Latest Stories

ipad reading
Audio

Are we losing the ability to read difficult books? Cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf says we need to develop a "bi-literate reading brain" so that we can switch back and forth between the deep reading of print and the skimming of electronic texts.

Length: 
9:17
Ross Gay
Articles

In a dark world, poet Ross Gay recommends "stacking delights." Share what you love, he says — not what you hate.

Length: 
12:46
trumpet
Audio

Political repression and censorship forced a generation of Black jazz musicians out of South Africa and into clubs in Europe and the US. But jazz critic Gwen Ansell says some musicians remained, and they left a legacy of unforgettable music.

Length: 
9:33
Video

During their visit to Addis Ababa, Anne and Steve caught a show put on by a household name in Ethiopia — the boundary-crossing, border-hopping jazz virtuoso Meklit Hadero.

Length: 
16:27
listening
Articles

Valmont Layne grew up under apartheid in South Africa. Music, along with protest movements, radicalized him. He tells Anne and Steve that South African jazz became a musical current that’s traveled across oceans, spreading ideas about freedom.

Length: 
9:24
man playing guitar
Articles

Famous for his stories of people with brain disorders, Oliver Sacks wrote a lot about neurological mysteries, like the way a song can activate parts of the brain that language can’t even touch.

Length: 
09:36
Oakwood residents and singers
Articles

"To the Best of Our Knowledge" producer Shannon Henry Kleiber shares a story about her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, and the power of music.

Length: 
14:50
cello player
Audio

After a 40 year career as a psychologist, Francine Toder decided to start playing the cello. The experience convinced her that music – and in fact all the arts – may be the best way to stimulate the brain and improve well-being late in life.

Length: 
09:11
man reviewing photograph
Articles

Anne Basting has found asking people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia open-ended queries, rather than pointed yes or no questions that require remembering something specific, can create powerful connections.

Length: 
17:17
bars
Dangerous Ideas

"Just Mercy" author Bryan Stevenson believes in creating incentives to reduce the country's prison population.

Length: 
2:34