Music | WABE 90.1 FM


ASO Music Director Robert Spano
Angela Morris / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra begins its 2016-2017 season this week, starting off with John Adams, Jean Sibelius and Sergei Rachmaninov.

This is the first of several John Adams pieces the Symphony will perform, as a tribute to his 70th birthday and many years of collaboration between the composer and the orchestra.

Courtesy of Matthew Kaminski

Matthew Kaminski’s largest audience is at Turner Field. He is the organist for the Braves games, but he is also three albums deep into his jazz organ career. This week, he releases the Matthew Kaminski Quartet’s album “Live at Churchill Grounds,” which also features renowned vocalist Kimberly Gordon.

It can be a risky move to record live instead of in the studio, but Kaminski said it’s that riskiness and performativity that makes it a more interesting recording.

Robb D. Cohen / Invision/Associated Press

Music will be absolutely taking over Midtown this weekend, and for a look at the acts descending on festival crowds and tiny clubs alike, contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for "Mara's Music Mix."

Matt Sayles / Invision/Associated Press

Music contributor Mara Davis attends dozens of shows every year and she is always consuming new music, looking for the next big thing. So when she told "City Lights" that Gaby Moreno's recent performance in Atlanta had her in tears, we knew there was something special about this artist.

Bill Phelps

Renowned violin virtuoso Joshua Bell has joined his collaborator and friend Steven Isserlis, the renowned cello virtuoso, on a new recording. The two have been playing together for more than 30 years, and the same mutual admiration they feel for each other is also shared with the composers featured on the album: Johannes Brahms and his mentor Robert Schumann.

“It’s really about pieces that I happen to love tremendously that I’ve always wanted to record,” Bell said.

AP Photo/Bob Galbraith

The groundbreaking sci-fi property "Star Trek" recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and amid the tricorders and red-shirted ensigns, there is a wealth of great music to be found.

The first episode of "Star Trek" aired on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966. While this original series ran for three seasons, it has flourished with spin-off television series and thirteen feature films. The "Star Trek" music universe is no less impressive, with some of Hollywood’s most noted composers bringing us five decades of brilliant music for this highly successful franchise.


It’s the 400th death year of playwright William Shakespeare. Organizations around Atlanta are celebrating with unique performances celebrating the Bard. Emory University’s Carlos Museum will also host Shakespeare’s first folio in November.

Music contributor Dr. Scott Stewart says, though, the Bard’s influence isn’t just limited to the theatrical stage. Shakespeare’s work has also inspired musicians and composers.

In this Sunday, May 17, 2015 file photo, Kanye West performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File / Associated Press

Is Atlanta about to get a complete Dungeon Family reunion?

Contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss speculate on whether Andre 3000 will make his rumored appearance at the ONE Music Festival and discuss other highlights of the weekend's concert calendar on "Mara's Music Mix."

Chris Sullivan

Atlanta is getting very heavy in September, and we're not talking about weight. Each month, we check in on the local independent music scene for a preview of some of the new albums coming from our homegrown artists, and for that, producer Myke Johns sat down with Guillermo Castro, editor of Immersive Atlanta.

Owen Sweeney / Invision/AP

This holiday weekend's packed schedule of festivals and events will have an eclectic evening soundtrack, featuring everything from German electronic pioneers to a cult internet cartoon character. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the weekend's concert calendar on Mara's Music Mix.

Wahid Khoshravani

Here’s a mental exercise: Try speaking in verse, out loud, off the top of your head. Be sure to rhyme, maintain a rhythm and be clever.

Sound easy?

Now do that to a beat and that is what is popularly known as freestyle. One group in Atlanta has dedicated itself to the art form not only to keep its members lyrically on their toes, but as an educational tool.

Charles Sykes / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend, Atlanta is playing host to both some 80s junior prom throwbacks and a pair of hip-hop super stars.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for the look at the wide spectrum of artists coming to town.

John Davisson / Invision/AP

This weekend, local musicians are banding together to pay tribute to a classic of Atlanta R&B, and a breakout 18-year-old rapper takes Center Stage. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at concert offerings.

Robert Mahony

Music festivals in Atlanta are dominated by the big, established names — Music Midtown, Shaky Knees — and rely on corporate sponsorships and ticket sales to sustain themselves. But one smaller independent festival is celebrating its fourth year and has managed to stick to its guiding principles: Always Free, Always All-Ages, Always Accessible. We’re talking about Jortsfest.

Katie Darby/Invision/AP

Rapper Rich Homie Quan and reggae singer Shaggy will headline the second annual Passport Experience Festival in Atlanta.

Grammy-winning singer Akon returns as host of the daylong concert held at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday. The festival will feature more than 20 performers representing 10 different countries including Nigeria and Virgin Islands.

Rich Fury / Invision/AP

This weekend, we have everything from hair metal to country stars coming out of exile heading to Atlanta. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at who's coming back on Mara's Music Mix.

Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP, File

The Queen of Funk and the current kings of Top 40 are descending on Atlanta this weekend. WABE contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss to hit the highlights of this weekend's concert calendar with Mara's Music Mix.

The Beatles pose for photographers during a press conference in New York on Monday, August 23, 1966. The group wound up their current U.S. tour with a concert in New York. L-R: Ringo Starr; Paul McCartney; John Lennon; and George Harrison.
Associated Press

John Lennon, in one of his last songs, said: "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

On Aug. 5, 1966, the Beatles defined the life experience – the good, the bad and the indifferent – with the release of their album “Revolver.”

At this point in the Beatles' career – just over two years past their earth-altering performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" – the band was in a state of transition.

Alex Schelldorf

Atlanta has a very active and ever-changing independent music scene, which is seeing even more flux as longtime venue the Masquerade closes down its North Avenue home this month. Immersive Atlanta's Guillermo Castro points out that as this is on the minds of the city's musicians, and with the summer festival season still going, many promoters have begun building up smaller, more diverse and inclusive music festivals such as Jortsfest and The Big Thing.

Nicholast Broussard / Wikimedia

This week in Atlanta concerts, we have an all-female supergroup, 90s rockers making a comeback, a golden-voiced singer-songwriter and more.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at "Mara's Music Mix."

John Quigley

In 1968, there was Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Then, in the late 1980s, we saw the Traveling Wilburys, made up of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.

These are supergroups, short-lived musical dream teams. And today, there is case/lang/veirs, the moniker for Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs and the name of their collaborative album.

Lang, a multi-Grammy winner, suggested the supergroup several years ago, and the trio spent two and a half years writing together between touring and their own musical projects.

Robb Cohen/RobbsPhotos/Invision/AP

Garbage, Gucci and one giant clown are just some of what's going on in Atlanta's concert venue's this weekend. WABE contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the calendar.

Courtesy of Kip Winger

The band Winger and their frontman, Kip Winger, are best known for their 1988 hit “Seventeen.” But the heavy metal frontman has in recent years traded in the stacks of amplifiers for an acoustic guitar, and has turned a childhood love of ballet into a second career as a composer.

His album, "Conversations With Nijinsky," which includes music written for the San Francisco Ballet, was released this summer and quickly went to No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Albums chart.

Martin Hieslmair /

“Under Construction” is a sign you will see on Atlanta roads all summer long.  It’s also the marker you could affix to any teenager’s head.

Powerful new technologies are enabling brain researchers, healthcare professionals and educators to investigate the connections among brain function, development and behavior in adolescents. One of the interesting threads emerging from this research is the power of music as a therapeutic and pedagogical tool. 

Jeff Daly/Invision/AP

The 1990s are returning to Atlanta this weekend, or at least to its concert venues. WABE contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss discuss upcoming shows, including Drivin & Cryin's two-night stint in Midtown, the Indigo Girls at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and a packed lineup of vintage hip-hop acts taking over Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in this week's Mara's Music Mix.

Alphonso Whitfield

This month, the albums coming out of  Atlanta's independent music scene show both a willingness to collaborate and try new things as well as a keen sense of when to stick to what works.

Immersive Atlanta editor Guillermo Castro sits down with Myke Johns to discuss some of the summer's new music.

Katie Darby / Invision/AP

Atlanta is an international hub this weekend, both at the airport and in our music venues. The city is welcoming artists from South Korea and New Zealand. 

Contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss are joining up to bring us those and many other concert listings for this week's Mara's Music Mix.

Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press

Movement, nature and simplicity all factor into Amy Leventhal's latest piece of music.

Leventhal was a violist in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 2009. Now she spends her time composing.

The piece, called “Impressions of Japan,” was inspired by a trip with her son.

“We had this wonderful time together, and everywhere we went, the cherry trees were blooming,” said Leventhal. “It would be if you took a hundred dogwoods and put them in an area ... It was one of the most stunning sights I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Armando Franca / Associated Press

This Independence Day weekend, Atlanta plays host to an Eagle, a jam band celebration and a Brit-Pop survivor gone solo.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at the upcoming concert calendar with "Mara's Music Mix."

Greg Allen/Invision/AP

This weekend, Atlanta clubs, concerts halls and stadiums will ring with the sounds of '80s goth rock, a hip-hop hit-maker and indie rock duos a-plenty.

Contributor Mara Davis joins WABE host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the upcoming concert calendar.