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Good Vibrations from 'Lalo'

Vibraphonist Lalo
Vibraphonist Lalo

Lalo -- the artist also known as Laura Friedman -- has injected some rock vitality into the vibraphone, an instrument most often associated with straight-ahead jazz. NPR's Liane Hansen recently spoke with Lalo about her music and her new self-titled CD.

Lalo taught herself to play as a teenager in Savannah, Ga., after she came upon a lonely set of vibes sitting unused in a storage closet at her high school. The school's music director, Robin Beauchamp, encouraged her and with the help of some instructional videos, she slowly figured out how to coax music from the instrument.

She met and began working with Mike Mainieri, one of the great players of the modern era, and began performing in festivals and clubs in the southeastern United States. She enrolled in Berklee College of Music and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

In 1999 she premiered an original composition with the Savannah Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist and then began touring colleges and universities on the East Coast.

Lalo is part of the "Women Rock the Road Tour," a group that performs in association with the American Cancer Society to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

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Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.