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Kelela, a quickly emerging, innovative R&B singer with roots in the Washington area is now based in Los Angeles. She's shown here in Austin, Texas, in March at the South By Southwest music festival. Illustrates MUSIC-KELELA (category e), by Chris Richards © 2014, The Washington Post. Moved Monday, April 14, 2014. (MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Erich Schlegel)

Kelela: An R&B Star Is Born?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There are Japanese and Portuguese words that describe the interstitials of love, but for the rest of us, there is R&B. Kelela — a petite, dreadlocked vocalist born in Washington and based in Los Angeles — understands that. Her futuristic love songs feel like high-def screen grabs of latent passion, micro-tonal desire and other in-the-middle emotions that the English language can’t quite articulate. It’s the middle of March, in the middle of Texas, and Kelela’s in the middle of dinner. She’s here prepping for a handful of performances at the South by Southwest music festival and talking about the forthcoming debut album she has stowed …

Dartmouth Jazz Guitarist Releases Album

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ever since Michael Blum began devoting his time to the electric guitar as a Dartmouth freshman several years ago, he’s experienced it as a solitary pursuit. While playing in the school’s practice rooms, his only audience is himself. He said not having anyone to hear his work is “surreal.” But no longer. Last …

Rock Hall Welcomes KISS, Nirvana and More

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony may well go into the books for its “Who’d have thought?” surrealistic moments. Yusuf, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, nailed one at the beginning of his acceptance speech when he quipped: “I never thought I’d be on the same stage as KISS, …

A Stringed Instrument Gets an Introduction

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Angela Biggs’ harp commanded the room. It sat in a corner in Claremont’s Union Episcopal Church, with six smaller harps propped on stands around it. “You might be surprised to learn you can play blues on a harp, …

Japanese Composer Apologizes for Deceiving

Saturday, March 8, 2014

He isn’t completely deaf. He didn’t really compose his own music. And now he’s sorry for lying about it. Mamoru Samuragochi, the composer who was once popularly referred to as the Beethoven of Japan, appeared at a news conference in Tokyo on Friday and apologized for deceiving the …

The Irish Rovers Look to Stay Put

Friday, March 7, 2014

For a half of a century, the Irish Rovers have brought traditional-sounding Irish folk music to the world. The septet of Irish-born, Canada-based musicians are performing on their Farewell to Rovin’ tour, which will be the band’s final tour of the United States. The Rovers — which still …

It’s the Favorite Time of Year For the Dropkick Murphys

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pittsburgh — “For us, it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” says Matt Kelly, drummer and second-longest-running member of the Dropkick Murphys. Boston’s favorite punks have a 14-year tradition of playing St. Patrick’s Day bashes, basically on the same street. “The run-up to it is just as …

Entertainment Highlights: A Singer-Songwriter Stays True to His Roots

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Though Richard Shindell didn’t kick off his folk singer-songwriter career until his late 20s, it wasn’t because it took him that long to discover a love of music. “I had always been very focused, from the time I …

David Crosby Back With Album

Sunday, March 2, 2014

You can forgive David Crosby for not remembering the Washington-area venue he was playing in the summer of 1994 when his liver finally gave out after so many blurry years of dope and drink. But he does recall …

Young Women Remake Old Folk Music

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Toronto — How does adopting anachronistic styles serve an artist in her early 20s, in a day when the life span of now seems ever shorter? Three albums led by young American women out this month — Angel Olsen’s Burn Your Fire for No Witness, Lydia Loveless’ Somewhere …

Preaching to the Choir: Thetford Choral School Helps Singers Find Their Voice

Saturday, March 1, 2014

For a few minutes, the singers sang in a three-note language. There were 12 of them, and they moved about a room in the First Congregational Church of Thetford, communicating in the key of D. They made a …

Entertainment Highlights: Josh Ritter Brings Acoustic Show to Lebanon

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Soon after his sudden divorce several years ago, Josh Ritter sat down to write what would become his 2013 album, The Beast In Its Tracks. It didn’t go so well. “I started off writing almost as a chicken …

Sting Goes on Tour With Paul Simon

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Minneapolis — The lute is in the closet. Over the past decade, Sting has alienated many of his fans with obscure classical music and a Police reunion that felt more like an obligation than a celebration. But the Grammy-winning star is in the midst of a creative comeback …