Tag Archives: arts education

March Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 Mar

MIGHTY MARCH

A new album by Johnny Cash is worth celebrating. Out Among The Stars (Columbia/Legacy) was supposed to come out in theJohnnyCash.March2014 mid-1980s but was shelved … Make your way down to the Motown: The Truth Is a Hit exhibit at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Tracing the history of black music with the story of Motown Records, we learn how Motown became the powerhouse of the music we love. There through July 26 … Also at the Schomburg is the 21st Century Women’s Jazz Festival overseen by Toshi Reagon and featuring Meshell Ndegeocello … Surprised and sad to learn that the San Diego Opera, the 10th largest opera company in the US, plans to close. Citing a tough fundraising environment and weak ticket sales, yet another reminder of the challenge to fund arts programs … Only ten Stradivari violas exist and one is heading to auction for $45 million, making it the most expensive instrument in the world. A Sotheby’s VP explains, “Musical instruments and string instruments are quite different from selling other things, because they need to be played.” Hear, hear … Another sale to note are the 270 acoustic vintage guitars, some from the early 1900s, at Guernsey’s on April 2 anitique guitarand 3 … The incomparable voice of k.d. lang on Broadway in After Midnight … The Allman Brothers annual Beacon concerts got off to a rousing and sentimental start owing to the announcement that two beloved members would be leaving and that the band would stop its regular touring after this year. After Gregg Allman came down with bronchitis, the band postponed their last four dates. Sometimes I feel, Like I’ve been tied, To the whipping post … To celebrate Spinal Tap’s 30th anniversary, AMC is streaming a special version of the film for free viewing through April 11. Don’t forget to crank it up to 11 … 92Y Soul Jazz Festival featured Esperanza Spalding … The NY Philharmonic reprised Sweeney Todd in concert. This time director Lonny Price had Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson in the ghoulishly delicious main roles … Also at the NY Phil, the Orchestra played back-up for Mary Chapin Carpenter, who brought along Shawn Colvin and Joan Baez … Paul Simon and Sting together on tour, made a stop at Madison Square Garden, where Sting, before he sang Simon’s America, said of Simon, “If you wanted to become a literate and literary songwriter, there is the template.” … The ever evolving, ever dynamite Nona Hendryx at Joe’s Pub … And the Oscar for Best Documentary film went to 20 Feet From Stardom, where one of its stars, Darlene Love (love her!) delivered the best thank you speech ever – in song with gratitude and grace.

GIMME A KISS

I wanna rock ‘n’ roll all night. And party every day … Call it the KISS trifecta … They will be inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall KISS.RollingStoneCover.March2014of Fame in April … They are the face of John Varvatos’ spring ad campaign, which was inspired by their album, Dressed to Kill. Wearing Varvatos suits and their famous faces, natch … Oh and by the way, did you know that the John Varvatos Bowery Store was originally the home of CBGB’s? …

And KISS is finally on the cover of Rolling Stone … Can it get any better for these guys who’ve just been at it forever and deserve it all? Mentsches they are … As Paul Stanley says, “…I’m dead serious. With all guns loaded. And a six-string guitar that can kill.”

SOME LEARNIN’

Interested in journalism and how we get our news? Check out the NYU Center for Global Daily_News.March2014.redAffairs’ new lecture series, Newsmakers: Perspectives in Global Media. The creator and host is Alexis Gelber, a longtime top editor and director of special projects at Newsweek. Alexis talks to international journalists about their use of new social media and non-traditional media to source, cover, and spread their stories. What has changed? And do these changes affect the outcome and our perspective? Alexis gets to the heart of it and breaks it down for us. Check it out.

WE CAN HELP

WQXR.March2014We know that music changes lives, saves lives. How great it is to help students by giving them instruments. Between now and April 7, donate your gently used musical instrument to the WQXR Musical Instrument Drive. Working with Sam Ash Music Stores and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, WQXR will repair the instruments and distribute them to music programs in NYC Public Schools. Drop off points are in NYC, NJ, Westchester and Long Island. A NYC Public School student myself, I know firsthand what it means to be handed an instrument that can change a life, can save a life. It did mine.

Motown.TheFourTops.March2014Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Four Tops’ I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)

C’mon, sing along with Levi and the guys:
Sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can’t help myself
I love you and nobody else

 

 Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Strad quote: NY Times, March 26, 2014
Whipping Post lyrics: Unichappell Music Inc.
Paul Stanley quote: Official John Varvatos Spring/Summer 2014 campaign video
The Four Tops lyrics: Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., EMI Music Publishing

September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

30 Sep

SEPTEMBER BRIMS WITH HEART + MUSIC

Did you know September is Piano Month? Celebrate the great instrument. Listen to the piano opening on Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water…There’s Yamaha’s new stringless piano. WWVCD. What would Van Cliburn do?…Boston rolled out 75 pianos all over town for people with skill or not, to play on and enjoy…Yoko Ono’s new album, Take Me to the Land of Hell, Yoko.albumcover.9.29.13features Questlove and Lenny Kravitz. The ever peace-promoting Yoko took a NY Times full-page, as is her custom, posting the lyrics to Cheshire Cat Cry. “I’m rolling in your dreams, listening to your screams…Stop the violence, stop all wars.”A Night With Janis Joplin concert musical opens on Broadway…Elton John and Sting released new music…The San Francisco Opera premieres Stephen King’s downright operatic story Dolores Claiborne. “With a Stephen King novel you find a person in extreme situations, and I was drawn to the psychology of that, of how we cope, how we feel,” says librettist J.D. McClatchy…The NY Phil played the score to Kubrick’s great 2001: A Space Odyssey, while the Post.RayChalesStamp.Sept.2013film played on a screen behind the Orchestra…Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, and Bono helped fight poverty at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park…Renee Fleming sang, yes, sang the Top Ten List of opera lyrics on David Letterman’s Late Show…The US Postal Service honors Ray Charles with a stamp, released on his birthday, September 23. Also offered is a CD of his greatest hits. Honor this true music icon, buy his stamp. By the way, the stamp sheet looks just like a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. Very cool…And Cher sang and talked everywhere upon theCher-Closer-to-the-Truth-Album.9.29.13 release of her new album, Closer to the Truth. Cher on Cher: “I’m serious about my work, but I don’t take myself seriously.” The single, I Hope You Find It, is pure Cher – all heart…The good news is Maestro James Levine returns to the Met Opera after a terrible fall which kept him away too long…And at the Met Museum, musicians performed period music that complemented the art in the European Paintings gallery…Alas, there is not good news for the NY City Opera company. This “people’s opera” is in need of money, lots of money, to survive. Losing an arts institution is in no one’s interest. The place Beverly Sills called home needs a benefactor who cares, really cares. In the meantime, there’s a Kickstarter campaign…The One Day University offered classes in Beethoven’s Ninth (The Story Behind the Masterpiece) and Gershwin, Ellington and the Search for an American Sound…Music plays a role in two new documentaries. Muscle Shoals about that Alabama city’s huge musical legacy. And Metallica Through the Never, a concert film. Bring your earplugs…Sir Paul, y’know the Beatle, released the single, New. “All my life, I never knew what I could be, What I could do, Then we were new.” Could it be a (silly) love song?…Finally, noted in the NY Times under In Memoriam: Isaac Stern, July 21, 1920-September 22, 2001, Fiddler.

A NEW FILM ON THE 60s TO LOVE

One man follows his dream and is an eyewitness to a noteworthy decade’s highpoints. Documentary filmmaker Chris Szwedo held a private screening of Eye on the 60s, a mesmerizing view of the sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious, and always very interesting photographer, Rowland Scherman. He started out taking pics for the Peace Corps which led to the Kennedys, then BobDylan-Halo.9.29.13RFK’s campaign tour, the March for Jobs and Freedom in DC, and to Life magazine. Barbara Walters, the Beatles, Mapplethorpe and Smith, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Arthur Ashe. There isn’t a pic he’s taken that isn’t seared into our collective memories. Scherman’s passion, his love, and his curiosity are displayed throughout his work – and all share his clear-eyed view of humanity. Oh, by the way, y’know that pic of Dylan with his hair in a halo, yeah, the pic on the cover of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, yeah, that one? That’s Rowland Scherman and it won him a Grammy. This film is not only a wonderful look at the 60s, with all the pleasures that come with that. It is a document of an artist’s intertwined life and career. Hope you catch it. I loved it.

…AND BOOKS

Although her singing has been silenced by Parkinson’s, Linda Ronstadt’s voice LindaRonstadt.9.29.13is open, honest, and sure in her new memoir, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir. With Heart Like a Wheel playing in my head, her memoir felt as heartfelt as her performance of that song is genuine…Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep arrived. In this sequel to The Shining, Danny Torrance is all grown up. Is he fighting his demons? “Dan didn’t think he’d had such a clear shine inDramaHigh.9.29.13 years. It brought a ghost of delight that went back to earliest childhood, before he had discovered how dangerous the shining could be.”…Michael Sokolove’s Drama High about a public high school’s drama program is “the incredible story of a brilliant teacher, a struggling town, and the magic of theater,” and is a testament to the importance of arts education.

ON DOGS AND LOVE 

We can be heroes. Animal Planet’s Hero Dogs of 9/11 is a tribute to the 300 K-9 DISASTER RELIEF NIKIEdogs who played an important role in the rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero. “They will literally put their lives on the line for us.”…And heroes were in abundance at the annual AKC Meet The Breeds show. From the Irish Wolfhound to a teeny Chihuahua. Beauties with big hearts all. Alas, the Westies were a no-show at the show. But Angel-on-a-Leash.9.30.13.crI had a wonderful visit with David Frei. Host of the Westminster Dog Show, his Angel On A Leash is all about therapy dogs…Along with a new year wish for peace, I leave you with a Rabbi’s sermon on love. It is not what we feel, but rather what we do…When words of likability come cheap, our deeds matter more. When our emotions become a mere mouse click, our tangible actions define true relationship.” Read it, share it, dig it!

ABOUT A BLOG 

Simon&GarfunkleInCentralPk.9.29.13Posts on Yvette Perry’s Blog include lookalike book covers, Neil Diamond’s songwriting process, the Simon and Garfunkel Concert in Central Park, George R.R. Martin’s take on fantasy, and Diana Nyad’s mantra…Also posted there is this newsletter so you can easily share it with your friends. Just click on any of the share buttons below each post.

Cher-The_Very_Best_Of_Cher.9.29.13

 Soundtrack to this Issue is Cher’s Believe,
performed live in concert in Las Vegas.
I believe in Cher.

 Buddha, stay. Good dog.IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  (Buddha)

Sources:
Yamaha’s AvantGrand N3: David Pogue, The NY Times
Dolores Claiborne quote: The Sacramento Bee
Ray Charles stamp: Yves Carrère, photographer/USPS
Cher’s I Hope You Find It: The Today Show
Cher quote: CBS Sunday Morning
Eye On The 60s: Chris Szwedo Productions
Bob Dylan Halo pic: Rowland Scherman
Love sermon: Rabbi Benjamin Spratt

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