Archibald Motley's 'The Boys in the Back Room (Card Players)' (1934)

Archibald Motley, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York — ‘A virtuoso of ambivalence’

The African-American painter’s works deserve this retrospective

The Life of a Song

Bob Dylan backstage at the Manchester Free Trade Hall concert in 1966 ©Redferns
Bob Dylan’s tumbling, cascading 1965 hit was originally written as a vengeful stream of ‘vomit’ directed at an antagonist
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Ike TURNER; Ike TURNER's Kings Of Rhythm, back row l to r Jackie Brenston, Raymond Hill, Eddie jones, Fred Sample, Billy Gayles. front row l to r Jesse Knight Jr., Ike Turner, Eugene Wahsington., 1956, Collection Gilles PTtard (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)
The 1951 hit from Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats is often considered to be the first rock ’n’ roll record. But is that really the case?
Royal Swedish Opera's 'La bohème'. Photo: Emma Svensson
©Emma Svensson

La bohème, Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm — ‘A roaring success’

Puccini’s opera is given a Scandinavian setting and characters

Nigel Barrett and Jess Latowicki in 'The Body'. Photo: Richard Davenport
©Richard Davenport

The Body, Barbican (Pit), London — ‘Eccentric and eerie’

This strange, unsettling piece explores what it means to be alive

China National Peking Opera Company’s ' Farewell My Concubine'

Farewell My Concubine, Sadler’s Wells, London — ‘Eye-popping’

China National Peking Opera Company’s production is dazzling

Carson Elrod in 'Important Hats of the Twentieth Century'. Photo: Joan Marcus
©Joan Marcus

Important Hats of the Twentieth Century, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York — ‘Witty, inventive’

A curious drama powered by a metal time-travel hat

Rachel Willis-Sørenson and James Rutherford. Photo: Cory Weaver
©Cory Weaver

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco — ‘Brightly sung’

The singers in David McVicar’s staging were reassuringly excellent

Ron McCurdy performs 'The Langston Hughes Project' at the Barbican. Photo: Phil Bourne/Redferns
©Phil Bourne

London Jazz Festival, Various venues

Memorable improvisation from Keith Jarrett; plus, jazz poetry

Castor et Pollux, St John’s, Smith Square, London — ‘Colourful, vivid’

A subtle and expressive performance from the Early Opera Company

Ekio Otake in William Johnston's 'A Body in Fukushima' Photo: William Johnston
©William Johnston

Hiroshima Panels and A Body in Fukushima

A Japanese couple’s paintings and a series of photographs capture the aftermath of nuclear disaster

Jose James at Ronnie Scott's, November 2015
©Carl Hyde

London Jazz Festival: from Billie Holiday to hip-hop

Vocalist José James, bassist Eddie Gomez, saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings

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