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Musicians of the Titanic

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

99 years ago today the massive steamship Titanic hit an iceberg…leading to one of history’s most infamous disasters at sea. Today: Guest host Elliott Forrest of WQXR discusses the story of the musicians who played on while the ship went down. 

Plus: "Titanic" siren Celine Dion emerges as a savior for the floundering Las Vegas economy. And: violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Orli Shaham perform a new piece by Israeli-born composer Avner Dorman.

Hosted by:

Elliott Forrest

"Nearer My God, to Thee"

Today marks the 99th anniversary of the night that the Titanic, a seemingly unsinkable ship, hit an iceberg and began its descent to the depths of the sea. On board that ship were eight hired musicians who, as many eyewitnesses later detailed, kept playing until the very end. We'll talk to Steve Turner about his new book, The Band That Played On -- and attempt to get to the bottom of the many myths surrounding the story of the dedicated and courageous Titanic performers.

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Las Vegas Will Go On

Despite the fact that Celine Dion’s hit “My Heart Will Go On,” causes (according to one critic) "eye bleeding,” the French songstress is an undisputed musical superstar. But is she a savior? L.A. Times reporter Scott Gold joins us to discuss the singer’s heralded return to Caesars Palace -- and the seriously needed cash that her run is expected to bring to the Las Vegas region.

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In Studio: Gil Shaham and Orli Shaham

A new piece by Israeli-born composer Avner Dorman incorporates musical themes from Jewish traditions scattered across the globe. Grammy award winning violinist Gil Shaham and his acclaimed pianist sister Orli Shaham join us to preview sections of the composition.


Playlist: Titanic Musicians + Celine Dion + Gil & Orli Shaham

Click through to see today's Soundcheck playlist!


The Blue Cranes

Gig Alert: Blue Cranes

The Blue Cranes is a Portland quintet with a truly unconventional approach to improvised music that puts other third-streamers to shame. Download "Ritchie Bros" here.