Happy birthday Stevie Wonder!
Stevie Wonder (born May 13, 1950) is an American soul and pop musician and composer. He was a child prodigy who quickly became one of the most beloved faces of Motown. He has recorded more than 30 top ten U.S. hits, with some of his most notable tracks including "Superstition," "I Just Called to Say I Love You," and "Ebony and Ivory." Wonder received the Second Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2009.
Al Green (born April 13, 1946) is an American soul singer. He produced hits throughout the 1970s, selling over 20 million albums. Some of his greatest hits include "Tired of Being Alone", "I'm Still In Love With You", "Love and Happiness," and "Let's Stay Together." He is listed as number 66 on Rolling Stone's Greatest Artists of All Time. Green has balanced his pop career with his spirituality, preaching and singing gospel at his church between tours. Green continues to perform and record. His last recording, Lay it Down, was released in 2008.
Carl Perkins (April 9, 1932-January 19, 1998) was an American Rockabilly singer and songwriter from Tennessee. Alongside the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, he became most famous for writing and singing the song "Blue Suede Shoes." He was the first white country artist to cross over onto the R&B charts. Though Perkins never quite felt like he deserved his fame, he was hugely influential in others' music, including that of George Harrison, Rick Nelson, and Patsy Cline.
Happy birthday Rudolf Serkin!
Rudolf Serkin (March 28, 1903 – May 8, 1991) was a Russian-Jewish pianist, born in Eger, Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic. Serkin began studying piano at the age of nine, and by twelve, was performing at the Vienna Philharmonic. To escape Nazi persecution, he and his family moved to Switzerland in the 1930s. He performed in New York's Philharmonic Orchestra and later became head of the piano department at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he spent the majority of his career. He taught many burgeoning pianists throughout his career and continued to tour and record until 1989.
Happy birthday Sarah Lois Vaughan!
Sarah Lois Vaughan (March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990) was a jazz vocalist who was among the first to straddle pop and critical acclaim. She got her start singing and playing organ in her church’s choir in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. After winning an amateur contest at The Apollo in Harlem, she was picked up by vocalist Billy Eckstein. She went on to sing alongside some of the era’s biggest names. By 1947, Vaughan was forging a solo career and quickly became one of the most beloved vocalists of the twentieth century, selling out large-scale venues well into her sixties.
"There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself."
Happy Birthday, Johann Sebastian Bach!
Johann Sebastian Bach (March 21, 1685 – 28 July, 1750) was a German composer, organist and violinist of the Baroque period. Bach was born into a large musical family, from whom he learned much about the art form. The music of Bach is revered for its beauty, complexity and technical prowess. In the 17th Century the world still measured time under the old Julian calendar. Until the current Gregorian calender was put into effect, the birthday of Bach would have been celebrated on the 21st of March but today, would technically fall on March 31st. Bach's contributions to music made him one of the world's most legendary classical musicians.
It's Official - Music Videos are the new Monet. Once a quick distraction via YouTube and now an art form recognized by museums - the music video has come a long way. This isn't to say that the average hip hop track of semi-naked dancing girls doing shots will be available for viewing on the big screen. On the contrary, the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York has selected some classic videos from over time to exhibit at "Spectacle." The show runs from April 3rd to June 16th. Here are just some delights you'll be able to see there.
"Hopkins is the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the single creator whose words and music are one act" - Robert "Mack" McCormick
Happy Birthday, Lightnin' Hopkins!
Sam John Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982), better known for his stage name Lightnin' Hopkins, was an African American country blues singer and songwriter from Texas. Hopkins was listed on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest guitarists of all time list and he recorded up to 1000 songs over the course of his career. He is best known for his records Country Blues (1960), Blues in my Bottle (1961), The Roots of Lightnin' Hopkins (1965) and more.
Happy birthday Nat King Cole!
Nathaniel Adam Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965) was an American singer and musician who first became known for his skills as a jazz pianist. Cole was one of the first African Americans ever to host a variety show, The Nat King Cole Show. Although Cole stated that he considered himself an entertainer and not an activist, his position as a public figure thrust him into the civil rights movement. As a television personality, his presence in people's homes helped lessen some of the country's racial tensions. Cole was close friends with contemporary heavyweights such as Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. Cole's most popular songs included "Unforgettable", "Mona Lisa", "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons", among others.
London-based company Roli has designed the Seaboard, which takes making music to a whole new sensory level. The Seaboard is based on the piano, but where as a piano key is essentially an on/off switch, the Seaboard allows the composer to have precise control over pitch, volume, and timbre of each note. Watch the video and be amazed.