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Hosted by Terry Gross, Fresh Air from WHYY is the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. One of public radio's most popular programs, Fresh Air features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Updated: 20 min 30 sec ago

Marta Sánchez Creates A Truly International Sound With 'Danza Imposible'

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 2:00pm

You might think that Sánchez's Spanish-French-Cuban-Canadian-Israeli quintet would go haywire with so many rhythmic accents in play, but critic Kevin Whitehead says the composer pulls it all together.

Novelist John Le Carré Reflects On His Own 'Legacy' Of Spying

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 2:00pm

The 85-year-old novelist worked for MI5 and MI6 early in his career. "I felt I had to suppress my humanity," he says of those years. Originally broadcast Sept. 5, 2017.

Patton Oswalt: Falling In Love Again Was Like 'Getting Hit By Lightning Twice'

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 12:37pm

After the sudden death of his first wife in April 2016, Oswalt felt his life slipping away. But over the past year, things took a turn. Originally broadcast Nov. 27, 2017.

'Florida Project' Tops David Edelstein's List Of The Year's Best Films

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 1:13pm

In a year dominated by stories of sexual harassment and abuse, Fresh Air's movie critic says his favorite films featured voices that aren't heard from enough.

Lin-Manuel Miranda On Disney, Mixtapes And Why He Won't Try To Top 'Hamilton'

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 1:13pm

Miranda says he doesn't feel the need to duplicate the success of Hamilton. "If you think in terms of topping, you're in the wrong business," he says. Originally broadcast Jan. 3, 2017.

'Face Your Fear' Is The Second Album From Singer-Songwriter Curtis Harding

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 7:44am

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the Face Your Fear from Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Curtis Harding

Ranky Tanky Builds On The Music And Culture Of Slave Descendants

Mon, 12/25/2017 - 12:16pm

Three members of Ranky Tanky perform songs from their debut album. The band's name and music derive from the tradition of slave descendants known as the Gullah. Originally broadcast Dec. 12, 2017.

Fresh Air Weekend: NPR's Robert Siegel; 2017 In Music; 'Quest'

Sat, 12/23/2017 - 8:00am

The NPR host reflects on what it was like to "grow up on the air." Critic Ken Tucker presents his favorite music of '17. Jonathan Olshefski's new film centers on Christopher Rainey and his family.

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Foundation)

Remembering Jazz Singer Keely Smith

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 12:48pm

Smith, who died Saturday, was discovered by bandleader Louis Prima as a teenager. She later married Prima, and the two became a popular Las Vegas lounge act. Originally broadcast in 2000.

Trombonist Roswell Rudd Packs A Lot Of Wisdom Into Every Note Of 'Embrace'

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 12:48pm

Rudd started out playing dixieland before graduating to free jazz. Now he's collaborating with singer Fay Victor on his latest album. Critic Kevin Whitehead says Embrace has a "valedictory air."

'Phantom Thread' Is Deeply Weird And Marvelously Entertaining

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 12:48pm

Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a British women's fashion designer in the 1950s. Critic David Edelstein says the film is an amusing portrait of artistic and marital anguish.

NPR's Robert Siegel Reflects On What It Was Like To 'Grow Up On The Air'

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 12:39pm

The longtime host of All Things Considered will retire in January. NPR had only been on the air for five years when Siegel started in 1976. "So we really could make it up as we went along," he says.

'Better Call Saul' Tops Critic David Bianculli's Picks For The Best TV Of 2017

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 12:39pm

Fresh Air's TV critic spends a lot of time watching television — in part because there are so many great shows to watch. Godless, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Fargo are also among his favorites.

A Filmmaker's 'Quest' For A Quiet Family Portrait Is Pierced By Unforeseen Trauma

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:41pm

Jonathan Olshefski spent 10 years filming Christopher Rainey and his family, who run a recording studio in a working-class African-American section of North Philadelphia. Then their daughter was shot.

'The Post' Is A Crackling Newsroom Thriller With Electrifying Relevance

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:41pm

Steven Spielberg's new drama revisits The Washington Post's 1971 decision to publish the Pentagon Papers in defiance of the Nixon administration. Justin Chang calls it "terrifically entertaining."

A Look Back At 4 Jazz Luminaries Who Died In 2017

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:39pm

Kevin Whitehead remembers alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe, pianist Geri Allen, guitarist John Abercrombie and singer Jon Hendricks. Each "helped shape jazz after the upheavals of the 1960s," he says.

A Writer Remembers The Quake That Rocked Mexico City, And Brought Its People Together

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:39pm

Dagoberto Gilb was fulfilling a dream to be in Mexico City for an extended stay when an earthquake struck on Sept. 19, 2017. Amidst the destruction, he says, there was a feeling of collective resolve.

How Battles Over Sex, Gender And Sexual Orientation 'Fractured American Politics'

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:39pm

Moral Combat author R. Marie Griffith says the fight for women's suffrage and legal birth control in the early 20th century helped create a political divide in the U.S. that still exists today.

In A Year Of Heartbreak And Reckoning, 12 Films Remind Us Of Cinema's Greatness

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 1:19pm

Film critic Justin Chang picks his top 12 movies of the year, pairing them thematically, from Call Me By Your Name and The Florida Project, to War For The Planet of the Apes and Dunkirk.

'American Seafood' Author Recommends Putting 'Underloved' Fish On the Plate

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 1:19pm

Chef and sustainable seafood advocate Barton Seaver works to get people excited about fish. He says there are lots of species that are not endangered that we should be eating, like Hake.

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