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Circus Music: Then and Now

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Friday, January 20, 2012

This week, the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo will award the Clown d'Or (“Golden Clown”) and other awards for circus performers. We look at the rich history of carnival music and John Schaefer will breathe fire. (Note: Fire-breathing not confirmed at press time.) Plus, singer and songwriter Liam Finn takes a break from a residency at Brooklyn's Rock Shop to play live in our studio.

Big Top Tunes

Circuses from around the world are flocking to the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo this week – where performers compete for the prestigious Clown d'Or (“Golden Clown”) award. Today: We check in with Spectacle Magazine editor Ernest Albrecht, who is in Monaco covering the event – and we look at the rich history of carnival music with historian Janet Davis, who teaches at University of Texas at Austin.

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Liam Finn: In Studio

New Zealand-born singer-songwriter Liam Finn has set up shop this month at Brooklyn’s Rock Shop. He returns to Soundcheck to explain the name of a residency called “Murmuration” – and he plays live in our studio. 


Downton Abbey: To Watch Or Not To Watch

John Schaefer wrestles with the viewer suggestion that he should start watching Downton Abbey.

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Gig Alert: Chucho Valdés

Afro-Cuban jazz master Chucho Valdés performs with Spanish chanteuse Buika at Carnegie Hall on Saturday night. Download his stirring piece "Yansá."