Michael J. Jordan

Laura Scheriau

In this inaugural edition of The Beat, a series of interviews with musicians, I speak with Matt Wong, a 17-year-old virtuoso guitar player and teacher from New Jersey.

To get a sense of his character and musical tastes, I asked Matt to open his digital music library, shuffle the tunes, and tell me the first three songs that appear. The results:  “Jean Pierre” by Miles Davis, “What You Want,” from the musical Legally Blonde, and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”

And on that note...

Alison Kinney

"Paper Music: A Ciné Concert" is the latest musical-visual mash-up between South African composer and sound artist Philip Miller and his compatriot, the visual artist William Kentridge. In this wide-ranging discussion with Miller, Alison Kinney unearths the processes and politics underpinning his extraordinary work.

Alison Kinney

The transgressive films and performances of German artist Christoph Schlingensief approach the bleeding edge of decency. Were his efforts to raise awareness around his casus bellis effective in stimulating conversation, or did his message get lost in the delivery? Alison Kinney reviews Schlingensief's oeuvre and his response to one of his most prominent targets: Richard Wagner, a man whose characteras much as his musicprovoked the provocateur. 

Jermaine Fletcher

One of the main themes of our film The Curators of Hip Hop is independence. In our documentary film The Curators Volume 1: A Story of Independence, one sees five very different emcees at different stages of their career over the course of four years. The characters all speak for themselves and discuss how their personal lives have influenced and developed their artistic styles. Parallel with the story of the artists runs the story of “The Curators of Hip Hop,” the movement and brand.

Bushra Rehman

Corona is a poetic on-the-road adventure comedy told by me, Razia Mirza, a Pakistani woman from Corona, Queens. When I was ex-communicated from my Muslim community, I hit the road thinking I could live like the Beats.


I grew up in the most far-flung neighborhood in Manhattan, roughly 10 1/2 miles north of where I now stand. The streets of Inwood—Vermilyea Avenue, Thayer Street, Seaman Avenue—are completely unknown to Downtowners. When I grew up there, Inwood was a quiet, largely Irish, working-class neighborhood. My best friend Bobby Marks and I would walk down to the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 178th St. to browse the bookstore.

The Mantle

It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world, and at peace with myself.

Here we share a series of songs dedicated to the legacy and revolutionary spirit of Nelson Mandela. His moral courage remains a testament to the good that humanity can accomplish, if only we find the fortitude to do so. We'll miss you, Madiba. We hope you are singing and dancing ... wherever you are.

Arie Amaya-Akkermans

[Mashrou3 Leila, Istanbul, 2013]

Arie Amaya-Akkermans

[Sandmoon at the Fete de la Musique, Beirut, 2013. Courtesy of Karim Sakr]