Okapi

Productions

April 26, 2021

Sam Amidon mines the ‘intensity & strangeness’ of tradition to make music uniquely his own

Sam Amidon is a singer-songwriter on the fiddle, banjo, and guitar, but he’s mostly known for recasting traditional American folk songs into vibrant contemporary soundscapes. He spoke to NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Tom Casciato about his Vermont upbringing and how he pairs the sounds of traditional folk music to those of free jazz and more.

April 14, 2021

Non-unanimous Juries and the future of those convicted by them

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1972 that non-unanimous juries—those that convict a defendant with a split decision—are a violation of the 6th Amendment. But a loophole, until recently, allowed two states to maintain the practice. Special Correspondent Tom Casciato looks at the roots of split-jury verdicts and what faces those convicted by them. This segment is part of PBS NewsHour Weekend’s series “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.”

January 4, 2021

Rufus Wainwright on PBS NewsHour Weekend


Rufus joined Tom Casciato via Zoom from L.A. to discus his Audible special “Road Trip Elegies” and more, including how his mother convinced him when he was a kid that he would one day play Annie onstage.

November 19, 2020

Cindy Blackman Santana joins Tom Casciato on PBS NewsHour Weekend

Cindy Blackman Santana joined Tom on Zoom from her home in Hawaii to discuss her musical journey: from being a kid entranced by greats like Buddy Rich and Tony Williams, to playing in her 20s with Art Blakey, to a stint with Lenny Kravits before joining Santana, and on and on – all while being one of the most badass drummers of her generation.


 

November 15, 2020

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram Joins Tom Casciato On PBS NewsHour

We spoke via Zoom, me at home, Kingfish at the Delta Blues Museum in his hometown of Clarksdale, MS, where he learned to play guitar as a kid. We talked about about his guitar style and influences, as well as how his award-winning career was given a jumpstart by the legendary Buddy Guy. He also played and sang a couple tunes from his award-winning debut album, “Kingfish.” Enjoy.

 

May 6, 2020

Singer/Songwriter John Sebastian joins Tom Casciato to discuss Levon Helm’s legacy on PBS NewsHour Weekend

While at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY, to interview Courtney Barnett and film her show there, Tom Casciato met up with singer/songwriter John Sebastian of Lovin’ Spoonful fame to discuss how the spirit of the great drummer for The Band still infuses the spirit of the place.

April 26, 2020

Courtney Barnett: Sending Out “Empathy Signals”

The acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter completed her first U.S. solo tour earlier this year.  Tom Casciato spoke with Barnett at the historic Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. They discussed not only her music, but also making up words, writing with compassion, and how in general we all oughta know better by now.

January 16, 2020

Tom Casciato with vocalist Concha Buika on PBS

Since her debut solo album in 2005, singer-songwriter Buika has built her career by defying musical genres. The Latin Grammy-winning vocalist infuses flamenco, jazz, soul, blues and Spanish folk into her music, and sings in multiple languages, including her native Spanish. Tom Casciato spoke with Buika about her musical roots and why, for her, every venue she sings in is a “big stage.”

November 11, 2019

Tom Casciato with Graham Nash on PBS NewsHour Weekend

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Graham Nash has hits aplenty spanning his nearly six-decade career. But the 77-year-old singer-songwriter recently chose to perform a special run of shows featuring his lesser-known first two solo albums in their entirety, which together describe a crucial chapter in his personal and artistic life. Tom Casciato recently spoke to Nash to learn more.

September 24, 2019

Sean Carroll: The universe is a ‘tiny sliver’ of all there is

The “many worlds” theory in quantum mechanics suggests that new universes — and new versions of you — are created thousands of times per second. Bestselling author and theoretical physicist Sean Carroll discusses the concept and his new book, “Something Deeply Hidden,” with NewsHour Weekend’s Tom Casciato.