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From "Guitar Zero" to Guitar Hero

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Friday, February 03, 2012

Today: Self-described “Guitar Zero,” psychologist Gary Marcus, discusses his new book about finding musical talent in his 40s. And: Guitar hero Vernon Reid talks about updating his WNYC-commissioned work, “Artificial Afrika.”

Gary Marcus' Unnatural Talent

You have to have an innate gift to be really musical. Right? Not so fast, says cognitive psychologist Gary Marcus. His new book, "Guitar Zero," looks at how anyone – even a 40-year-old cognitive psychologist with no apparent musical talent – can learn to make music.

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Vernon Reid's Artificial Afrika

Like Gary Marcus, Vernon Reid also plays guitar. But he does have a musical gift – since bursting upon the rock scene with the band Living Colour and founding the Black Rock Coalition, he’s become one of the living legends of the electric guitar. He joins us along with hip hop artist Akim Funk Buddha to talk about a new version of his WNYC-commissioned multimedia work, “Artificial Afrika.”

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Gig Alert: Jherek Bischoff

Seattle composer-performer Jherek Bischoff opens the 2nd Annual Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall on Saturday night. Download his quirky instrumental "Secret of the Machines."