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From Mali To The Twin Cities

Defining a griot’s role in West African society can be a challenge, as the title doesn’t translate easily to European-based culture.

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Hear from local teachers about the mounting pressures they face, and meet former educators who decided to leave the profession.

Billy Branch
Melodie Strowbridge

Billy Branch Shaped By Blues, Classic Rock

Billy Branch is a Chicago bluesman through and through. But he says many bands we now call classic rock had as much an influence on his sound as did the blues legends that became his mentors.

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Music Stories

Defining a griot’s role in West African society can be a challenge, as the title doesn’t translate easily to European-based culture.

Billy Branch
Melodie Strowbridge

Billy Branch is a Chicago bluesman through and through. But he says many bands we now call classic rock had as much an influence on his sound as did the blues legends that became his mentors.

Illinois Wesleyan University jazz studies director Glenn Wilson says rare concert footage is a major reason the Thelonious Monk documentary is "a must watch."

More Stories

Defining a griot’s role in West African society can be a challenge, as the title doesn’t translate easily to European-based culture.

Billy Branch
Melodie Strowbridge

Billy Branch is a Chicago bluesman through and through. But he says many bands we now call classic rock had as much an influence on his sound as did the blues legends that became his mentors.

Seven years ago, Florida Gov. Rick Scott killed a federally funded project to build a high-speed train between Tampa and Orlando.

Scott now supports the idea of a similar train route — fueled by private investment instead. And the governor and his wife have invested millions of dollars with a company that stands to profit off such a project, as first reported by the Miami Herald.

Children getting onto a school bus
Staff / WGLT

Editor's note: This is Part 4 of GLT’s Skipping School, a special series about the teacher shortage facing Illinois schools. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Aretha Franklin is dead and we still, 50 years after she made her artistic and commercial breakthrough, can scarcely comprehend the still-shocking power of her singing.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The fight over whether the Bloomington Election Commission should be dissolved turned a bit more cordial Friday as those on opposite sides of the issue agreed in court to quickly swap evidence in hopes of meeting a fast-approaching deadline.

The official death toll from flooding in the Indian state of Kerala spiked to at least 324 people on Friday, and the office of Kerala's chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, said "the rains continue to remain strong."

More than 223,000 people are now being housed in some 1,500 relief camps, Vijayan's office says. Nearly the entire state in southern India is under a red alert.

"Torrential rains have been battering Kerala for the past nine days, causing the worst floods to hit the coastal state in a century," Sushmita Pathak reports from Mumbai for NPR's Newscast unit.

Emojis Louise

Aug 17, 2018

In this final round, every answer is also an emoji, according to the Unicode Consortium. *sunglasses emoji*

Heard on Awkwafina And Sasha Velour: New York City Queens.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sasha Velour is a winner. In June of 2017, the drag queen took home the crown on season nine of RuPaul's Drag Race. More than a year later, she's still using her queendom to spread the word about drag, and challenge perceptions about the art form.

On stage at the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York, Velour was dressed in yards of shiny silver fabric adorned with hundreds of huge, multicolored gems. She described the look to NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg as "a crown as a dress," or "what Queen Nosferatu wears to her daughter's lesbian summer wedding."

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