September 20, 2015

Business, Entertainment, Feature, Opinion, Trends

Trends, Travel, Film, History and Books provide readers with information that might be off the beaten path of their traditional news sources.   Whether its innovation, unique travel, classic or new age films and documentaries, looking at history from a different perspective or discovering new and established authors, it brings a fresh look to things that are either old or new again.

Yoshi's Oakland


Lisa Fischer

Lisa Fisher, Photo Courtesy: Yoshi’s Oakland

TUE 9.29

Featured in the Academy Award winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom


DOORS: 7:30 PM / SHOW: 8:00 PM

Lisa Fischer is a singer who really gets around. Her life is an endless round of planes, trains, and automobiles, rehearsals and fittings. On tour with the Rolling Stones, Sting, Chris Botti or Nine Inch Nails, her name may not be on the marquee, but she doesn’t care. She’s busy loving every minute of it. It’s easy to see why she works all the time: her astonishing range, her spot-on intonation, her mastery of the stage, the way her tone wraps itself around your heart and won’t let go, the infectious quality of her time feel: these things keep her on top of the list. But it’s the sweetness of her smile, her visible pleasure in watching her bandmates do their stuff, her glamorous-girl-next-door quality that make fans all over the world think she’s their own secret discovery (despite the fact that the YouTube version of her duet with Mick Jagger on ‘Gimme Shelter’ has millions of hits).

The rest of her resume is pretty impressive too: touring, recording, and music making with Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Beyonce, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton, Bobby McFerrin, Alicia Keyes, Lou Reed, Louie Vega, Aretha Franklin, John Scofield, George Benson, Laurie Anderson, Lee Ritenour, Jackie Evancho (and many others). Along with many other top session and backup singers like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Patti Austin, and Judith Hill, “the greatest artists you’ve never heard of” (but whose voices are instantly recognizable), she’s featured in Morgan Neville’s acclaimed documentary film Twenty Feet from Stardom, distributed by Miramax in the US and scheduled for European premieres throughout 2013-2014 season. In the wake of the movie’s critical and popular success (and Oscar buzz) Lisa, Darlene, Merry, and Judith will sing the National Anthem at the 2014 Rose Bowl. And Lisa’s putting together a brand new band to explore some new territory. She’s on to a new leg of the journey, destination unknown.  READ MORE.

SOURCE:  Andi Sjah

Brian Culbertson, Photo Courtesy: Yoshi's Oakland

Brian Culbertson, Photo Courtesy: Yoshi’s Oakland

FRI 10.2

Multi-award winning jazz, junk and R&B artist/producer


DOORS: 7:30 PM / SHOW: 8:00 PM

Brian Culbertson began his musical journey at the age of 8 on piano, adding drums at 9, trombone at 10 then bass at 12. He grew up near Chicago, IL, loving genre-crossing jazz-pop artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, Tower of Power, The Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, Yellowjackets, Sting and Chick Corea. So naturally gifted was Brian, his 7th grade piano recital consisted of all original tunes. Brian flourished in school bands throughout high school and moved to downtown Chicago to continue his musical studies at DePaul University. In 1994, at age 20, Brian self-produced his debut album, Long Night Out. After that release, he then went on to compose jingles for clients such as United Airlines, Gatorade, Sears, Coors and McDonald’s in the bustling city’s highly competitive advertising community while still continuing to make records and tour.

Since then, Brian has released fifteen more albums, toured around the world, seen his name at the top of Billboard and radio charts, worked and performed with industry all-stars like Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, Larry Graham, Michael McDonald, Chris Botti, Musiq Soulchild, Ledisi, Barry Manilow, Herb Alpert, Natalie Cole, Chuck Brown, and Bootsy Collins just to name a few, and received numerous awards including being nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award and a 2012 Soul Train Award.  READ MORE.

SOURCE:  Brian Culbertson




Los Angeles, CA — RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE), founded by Robert L. Johnson, RLJE Chairman and Founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) has acquired all North American rights to the highly anticipated film NINA, based on the life of legendary American singer-songwriter Nina Simone. With first time writer-director Cynthia Mort, the film stars Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy) and David Oyelowo (Selma, The Butler). NINA will be released in theaters in December 2015 under the RLJ Entertainment brand. RLJ Entertainment previously released its theatrical titles under the Image Entertainment brand, which RLJ Entertainment purchased in 2012.

I am very excited that RLJ Entertainment will be distributing Nina Simones biopic with the tremendous talent involved including Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo, said Johnson.  I had the special privilege early in my career of working with Ms. Simone while coordinating a performance for former D.C. Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy and knowing first-hand of her major contribution to the soul and emotion of the Civil Rights Movement.  I look forward as I am sure many others will, to her story and legacy being made available by RLJ Entertainment to consumers on various media platforms in the coming months.

Robert Johnson is passionate about this film and he is passionate about Nina Simone, so we are excited to be in business with him, said producer Ben Latham-Jones. We believe he can bring the powerful performances of Zoe and David

Zoe Saldana and Golden Globe Nominee David Oyelowo. Photo Courtesy:

Zoe Saldana and Golden Globe Nominee David Oyelowo. Photo Courtesy:

to as wide an audience as possible.

NINA traces the career of legendary American singer-songwriter and civil rights activist, Nina Simone (Saldana). The story follows her struggle to balance music, family and what she believes in, which leaves her living alone in France feeling exiled from her own country. That is, until she meets Clifton Henderson (Oyelowo) who helps the high priestess of soul rediscover meaning in her life and music, and to once again embrace America. NINA reflects both her and the people she gave voice to in both their search for redemption and hope in America during the 1960s.

Nina Simone is unarguably one of the great vocalists of the 20thCentury, a 15-time Grammy nominee, she received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2000.  Ninas versions of My Baby Just Cares For Me and Feeling Good have become standards, featuring in advertising and jazz compilations, and frequently covered by other artists. Her versions of such classics as I Put a Spell on You, Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood, Lilac Wine, Aint Got No, I Got Life and Wild is the Wind have become the definitive versions.

Ninas strong involvement in the civil rights movement brought out the talented songwriter in her.  While To Be Young Gifted and Black is probably her best-known composition, and was subsequently covered by Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Bob and Marcia (whose cover was a U.K. top five hit) amongst others, she also wrote many other songs including Mississippi Goddam and Four Women.

NINA was produced by Barnaby Thompson (The Importance of Being Earnest), Ben Latham-Jones (Kids in Love), Stuart Parr (Get Rich or Die Tryin) and Cynthia Mort (The Brave One) and executive produced by Pierre Lagrange (Kick-Ass), Allison Sarofim (Lake City), Aigerim Jakisheva (Kids in Love), Zoe Saldana, David Oyelowo, James Spring (Burke and Hare), Gene Kirkwood (Rocky), Lauren Lloyd (Cellular) and Paul Rosenberg (Southpaw).

RLJ Entertainment executives Mark Ward, Chief Acquisitions Officer and Angela Northington, SVP, Content Acquisitions negotiated the deal with ICM Partners behalf of the filmmakers.

Recent RLJ Entertainment releases include The Rewrite with Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei and written and directed by Marc Lawrence; The Cobbler with Adam Sandler, Cliff Method Man Smith, Ellen Barkin, Melonie Diaz, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi, and Dascha Polanco, and written and directed by Tom McCarthy; and Blackbird Based on the same title novel by Larry Duplechan stars Academy Award® winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique (Precious), Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy), and introduces breakthrough actor Julian Walker and directed by Patrik-Ian Polk (Noah’s Arc, The Skinny).



SOURCE:   International Black Film Festival

Nashville, TN – The International Black Film Festival  (IBFF) is excited to announce that the 2015 Festival, slated for October 1-4, 2015, will be hosted at the state of the art Cal Turner Family Center for Student Education on the campus of Meharry Medical College.  IBFF is also honored to welcome the esteemed Meharry Medical College as an official sponsor for this year’s event.
Throughout the 3½ day event, the festival will serve the full spectrum of the industry by providing a venue to showcase the work of filmmakers from around the globe. Patrons will have the opportunity to view “unreleased,” independent and studio films, participate in awesome industry level workshops, master classes, industry parties, and high-profile red carpet events with celebrity appearances.
Robert Poole, Senior Vice President of Division of Institutional Advancement at Meharry Medical College says, “It is notable and laudable that IBFF has selected a site in North Nashville on the Meharry campus which is at the heart of dynamic education, healthcare, culture, and research.  This area is anchored by thriving institutions and organizations such as Meharry Medical College, Nashville General Hospital, Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Citizens Bank, The Tennessee Tribune, and Matthew Walker Community Health Center. Poole also says, “We are also proud to have a sponsorship role for this important cultural, educational, and community event that will bring much attention to Nashville and its creative sector”.
IBFF will also open Early Bird ticket sales from August 17-24, 2015. Festival Passes will be available for just $89.00.
“As Nashville continues to live up to its name as the new “It” city, the energy and excitement for this year’s festival is high,” said Founder and Chair Hazel Joyner-Smith.  “It is also an exciting time for Meharry, the city of Nashville and our academic community, as they recently celebrated the arrival of their new President, Dr. James E.K. Hildreth. On behalf of our Board of Directors and the IBFF team, we are simply honored to have Meharry, one of the nation’s oldest and largest historically black health science centers, believe in our mission and further support as a marquee sponsor this year.”
Please visit our website at for event details. Click Here for a virtual tour of the Cal Turner Family Event Center.
About International Black Film Festival 
Through the art of film, the International Black Film Festival of Nashville (IBFFN) celebrates rich, diverse and creative storytelling for the cultural enrichment, progress and education of communities worldwide. Established in 2006, IBFFN is a collaboration of dedicated professionals who support the need for a community effort to bring African-American and other communities together to showcase their work as emerging and skilled independent filmmakers, actors, composers, screenwriters, directors and other film industry professionals. With “Defining Our Stories, Transforming the Image” as its organizational theme, IBFFN strives to ensure culturally accurate depictions in film with special emphasis on providing a forum for unheard, unseen and unknown viewpoints, and showcasing the multitude of experiences presented in local, national and international communities of color.
With the support of our sponsors, corporate partners, the community, the International Black Film Festival maintains its relevance to the creative, educational, and socially conscious communities around the globe.
About Meharry Medical College
Meharry Medical College, founded in 1876, is the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center dedicated to educating minority and other health professionals. True to its heritage, it is a United Methodist Church affiliated institution. The College is particularly well-known for its uniquely nurturing, highly effective educational programs; emerging preeminence in health disparities research; culturally sensitive, evidence-based health services and significant contribution to the diversity of the nation’s health professions workforce. Meharry is a leading national educator of African-Americans with M.D. and D.D.S. degrees and Ph.D. degrees in the bio-medical sciences.
Oprah Book Club 2.0
Photo Courtesy: Oprah, OMG, OWN

Photo Courtesy: Oprah, OMG, OWN

Our Favorite New Memoirs
Looking for a true story, with a gripping plot and gorgeous writing? We’ve got the books you’ve been looking for.



#MiamiWrites This Fall

Tom Swick Picture Courtesy: MDC Book Fair

Fall creative writing classes are now open for registration. This term The Center is offering a variety of writing genres. All courses are held at the MDC Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami. For specifics,visit the class that sounds most appealing and register.

One of our classes this term focuses on Travel Writing with one of the country’s most celebrated travel authors Tom Swick. In this class, you will learn how to transform your travels into publishable stories. Mr. Swick will teach you the 7 key elements to bringing your travel memories to the page: a personal voice, a point of view, imagination, insight, humor, people, dialogue – and how best to incorporate them into your stories.

Sign up now.

When: Tuesdays, September 8 (through September 29)| 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: MDC Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., Downtown Miami Dade College
Fee: $100
This is a Community Education (non-credit) course.

Want to register? Click here for instructions and registration form.



San Antonio, TX — Every 9 seconds, in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten. More than 1 in 3 women have experienced rape, domestic violence or stalking and kept quiet. The first step to

 October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Photo Courtesy:

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Photo Courtesy:

putting the pieces back together is not easy and can be daunting at times. Many victims feel ashamed, helpless and emotionally spent. Liz J. Simpson used to be one of those women. Her debut book, The Puzzle Pieces Of Me: How To Find Yourself, Love Yourself & Live The Life Of Your Dreams (ISBN: 978-0-9963265-0-6, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, 206 pages, $14.95), a self-help memoir, is scheduled for release on October 1st. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Simpson will partner with local shelters for book giveaways.

The heartfelt, empowering story shared publicly, for the very first time, chronicles Simpsons life as a college student on academic scholarship at a big ten university, changing her major and unknowingly triggering a series of events that would change her life forever. In a blink of an eye, she became a homeless, abused, single mother on welfare, living in a battered women shelter with an infant daughter.

The book, The Puzzle Pieces Of Me: How To Find Yourself, Love Yourself & Live The Life Of Your Dreams – inside-out success coach Liz J. Simpson combines her experience as an author, entrepreneur and speaker to create a spiritual ten-step blueprint for women to take baby steps towards self-healing. I know what its like to feel empty, however, I had to move mentally and physically beyond my circumstance and embrace a new life filled with courage, says Simpson. In addition to the ten-step blueprint, the book is loaded with actionable teaching, empowering quotes, positive affirmations, learning exercises and space to write personal reflections. Simpson says, There is a shift that is happening worldwide with the womens empowerment movement as women take hold of more leadership positions and challenge the gender roles of old. However, it is even more important that we connect with the wholeness of our being so that we may show up authentically as we stake our claim in this world.

InThe Puzzle of Me, readers will learn:

* How to identify whats robbing them internally from success
* How to emotionally heal from your past & use it to identify your purpose
* How to be love and attract love
* How to master change and fear
* How to unleash your highest self and claim the exclusive calling on your life

Simpson is known for being a catalyst for inner evolution. As a transformational speaker, writer and coach, Liz is highly regarded for her ability to identify with, as well as, elevate women whose internal challenges of limiting beliefs, fear and low self-worth are getting in the way of living the lifestyle of their dreams. Her lifes work is inspired by her commitment to helping women: discover their true self, embrace every piece of their intricate puzzle and gift the world with their authentic calling. Simpson is the creator of the global domestic violence awareness movement, “He Hit Me! and has coached over 200 women in healing with shelter monitoring and volunteering in domestic causes. She has been featured in Houston Style magazine, Wisconsin NPR, Brava magazine and San Diego Voices and Viewpoint newspaper.

In The Puzzle Pieces Of Me: How To Find Yourself, Love Yourself & Live The Life Of Your Dreams, readers will believe and realize that life is filled with hope (no matter what), possibilities and knowing that there is pride in being a woman. Liz J. Simpsons book is available on October 1st, on various publishing platforms, including



Boise, ID ( — Four years ago, Trevor Loucks played the piano at the funeral of Jordan Michael Zappia, the child of a close friend that died of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood

-- 92 Keys has developed a music video in Boise, Idaho for Jordan's Ride in memory of children that have died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). -- Photo Courtesy:

— 92 Keys has developed a music video in Boise, Idaho for Jordan’s Ride in memory of children that have died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). — Photo Courtesy:

(SUDC). To ease the pain of grieving the death of a child, Jordans parents created Jordans Ride, an annual fundraising bike event to raise money for the benefit of SIDS/SUDC research.

Loucks, owner of 92 Keys and a pianist and songwriter, decided he wanted to do more to support Jordans Ride by writing a tribute called Jordans Song. The intention was to develop a composition that was moving and exciting, a piece of music that would resemble a child.

Jordan’s Song is a beautiful tribute not only to his life, but also the lives of all the children we lost too soon and ride in remembrance of at Jordan’s Ride,” said Candi Zappia, Jordans mother.

Once the piece was finished, the 92 Keys team collaborated on a video and song with Jessica Joy, violinist and songwriter, Stephen Anderson, producer and composer and Zach Johnson, director and cinematographer. Jordan’s Song is the first music video ever created for the express purpose of raising awareness of SIDS/SUDC.

SOURCE: 92 Keys

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"What is it that the systems doesn't want me to know about my child's life and or death?"- Mary Couey

Truth- A Right to Fight For...

My Words & Random Videos Exposing TRUE History & Facts, Current News and Info Mainly Relating to Amerikkkan Racism & the Government, Especially Police & the Black Community... RBG...MakaveliTrained

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