‘made In America’ On Showtime: 5 Reasons To Watch Jay Z’s Music Festival Documentary By Ron Howard

2013 American Music Awards Honor Justin Timberlake, Macklemore, Taylor Swift

Ex-Wisconsinite in ensemble playing global music at Wilson Center By Elaine Schmidt, Special to the Journal Sentinel Oct. 12, 2013 12:23 p.m. Mention hearing a string quartet concert and the image of four conservatively dressed, deeply serious folks playing a lovely-but-limited repertoire of Mozart and Beethoven pops to mind. Not if you’ve been paying attention to the Kronos Quartet for the past 40 years. The San Francisco-based quartet brought its repertoire of new music Friday evening to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, using exceptional musicianship and spot-on technical precision along with beautifully prepared and balanced recorded tracks and artfully designed and executed lighting and sound engineering to give a jaw-dropping performance. A big part of what made the performance so stunning was the absolute precision with which its members delivered piece after piece of music of the 20th and 21st centuries, some of it composed as recently as last year. But a bigger part of the ensemble’s remarkable power came from the fact that it approaches this repertoire not from a “how interesting” point of view, but from a “how musical” perspective. Their program reached across the globe, featuring the soulful sounds of the Arab Christian hymn “Wa Habibi” (“Beloved”), arranged by Stephen Prutsman; the haunting song of a Polish cantor, “Sim Shalom,” arranged by Judith Berkson; and a Bollywood film song, “Mehbooba Mehbooba” (“Beloved, O Beloved”), arranged by Prutsman and the quartet. It included the sounds of different accents heard on the streets of San Francisco in “And the Movement of the Tongue,” by Pamela Z, sounds from an Iceland post-rock group and more. Over the course of the evening, the players’ sound palette included meticulous minimalist passages, hollow harmonics, raspy attacks and effects, wonderfully woven harmonies, a few switches to different instruments, both acoustic and electronic, and some good, old-fashioned gorgeous melodies. The players, violinists David Harrington and John Sherba (who grew up in Whitefish Bay and Shorewood), violist Hank Dutt and cellist Sunny Yang used the seemingly disparate elements and musical vocabularies on the evening’s program as extremely effective expressive tools. They found and shared the musical soul of each piece. This was not a “listen to what we can do” proposition, it was a “listen to what we mean” performance and it was completely engrossing. The quartet gave the evening a perfect finale with a driving, encore performance of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” something of a signature tune for Kronos. 2013 , Journal Sentinel Inc.

Music of peace, from pianists Haskell Small and Sarah Cahill

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Comment Mark Humphrey/AP Taylor Swift speaks at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday. The singer opened the $4 million center in Nashville. It might as well be Taylor Swift weekend in Music City. The pop star opened her $4 million Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday morning, and will accept her record sixth songwriter-artist of the year award from Nashville Songwriters Association International on Sunday. RELATED: TAYLOR SWIFT SETS SONGWRITING RECORD Mark Humphrey/AP Swift posed with fans at the center. The facility will have classrooms, instrument rooms, and education opportunities for kids. Swift cut the ribbon on the new education center she donated to the museum as part of its expansion campaign and showed reporters and area high school students the new classroom and exhibit space before the museum opened. “I’m really excited about this music education center and the fact that right now they have three different classes going on today,” Swift said in an interview after the ceremony. “It’s really exciting that we can be here on a day when they’re not only unveiling it, but they’re starting to actively use it today.” RELATED: TAYLOR SWIFT MAKES 7-YEAR-OLD GRACE MARKELS DREAM COME TRUE AFTER YOUNG FAN WAS HIT BY SPEEDING MOTORIST Mark Humphrey/AP Swift cut the ribbon on the new education center she donated to the museum as part of its expansion campaign. The center will have classroom space, a hands-on instrument room and ongoing education opportunities. Museum officials say the new center will increase educational opportunities sevenfold going forward. And who knows?

made in america

Pianist Haskell Small will be performing just such a concert at the New Skete Monastery in Cambridge on Saturday evening. The one piece on the program is Musica Callada, an hour-long work in 28 short movements that was written by Federico Mompou, a Spanish composer who died in 1987 at age 94. Its mostly slow, sometimes very slow, sometimes extremely quiet, right on the edge of audibility, and very spacious with a ting of the mystical, explains Small, who recently recorded the piece for MSR Classics. Musica Callada is divided in four books, or large sections, which were composed between 1959 and 1974. The title is roughly translated as Silent Music or Quiet Music and the composer was influenced by the spiritual writings of St. John of the Cross, a 16th century Spanish mystic. The language is astringent and dissonant, but because its driven by melody, you hear all the lines. Mompou was more of a traditionalist than a groundbreaker, says Small, who lives in Washington, DC, and is in the midst of a national tour, taking the program to 20 different venues, mostly churches, along the east coast and in California. Its worth noting that Small is a wide ranging musician with a discography that ranges from Bach to Gershwin. But he does have a daily meditation practice and describes his current musical pursuit as a spiritual exercise. Faith is not required for listeners though. It takes receptivity, and an opening up to the inner world, says Small. The music is so extraordinarily beautiful that it will pull you into its message. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at New Skeet Monastery, 250 New Skete Lane, Cambridge. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $20. Cahills A Sweeter Music Sarah Cahill, a pianist from the Bay Area, has been pursuing another kind of peace. In her new recording A Sweeter Music (Other Minds Records) she performs eight musical works that she commissioned in the aftermath of the Iraq War. The composers seem united in their opposition to the 2003 invasion and to hostility generally, but they depart in their musical responses.

Taylor Swift opens $4 million music education center in Nashville

Like Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons talking about Russell Simmons being the fourth member of Run-D.M.C. and how he pushed for “Walk This Way” to happen with Aerosmith — a collaboration that no one else really understood, but that introduced the hip hop group to a rock and roll audience. 4. The optimism. “I had a bunch of failure,” Jay Z says when asked if he’d experienced any failure in his now-super successful career. “I didn’t get signed. My failure was no one would sign me. I gave my demo out to every single record label, and I didn’t get signed by one of them.” Can you imagine? And Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder shares some words of wisdom, weighing in on the state of the world today: “There’s so many issues to talk about, and it’s so detailed and so complex that it almost shuts you down. The banking, environmental issues, the power of corporations and the amount of lobbyists … people feel like they’re losing their voice, and the truth is they have every right to feel that way. People are just trying to work their jobs, raise their families, discipline their kids, have a good life …

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Show LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: Rapper Jay-Z speaks onstage during the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS) Gotye Live In Sydney SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 14: Wally DeBacker of Gotye performs on stage at Sydney Entertainment Centre on December 14, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) US-MUSIC-GRAMMY AWARDS-SHOW Musician Prince presents the winner for Record of the Year on stage at the Staples Center during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 10, 2013. AFP PHOTO Joe KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images) The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Backstage And Audience LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: Singers Katy Perry (L) and John Mayer attend the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS) The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Show LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: Singers Adele, Justin Timberlake and Actress Jessica Biel onstage during the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS) US-MUSIC-GRAMMY AWARDS-SHOW Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Sting, Ziggy and Stephen and Damian Marley perform in tribute to Bob Marley on stage at the Staples Center during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 10, 2013. AFP PHOTO Joe KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images) The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Show LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: Musicians Gotye (L) and Kimbra accept Record of the Year award for ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Show LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: Singer Carrie Underwood performs onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Show LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: Singer Hunter Hayes performs onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards – Show LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10: (L-R) Musicians Stelth Ulvang, Jeremiah Fraites, Wesley Schultz, Neyla Pekarek and Ben Wahamaki of the Lumineers perform onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) US-MUSIC-GRAMMY AWARDS-SHOW Jack White performs on stage at the Staples Center during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 10, 2013.