Originally published in our Tennessee Music Issue  There is a remarkable story tucked halfway through Bessie, Chris Albertson’s biography of the blues singer Bessie Smith, in which Smith approaches a circle of robed North Carolina Klansmen, places one hand on her hip,… by Amanda Petrusich | Nov, 2020

Playlists curated by your favorite musicians and writers. by Brittany Howard, Kiese Laymon, Rosanne Cash, Kelsey Waldon, & others | Nov, 2020

An introduction to the Music Issue’s Icons Section Beyond my eye, beyond the death and decay of matters left behind and unsettled, the music ringing up above my head told a thousand stories of bounty and belonging, and it glimmered… by Danielle A. Jackson | Nov, 2020

Originally published in our 2007 Music Issue  In a remarkable 1963 appearance with Juilliard professor and friend, Hall Overton, at the New School in New York, Monk demonstrated his technique of “bending” or “curving” notes on the piano, the most… by Sam Stephenson | Nov, 2020

Originally published in our North Carolina Music Issue.  I wanted to start with the wild weeds and the creaking wood on the front porch, walking up to Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon, North Carolina. I wanted to start where… by Tiana Clark | Nov, 2020

An essay from the Greatest Hits Music Issue The first songs that I listened to by Talibah Safiya had this soft, sweet, plaintive quality. There is something else underneath if you listen a bit closer: a little loneliness. The knowledge… by Jamey Hatley | Nov, 2020

An introduction to the Greatest Hits Music Issue How does the South inform my music? How do I describe the sound that your bare feet make when they pat the cool, packed red dust under them? How do I describe… by Brittany Howard | Oct, 2020

 A Letter from the Editor, Food Issue. Quiet as it is kept, and widely as it has become forgotten, those who do the cooking and the farming know that those who only eat what is cooked for them and served… by Alice Randall | Mar, 2021

Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright

Alex Steyermark’s feature films, Prey for Rock & Roll (2003), One Last Thing…(2006), Losers Take All (2013) and documentary The 78 Project Movie (2014) have been acclaimed at dozens of U.S. and International film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, SXSW and BFI London, and are distributed throughout the world. He is a creator, producer and the director of the ongoing critically acclaimed music documentary web series, The 78 Project, which was an official selection at the inaugural Cannes Cross Media Corner and the British Film Institute's Power to the Pixel Cross Media Forum. He is an adjunct professor in the graduate film program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he is the founder of the ASCAP/Columbia Film Scoring Workshop.

Lavinia Jones Wright is a journalist, actor, filmmaker, and musician. With director Alex Steyermark, she traveled America recording musicians on a 1930s-era 78 rpm disc-cutting machine coproducing, writing for, and appearing in The 78 Project Movie and The 78 Project web series. She currently appears on Showtime’s The Affair. A Philadelphia native, she resides in Brooklyn.

November 21, 2016

The story Bassekou Kouyaté wants to tell is simply this: it was cotton that brought the blues from Mali to America, and it was the ngoni—the West African lute that is a predecessor to the banjo—that brought the songs. Kouyaté would like to make a film about this story—one told, for a change, from an African perspective.