Billie Holiday performs in New York, Feb. 1947

Music News: NASA sends Mars rover off with Billie Holiday

NASA said goodbye to the Mars Opportunity rover with a poignant Billie Holiday song. Also in the news today: more fallout from the New York Times' Ryan Adams article, Ariana Grande matches Beatles chart feat, Venezuela crisis spawns dueling concerts, and the Motley Crue biopic has a first trailer.

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15 artists of color to know on the Twin Cities jazz scene

While the Twin Cities may be known for a vibrant jazz scene, it’s no secret that many of the musicians playing the music in Minnesota are white. But even though the Twin Cities jazz scene might not be as diverse as other scenes, there are many artists of color here who work hard and bring…

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CeCe Winans on 'Austin City Limits'

The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul

Monday, Feb. 18, from 8 p.m. to midnight, The Current has a very special presentation: The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul. Join recording artist and host CeCe Winans as she traces gospel's influence and how it informed artists from Elvis Presley to Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Al Green, all the way to Public Enemy, Patti LaBelle and Chance the Rapper.

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Review and photos: Sharon Van Etten goes gale-force at First Avenue

It had been months since I saw a good thunderstorm. Snow and deep freezes have swept through the Twin Cities lately, but it’s been a long time without thunder and lightning. Sharon Van Etten put an end to that stretch last night at First Avenue. She summoned angry synths, crashing cymbals, and even windchimes and…

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The Current: Music News

Music News: Peter Tork of the Monkees dies at 77

Peter Tork takes the mic with the Monkees in London, 1967.

Monkees bassist Peter Tork has died at age 77. Also in the news today: the 1975 win big at the Brits, and actor/singer Jussie Smollett is arrested in Chicago. Plus, Jade and Jay spotlight new releases from Better Oblivion Community Center, Gary Clark Jr., Sleaford Mods, and Yola.

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The Current Sessions®

Sunflower Bean perform in The Current studio

Less than a year after the release of their most recent full-length album, New York band Sunflower Bean dropped an EP, 'King of the Dudes.' The new release exudes a sense of fun. 'We ended up really experimenting with a different side of ourselves,' explains Sunflower Bean's Julia Cummings when the band stopped in for a session hosted by Mac Wilson.

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Dorothy perform in The Current studio

Dorothy perform in The Current studio

The band Dorothy's latest album, '28 Days in the Valley,' was produced by none other than Linda Perry, the extraordinary producer and songwriter (and former 4 Non Blondes frontperson) behind massive hits for artists like Pink and Christina Aguilera. Dorothy recently visited The Current for a session hosted by Jill Riley.

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Abby Jeanne performs in The Current studio

Abby Jeanne performs at The Current

A rising musician out of Milwaukee, Abby Jeanne recently released a new album, 'Music Box Dancer.' Although Jeanne is a multi-instrumentalist, she says her primary instrument is her voice -- and on hearing these soulful songs, that becomes abundantly clear. Before Abby Jeanne performs at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Jan. 30, she and her band stopped at The Current studio for a session hosted by Mark Wheat.

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Oake and Riley Features

Coffee Break: Bees!


Jill, Eric and Anna are obsessed with a story over at MPR News about the world's largest bee - spotted in Indonesia and recorded at an inch and a half long, with a tongue that's almost an inch long. So for today's 9:30 Coffee Break, what bee songs and bands do you want to hear?

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Today in Music History: David Bowie mimes before T. Rex

Elvis Presley was at No. 1 with 'Rock-A- Hula Baby / Can't Help Falling In Love'; MTV dedicated a full 22 hours broadcast to The Monkees; Andy Warhol died; The Beatles recorded "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"; and David Bowie opened for T. Rex, Today in Music History.

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