MTPR

John Floridis

Host and Producer

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time from household names like B.B. King, Alison Krauss and Lyle Lovett, to Montana musicians such as Eden Atwood, Darko Butarac and Tom Catmull. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.

Ways to Connect

Complete this sentence: "Béla Fleck is to the banjo as ______ is to the _______." Louis Armstrong to the trumpet?  Jimi Hendrix to the guitar? Clara Rockmore to the theremin? Among North American banjo players, only Earl Scruggs is as legendary (to diehard fans of bluegrass) for pioneering new techniques on this instrument.  From his early tutelage with Tony Trischka and nine years with the New Grass Revival to inventions within Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and with masters of other genres - as well as his duo with partner Abigail Washburn - Fleck's reinvention of the banjo goes beyond virtuosity. He's a banjo visionary.

Darko Butorac
Courtesy Darko Butorac

Missoula Symphony Orchestra director Darko Butorac was praised by the Westdeutsche Zeitung for his “exceptional combination of passion, elegance and well‐timed pacing” and has established himself as a conductor in demand with orchestras both in Europe and the Americas. Darko stopped by the studios of Montana Public Radio in the fall of 2018 to discuss his final season in Missoula and what lies ahead in his career.

Tom Chargin

Composer, musical improviser and pianist Wayne Horvitz's body of work sounds as eclectic as a short list of his ensembles: The Royal Room Collective; Sweeter Than The Day; The Gravitas Quartet; Electronic Circus; The President; Pigpen; Zony Mash. His collaborators include video artists, filmmakers, choreographers, performance artists, actors, poets and novelists - when he's not busy playing sideman to Carla Bley, Bill Frisell, Marty Ehrlich or John Zorn.

Edgar Winter at Gulfstream Parkin 1998.
Flickr user, Carl Lender. CC-BY-2.0

The 1970s hits "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride" may have been your gateway to keyboardist, guitarist, saxophonist, percussionist, singer, songwriter and record producer Edgar Winter. But Winter is no two-hit wonder; his music is all over "Netherworld," "Air America," "Dazed and Confused," "My Cousin Vinny," "Wayne's World 2" and "The Simpsons." He's toured in Ringo Starr's band and played with his band on late-night tv talk shows. Winter even popped up in a Miller Lite commercial, which may be the real proof that his work isn't synonymous with just rock & roll, but American culture.

If you've attended a Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale concert since 2007, you've watched energetic music director Darko Butorac on the podium, gesturing the classical masterworks to life. 2019 marks the year when he trims his directing duties down from three orchestras to two, in Asheville and Tallahassee. Butorac talks with host John Floridis about his final MSO season, his favorite pieces to conduct, his top five "desert island" composers, and parallels between conducting music and shooting hoops.

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