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Artist Profiles

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Artist Profiles - Bassist Esperanza Spalding

Hailed as a prodigy on the acoustic double bass within months of first touching the instrument as a 15-year-old, Esperanza Spalding has emerged as a fine jazz bassist, but has also distinguished herself playing blues, funk, hip-hop, pop fusion, and Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles as well.

Born in Portland, OR on October 18 1984, Spalding was not well served by the public school system and soon dropped out of classes to be home-schooled. Returning to the public school system at 15...

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Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, HOST:

RJ Young wasn't always into firearms. Quite the opposite.

"Because I always knew that guns were something that could get me killed," he says in an interview. "They weren't really around to help me. They were always, you know, pointed at me or somebody who looked like me."

Young is a writer and sports commentator, especially on Oklahoma Sooners football. He's a black man.

Before the Emmy and Grammy awards, before hosting the Academy Awards and before earning status as one of the best stand-up comics of his generation, Chris Rock had nearly fallen out of big-time show business.

Back in the early 1990s, Rock was known mostly a protege of Eddie Murphy who got fired from Saturday Night Live, worked as a stand-up comic and popped up in movies like New Jack City and CB4. Another brother who almost made it.

Then came Bring the Pain.

Vijay Gupta's life work has been to make music accessible to all.

That passion caught the attention of others and earlier this month the Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist was awarded a 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship — also known as the genius grant.

A good romance is an easy read, but a tough emotional journey for the characters. We want to watch them struggle with their deepest fears and beliefs on their way to true love and total acceptance. These three romance novels will keep you turning the pages as the characters earn their hard won happily-ever-afters.

In 2014, Cohen surprised the Manhattan audience of a closed listening session of Popular Problems, his newest album at the time, by popping in not to sing, but simply say hello and look at everyone like they were aliens. At the time, I remember thinking that everything seemed to be a Very Serious Lark to Leonard.

Two years later, Cohen died. But just before that, he had put the finishing touches on a final book, The Flame, which was released on Oct. 2. It comes with an audio version of the works inside it, read by stars of film and literature.

What if — instead of compulsively reaching for your phone — you could reach for a book? A kind of comfort object that could keep you company all day long.

That's exactly what illustrator Jonny Sun says he wanted to do in his new collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda (yeah, that Lin-Manuel Miranda).

The rollout plan for the new TV series The Romanoffs is unusual for Amazon — just as the drama series itself is an unusual experiment for the show's creator, Matthew Weiner.

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