*Billboard chart topping guitarist Blake Aaron’s latest project “Color and Passion” is epic. Offering 11 selections and a line-up of musician one can only dream of to assist on an album.
Aside from the featured musicians Najee (Shanachie Entertainment) on sax, Darren Rahn (Side 2 Music) on sax and Kim Scott on flute, Blake has Darryl Williams on bass; Tony Moore on drums; Tateng Katindig on piano; Eric Valentine on drums; Mel Brown on bass; Adam Hawley on organ; Trevor Neuman on trumpet; Luanne Homzy on violin; Hussain Jiffry on bass; Jason Rahn on flugelhorn; Tarell Martin on drums; David Mann on sax; Mike Whittaker on piano, and Darryl Williams on bass – just to name some of the musicians.
“Color and Passion” was mainly recorded at the Blake Aaron Studios in Los Angeles, with two selections recorded at Darren Rahn’s The Litterbox studio in Denver, CO. The project is released on the Innervision Records imprint. Blake Aaron wrote all the selections except for the Stevie Wonder cover “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”. Darren Rahn co-wrote with Blake “Groovers and Shakers” and “Drive”, and Adam Hawley co-wrote with him the “Sunday Strutt” selection.
Aaron has performance dates coming up in Spain October 4 – 10, 2020 at the Mallorca Smooth Jazz Fest. He has released five singles from the “Color and Passion” project, the latest being “Daylight.” The “Fall For You” and “Groovers and Shakers” singles both reached #1 on Billboard’s “Top 10 Chart,” the “Vivid” single reached #10 on Billboard, and “Drive” reached #1 on the Radiowave Chart.
My favorite songs on the “Color and Passion” album include #1 “Fall For You” because his guitar playing is sweet, a Smooth Jazz flavor I love that has Tateng on piano, Tony on drums, and Darryl on bass; #3 “Sunday Strutt” featuring Najee on sax because I love the way his strings and the sax dances together, then the horns of David and Trevor cut in and twirls the strings around, ending with Najee sax playing tap-dancing back to cut back in and dance with the strings until the end – epic; #4 “Drive” because it feels like you are on the highway alone driving fast on the freeway and I love the way the flugelhorn playing by Jason seems to push you faster, it also has Darryl on sax and Tarell on drums; #6 the title song, “Color and Passion,” is also an epic song with Blake’s guitar strings giving you a Spanish flavor and the keyboard playing by Tateng is majestic, with Tony on drums, Hussain on bass, and Luanne on violin, and #8 “Riviera Nights” because it gives you a feel of Brazil, though I’ve never been there, and I love how Blake’s guitar strings dance and how the piano playing by Mike shows off at the end, with Tony on drums and Darryl on bass. www.BlakeAaron.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 7, 2020 via Zoom Video Conferencing and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email [email protected]
EUR Review: Javon Johnson’s ‘STILL’ – A Captivating Lesson in Blackness
“Still” can best be described as a novella brought to life as Javon elegantly shares a number of personal stories from his perspective as a Black man with topics ranging from manhood, toxic masculinity, the American justice system, gentrification, hope and despair, and so on.
Standing in the middle of a stage looking out upon empty auditorium seats, Javon undauntedly showcases his raw talent; effortlessly bringing the same emotion and energy that is desired from a performer if surrounded by a full audience. Javon is truly captivating in his cadence and narrative topics.
If asked to choose which topics stood out most to me, I would be hard-pressed to do so. The sequence “cuz he’s black, a lesson in proper sentence construction, and on healthy masculinity” really resonated. The latter of which was especially enthralling as Javon poetically explained how the world forces Black men to be a in constant state of war and peace.
As a Black man, I could relate to this and his descriptions of the many conflicts he faced in his adolescent years. Here is a truly engaging storyteller. Javon paints a picture that brings to mind many of my own experiences when individuals would attempt to test me. It is encouraging to hear someone else share their experiences and struggles with balancing blackness in masculinity.
“Still” is a fascinating piece of art well worth taking the time to watch it. Javon Johnson’s “Still” performance can be rented through PlayhouseLive for $19.99 and is available through November 1, 2020. After the initial purchase, Still. can be watched on any of the PlayhouseLive apps including Apple OS, Android OS, Roku, FireTV and more. Closed captioning will be available in both English and Spanish.
PlayhouseLive is a first-of-its-kind digital streaming platform for nonprofit theaters. Powered by Pasadena Playhouse, PlayhouseLive’s “theater on demand” hosts fully realized cinema-quality productions filmed in high definition on stage specifically for the digital platform. It takes online theatrical performances beyond Zoom readings and interpretations to full scale productions for viewers around the world to enjoy. Distribution channels include a standalone website, iPhone and Android apps, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, Roku, Chromecast, and AirPlay, among others.
In addition to theater on demand, PlayhouseLive programming will include staged readings, and cabarets, as well as original series, documentaries, and theater classes. It is a home for a wide array of theatrical voices through new and revisited work. Additional information about PlayhouseLive and its programming, including new announcements and pricing specials, are available at www.playhouselive.org.
EURweb.com, Everything Urban & Radioscope (formerly The Electronic Urban Report) Covering the Culture since 1997.
David Anthony is a new graduate of Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. A self-designated history buff and random fact finder, David could rattle your ear for hours with information. Born and raised in the City of Angels he is a huge fan of the city’s culture and hometown NBA team, the L.A. Clippers. A future attorney, businessman, and civil servant, he hopes to be an impactful individual in life. Contact David: [email protected]
National Endowment for the Arts Names Terri Lyne Carrington Among 2021 NEA Jazz Masters
*Three-time Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and composer Terri Lyne Carrington has been named a 2021 NEA Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship is the nation’s highest honor in jazz.
“I am so honored to receive this prestigious award, along with so many heroes, mentors, and of course, masters of the music,” says Carrington. “I will continue my work in furthering the music, and in teaching, mentoring, and advocating for the generations behind me. I am grateful for this incredible recognition, as it will truly remain inspiring through my journey in jazz.”
Terri Lyne Carrington has remained a powerhouse drummer in jazz for four decades and has now vigorously turned her attention over the last 15 years to empowering the next generation. With outstanding versatility, she excels as a composer, bandleader, producer, and educator. Along with Carrington, the NEA will also honor fellow musicians Albert “Tootie” Heath, Henry Threadgill, and arts advocate Phil Schaap for their contributions to the advancement of the art form.
In addition to receiving a $25,000 award, the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters will be honored through a tribute concert, which due to COVID-19 will be available in an online-only broadcast on April 22, 2021. The National Endowment for the Arts will again collaborate with SFJAZZ on this virtual event, which will be free to watch, and no registration or tickets are required. More information will be available in early 2021.
From a child prodigy to a world-class musician, her current album, Waiting Game, with Social Science, a collaboration with Aaron Parks and Matthew Stevens, boasted a triple-crown win in Downbeat magazine’s International Critics Poll for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Group of the Year, making her the first woman instrumentalist to concurrently win in all three categories in the 68-year history of the magazine. Carrington is not new to breaking barriers; she was also the first woman to receive a Grammy Award in the Jazz Instrumental category.
Carrington has received honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, where she currently serves as the founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. The Institute recruits, teaches, mentors, and advocates for musicians seeking to study jazz with gender justice and racial justice as guiding principles, and asks the important question, “What would jazz sound like in a culture without patriarchy?” She also serves as Artistic Director for Berklee’s Summer Jazz Workshop, and Artistic Director of The Carr Center in Detroit, MI. In 2019, Carrington was granted the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award in recognition of her past and ongoing contributions to jazz music.
Terri Lyne Carrington started her professional career in Massachusetts at 10 years old when she became the youngest person to receive a union card in Boston. She was featured as a “kid wonder” in many publications and on local and national TV shows. After studying under a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music, Carrington worked as an in-demand musician in New York City and later moved to Los Angeles, where she gained recognition on late-night TV as the house drummer for both “The Arsenio Hall Show” and Quincy Jones’ “VIBE TV” show, hosted by Sinbad.
To date, Carrington has performed on more than 100 recordings and has been a role model and advocate for young women and men internationally through her teaching and touring careers. She has worked extensively with jazz giants and legends including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, Clark Terry, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, James Moody, Joe Sample, Esperanza Spalding, and many more.
ABOUT THE NEA JAZZ MASTERS
Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded 161 fellowships to great figures in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, and George Wein. The Arts Endowment’s website features resources and content about the NEA Jazz Masters, including archived concerts, video tributes, podcasts, and more than 350 NEA Jazz Moments audio clips. The National Endowment for the Arts has also supported the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of nearly 100 NEA Jazz Masters.
Nominate an NEA Jazz Master: NEA Jazz Masters Fellows are nominated by the public, including the jazz community. Nominations are judged by an advisory panel of jazz experts, including administrators, performers, producers, and a knowledgeable layperson. The panel’s recommendations are reviewed by the National Council on the
Arts, which sends its recommendations to the chairman, who makes the final decision. The Arts Endowment encourages nominations of a broad range of individuals who have been significant to the field of jazz, through vocals, instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education. NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are up to $25,000 and can be received once in a lifetime. Visit the Arts Endowment’s website for detailed information and to submit nominations. The next deadline is October 30, 2020.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support give Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
Pastor Cal Keeps Love Alive on ‘Married at First Sight’ (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*For 11 seasons, “Married at First Sight” (MAFS) has been the ultimate experiment in matchmaking as couples who have never met – complete strangers – tie the knot.
If you are not familiar with the popular Lifetime series, people looking for love are matched by relationship experts (Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Viviana Coles, and Pastor Calvin Roberson-known as Pastor Cal) and agree to tie the knot before meeting their mates.
The show follows the couples for a few weeks as they experience their first meeting at their weddings, their honeymoons, meeting each other’s families, and other milestone events all the while being counseled by the experts. At the end of each season, the couples are given the chance to continue in their marriage or get a divorce.
While some may question the show’s premise, the EUR spoke to Pastor Cal recently and he said the series is genuine.
“My job on the show is to get these couples, put them together, and make sure they stay together,” said Pastor Cal. “My goal is to look at their differences, see where they’re compatible, counsel them and in some cases, threaten them, to make it work. All the experts, our focus, is simply making sure the couples stay together.”
As for a method in which the couples are matched, he added, “There isn’t a solid formula we apply to every couple. It has to be tweaked as we find out people’s peculiarities. It can be nerve-wracking but it’s rewarding in the end.”
Like many MAFS seasons, there are surprising revelations and this one, featuring couples from New Orleans, is no exception.
“Season 11 has brought us so many surprises,” Pastor Cal said. “Even in casting, one of the couples we thought would get along much quicker is one of the ones lagging behind. And one couple we thought would move slower to intimacy are moving ahead. And that’s with Miles and Karen being the slower and Woody and Amani being the faster of the two.”
He continued, “Also, by my own admission, I fall on the sword on this one, I was not expecting Bennett and Amelia to get along so well. I thought she would be put off more by his lack of profession. It was a big surprise to me.”
The next MAFS season will include Atlanta couples and after that the show heads to Houston, which is casting now. Pastor Cal told the EUR that the show adapts to the couples from each city.
“I believe that every city we film in brings a certain flavor and the participants from that city take on the flavor from that city,” Pastor Cal said. “New Orleans is laid-back, they party, and it’s a very fun city as opposed to a city like D.C. that is very political, buttoned up, and tight. But definitely we found that every city influences the participants. We definitely see different personalities coming out of each city.”
Speaking of Atlanta, Pastor Cal is the lead pastor at Progression church in the peach city. He and his wife Wendy have a marriage coaching organization that offers marriage and relationship conferences, boot camps, and seminars worldwide.
While COVID-19 may have slowed down the in-person events, that has not stopped people from contacting Pastor Cal for love connections, “Because of COVID, we’re online. I get more people through DM’s, email, etc. asking me to match them.”
And how does the church feel about the show?
“My church actually loves it.” Pastor Cal said. “They are so supportive and such an incredible group of people. They tell people about the show. Our church was actually founded on relationships, so it was an easy fit. Our church was founded on positive marriage and positive family.”
Look out for Pastor Cal’s book, “Marriage Ain’t for Punks,” slated to come out next year.
If you are interested in being on “Married at First Sight” and live in Houston, click here to apply.
For more information on MAFS’ current season, click here.
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