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Kevin Kennedy / The Sphinx Organization

Sphinx Virtuosi is a conductor-less chamber ensemble comprising 18 Black and Latinx classical musicians. The group will present a virtual concert this weekend and then launch a mentorship program for student musicians from Bridgeport.

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

Who's afraid of the Bix bad Beiderbecke?

Hartford has an amazing jazz history, and Colin has a lot of jazz musician friends. This hour, a little onstage jazz party recorded in front of a live audience long before the pandemic put a pause on live audiences as a thing.

Colin and the panel look to make jazz accessible to mere mortals. They talk about what makes jazz jazz, invite the audience to sing, and teach the audience to scat.

Roger Christiansen / Facebook

Every fall, it seems hundreds of new holiday records flood the market. It’s a lucrative move for established artists – fans love new material, and what could be better than your favorite singer performing their own version of “Silver Bells” even though there are literally thousands of versions of the holiday classic out there?

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2020 is ending on a brighter note for Connecticut arts organizations, which have struggled to remain operational through the prolonged pandemic.

An Ode To Yodeling

Dec 15, 2020
Creative Commons

What is yodeling, anyway? Some consider it singing, some say it's an ululation, and still others consider it merely a means to herd animals. Whatever yodeling is, one's thing clear: Yodeling has been around for thousands of years and shows no signs of disappearing.

Wharton Center / Wikimedia Commons

This year often feels like a Shakespearean drama!

This hour, theaters around the state join us to talk about the future of the performing arts. What does a Zoom performance look like? Can it really replicate an in person performance?

Do you miss going to some of our state’s amazing performing arts centers? We want to hear from you.

GUESTS:

Hartford Opera Theater

Zoom meetings have become a ubiquitous part of pandemic life. Business meetings, social functions -- really any gathering that used be held in person has moved to Zoom or a similar platform. Now that virtual world has become the setting of a new chamber opera being performed this weekend by Hartford Opera Theater -- live, on Zoom.

Cheryl B. Engelhardt / YouTube

Musicians and performing artists around the world have cancelled tours and shows due to the pandemic. 

This hour, we’re talking to musicians from right here in Connecticut. Although local performers especially are struggling to stay afloat, many are still finding ways to put on a show, and make music. 

New Haven Symphony Orchestra
New Haven Symphony Orchestra / Facebook

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will not perform in front of a live audience until 2021. Instead, the ensemble will focus on virtual programming. The decision is a response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

music never sleeps
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Because of the coronavirus, New York City is now home to an abundance of underemployed, world-class musicians. Many of them will be participating in a 24-hour, live streaming music marathon beginning this evening.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Lee “Mixashawn” Rozie is a multi-instrumentalist who fuses jazz with the music of many cultures, especially Indigenous people. His latest work, An American Songbook, gets its world premiere Saturday in West Hartford.

The title may be misleading to some. Rather than a celebration of popular music from the first half of the 20th century, Rozie’s interpretation of the phrase is quite literal.

mike casey
Courtesy: Mike Casey

Jazz saxophonist Mike Casey returns to his old Connecticut stomping grounds for a performance in Old Lyme this week. The performance coincides with the release of two new singles. 

Rob Mead Photography

Actor John O’Hurley is probably best known for his guest-starring role on Seinfeld as Elaine’s boss, J. Peterman, the pompous and often clueless catalog guru. In real life, the West Hartford native is a busy performer and an accomplished singer and dancer. He brings his one-man show to the Ridgefield Playhouse this Sunday.

Errin Duane Brooks / Facebook

African-American tenor Errin Duane Brooks performs the title role in Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde with Connecticut Lyric Opera this weekend. The Detroit native is on tear recently. This year alone he made his Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center debuts.

Chion Wolf

Are there countries where harmonica players are BIG stars? Why don't more women play it? How many different musical styles can you squeeze out of one of these things? Guests include a lot of the pros: Howard Levy, Don DeStefano and Chris DePino whose odd career arc has taken him from railroad conductor to chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party to professional harmonica player.

Also, Wolfie gets an on-air harmonica lesson from these gods of the harp.

Bartek Buczkowski / Facebook

NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea was a fiddle teacher and performer in Duluth, Minnesota when she was encouraged by a friend to submit her song " Someday We'll Linger in the Sun" to the second ever NPR Tiny Desk contest in 2016. All Songs Considered Host Bob Boilen told NPR that when the judges of the competition heard Lea’s song they were completely floored.

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Once a year, about 50 alumni of the University of Liberia Chorus come together to make music, reminisce, and raise money for the university’s music department. This year's performance is this weekend in New Haven.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Something Governor Ned Lamont had been promising for 10 months finally happened Friday in Woodstock.

In the absence of an official Woodstock 50th anniversary concert in New York, Lamont invited the general public up to the Woodstock Fair for Connecticut’s own Woodstock tribute show.

Shall We Dance?

Feb 28, 2019
Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

Why do we dance? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Dancing has served a multitude of functions for various cultures throughout history, and there is even evidence to suggest we, as a species, are biologically hard-wired to dance.

Copper Beech Institute

Recently, I hopped into my car to go home after a long and grinding first day back to work. I had just returned the day before from a two-week vacation exploring the treasures of two foreign countries I had never seen before. 

The abrupt transition from play to work left me feeling quite blue, made worse by my receding memories of those weeks. Something in me needed music. So, I traded out my usual afternoon newscast for a "soul" song that caught my ear and brightened my heart. 

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Vance Gilbert fans will tell you - when the eclectic folk singer takes the stage, all bets are off. Heartbreaking stories and songs intermingle with Gilbert's razor sharp wit, taking audiences on a roller coaster of emotions and musical styles.

Exploring The Jewish Klezmer Tradition

Nov 2, 2018
Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

It's as somber as it is blissful; as old as it is contemporary. And it's more than just the Horah!

This hour: the music of the Jewish klezmer tradition. We discuss its history and cultural significance, and we also hear from you. 

An Ode To Yodeling

Oct 10, 2018
Irina Slutsky / flickr

What is yodeling, anyway? Some consider it singing, some say it's an ululation, and still others consider it merely a means to herd animals. Whatever yodeling is, one's thing clear: Yodeling has been around for thousands of years and shows no signs of disappearing.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Nekita Waller was recently named Connecticut's 17th State Troubadour. This hour, she joins us in our studios. We talk about her background as a performer and learn about the influence she hopes to have over the state’s arts and culture scene.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Nekita Waller was recently named Connecticut's 17th State Troubadour. This hour, she joins us in our studios. We talk about her background as a performer and learn about the influence she hopes to have over the state’s arts and culture scene.

Shall We Dance?

Jul 5, 2018
Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

Why do we dance? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Dancing has served a multitude of functions for various cultures throughout history, and there is even evidence to suggest we, as a species, are biologically hard-wired to dance.

Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

Whether it's a fond memory of ballet class as a kid, or that first, awkward slow dance at prom, or even drunkenly stumbling into a mosh pit on a dare, chances are you've got a dance related story to tell.

And we want to hear it: The good, the bad, and yes, the ugly! On Thursday, July 5th The Colin McEnroe Show will slip on its shoes and shimmy out over the airwaves to talk all things dance. But we'll need a partner for this one and that's where you come in.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Who's afraid of the Bix bad Beiderbecke?

Hartford has an amazing jazz history, and Colin has a lot of jazz musician friends. This hour, a little onstage jazz party.

Colin and the panel look to make jazz accessible to mere mortals. They talk about what makes jazz jazz, invite the audience to sing, and teach the audience to scat.

Samite playing flute
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Samite Mulondo went from a refugee camp in Kenya to collaborating with Paul Simon. This hour, the musician and Uganda native joins us to share his story and his music.

Miriam Engel / The Hartford Symphony Orchestra

Members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra ventured outdoors earlier this week to perform a free concert in Hartford's Asylum Hill neighborhood.

On this sunny, spring lunch hour in Hartford, the HSO's Jazz Quartet ripped into a bunch of standards, including "Blues Inn” by Hartford's own Jackie McLean. Almost on cue, people began milling into The Hartford's Liam E. McGee Memorial Park - employees of The Hartford with their Styrofoam box lunches, grade school students in their school uniforms, and people from the neighborhood drawn by the music.

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