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Black Arts, and feeling the bite of change

David Shakes knows what change looks like, and sounds like, and feels like. He finds it in writers such as James Baldwin, whose words have shadowed us as the country navigates the summer of Black Lives Matter. Shakes is finding change in the words of Frederick Douglass, and in the narratives of slaves. And in "Emancipation Denied," a play written by a Rochester woman and brought to the stage four years ago by Shakes' North Star Players. Shakes was a friend of Baldwin. That was back in the...

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David Shakes knows what change looks like, and sounds like, and feels like. He finds it in writers such as James Baldwin, whose words have shadowed us as the country navigates the summer of Black Lives Matter.

Shakes is finding change in the words of Frederick Douglass, and in the narratives of slaves. And in "Emancipation Denied," a play written by a Rochester woman and brought to the stage four years ago by Shakes' North Star Players.

After three months on hiatus, due to the COVID19 pandemic, Rejuvenation with Scott Wallace is back Friday nights at 6PM on Different Radio, WRUR and WITH. The three hour weekly program featuring R&B, soul, and funk has been a staple on Different Radio, and has been missed by our audience. In the interim, a program from our colleagues at WWOZ has been airing and we are grateful for their assistance to keep the music playing. 

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An international collective of electronic music DJs and composers is taking beats from the dance club to jungles and forests and back, all to help save nature's greatest singers. A Guide to the Birdsong of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean is a new album that samples the sounds of endangered birds and whose proceeds go directly towards efforts to save them.

Popular rapper and singer Megan Thee Stallion said on Wednesday that she had been shot during an incident that took place in the Hollywood Hills early Sunday morning.

In an Instagram post, Megan wrote: "On Sunday morning, I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me."

Even if you're not familiar with Jonathan Wilson's music, you may have heard his work before.

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A list of links to credible coronavirus resources and information

Just because you're stuck in the house doesn't mean there's nothing to do. Check out all the virtual events on the CITY event calendar you can be a part of!

World Cafe on WRUR

The premier public radio showcase for contemporary music serving up an eclectic blend that includes blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country.

David Shakes knows what change looks like, and sounds like, and feels like. He finds it in writers such as James Baldwin, whose words have shadowed us as the country navigates the summer of Black Lives Matter.

Shakes is finding change in the words of Frederick Douglass, and in the narratives of slaves. And in "Emancipation Denied," a play written by a Rochester woman and brought to the stage four years ago by Shakes' North Star Players.

HomeStage: Taurus Savant

Jul 10, 2020

Taurus Savant is a singer-songwriter and producer who has a way with words and melody. He's also an advocate for the arts in Rochester. And all this, is just a small sample of his talents.

On this HomeStage, Taurus sings a song he wrote and produced titled "Hit the Ground."


After three months on hiatus, due to the COVID19 pandemic, Rejuvenation with Scott Wallace is back Friday nights at 6PM on Different Radio, WRUR and WITH. The three hour weekly program featuring R&B, soul, and funk has been a staple on Different Radio, and has been missed by our audience. In the interim, a program from our colleagues at WWOZ has been airing and we are grateful for their assistance to keep the music playing. 

How did we get to the point that singing is considered to be a dangerous act?

That's where we are, in this era of COVID-19. Last week, the nation was reopening bars, restaurants, churches, music venues. Now, more than half the states in the country are pulling back from their premature announcements that the coronavirus pandemic is over, and life may now return to normal.

HomeStage: Hanna PK

Jul 1, 2020

The fact that Hanna PK is in Rochester shows the breadth of musical talent here. While known for blues, she's a singer-songwriter in a variety of genres. With a lot of us yearning for a return to a new 'normal', Hanna PK performs “Soyo Arirang," inspired by the old Korean folk tradition called Arirang.


As far as Fred Costello can see, two good things have emerged from The Summer of 2020.

"My home studio has never looked so clean," he says. "My dog gets a lot of walks."

Otherwise, "Honestly, I'm bored. Have you ever seen that movie 'Groundhog Day'? That's what life has become. I get up the same time every morning. I'm watching the same TV shows during the day. It's like, oh my God, I'm not a man of schedule. I mean, I'm always running, between the studio and gigs, the ballpark, you know."

HomeStage: Woody Dodge

Jun 12, 2020

Like most bands during quarantine, Woody Dodge hasn't been practicing together. But, that doesn't mean they're not staying busy. The group released a new album, and has been writing new songs, including this tune they're debuting on HomeStage, "Love in the Wilderness."

Gaelen McCormick's creative soul was saved by crochet.

"It was right around the time of the Women's March in DC," she says, "and, you remember how everyone was making pussy hats? And I thought, well, that doesn't look too hard, why don't I get some yarn and watch a YouTube video. And actually, that kind of saved me for months, learning how to crochet, and learning how to be creative in a way that really felt good, but didn't have to involve sound."

John Peets/Courtesy of the artist

In 2017, Rhiannon Giddens  stopped by the World Cafe with her album, Freedom Highway.  On that record, she went straight to the darkest parts of history, speaking for those whose voices have often being silenced – from slaves, to the people of the civil rights movement, to contemporary victims of racism. We revisit that session again, on the next World Cafe.  

A couple of weeks ago, the actor Stanley Tucci went viral. He simply posted a brief video in which he demonstrates how he makes a Negroni cocktail. A double shot of gin, a shot of sweet vermouth, a shot of Campari. Shaken with ice, garnished with an orange, which he first squeezes into the glass as he advises, “Don’t let anyone see you handle it like that.”

Simple, yet elegant. Others may quibble. The late Anthony Bourdain suggested a 1:1:1 ratio on the booze, don’t bother shaking, and just drop in an orange wedge. It’s a big world; to each his own.

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