Classical 91.5

Need to Know

Rochester mezzo-soprano Jessica Ann Best spoke with WXXI's Helene Biandudi-Hofer on Need To Know about Understanding Music's Ability to Connect and Engage.  Meet Best, hear about how her career developed, her studies with Pat Alexander (mother of Renee Fleming), and how she crosses genres, from opera to jazz to musical theater.  Best says, it's about the colors of the voice and using the right tools for the right genre.

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been immersed in music since her childhood. While she says her primary focus in life is on her career as a musician, it was her rise to fame after winning the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk contest when she also took on a new role - that of a disability advocate and public speaker.  During a recent concert in Rochester at Nazareth College, Lea told Need to Know that the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in the arts has given her a new stage to share a powerful message.