Music

“Music is a reflection of people's lives. It comes out of their experience,” says the folk musician Alice Gerrard, who will perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m.

Why Women's Music Embraces the Voices of Past Generations

New show examining the deep connections women make with musical tradition kicks off with a concert featuring folk star Alice Gerrard

Austin Butler as Elvis in the new biopic

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis'

The new film dramatizes the life and legend of Elvis Presley from the perspective of his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker

The "Gifts We Carry: Sounds of Migration and Memory” concert will combine musicians from several backgrounds and cultures, including Salar Nader on the tabla and Homayoun Sakhi, a master on the Afghan stringed instrument the rubab. 

After Long Absence, the Folklife Festival Returns to the National Mall

The much-loved summer event, featuring the United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism programs, opens with a concert hosted by Yo-Yo Ma

Located alongside New Jersey’s southernmost point, Cape May is a stunning Victorian shore community that once played a role in guiding Black enslaved laborers to freedom.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2022

From the alleged birthplace of Paul Bunyan to the original gateway to Yellowstone, these towns are buzzing with activity

On May 20, the artist KAWS, also known as Brian Donnelly (above at Rockefeller Center in August 2021), received from the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden an award for "his contributions to art and popular culture."

Is a KAWS Celeb Sighting Cause for Speculation?

The ex-street artist turned art-world sensation receives a warm reception and an award from the Hirshhorn

Scientists are turning scientific date, like DNA sequences, into sound.

Why Scientists Are Turning Molecules Into Music

Converting DNA sequences and particle vibrations into notes allows researchers to recognize unseen patterns and create songs for outreach

Kalush Orchestra smashed records in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Good News

A Ukrainian Band Just Won the World's Most Popular Song Competition

Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” is a tribute to the frontman’s mother—and the group’s embattled motherland

This watercolor portrayed what became the third-act curtain of the musical On the Town.

Broadway Artistry Wasn't Just in the Stars—It Lives on Through Production Design

A new exhibition pays homage to the art of mid-century costumes, sets and more

Shania Twain performs during the Zurich Film Festival in September 2021. 

What Do Pop Stars Have That One-Hit Wonders Don't

A new study finds that artists who had creative portfolios before an initial hit were more likely to continue creating hits

Originally founded in 1889, the Moulin Rouge has been a Parisian landmark for more than 130 years. 

Cultural Travel

The Windmill That Gave Paris' Moulin Rouge Its Name Is Now an Airbnb—And Is Booking for Just $1

A lavish room atop the iconic performance venue will welcome travelers for three nights in June

The violin has been called the ‘da Vinci’ for some time, but is called ‘da Vinci, Ex-Seidel’ since Toscha Seidel parted ways with it.

This 308-Year-Old Violin Could Become the Most Expensive Ever Sold

The “da Vinci, ex-Seidel” instrument's estimated worth is $20 Million

Nick Bergh handles a damaged wax cylinder, which the Endpoint Machine will be able to read without risk of further damage.

Good News

A Library's Mysterious Trove of Wax Cylinders Will Soon Break Its Century-Long Silence

The recordings may include mundane conversations—and some of opera’s most legendary singers

A Long Island family sits in a "Kidde Kokoon" underground bomb shelter in 1955.

Digging Up the History of the Nuclear Fallout Shelter

For 75 years, images of bunker life have reflected the shifting optimism, anxieties and cynicism of the Atomic Age

The FORMAT festival will be held on 250 acres of open green land just a few miles outside of Bentonville, Arkansas.

Walmart Heirs Launch New Music Festival in Bid to Make Arkansas an Art Destination

FORMAT will bring big-name musicians, contemporary artists to Bentonville

George Harrison's childhood home near Liverpool, England, is now available for short-term rentals and tours.

George Harrison's Childhood Home—an Early Beatles Rehearsal Venue—Is Now a Vacation Rental

The guitarist lived in the three-bedroom Liverpool home as a child and teenager

Singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn was applauded—and sometimes banned—for her daring songs about women's lives. 

Country Legend Loretta Lynn Braved Controversy to Tell the Truth About Women's Experiences

On her 90th birthday, the self-taught singer-songwriter is donating personal items to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Residents of Billionaire's Row's newest building enjoy stunning views of Central Park.

The World's Skinniest Skyscraper Has a Storied Musical Past

At 1,428 feet tall and just 60 feet wide, Steinway Tower is so slender that its top floors may sway in the wind

Left, luthier Reuben Forsland gazes out his studio window. Right, a close-up of the “Legacy” guitar, custom-built by Forsland, commissioned by a son to honor his father.   

Each Guitar Reuben Forsland Makes Tells a Story

The Canadian luthier builds custom instruments from unique materials that deliver impeccable sound

Left, the Chiquibul Forest in Belize, near the spot where the fabled Tree once grew. Right, a custom guitar crafted from the Tree’s distinctive mahogany.

The Legend of the Music Tree

Exotic lumber salvaged from a remote forest in Belize is the world’s most coveted tonewood

A western-style performance outfit worn by Patsy Cline and sewed by her mother. The suit features record-shaped patches stitched with the titles of some of Cline's records.


 

Women Who Shaped History

When Patsy Cline Broke Through as a Country Music Phenom

The recording star sported a homemade suit as spectacular as her voice

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