Suzanne Vega reflects on influence of American composers

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By the time Suzanne Vega's first album came out in 1985 she had survived nearly a decade of rejection. Even the record company that eventually signed Vega -- A&M -- dismissed her twice before finally giving her a deal.

Today, Vega is one of the most respected, and sucessful female singer/songwriters in the business. Her latest CD, RetroSpective, compiles 21 of the best songs from her 20-year career. Vega performs Sunday evening, May 11, at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.

Vega is taking a closer look at other influential American musicians as host of Minnesota Public Radio's American Mavericks Series. The 13-part program features the life stories and music of the tradition-breaking composers that helped shape American classical music.

Vega told MPR's All Things Considered host Lorna Benson it didn't take her long to say yes to hosting the series.

(Listen to her interview with Lorna by clicking on the audio link in the right column.)