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Playlist: Emma Geddes's Portfolio

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The Voice of the Casals Cello

From David Schulman | 59:00

Time machine? Try this cello: The stories swirling around Pablo Casals's instrument — now almost 300 years old — are full of time-warp coincidence, and breathtaking music. Casals evaded Fascist warplanes with this cello to record Dvorak's Cello Concerto. At the height of Camelot, Casals played the cello at the Kennedy White House. Vivid new interviews from the cellist's widow, Marta Casals Istomin, and the younger cellist playing the instrument today, Amit Peled.

Amit_5_small The stories that swirl around Pablo Casals's cello — now almost 300-years-old — ring with strange coincidence, doubletake cameos, and breathtaking music.

During the Spanish Civil War, Casals and his cello evaded Hitler's warplanes to record the Dvorak cello concerto. Today, the instrument is having a revival in the hands of Amit Peled — a cellist born 100 years after Casals.

Long before Pete Seeger or Bono, Pablo Casals used the power of music and celebrity to advocate for freedom and peace. In 1939, the Fascists won the Spanish Civil War. And for decades, Casals refused  to perform with his cello in any country that recognized  Generalissimo Francisco Franco's Fascist dictatorship. But in 1961, John F. Kennedy issued a request that made the 84-year-old Casals reconsider his decades-long vow.Casals' widow, 60 years younger than he, recounts tales of the historic White House concert as if it had happened yesterday.

Eighty-six at the time of that concert on Nov. 13, 1961, Casals played remarkably that evening. Yet his most compelling recordings came decades earlier, as he re-introduced the Bach Cello Suites to the world, and made a legendary early recording of the signature Dvorak Cello Concerto.

“The Voice of the Casals Cello” is a music-rich, evergreen special, with musical selections woven around personal storytelling. We hear vivid memories from Marta Casals Istomin (named a "living legend" by the Library of Congress for her work at The Kennedy Center and at the Manhattan School of Music) and from Amit Peled, who has his own remarkable connections to Casals. Interviewed in his studio at the Peabody Conservatory, Peled punctuates his storytelling with demonstrations played on the Casals Cello. And we hear selections from a special concert Peled gave at Peabody, which replicated a program Casals had given there exactly a century earlier.

This special is ideal for any station that airs classical music, or a hybrid of music and talk programming, and will work well as a holiday special.  In a season of political change, “The Voice of the Casals Cello” has deeper resonance, reconnecting us to a time of optimism once embodied by the Kennedy White House.

Produced and hosted by David Schulman, the Third Coast and PRX award-winning creator of NPR's long-running "Musicians in their own words" series and of 2015's "TALOA" series, distributed by the WFMT Radio Network.

JULIA CHILD Presents "Lunch with M.F.K. Fisher"

From Leet and Litwin | Part of the HUNGRY: The Literary Julia Child series | 28:23

A gift from the Julia Child Foundation. We hear Julia introducing her late friend, M.F.K. Fisher, who takes us out for a staggeringly gluttonous meal at a French roadside inn.


An unknown side of Julia Child is that she was a reader. The series, HUNGRY, will include delicious readings from stories by Charles Dickens, Willa Cather, John Steinbeck, Cormack McCarthy, Edna O'Brien, and others. All the programs are, in Julia's words, "about eating, a little cooking, and most of all, people." In this program she introduces us to her late friend, MFK Fisher, describing her house in a meadow with cows poking their noses to the window -- and giving a wonderfully funny, spontaneous character sketch of the author's personality, including her "wicked" streak. The story you'll hear centers on a meal at a French roadside inn. It was written in 1937, recorded in 1985 -- the only recording ever made of MFK Fisher reading a story.  

Fugitive Waves (Series)

Produced by The Kitchen Sisters

Most recent piece in this series:

Spotlight on Black-Owned Pet Businesses

From The Kitchen Sisters | Part of the Fugitive Waves series | 36:38


Inspired by a blackboard sign on the street in Davia’s neighborhood announcing “Spotlight on Black Entrepreneurs,” we enter the creative and growing world of Black-Owned Pet Businesses.

Lick You Silly dog treats, Trill Paws enamel ID tags, The Dog Father of Harlem's Doggie Day Spa, gorgeous rainbow beaded dog dollars from The Kenya CollectionSir Dogwood luxurious modern dog-wear.

“The dog training world—it’s a white dominated space. It’s kind of male dominated, too,” says Taylor Barconey of Smart Bitch Dog Training in New Orleans“On our profile on Instagram we have Black Lives Matter, it’s been there for a year now. Before 2020, we would have not felt comfortable putting that up at risk of losing our business because people would have blacklisted us. But now, we feel like we can finally breathe and be open about things that really matter to us—speaking out against racism and not feeling shy about it.”

Chaz Olajide of Sir Dogwood wasn’t finding communities of pet owners or pet businesses owned by people of color. “I did a deep dive into the statistics —I just wanted to see if maybe I was an outlier, like maybe the reason why I’m not seeing more diversity in these companies is because maybe the demand isn’t out there. Actually, you know, that’s not really the case.”

Brian Taylor, owner of Harlem’s Doggy Day Care lost both his uncle and long time mentor to Covid. During the pandemic his business slumped by 80%. So with some help from his pet parents and supporters he decided to hit the road with The Pup Relief Tour offering grooming services to anyone going through rough times and in need. “All together we had about 63 African American dog groomers that went on tour with us across the country and we groomed over 829 dogs.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Black-owned pet business entrepreneurs. There are tons more across America and you can support their businesses and services. House Dogge in LA — artisanal dog tees, hoodies, toys — committed to helping unwanted, neglected and abused dogs. Dr. Kwane Stewart, an African American veterinarian who walks skid row in downtown LA tending the unhoused dogs of unhoused people. Fresh Paws Grooming in Brooklyn. The animal advocates at Iconic Paws, a customized pet portrait gallery with flare. Pardo Paws in Georgia, an all natural company with a lotion bar in the shape of a dog paw for dogs with dry noses and paws made of cocoa butter, olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, calendula. Precious Paws Dog Grooming in Bloomfield, New Jersey. 

Little L’s Pet Bakery and Boutique in Brooklyn. Scotch and Tea — stylish and durable dog accessories. Bark and Tumble, a luxury and contemporary brand of hand made dog garments in Britain. Pets in Mind a Holistic Pet Supply Store in Coconut Creek, Florida. Beaux & Paws in Newark, Pet Plate — an online black owned pet food delivery service. Duke the Groomer in Chicago, Ava’s Pet Palace started by Ava Dorsey, age 13. 
Most all of these businesses are giving back in some way to their communities working with at-risk youth, taking them in with mentorships and internships that hopefully lead to jobs, and donating generously to shelters and rescues and neighborhood food banks.