Arts & Culture

New York's famed Metropolitan Opera announced on Wednesday that the house will remain closed until September 2021.

In a press release, the Met said that it had made its decision to cancel the rest of the 2020-21 season based on the advice of "health officials who advise the Met and Lincoln Center," and keeping in mind the hundreds of performers and staff members required for rehearsals and performances as well as its audiences.

About 35 years ago, violinist Lara St. John — then just 15 years old — went with two friends to the dean of the school she attended, Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, to say that her private teacher, the famed violin pedagogue Jascha Brodsky, had sexually abused her on multiple occasions.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Bruce Springsteen says his new album might not have existed except for a fan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LETTER TO YOU")

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: (Singing) ...My letter to you.

The dawn of the '70s were heady times for keyboardist Doug Carn and drummer Michael Carvin. Both men had recently relocated to Los Angeles from points south; Carn came from Florida, Carvin from Houston. Carn was getting gigs with well-known bands like Nat Adderly and Earth, Wind And Fire, while Carvin was getting work in television bands as a sideman. Most central to the pair, though, was the demo the two had recorded along with Carn's wife, vocalist Jean Carn, that they thought marked the future of jazz. Inspired by three legendary African-Americans – Dr.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Almost 200,000 people in this country have died of COVID-19 or complications related to the coronavirus. One of them was Bruce Williamson Jr.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

YouTube

This Friday at 3 p.m.

The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) represents about 7,000 performing artists across the U.S. For more than 80 years, it has been the union for chorus singers, soloists, ballet dancers, production staff and other performers at many of the country's leading arts institutions. Signatory companies include the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Washington National Opera.

Never before has Israel had such a high need for those schooled in the rarefied art of shofar blowing.

The wail of the biblical shofar — made from the horn of a ram or a certain antelope species — is a hallmark of prayer gatherings on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which begins this weekend.

But because of the coronavirus pandemic, Israel is mandating smaller, socially distanced prayer gatherings — so the country needs many more shofar blowers than in years past.

Fifty years ago today, a genre-defining album was released. Black Sabbath's Paranoid came out in Europe on Sept. 18, 1970, and its title track reached No. 4 on the UK charts shortly after. The band's first, self-titled release had just come out months earlier, but it was Paranoid that helped turn the world on to heavy metal.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAVIS SCOTT'S "SICKO MODE")

Stanley Crouch, the lauded and fiery jazz critic, has died. According to an announcement by his wife, Gloria Nixon-Crouch, Stanley Crouch died at the Calvary Hospital in New York on Wednesday, following nearly a decade of serious health issues.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. A few weeks ago, 10-year-old Nandi Bushell challenged Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl to a drum battle. Grohl conceded. Now it's round two. He kicked it off with a song he wrote just for Nandi.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. Germans are reviving the perfect musical instrument for social distancing - alphorns.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALPHORNS PLAYING)

Updated at 11:49 a.m. ET

Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the lead singer and songwriter of Toots and the Maytals and one of reggae's foundational figures, died Friday in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 77.

His death was announced on the band's Facebook and Twitter accounts. "It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel 'Toots' Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica," read the statement.

In downtown Namie, a small coastal city in eastern Fukushima prefecture, there was a chorus of construction noise this spring. Truck after truck rolled through, bringing workers to string up power lines and rip down deserted houses, rebuild structures and repave roads.

But at night, all was quiet — except in one small corner of a tiny strip mall. The faint sounds of music, laughter and maybe a hit of tambourine floated on the wind, traveling down empty sidewalks and deserted streets, leading to a karaoke bar in full swing.

After breaking through in 2019 and collaborating with Beyonce in early 2020, Megan Thee Stallion has been riding an even bigger wave of popularity this summer due to the song she's featured in with superstar Cardi B. "WAP" shot to No. 1 on iTunes' songs chart, in spite of controversy over its sexually explicit lyrics. But the rapper is also involved in another recent controversy, which has raised important questions about Black women and violence.

Two years ago, Amanda Jones was at a luncheon for the NAACP Image Awards. She was working for a television studio at the time, and wanted to change directions. When she spotted writer/producer Lena Waithe, she walked up to her and told her she wanted to be a full-time film and TV composer.

"I was like, 'Hey, I'm getting ready to take the leap,' " Jones says. "And she was like, 'Oh, cool. Here's my email — let's keep in touch.' "

Ronald "Khalis" Bell, a co-founder, songwriter, saxophonist, vocalist and producer of the chart-topping group Kool & The Gang, died Wednesday morning at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was 68.

Bell's death was confirmed by a Universal Music publicist, though no cause was provided.

Hal Willner was known as "the man with the golden Rolodex," a music producer who could call Lou Reed, Sting or Marianne Faithful and persuade them on a moment's notice to participate in any number of offbeat projects: tribute albums and concerts of Kurt Weill songs, Disney music and sea chanteys. Willner, who was also a music coordinator for Saturday Night Live, died from COVID-19 in April while working on his final project, a tribute to the songwriting of T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan.

While it's still unknown when musicians and touring artists will again be able to perform in venues, those based abroad and hoping to tour the U.S. will face increased costs to do so legally.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The singer-songwriter George Harrison was known as the quiet member of The Beatles. It was an image that he sometimes promoted in interviews.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DICK CAVETT SHOW")

Gary Peacock, a versatile bassist who collaborated with some of the 20th century's most notable jazz musicians, has died. He was 85.

His family confirmed in a statement to NPR that Peacock died peacefully Friday, Sept. 4, at his home in upstate New York. No cause of death was provided.

Over a career that spanned seven decades, he played on recordings alongside Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, among many others.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All right, let's talk about a young musician who is an absolute beast on the drums - Nandi Bushell, who is 10.

(SOUNDBITE OF NIRVANA SONG, "IN BLOOM")

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. Sometimes you're watching a parade and you see, you know, like, a band on a float. Well, this is the story of an orchestra on a pickup truck. Over the weekend, some New Yorkers got a chance to see one.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Awards shows often take place amid distractions, from natural disasters to civil unrest to the aftermath of a high-profile death. Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards had to coexist with all three, not to mention a worldwide pandemic that made it impossible — and, in New York City, illegal — to assemble a live audience.

How did it go? Here are 10 takeaways.

Six months ago, Scott Hammontree's job consisted of long nights spent at his music venue, The Intersection, where, as operating partner, he's been helping to break artists like Eric Church for nearly two decades. But, almost every day since Apr. 24, Hammontree has woken up, picked up the phone or logged on to a video conference app and started calling Washington, advocating for federal relief that could save homegrown businesses like his.

Riley Gale, the throat-shredded vocalist for the Texas-based metal band Power Trip, died Monday of unspecified causes. He was 34.

His death was announced in a Facebook post by his bandmates:

Pages