Top Picks: Art on the big screen, PBS's raw look at Syria, and more

Josh Groban sings at Lincoln Center, Beat Making Lab follows musicians and educators as they teach music to students around the world, and more top picks.

Courtesy of
PBS Digital Studios
Beat Making Lab
“American Masters” special, "Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character"

Worldly beat box

PBS Digital Studios is now hosting an ongoing series, Beat Making Lab, focused on world music. The online series follows two musicians and educators as they travel the world, providing tips and tools to underserved communities, helping them make music of their own. The newest episode debuts “Cho Cho Cho,” a song created during a visit to Goma, Congo. Watch online at

Art on the silver screen

If you’d rather sit and munch popcorn instead of walking through a gallery to view art, then head on over to your local movie theater for three art events this year. Exhibition: Great Art on Screen begins April 11 with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Édouard Manet show now at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. Hosted by art historian Tim Marlow, “Manet: Portraying Life” includes interviews and background information that bring this French artist and his work to life. The next two showings will focus on Edvard Munch (June 27) and Johannes Vermeer (Oct. 10). Find a participating theater at

Flying machines

A German chocolate company created futuristic postcards in 1900 of what it imagined the world would look like in 2000. The images are amusing and oddly prescient, showing innovations that are fairly true to life today, such as moving walkways, snow-creating machines, and commonplace air travel. Check them out at

Josh Groban Live

Multitalented singer-songwriter-actor Josh Groban takes to the stage in a “Live From Lincoln Center” broadcast, Josh Groban: All That Echoes, hosted by Audra McDonald on April 12 at 9 p.m. (check local listings). Groban, famous for his pop-favorite golden voice, performs music from his most recent album, “All That Echoes,” his third to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s top album charts.

Inside Syria

On April 9, “Frontline” (PBS) airs Syria Behind the Lines, a raw and immediate look at life as it is unfolding in the Syrian civil war. Correspondent Olly Lambert is one of few Western journalists to spend extended time in the midst of the conflict, documenting the harsh conditions on both the regime and rebel sides of the war. He looks at life in the Orontes Valley, which reveals the desperation and determination of both sides, divided by a river. This program is a must see for anyone wanting to understand the stakes and struggles of strife that is reshaping the Middle East. Airs at 10 p.m.

Classic Carol

If classic comediennes make you laugh, then you need to tune in to PBS April 9 when it devotes two hours to the great Carol Burnett. First, watch a reprise of the 90-minute “American Masters” special Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character. Then, wrap up with the 30-minute Carol Burnett and the Funny Ladies of Television. The laugh-athon evening is all in honor of the iconic host and actress as she releases a new memoir about her relationship with her daughter, “Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story.”

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