota -- traffic, birds chirping by Sarasota Bay. Now there’s a new sound in the mix: pianos.

Earlier this month, the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County debuted the Sarasota Keys Piano Project.

Pedro Reyes says being Mexican is like living in an apartment where an upstairs neighbor has a leaking swimming pool.

"Just what is leaking," says Reyes, "is hundreds of thousands of guns."

He wants people to think about the availability of guns in the United States, and the impact that has in Mexico.

USF Contemporary Art Museum

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.”

Some of those musical instruments are currently on display at the USF Contemporary Art Museum as part of the celebration of its 25 anniversary, CAM@25: Social Engagement.

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."

Bay News 9

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 petition to boycott Florida until the self-defense law is repealed.

Million Puppet March

Terry Gross interviews A-listers all the time. But when stars come on her show, more often than not, they're the ones who end up gushing about her:

  • Drew Barrymore: "Thank you, Miss Terry Gross -- someone I listen to on a regular basis. I can't believe I have the privilege of being on your program."
  • Justin Timberlake: "I am such a fan. I was so excited to be on the show."
  • Jimmy Fallon: "I'm a big fan. Thank you so much for having me on."
  • Stephen Colbert: "Thanks for having me on. It's always fun."

Given Gross' cult-like following among interviewees and NPR listeners alike, it was only a matter of time before the Fresh Air host got her own anthem.

Dalia Colón / WUSF

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.