World class fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad talks about the music that keeps her sharp for competition for Tell Me More's series, "In Your Ear." Muhammad and the rest of the U.S. women's team recently won gold at the Korfanty Sabre World Cup competition.
The friendship between Marian McPartland and Dick Hyman goes back over 30 years — the two say they most likely met for the first time in the 1960s at the Cookery, an old Greenwich Village jazz club. Four-hand piano duets there eventually led to another periodic musical partnership that included the late classical pianist Ruth Laredo.
Lucero — bright star in Spanish — has been creating quality punk-inflected country since the late '90s. Hailing from Memphis, frontman Ben Nichols gives the act a gruff Southern twang with both his voice and his guitar. Since the release of 2001's eponymous debut, Lucero has recorded five more studio albums and plays an impressive 200 shows a year in the U.S. and Canada.
On her breakout album Back-Road Highways, songwriter Chastity Brown combines the influences of her Southern upbringing and her adopted Minneapolis to dramatic effect. Brown's wrenching, heartfelt delivery will please fans of soul and vocal-driven pop, while the addition of banjo finds her exploring traditional Americana and expanding her sonic palette.