About 20 bands and performers will venture to Rosine, Ky., this week for the third annual Bill Monroe Memorial Day Weekend Bluegrass Festival. The four-day event, which begins tomorrow (May 23), will bring together generations of bluegrass artists, including the original members of Monroe's backing band -- the Blue Grass Boys.
Enduring vocalist Neil Diamond has confirmed a fall North American tour, beginning Sept. 5 in New Orleans and wrapping Oct. 4 in Vancouver. Beforehand, Diamond will spend the month of July touring in the U.K., beginning with a July 5-6 stand in Dublin. Tickets for the North American shows go on sale June 3 via Ticketmaster; an Internet presale begins Tuesday (May 28).
Scratch -- a member of Philadelphia-based hip-hop band the Roots -- takes his love of the art of beatboxing, or "vocal percussion," as it is often called, to the next level with his solo debut, "The Embodiment of Instrumentation," due June 4 via Ropeadope/Atlantic.
Billboard Century Award Winner James Taylor was presented with the ASCAP Founder's Award at the 19th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards, held last night (May 20) at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. The song of the year award went to Dido's "Thank You," written by the artist and published by Warner/Chappell.
The surviving original members of the Grateful Dead -- guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann -- will reunite as the Other Ones for an Aug. 3-4 weekend of concerts. Dubbed Terrapin Station: A Grateful Dead Family Reunion, the event at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wis., is planned as a celebration of the music, art, and culture of the legendary jam band.
Genre-bending U.K. outfit the Prodigy has set a July 2 North American release date for its new single, "Baby's Got a Temper." The track is already causing controversy in the band's homeland, having been heavily edited for airplay by the BBC last week thanks to its multiple references to the "date rape drug" Rohypnol. "Baby's Got a Temper" will be included on the group's upcoming XL/Maverick album, tentatively titled "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned."
Wolfgang Schneiderhan, one of the 20th century's best-known violinists, died in a Vienna hospital, officials of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra said today (May 21). He was 86. Clemens Hellsberg, the chairman of the orchestra, gave no cause of death; the Austria Press Agency said Schneiderhan died Saturday.
Bush guitarist Nigel Pulsford, who had been on leave from the U.K. rock outfit he co-founded with frontman Gavin Rossdale in 1992, appears to be leaving the band for good. Former Helmet guitarist Chris Traynor, who had been subbing for Pulsford since last year as he awaited the February birth of his son, looks set to permanently fill the post. "We have had no arguments, no falling out, no loss of respect -- just perhaps a common goal," Rossdale writes on Bush's official Web site.
ECM has invited its roster of artists to personally select the tracklists for individual retrospectives as part of the ":rarum" series, which bows today (May 21) with anthologies from Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Bill Frisell, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Terje Rypdal, and Bobo Stenson.