NPR Music

Trombonist and composer Curtis Fuller, a pivotal figure on his instrument since the '50s and a beloved mentor, passed away May 8. He was 88. His death was confirmed by his daughter, Mary Fuller, and by the Jazz Foundation of America.

"His sound was massive, striking and immediate, a waveform that was calibrated to overload the senses and saturate the magnetic tape that captured it," says trombonist and composer Jacob Garchik. "In our era of obsession with harmony and mixed meters, Curtis Fuller's legacy reminds us of the importance of sound."

When you listen to a song by Tune-Yards, it can be like listening to a beautiful, but abstract painting. There are layers and layers of sound, complex rhythms and melodies, and lots to interpret in the band's often socially conscious lyrics.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF CICADAS BUZZING)

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

A benefit concert leveraged major star power in a Saturday broadcast to address the latest obstacles to resolving the pandemic: vaccine inequity and vaccine hesitancy.

During Global Citizen's "Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World," politicians, celebrities and musicians pleaded with the public to get vaccinated and discouraged world leaders from stockpiling vaccine supplies, as the world faces stark gaps in access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Natalie Bergman was already contending with grief months before the pandemic covered the world in it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LAST FAREWELL")

Carl Hancock Rux is a poet who knows something about baptism by water and trial by fire. He's someone who keeps on keeping on. You can hear it in "The Baptism," a poem he wrote in tribute to two great civil rights activists, John Lewis and C.T. Vivian. In this year of reckoning about race in America, Carl's poem acknowledges and accepts the bottomless depth of our legacy of keeping on:

Cinco de Mayo has a history that few outside of the Mexican-American community know – and there are conflicting opinions about whether or not to even celebrate the day. As we consider the passionate conversations about the holiday's historical significance, we also will take any opportunity to, once again, celebrate the cultural ties between our two countries. We couldn't think of a better way to do that than with a weeklong Mexican Regional Fiesta!

So let's highlight the events of the week:

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Updated on May 7, 2021.

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, we're trying to gather as many voices as we can to celebrate.

We want to know:

- What Mexican Regional means to you/your family?

- Who/What is your favorite Mexican Regional song/artist?

Fill out the form below and you might be featured on this week's episode or an upcoming digital story!

This form was closed on May 7, 2021.

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