Patrick Jarenwattananon

The band Earth, Wind & Fire, actress Sally Field, singer Linda Ronstadt, television program Sesame Street and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas are the next recipients of one of the most prestigious U.S. awards for lifetime artistic achievement: the Kennedy Center Honors. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts made the announcement today.

Poet, writer and musician Joy Harjo — a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation — often draws on Native American stories, languages and myths. But she says that she's not self-consciously trying to bring that material into her work. If anything, it's the other way around.

Comedian Dave Chappelle will be awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this year, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced.

The stand-up comic, actor, producer and director joins a prestigious group of comedians to receive the award. Among them are Carol Burnett, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart and Richard Pryor — who won the very first Twain Prize in 1998.

Listen up, y'all: Perhaps even Yankees should start saying "y'all."

That's an argument put forth by Catherine Davies, a professor of linguistics at the University of Alabama, in a collection of essays titled Speaking of Alabama: The History, Diversity, Function, and Change of Language (edited by Thomas E. Nunnally). Davies' essay includes a section with the heading "A Southern Improvement to the Pronoun System."

"Well, I would say that Southern English is doing a great job," she says in an interview with Scott Simon on Weekend Edition.

The stretch limousine involved in a deadly crash in upstate New York on Saturday had recently failed a state safety inspection and its driver did not have the proper license to drive the vehicle, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

The crash killed all 18 occupants of the modified limo and two pedestrians. Federal officials said it is the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. since a 2009 plane crash.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling people not to eat Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, which has been linked to an outbreak of salmonella infections now numbering at least 100 people in 33 states.

"Do not eat this cereal," the agency declared on Twitter.

The city of Milwaukee has approved a $3.4 million settlement over its police department's alleged stop-and-frisk practices, more than a year after a lawsuit accused Milwaukee officers of targeting black and Latino people through racial profiling.

Milwaukee police made more than 350,000 unlawful stops between 2010 and 2017, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and its Wisconsin chapter. The ACLU sued on behalf of six African-American or Latino plaintiffs who had been stopped – in some cases, multiple times — without reasonable suspicion.

A Blog Supreme was a jazz thing published by NPR Music from May 2009 through September 2016. It presented news, features, aggregated content, historical primers, opinion and analysis, recommendations and other types of music journalism. It was twice named the Jazz Journalists Association Blog of the Year.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

The Colorado River — better known for running through majestic National Parks and powering hydroelectric dams — forms an unlikely backdrop for the creation of a jazz song. But René Marie was answering phones at Denver's jazz radio station KUVO when she sat down across from a fellow volunteer fundraiser. He would soon invite her on a canoeing trip and, without yet having seen the eponymous river, she wrote the giddy "Colorado River Song" on the way there.

The central equation behind Slavic Soul Party! is self-explanatory: an American black-music spin on the Balkan brass band. The net product is akin to a New-Orleans-style brass band, but with different percussion timbres, horn trills and glissandi. (Also, accordion, because Europe.) It's the sort of multiculti collision you see forged in major population centers; you may be interested to know the band has a standing Tuesday night gig at a Brooklyn bar which specializes in international music.

The pianist, composer and music ambassador Herbie Hancock is working on new music with a new band, and he's about to present the first taste of it in live performance.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

This song is called "Rhapsody In Berlin," and it was recorded in the German city recently. But Berlin isn't exactly the geography that comes to mind. It's more like a Central African nightclub, with layered instrumental funk interjected by yelps and whistles similar to Hindewhu Pygmy music. Or downtown Manhattan or Chicago's South Side in the late '60s and early '70s, where free-improvising saxophones met electronics and rock music and Sly Stone amid the urgency of the civil rights struggle.

There are masterpieces of the studio, and certainly Sarah Vaughan left plenty of those behind. But the really crushing exhibitions from jazz musicians of her caliber come nightly, in clubs and concert halls, tossed off so repeatedly and seemingly casually that any given tune in any given set reeks of talent. Throw a dart at any one moment and there's probably something there.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Henry Threadgill, a saxophonist and flutist known as one of the most original composers influenced by jazz, has been awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his recording In for a Penny, In for a Pound.

Eric Lewis' career has circulated both in and out of what he calls "the jazz republic." Performing under his given name in the 1990s, Lewis was a powerful up-and-coming pianist who toured in the bands of Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones. As his career progressed — or failed to, from a business perspective — he found that a lot of contemporary rock music also spoke to him deeply.

This tune comes from a demo tape of a band's first-ever public gig. The recording engineer was a 19-year-old college radio kid scrambling to capture 18 musicians in a tiny basement club. But half a century later, that kid now runs a record label and deemed his work good enough to re-touch and issue as part of a deluxe 2-CD package. After all, this was no ordinary band. Within three months of that first gig, this group started making "real" albums — five LPs worth in the next four years, plus two album-length collaborations with singers.

Jazz has its capital cities: major hubs like New York, Chicago and New Orleans. But the music manages plenty well in many other places, too. What goes into those smaller ecosystems to enable jazz to thrive? How do talented musicians make it happen? In search of some answers, we sought out the DIY concert producers of CapitalBop in Washington, D.C., as they presented artists from the Baltimore-Washington area. And we met with the musicians themselves — in one case, touring the place he calls home.

Pedrito Martinez is a world-class Afro-Cuban percussionist — a rumbero called upon by many jazz and pop stars when they need hand drumming, as well as a Grammy-nominated singing bandleader in his own right. He's also a Santería priest.

Like any music, jazz has its revolutions; its sudden incidents in infrastructure; its disruptive presences of unprecedented sound. Mostly it's slower than that, though, with years and generations of accretions before it seems to call for new vocabulary. That's one way to look at Winter Jazzfest, whose latest incarnation occupied a dozen or so venues in downtown New York City last weekend. In a decade and a half of steady growth, a one-night showcase oriented toward industry insiders has become nearly a weeklong landmark of the city's cultural calendar.

A tradition that dates back to the 1970s, NPR Music presents an all-night broadcast of live jazz performances every New Year's Eve.

In a sequence of high-energy concerts, performers counted down to midnight and rang in the new year across four time zones, with performances in Boston; Newport, R.I.; New York City; Chicago; and Northern California. The broadcast featured previously recorded concerts from Anat Cohen, Wycliffe Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Snarky Puppy, Dianne Reeves and Allen Toussaint.

Hear the performances in the playlist below.

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