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TRENDS, TRAVEL, FILM, HISTORY AND BOOKS

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 2

SOURCE:  SOURCE:  YOSHI’S OAKLAND

Rachelle Ferrell. Photo Courtesy: Yoshi's

Rachelle Ferrell. Photo Courtesy: Yoshi’s

FRI 3.25

A dynamic talent in contemporary pop music

RACHELLE FERRELL

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

Rachelle Ferrell is unquestionably one of the most dynamic talents in contemporary pop music. Very few vocal artists in the industry have Ferrell’s potent combination of range, phrasing, and musicianship. Ferrell first emerged in the states with her R&B debut Rachelle Ferrell (1992), a solid collection of self-penned originals that featured a striking duet with Will Downing (‘Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This’). It was with the release of First Instrument in 1994 (recorded prior to Rachelle Ferrell) that audiences were really introduced to Ferrell’s jazz sensibilities.
Rachelle Ferrell began singing at the age of six, which many speculate contributed to the “development of her startling six and change octave range.” Her range also includes the ability to sing in the whistle register, as stated in an editorial review in which she references her highest notes in “It only took a minute” as “Minnie Riperton-like wailing”. She received classical training in violin at an early age and by the time she was a teen, she was able to play the piano at a professional level. She enrolled in Berklee College of Music in Boston where she honed her musical abilities in arrangement, singing and songwriting.  From 1975-90, Ferrell sang backup for Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams, and George Duke. READ MORE.

SOURCE:  numandu

SOURCE:  SOURCE:  YOSHI’S OAKLAND

Mack Avenue Superband. Photo Courtesy: Yoshi's

Mack Avenue Superband. Photo Courtesy: Yoshi’s

SAT 4.2

Featuring Christian McBride and Kirk Whalum as musical directors

MACK AVENUE SUPER BAND

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

LINE-UP INCLUDES:
Christian McBride (bass)
Kirk Whalum (saxophone)
Tia Fuller (saxophone)
Sean Jones (trumpet)
Christian Sands (piano)
Carl Allen (drums)

Mack Avenue Super Band

“These are musicians with the cojones to play as part of an ensemble, where the whole is more important than the parts.” SEATTLEPI.COM

The MACK AVENUE SUPERBAND has become synonymous with stellar line-ups consisting of established and up and coming jazz artists with pronounced identities and original grooves. This year’s group presented exclusively for the 2015-2016 season and featuring Kirk Whalum and Christian McBride as musical directors, tops them all.

Soulful, passionate, stirring…these are the words most often used to describe Kirk’s music. Forged from his Memphis, (TN) gospel roots and his 1980‘s initiation into the thriving Houston, TX nightclub scene, Kirk’s big, rich tenor sound is unmistakably his. The 80’s were highlighted by Kirk’s stepping out of his blossoming sideman role and forming his own band. It was there that Kirk ultimately developed both his “voice” and songwriting in the crucible of the local club scene––especially at a rooftop club called Cody’s. It was also in Houston where jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” him and brought him on tour, which led to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, Kirk’s first #1 album. As well, Kirk and Bob received a Grammy nomination for their collaboration album, Joined at the Hip. After moving to Los Angeles, Kirk became an in demand session player for top artists like, Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones and most notably, Whitney Houston, amongst many others.  READ MORE

SOURCE:  OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2.0

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Photo Courtesy: Oprah Bookclub 2.0

Photo Courtesy: Oprah Bookclub 2.0

Your True Calling
Get ready to get your mind blown. Elizabeth Gilbert offers essential advice to help us find our passion and purpose—even when we don’t know what our passion and purpose are (yet).

 

SOURCE:   BLACKNEWS.COM

NAACP THEATRE AWARDS CELEBRATED BLACK EXCELLENCE IN THEATRE

Los Angeles, CA  — The Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP branch has recognized the exceptional impact African-Americans have contributed to the world of live theater. On Sunday March 6, 2016, winners of the 2015 NAACP Theatre Awards were announced and celebrated during a star-studded Red Carpet Press Conference at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Theatre/Ebony Repertory Theatre located at 4718 W. Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

A phenomenal night acknowledging thespians in the world of black theatre began with an inviting Red Carpet and reception catered by popular local chef Gwen Vance. Nominees and guests were treated to a pre-show featuring the comedic talents of Raj Sharma, Ramona Stephens and Maija DiGiorgio hosted by the talented and hilarious Michael Colyar which set the tone for the highly anticipated announcements of the 2015 NAACP Theatre Awards winners.

The vivacious host, 4-time NAACP Theatre Award winning playwright and producer Kinnik Sky, was exceptional and kept the show flowing with her timely wit and ability to keep the anticipation at bay. Her performance was a play read in

Winners Jackson Brown, Tammi Mac, Iona Morris. Photo Courtesy: Blacknews.com

Winners Jackson Brown, Tammi Mac, Iona Morris. Photo Courtesy: Blacknews.com

itself.

As celebrity announcers Jason George (Greys Anatomy), Ella Joyce (Theatre, TV and film veteran), Richard Lawson (Saints and Sinners), Obba Babatunde, Renee Lawless (The Haves and Have Nots), and Harold Bell (Raising Whitley) made their way to the stage to honor the contributions of the most stellar theatrical performances, the nominees waited with bated breath. Each celebrity announcer, all with a history in theatre themselves, stressed the necessity to support and fund playhouses, playwrights, producers, directors, etc. so that they may continue to present great narratives, inclusive of black stories alive on stage. Black stories are American stories highlighting a culture that has made great contributions and helped to define the identity of this great Nation.

Nabbing 3 out of 6 nominations in Equity Theatre is the political-racially charged production, Above the Fold receiving Best Female Lead for Taraji P. Henson, Best Producer – The Pasadena Playhouse and Best Supporting Female – Kristy Johnson. Also receiving 3 out of 6 nominations in Equity theatre is Choir Boy with Best Director, Best Design and Best Supporting Male for Caleb Eberhardt. The Tallest Tree leaves with 3 awards out of 5 nominations for Best Lighting, Best One Show and Best Playwright Daniel Beaty. The Gerwins Porgy and Bess triumphed with Best Costumes and Best Director of a Musical plus Maurice Hines Tappin Thru Life collected 2 awards for Best Choreography and Best Lead Male for Maurice Hines. Closing out the equity category, Flyin West lands the win for Best Ensemble.

With phenomenal performances in Local Theatre nominations, there was no surprise that both Sassy Mamas and Bag Lady each took home 3 out of their 5 nominations. Sassy Mamas was awarded Best Set Design, Best Director for Iona Morris and Best Ensemble Cast. Tammi Macs production Bag Lady, based on her true story, garnered wins for Best Playwright, Best Producer and Best One Person Show. First-time NAACP Theatre Award winner Tammi Mac won 3 out of 5 nominations and gave a tear jerking acceptance speech that moved the audience and inspired thespians to continue their pursuit to … write, perform, produce and tell our own stories our way.

Capturing awards in the local category for Best Lighting and Best Director of a Musical – Mark Dornford-May for The Magic Flute as well as Toyin Moses achieving Best Lead Female and Ashlee Olivias win for Best Supporting Female for Knock Me A Kiss which is based on the story of Yolande Du Bois, the pampered and only daughter of scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois. First time nominee Jaimyon Parker scored Best Sound and Leonard Thomas attained Best Lead Male for Bus Stops which takes the audience on a surprising and emotional journey dissecting stereotypical boundaries that occur at two different bus stops. Wrapping up the local category and securing a win for Best Supporting Male is veteran television, film and stage thespian Brent Jennings for Closely Related Keys.

Several local politicians and entertainment supporters joined the festivities including, Actress KiKi Shepard, Actress Tonya R. Banks, Producer Don B. Welch, Producer Peter Wise, former CA State Assemblyman Mike Davis, Albert Lord representing 10th District Councilman Herb Wesson and the Honorable 10th District retired Councilman Nate Holden for which the facility where the event was held was named after.

View here for full list of winners: http://bit.ly/223pYBP

SOURCE:  BLACKNEWS.COM

Top selling black non fiction books. Photo Courtesy: Blacknews.com

Top selling black non fiction books. Photo Courtesy: Blacknews.com

TOP 10 BEST-SELLING NON-FICTION AFRICAN AMERICAN BOOKS OF 2015

Nationwide – Thousands of African-American authors released non-fiction books last year, but only a few made the top 10 list when it came to sales. Some of these best-selling books of 2015 were actually released in 2014, but the momentum continued right on into the new year.

Here are the top 10:

#1 – “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse”: Written by certified weight loss expert J.J. Smith, this book offers valuable advice on how to continue to lose weight and maintain good health by drinking green smoothies made with green leafy vegetables and fruits.

#2 – “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”: Written by Michelle Alexander, this book changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement.

#3 – “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”: Written by Rebecca Skloot, this book is about a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells, taken without her knowledge in 1951, became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more.

#4 – “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates”: Written by Wes Moore, this story is about two kids who grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods, but both end up with two different futures – one a scholarly student in college, and the other, a convicted murderer.

#5 – “Bad Feminist: Essays”: Written by Roxanne Gay, this book is a beautiful collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation.

#6 – “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of Americas Great Migration”: Written by Isabel Wilkerson, this book compares the epic migration of more than 6 million people to the US to the migrations of other peoples in history. It’s a definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

#7 – “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Expanded Edition: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment”: Written by America’s favorite actor, comedian, and TV personality, Steve Harvey shares advice with tips on dealing with your partner’s exes, spicing up your relationship, ensuring you’re ready for that walk down the aisle, and much more.

#8 – “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina”: Author Misty Copeland’s story on how she made history as the only African-American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. The book offers an insiders look at the cutthroat world of professional ballet, as well as a moving story of passion and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.

#9 – “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great”: Author Dr. Ben Carson helps us learn from our past in order to chart a better course for our future. He shares his personal story from his personal ascent from inner-city poverty to international medical and humanitarian acclaim.

#10 – “Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive”: This smash hit by T.D. Jakes shows readers how to tap into their God-given intuition to achieve ultimate success. He teaches readers how to rediscover their natural aptitudes and reclaim the wisdom of their past experiences.

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SOURCE:  MIAMI BOOK FAIR

Upcoming Big Read Events

In Creole and English 

Big Read @ Big Night: A Feast of Women’s Voices & Big Night in Little Haiti. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair

Big Read @ Big Night: A Feast of Women’s Voices & Big Night in Little Haiti. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair

Friday, March 18
6-10 p.m. | Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami 

Big Read @ Big Night: A Feast of Women’s Voices & Big Night in Little Haiti

Enjoy a night of literature, music, art, food, culture and fun, as the Miami Book Fair brings the Big Read to Big Night in Little Haiti. Come out before the music starts and enjoy up-close-and-personal discussions with eight women writers of Haitian descent who will provide readings and discussions of their most recent works of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books! Featured authors: Rebecca N. Carmant, M.J. Fievre, Margaret Papillon,Mahalia Solages, Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel, Fabienne Josaphat, Cynthia Vernaand Mireille Sylvain-David.

Presented in partnership with the 2016 Caribbean Reading Series, Rhythm Foundation, and Little Haiti Cultural Center. 

 

In Creole and English 

La Belle Vie: The Good Life. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair.

La Belle Vie: The Good Life. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair.

March 19, 1:30 p.m.
Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables  

La Belle Vie: The Good Life

a documentary by Haitian American filmmaker, Rachelle Salnave

When one filmmaker comes to terms with her own Haitian identity, she discovers a new generation rediscovering their roots in the midst of the rebuilding of a nation.

  • Beacon  of  Hope  Award  –  General  Consulate  of  the  Republic  of  Haiti
  • Best  Content  in  a  Documentary  Award – Boston  International  Film  FesGval
  • Special  Recognition  for  Directing  Award – BlackStar  Film  Festival
  • President  of  the  Jurors  –  Montreal  Black  Film  Festival
  • Best Director Award – REEL Sisters Film Festival

Ayiti Images launches its Spring 2016 programming during The Big Read.  Films were curated in partnership with film-maker Rachelle Salnave, founder of Ayiti Images. 

First Draft: A Literary Social. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair

First Draft: A Literary Social. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair

 

Thursday, March 24
6:30 p.m. | Books & Books @ the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami 

First Draft: A Literary Social

Participants are led in a short, themed writing prompt. Those who want to, will read their work aloud. We’ll take a break to drink, eat and socialize, (your first drink is always on the house!) then we start the whole process over again.

Theme: Out of place
Instructor: Vanessa Garcia

Free: RSVP required

Storypalooza: The Big Read Edition. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair

Storypalooza: The Big Read Edition. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair

March 26 
7 p.m. | Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables  

Storypalooza: The Big Read Edition


Theme: Family Stories
Editors: M.J. Fievre, Nick Garnett, Andrea Askowitz

Come out for a storytelling open mic! This is how it works: you have four minutes to tell your story in front of a panel of editors from Lip Service, Miami’s own, homegrown, live (true) storytelling event. Get feedback from these pros before the submission period for May’s Lip Service show.

Free: RSVP required

Author Edwidge Danticat in Conversation with Americans for Immigrant Justice Executive Director Cheryl Little, Esq.

Author Edwidge Danticat in Conversation with Americans for Immigrant Justice Executive Director Cheryl Little, Esq. Photo Courtesy: Miami Book Fair

March 31  

6:30 p.m. | Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami  

Author Edwidge Danticat in Conversation with Americans for Immigrant Justice Executive Director Cheryl Little, Esq.

Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying tells the true story of the author’s uncle and father as they work to build a future for themselves and their families – one brother in Haiti and the other in America. Told through Danticat’s singular voice, these events set the stage for a powerful tale of loss and remembrance.

Attorney Cheryl Little worked closely with Danticat on her uncle’s immigration case.

Delicious Haitian food by Leela’s Restaurant prior to start of program.

 

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