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Sunday, September 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Isthmus Jazz Festival 2012 is a primer in the art of improvisation

This year's Isthmus Jazz Festival offers a chance to see one of jazz's unsung heroines. Mary Stallings was a top vocalist in the 1960s but walked away from music in the 1970s for a career in clothing design. Now she's back, sounding like the great jazz singer who somehow slipped through the cracks. >More
 Mary Stallings left the spotlight, and Dizzy Gillespie brought her back

Truth be told, Mary Stallings is just a little bit tired of being called "the best jazz vocalist you've never heard of." "It's flattering in a way," she says, "but I hope I'm not so much a secret anymore, especially after the last two albums." >More
 Musicians worldwide seek out Todd Cambio's replica guitars

Why did Todd Cambio become a guitar builder? "I was impatient, I was broke, and I was a carpenter," he says. "I guess necessity is the mother of invention." Or, in Cambio's case, the necessity of reinvention. In his north-side shop, Cambio quietly cranks out museum-quality, hand-built six- and 12-string guitars that replicate those played by the American acoustic blues masters of the 1920s and 1930s. >More
 Punk, metal and surf bands keep Madison rock steady

It's a convenient fib that the hard, crude side of rock 'n' roll disappears every so often, only to be rescued in time for a slate of rock-magazine photo shoots. But there are always plenty of bands, somewhere, focusing on the gratifying metal riff, the primal rockabilly beat, the simple chord pattern. Still, every so often, a few bands give us extra reason to coalesce around the basics. Meet four Madison acts whose work in punk, metal and surf rock is doing just that. >More
 Ancora and Rhapsodie ensembles join forces for an exuberant Mendelssohn octet

In its closing program for this season, the Ancora Quartet has devised a remarkably diversified and satisfying program -- combining a compact rarity with an expansive crowd-pleaser, each demanding in its own way. >More
 New songs help one-man band Trin Tran play a bigger, better set

Before his opening set for San Francisco rocker Ty Segall last Wednesday at the High Noon Saloon, it might not have occurred to anyone that Trin Tran works really well in a larger setting. >More
 Summer in Madison means the tunes are in open air: A 2012 concert preview

In a Madison spring, the only things popping up faster than road-construction projects are opportunities to hear music outside. Well, mostly to drink beer outside, but the music is still pretty crucial. And just like the newly jagged plates of every major street, it's quite a busy and disjointed mix -- and therein lies the charm. >More
 Kickstarter lets customers fund artists in advance

If nothing else, the online fundraising service Kickstarter is perfectly named. Before electronic ignition, a kick start was the only way to fire up that Honda 175cc. Have you ever tried that? A high hop and a hard heel stroke. Sublime. Sometimes it took more than one. The feel of the engine bursting to life between your legs was worth it. It was the same kind of body buzz artists describe having after they make a cash goal with Kickstarter. >More
 Early music group Eliza's Toyes turns to pioneers of the German Baroque

As we speak of The Three B's (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms), so too we hear of The Three S's -- or "The Three Sch's," which is the name of the latest program by the enterprising Madison early-music vocal group Eliza's Toyes. It was performed at Gates of Heaven Saturday night. >More
 Madison Symphony Orchestra concludes its season with a Gershwin feast

The proclamation of George Gershwin as "America's greatest composer" in the promotional material may or may not in itself attract Madison Symphony Orchestra patrons, but an all-Gershwin program certainly does. The house was virtually full for the Friday evening performance in Overture Hall, and the audience was exuberantly enthusiastic. >More
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