The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, one of New Orlean’s most legendary bands, will be rousing the crowds at The Music Hall in Portsmouth this Saturday with its “Creole Christmas” show… a joyful mix of Christmas tunes, jazz standards, and original music that busts out of the nutcracker and King Wenceslas mold.
Ben Jaffe is creative director and sousaphone player for the band and joined us from the road.
Sam Amidon, the Vermont born musician, grew up in a musical family touring New England and playing traditional folk songs. Now Amidon tours the world playing his own music, though he’s not exactly writing his own songs. Whether it’s a traditional Irish folk song or Mariah Carey, Amidon is known for reshaping and reimagining the music of others. We caught up with Sam Amidon before his set at the Ottawa Folk Festival. He will be playing at the Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth tonight.
Donato Cabrera is the music director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, music director of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, and most recently, the director of music for the New Hampshire Music Festival. The six-week celebration of classical and chamber music performed each summer at the Silver Center at Plymouth State University is coming to a close on Aug. 16. Back in June, Virginia Prescott spoke with Donato Cabrera about his work and the then upcoming festival.
One of NPR’s Fifty Favorite Albums of 2012 was the self-titled debut album fromDebo Band. The eleven member band, based in Boston, blends 1960’s Ethiopian music with American funk, brass band music, and rock. Tonight, the Debo Band is playing on the Dartmouth Green in Hanover. Band leader and saxophonist is Ethiopian-American Danny Mekonnen, who we spoke with about the band and their unique sound.
West African singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara has a backstory not unlike many of today’s cosmopolitan Africans. She was born in Ivory Coast to parents from Mali and now lives in Paris. She’s a stage and film actress, singer, and songwriter, all of which has given her a world of experience which shines through on her 2011 solo album Fatou. The album plays to her roots, but retains an infectious pop sensibility. Fatoumata is performing next Thursday, June 13th at the music hall in Portsmouth. We spoke to her last year before her performance at Dartmouth, just after the release of the album Fatou which is also her nickname, reflecting the very personal nature of its songs and production.
The Thing in the Spring is coming to downtown Peterborough, New Hampshire next weekend, June 6-9th. The quirky music and arts festival has over twenty bands playing in various venues around town and its own arts fair. The founders of the festival, Eric Gagne and Mary Goldwaith came to give us the scoop on “The Thing.”
VIDEO: The New England based band Darlingside has long been a favorite here at Word of Mouth, so on their recent visit to a song writing and music business summit at the Concord Community Music School, we invited them to play a few tunes live in Studio D. Afterwards producer Zach Nugent sat down to chat with guitarist Don Mitchell and drummer and Concord area native son Sam Kapala.
Production help from Logan Shannon and Taylor Quimby
Heather Maloney's music has been described as “adventurous folk", pushing the boundaries of the folk genre with lush, full-band arrangements and playful vocal runs. Heather visited the NHPR studios last week to play a few songs and chat with producer Zach Nugent about music, spirituality, and being partial to ramblers. She will be playing at The Big Room in Barrington New Hampshire on April 20th and at The Music Hall in Portsmouth on May 17th.
The moniker, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper came to Mainer Aly Spaltro in a dream, and has been popping up on marquees up and down the East coast ever since. Not to mention online, where we read reviews of her captivating – almost spellbinding -- live performances and steady output of original, idiosyncratic music that we’re calling a mix between Feist and Nirvana. Ripely Pine is her first studio album, and has already been featured by Time Magazine and NPR setting Lady Lamb well on her way to becoming a national name.
New Sounds From Arab Lands is five musicians from Syria, Tunisia and Lebanon respectively. They were brought together in collaboration with the Aga Khan music initiative, and are artists in a residency at Dartmouth College curated by ethnomusicologist and music professor Ted Levin. The group performs this evening at the Spaulding auditorium. We caught up with the group from a studio at Dartmouth College.
When the band Tan Vampires came to our studios last week, we found them to be mostly pale, and pretty lively…it turns out that their name was a bit of a lark invented long before the whole vampire saga. The other surprise about Tan Vampires is noted…with some disbelief… in just about every review of their well-crafted, soaring, folk-rock songs…they’re from New Hampshire.