Essence News: A Prince Preview?

Prince isn't on tour, but that hasn't stopped him from playing one-off shows like the 2 1/2-hour jam he played last Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Backed by a 20-piece version of the New Power Generation that included horns, he played material from the breadth of his career, favoring deep cuts over hits until he got to the encore.

Voodoo Preview: A New Voodoo?

In recent years, Voodoo has at times felt like the festival wants to be something for everybody. This year’s lineup covers less ground. Headliners Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure have the broad appeal of classic rock (which is what they are in 2013), and Voodoo remains committed to a wide swath of New Orleans music, including Dr. John, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Glen David Andrews, Coyotes, The Revivalists, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, G-Eazy, and Unicorn Fukr.

Pentatonix Make A Cappella a Visual Thing

For me, The Sing-Off was the television singing competition. American Idol asked me to believe that these contestants would be, well, American idols, which they weren't, and while I love that moment of personal triumph in The Voice where someone sings well enough to make four stars turn around to hear more, there's no evidence that these voices' fame will significantly outlast the season.

Four strings, two octaves, all heart

“Music for me is all about bringing joy to people,” says Jake Shimabukuro, about coming to New Orleans this week. Shimabukuro, a virtuoso ukulele musician and composer, has been here before. He played the first Jazz Fest after Hurricane Katrina, and experienced first hand how “it re-affirmed the power of music, and how much we all need it in the healing process, to inspire and encourage us to step back up.” Shimabukuro has spent most of his life fostering a profound relationship with his ukelele and let it guide him to where it's most needed.

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