Category Archives: events

Catch Awesome ChamberSoul Cellist, Shana Tucker & Women’s Work at L.A.’s World Stage This Weekend!

*LOS ANGELES, CA (July 14, 2017) – ChamberSoul cellist/singer-songwriter Shana Tucker returns to The World Stage in historic Leimert Park Village on Friday, July 21, 2017 with her newest project, “Women’s Work: A SisterCentric Musical Collective”. The ensemble will also feature Steph Johnson (guitar/vocals), Shirazette Tinnin (drums), Melonie Grinnell (piano), and Rob Thorsen (bass).

Women’s Work empowers audiences and communities through lyrical storytelling. “We seek to share stories about life, love and the human condition…in an empowering way, from a woman’s perspective, but also specifically as female artists thriving in this male-dominated music industry,” says Tucker of the anticipated program. “Each musician contributes a unique voice to the program of original compositions and arrangements with influences spanning jazz, soul, R&B, and acoustic pop genres.”

Tucker first appeared at The World Stage in October 2016 with jazz saxophonist/composer, Bennie Maupin and his ensemble. Her debut CD, “SHiNE” was released in 2015 (Jazz Urbane Records).Touted by JazzTimes Magazine as a jazz talent “…whose imprint and vitality has already been quite visible…” Shana’s style and sound has been described as a blend of Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman, with an efficient complexity reminiscent of Bill Withers. Continue reading

Paul Robeson Theatre Festival Presents ‘Harlem to Central Avenue’ (A Salute to the Harlem Renaissance)

*The Paul Robeson Theatre Festival will celebrate the Harlem Renaissance and the impact that it ultimately had on Black culture and the arts in Los Angeles.

Beginning in 1917, the Harlem Renaissance was the flowering of Black performing, literary and visual arts that signaled the birth of the New Negro Movement, an attempt by African Americans in the arts to define their own identity free of historic stereotypes. 

In the decades that followed, the New Negro Movement made its way west from Harlem to California, and Los Angeles’ Central Avenue became the center of African-American culture in this city.

 The Robey Theatre Company, founded by Ben Guillory and Danny Glover, has presented award-winning African-American theatre in Los Angeles for over two decades. Its Paul Robeson Theatre Festival will take place at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 in Downtown’s Historic Core.

In the words of novelist and poet Langston Hughes…

“We younger artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.”

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Workshops for Educators, Indie Films, and More at Upcoming ‘Long Beach Indie’ Festival

Long Beach, CA — Named one of FilmFreeway’s Top 100 best reviewed film festivals, Long Beach Indie International Film, Media & Music Festival returns to Long Beach Wed., Aug. 30 – Sun., Sept. 3, delivering five days of screenings, plus workshops for educators, students, entertainment industry professionals, and more.

 Founded by Dr. Daniel Walker in 2014, the festival celebrates diverse content and creators.

“I created Long Beach Indie because I wanted to bring true diversity to every facet of the media and entertainment ecosystem. “It’s about more than just names on the closing credits and recognition during awards season. It’s about economic empowerment, self definition, and using the power of media and entertainment to shape the perceptions that individuals and systems have of women and people of color. “Dr. Daniel Walker, Founder, Long Beach Indie

 The event produced and hosted by Perfect Works and BLU Educational Foundation fosters international dialogue between scholars and the entertainment industry, and bridges the gap between urban communities and careers in arts, entertainment, fashion and digital media via distinct conference and expo clusters. Continue reading

‘America’s Birthday’ Also the Deadliest Holiday Weekend of The Year (Please Be Careful)

*OK, the “weekend” may be officially over, but tomorrow is the Fourth of July proper and a record number of Americans are expected to be on the roads. This can spell disaster. As a matter-of-fact, it HAS spelled disaster according to Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; who says the “Fourth of July is the worst day of the year for fatal car crashes.”

40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk driving over the Fourth of July weekend,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

I witnessed at least two lunatics today; who sped past me like bats out of hell — weaving in and out of traffic cutting through cars to change lanes.

According to Reuters, the reason cars are expected on the country’s roads in overwhelming numbers this year is due to a growing economy and relatively low gasoline prices, brought on by surplus supplies of gasoline worldwide — causing headaches for refiners according to the nation’s largest motorists’ advocacy group. Continue reading

I Escaped 9/11 By A Day — What’s Your Near Fatal Story (Everybody’s Got At Least One!)

*In my line of work I am constantly reminded of my own mortality. Whether its hearing others share stories about something that happened to a loved one, or news articles written or forwarded by me. I don’t take my life for granted. Still, being human I find myself complaining.

…a lot.

It is at those times that I am sometimes conscious enough to step outside of my self indulgence and not only recall the many “close calls” I’ve had in life; incidents where I was in serious danger and could’ve lost my life along with the life of a loved one.

And these are only the incidents I am aware of. Do you know how many times you were protected against dangers you didn’t even know about? I shudder to think. But I do recall the following two. Continue reading

El Capitan in Hollywood Presents ‘The Lion King Sing-Along!’

*Remember how much fun you had the first time you saw ‘The Lion King?’ Now imagine being in a beautiful theatre, seeing it on the big screen again, and being able to sing each song out loud with others in the audience. Wow! The time has come and the place will be Hollywood’s historic El Capitan Theatre August 4-20th.

But tickets are on sale now.

Ed Collins, General Manager at The El Capitan Theatre said, “Disney created an instant classic with the original release of ‘The Lion King’ in 1994 and its popularity has never wavered. We are thrilled to offer a whole new way to enjoy this beloved Disney film at The El Capitan Theatre. Who can resist singing along to such unforgettable songs as “Hakuna Matata,” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life”?  “THE LION KING SING-ALONG” will also include a special live appearance by Timon on The El Capitan Theatre stage before every show. There is simply no better way to experience the laughter, music and majesty of this Disney masterpiece.” Continue reading

Tracy Nicole Chapman is Sister Rosetta Tharpe in ‘Shout Sister Shout’ at Pasadena Playhouse

Tracy Nicole Chapman rehearses in ‘Shout Sister Shout’ at Pasadena Playhouse. —
Photo by Nathaniel Peterson

*Pasadena Playhouse has announced the cast and creative team for the world premiere musical SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! Created and directed by Randy Johnson, who wrote and directed the hit Broadway musical A Night With Janis Joplin, with book by Cheryl West (Play On!). SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! tells the story about the life and music of legendary gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose hits include “Down by the Riverside,” “This Train,” and “Strange Things Happen Every Day.” Tharpe, known as The Godmother of Rock & Roll, was a trailblazer in the history of American music and influenced some of the greatest Rock & Roll and R&B singers of all time, including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner and Johnny Cash.

Tracy Nicole Chapman (Little Shop of Horrors, Caroline, or Change, Into the Woods, The Lion King) will bring Sister Rosetta Tharpe to life in the starring role. Continue reading

Vice President of LAUSD Board of Ed Speaks at Upcoming ‘Educating Young Minds’

*(Los Angeles) On Saturday, June 24th, 2017, at 6:00 pm, Educating Young Minds will hold its 19th Annual Awards Celebration with guest speaker, Vice President of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, Dr. George J. McKenna III, along with community leaders, EYM graduating high school seniors and alumni. The Celebration taking place at a private estate in Los Angeles, California will be an empowering and inspirational evening of entertainment and inspiration hosted by radio personality, Kevin Nash and a performance by the talented singer Abraham McDonald and surprised guests.  This year’s Awards Gala will be produced and directed by Mr. Bruce Cecil.

 Dr. George McKenna, has received over 400 citations and awards in recognition for his work. He has earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Xavier University, his master’s degree in mathematics from Loyola University and his doctoral degree in education from Xavier University.

 Dr. McKenna’s reforms at George Washington Preparatory High School have been copied nationwide and the story of Dr. McKenna’s turnaround of Washington Prep was made into a movie called The George McKenna Story, which starred Denzel Washington playing the role of George McKenna. 

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