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Instrument-Makers Learn a Long-Overdue Lesson: It Isn’t Just Men Playing Guitar

October 11, 2018

Guitar sales have declined a bit over the past decade. The nation’s largest instrument retailer, Guitar Center, is facing more than $1 billion in debt; Gibson filed for bankruptcy earlier this year; and Fender, which is privately held, has debt estimated at $100 million. But, Fender CEO Andy Mooney says, some of that drop may have to do with marketing — and outdated assumptions about to whom the industry is selling. When the company conducted a consumer survey in 2015, it learned that women make up half of first-time guitar buyers.

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To Cope With Shooting, Parkland Students Use Art, Music Therapy

August 21, 2018

Students in Broward County, Fla., have gone back to school — 6 months after the shooting that left 17 people dead at a Parkland high school. Some students spent the summer trying to heal through art.

During the summer camp, 80 Marjory Stoneman Douglas students got group therapy disguised as music, theater and art activities.

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Stream the 2018 Newport Folk Festival This Weekend

July 27, 2018

This weekend, NPR Music will be on the ground at one of our favorite summer events: the Newport Folk Festival. We’re looking forward to hearing the brilliant sounds of Courtney Barnett, gospel powerhouse The War and Treaty and the instrumental vibrations of Khruangbin.

If you can’t join us in Newport, we’ll be live-streaming select sets from the entire weekend via TuneIn’s Newport Folk Radio. Set times and a complete webcast schedule are listed below.

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Doris Duke Artist Awards Return, Breaking a Pledge to End After 5 Years

July 2, 2018

After five years of vital funding, it looked like the end for the Doris Duke Artist Awards, one of the most prestigious — and sizable — grants in the United States available to artists working in jazz, contemporary dance and theater. A satellite initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, it reached that firm, five-year expiration date set in its inaugural year on June 30, 2017.

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John Coltrane’s ‘Lost Album’ Is a Window into His Pursuit of the Impossible

June 28, 2018

The improbable new release by John Coltrane, Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, arrives with the excitement of a rare celestial event. A small trove of previously unissued studio material recorded by the saxophonist and his quartet on a single day in 1963, it has already caused a commotion prior to its release this Friday. “Like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid,” is how Sonny Rollins described the discovery, in a quote from the liner notes that has widely circulated, as a fond gesture from one colossus to another.

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After 80 Years, The Barbershop Harmony Society Will Allow Women To Join

June 26, 2018

If you’re at all familiar with the modern perception of barbershop singing, you might have guessed that one of its leading organizations, the Barbershop Harmony Society, was an all-male — and all-white — organization at the time of its founding in 1938. The organization opened to people of color in 1963, as the country was living within the crucible of the civil rights movement. For 80 years, though, it remained closed to women.

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