Tuesday, May 23, 2017

John Malveaux: Sins of Omission

Jordan Busa

John Malveaux of 

The invaluable Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA) under direction of founder/music director Charles Dickerson’s first performance at Getty Museum-Harold M. Williams Auditorium-is guilty of ‘Sins of Omission’.  Ron Hartwig, Getty Vice President of Communications, is a current ICYOLA board member and he appropriately invited ICYOLA to perform classical genre in conjunction with the exhibition Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for MusicCelebrating the 50th anniversary of the Berlin and Los Angeles sister-city partnership, the exhibition explores connections between Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonic and Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.  The Getty exhibit was closed at conclusion of concert and I was unable to personally visit the exhibit.

The ICYOLA has the unparalleled distinction of being the only African American founded organization to annually (eight consecutive years) present at Disney Concert Hall. As best I know, they are the only African American founded organization to EVER present at the iconic Disney Concert Hall.

Most of the ICYOLA Getty concert program was devoted to German composers Bach, Handel and Mozart but also included Italian composer Ennio Morricone, Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, and American composer John Williams. The loquacious Charles Dickerson was picturesque in sharing incites about featured composers, but did not mention a single African American during the entire 90+ minute program.

Former ICYOLA concert master and current Long Beach City College student Jordan Busa was violin soloist for Theme form Schindler’s List. Inclusion of the cotemporary film score begged the question of Jesse Owens and the Berlin Olympic Games. Jesse Owens is the subject of two movies.

African American composer William Grant Still lived in Los Angeles. His music was internationally performed by the Berlin Symphony. William Grant Still “La Guiablesse” CD was recorded by the Berlin Symphony under baton of African American conductor Isaiah Allen Jackson.

The scope of contemporary classical music achievements by African Americans in Berlin will exceed your availability of time and perhaps interest, but please permit me to share a favorite story.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               During a tour of Germany in 1923, African American concert singer Roland Hayes faced a protest in Berlin. A newspaper writer criticized him as “an American Negro who has come to Berlin to defile the name of the German poets and composers. The night of the concert Roland Hayes faced an angry audience who mocked him for 10 minutes.” While standing there, “Roland Hayes signaled his accompanist to change the order of the program. He began to sing “Du bist die Ruh,” which was one of the favorite lieder of the German people at that time. He sang it so beautifully, they stopped hissing and started listening.” “The greatest sign of approval at that time was the pounding of walking sticks, which all the gentlemen carried, on the floor. So halfway through the song, the pounding of the sticks started. There was so much noise, that by the time he reached the last note, it couldn't even be heard, because the audience was up on their feet already. And after that, he quietly continued with the rest of the program.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: Laughl! (2:50)


Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, Laugh!
Hello, friend! Aaron Dworkin here from AaronAsk.com. I wanted to let you know I just launched this week's video titled Laugh. We all live pretty busy lives and finding available time can be a challenge. In this week's video, I discuss how important it is to find time to laugh. Yes, laugh. Taking just five minutes three times a day to laugh can bring you a great deal more joy and creativity in your life. Take a look and let me know your thoughts!

League of American Orchestras announces 72nd National Conference in Detroit, June 6-8, 2017

May 22, 2017

Against the Backdrop of Detroit's Dramatic Renewal,

League of American Orchestras' 2017 National Conference

to Examine Role of Orchestras in a Changing Public Policy Landscape

Detroit Rising / Transformation in American Orchestras

June 6-8 in Detroit

Special Events Include Celebration of League's 75th Anniversary, Presentation of Ford Musician Awards and The Gold Baton

New York, NY (May 22, 2017) – The League of American Orchestras' 2017 National Conference in Detroit, June 6-8, will focus on the ways forward for orchestras in an uncertain public policy landscape. Using the story of Detroit's revitalization and resurgent creative community as a backdrop, the Conference will include a diverse array of civic, business, and cultural voices, including many from the Motor City.
Nearly 1,000 orchestra constituents from across the country – managers and staff, musicians, trustees, and volunteers – are expected to attend the Conference, taking place at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, home to Conference host Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Leonard Slatkin. This is the third League Conference in Detroit; it was held there previously in 1964 and 1986.
The 2017 National Conference will include live performances, social and networking events, and an assortment of sessions highlighting diversity, artistic innovation, fundraising, audience development, technology, financial sustainability, and more, including a special behind-the-scenes look at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's groundbreaking live video webcasts.
"As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, we find one of the League's core mandates – that together we are stronger than individually – more prescient than ever," said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras. "At the Conference, we will hear from diverse voices, using the city of Detroit's remarkable transformation as a symbol of what we can accomplish together, through effective partnerships, advocacy, and innovative practice."

"The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to be the host orchestra for this year's League of American Orchestras' Conference," said Anne Parsons, president and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. "Our resurgent city that we are so proud to call home is sure to surprise and delight the Conference delegation. We know everyone will come away inspired and enriched by the content of the meetings and as well as their experiences in the great city of Detroit.
The Conference Opening Plenary kicks off at Orchestra Hall on June 6 with Detroit Rising: Stories of Renewal, a panel discussion of how economics, race, immigration, urban versus suburban, arts and culture, and transportation converge in a story about transformation and how to lead in the face of tremendous adversity. Ann Hobson Pilot, former principal harpist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will receive the League's highest honor, The Gold Baton. She will also perform.

On June 7, the Luncheon and Annual Meeting will celebrate the official launch of the League's 75th anniversary and League Giving Day, a new one-day fundraising campaign. Five musicians and their orchestras will receive the Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service, and The Annie Moses Band will be featured in a special showcase performance.
The Closing Plenary and Luncheon on June 8 will feature national thought leaders Melanca Clark, president, the Hudson Webber Foundation; Maria Rosario Jackson, member, National Council on the Arts, senior advisor to the arts and culture program, the Kresge Foundation; Rip Rapson, president and CEO, the Kresge Foundation; and Steven J. Tepper, dean, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University will discuss Pathways Forward as they examine the role of arts and culture in these uncertain times.

Conference delegates will enjoy a variety of events, including an evening performance at Orchestra Hall on June 6 by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin, of Mohammed Fairouz's Pax universalis, Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, Sarah Kirkland Snider's Something for the Dark, Michigan native Jonathan Bailey Holland's Equality (text by Dr. Maya Angelou), and Mason Bates' Warehouse Medicine. Detroit resident Shara Nova is the vocalist and Dr. Tonya Matthews the narrator. The concert will also feature a special performance by the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Immediately following the concert, the venue's Atrium will be the site of an all-delegate Tune-Up Party; the next evening, on June 7, a social event for young professionals will also take place at the Atrium, followed by a DSO Mix @ The Max concert with Detroit's Shigeto in the DSO's flexible performance space The Cube. Conference attendees will also have the option of attending a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park on the evening of June 7.
The inspirational story of Detroit and its orchestra, as well as advocacy strategies for orchestras navigating the current public policy environment, will be woven into in a number of Conference sessions, including:

  • Opening Plenary
  • Closing Luncheon and Plenary
  • Mapping the DSO Journey
  • No Sound Barriers: Sphinx at 20
  • Changing Orchestra Culture: A Conversation with DSO Musicians
  • Make the Case Now!
  • Activating and Nurturing Community Alliances
  • Cultural Equity

Additional Conference Elective Sessions on June 7 and 8 will cover a range of topics including diversity and inclusion, community engagement, artistic programming, digital marketing, audience development, pricing, and philanthropy. Highlights include:

  • Bold and Informed: Researching Audiences on a Budget
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Action
  • Market Smarter: Insights and Strategy for Digital Marketing
  • The Strategic and Artistic Understanding of Pops
  • Classical Musicians of African Descent: Perspectives, Aspirations, and Outlook
  • Pricing: The Heart of the Matter
  • Socially-Conscious Musician-initiated Projects in Haiti and Seattle
  • Change Before You Have To (featuring the League's Emerging Leaders Program Class of 2017 with lead faculty John McCann)
  • Musicians as Organizational Leaders
  • What is the Relevance of the Western Orchestral Canon in America Today?

Other Pre-Conference sessions include:

  • Foundations of Collective Bargaining
  • Leadership Seminar with Horst Abraham, faculty, Ross School of Business, Executive Education, University of Michigan
  • Education and Community Engagement Half-Day Meeting
  • Everyone is a Fundraiser: A Fundamentals-rich Application-robust Crash Course on Fundraising
  • Knowing Your Audience: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • 2017 Diversity Forum, the League's third national convening of leaders from the field addressing major initiatives and topics, including a national diversity audition fund, national instrumentalist mentorship and audition training, field-wide board and staff diversity, and music education pathways.

For a full Conference schedule, including online registration, hotel accommodations, and travel discounts, visit http://americanorchestras.org/conference2017/

Read full press release here.

Comment by email:
Bill, thank you so much for posting this! Best, Rachelle [Rachelle Schlosser]

Yo Yo Ma and Lara Downes join University of Michigan SMTD Dean Aaron Dworkin in video addressing importance of the arts in America


Video: myumi.ch/a87nK  
Acclaimed artists Yo Yo Ma and Lara Downes join U-M SMTD Dean Aaron Dworkin in video addressing importance of the arts in America

(Ann Arbor, MI) -- Acclaimed cellist Yo Yo Ma, a Sphinx Special Artistic Advisor, recently participated in a video with Aaron Dworkin, dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), and pianist Lara Downes. The video features the trio performing a short cello-spoken word-piano piece to celebrate and make a statement about the power and purpose of the arts in America.

The video was filmed by Michigan Media at the McIntosh Theatre in SMTD's E.V. Moore Building in April, when Yo Yo Ma was in Ann Arbor for a concert at Hill Auditorium with Edgar Myer and Chris Thile. It features the music of "Poema III" by Carlos Nobre and was arranged by Dworkin, the founder of the Sphinx Organization in Detroit. Yo Yo Ma is a Sphinx Special Artistic Advisor and Downes is a Sphinx Medal of Excellence winner. Afa Dworkin, the president and artistic director of Sphinx, acted as the artistic advisor for the video.

“We live in a divisive world where at times it seems that no one is listening to one another. This is where the arts, time and again, prove their power as bridge builders between people of different races, cultures, and faiths,” said Dworkin, who wrote the spoken word text. “In this day and age, with all the challenges that lay in front of us, I can’t think of anything more important than finding ways to create a dialogue and open avenues where we can truly listen and learn from one another. The arts have, and will continue to show us, how to do just that.”

The video is currently posted on SMTD's Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as the SMTD website.

Comments by email:

1) Thanks so much Bill... you are wonderful! Aaron [Aaron P. Dworkin]

2) Terrific! Thank you so much for your support William! [Marilou Carlin]

3)  Thank you Bill! Love, L [Lara Downes]

Sunday, May 21, 2017

WLBZ2.com: Master Pianist Awadagin Pratt [Playing With DaPonte String Quartet]

Multicultural Correspondents Dinner in Washington DC Includes Juan Williams of Fox News, Television Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Juan Williams - Fox News - Television Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Honorees Announced for 2017 Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner

Red Carpet 5:45 – 6:45

Full Line – Up for Multicultural Media Correspondence Dinner Is Set As Hollywood and Politicos Gather to Salute Excellence in Media Diversity!

Washington, DC (May 19, 2017) – The full slate of honorees for the second annual Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner MMCD™ has officially been announced ahead of the event scheduled for May 25, 2017 at the National Press Club in Washington DC.  Last years’ honorees included actor Jamie Foxx, Richard Lui from MSNBC, Victor Shiblie Publisher The Washington Diplomat, Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks, Armstrong Williams Owner Howard Stirk Holdings, and a host of trailblazing multicultural media correspondents. The guests were a mix of conservatives and liberals, millennial’s to baby-boomers, celebrating multicultural media luminaries and enjoying a hilarious political roast.

Official start time for the VIP red carpet entrance is 5:45pm. The dinner and awards show will begin promptly at 7pm. The MMCD ™ events team is proud to announce that C-Span will broadcast live coverage of the awards ceremony and political roast (check local listings for air time).

“There is a lot of tension in the air in Washington, DC right now” said Aaron T. Manaigo, Co-Chair of the event. “If only for one night, our unique showcase to honor multicultural excellence in media presents an opportunity for folks of all stripes to come together, laugh a little and just let some of the steam out of the pipes”

This year’s MMCDTM red carpet hosts include-- Fox News contributor Mercedes Schlapp and Roland Martin of TV One. Actor/writer/comedian Mr. Chris Spencer will once again serve as the evenings Master of Ceremony.  The official after party for MMCD ™ will be hosted by members of the Washington, DC diplomatic community. Celebrity attendees include Grammy nominated artist/producer Ryan Leslie and legendary dance-music artist Crystal Waters. We invite you to take the Vote it Loud Multicultural Media Poll to help us gather insights into consumer confidence and diversity in media at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MulticulturalMediaConsumers.

The MMCD 2017 honorees include:

Robert Rodriguez, El Rey Networks - Broadcast Media Owner of the Year

Suzanne Gamboa, NBC Latino - Fifth Estate, New Media Broadcast Executive

Traci G. Lee, NBC Asian America - Fifth Estate, New Media Broadcast Executive

Cherylyn Harley LeBon, The Conservative Blog - Fifth Estate, New Media Print Executive

Joe Madison, Sirius XM - Radio Journalist of the Year

Helen Zia, Women’s Media Center - Print Journalist of the Year

Juan Williams, Fox News - Television Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Dr. Ben Chavis, National Newspaper Publishers Association - Media Advocacy Organization of the Year

The Honorable Tony Cardenas - 2017 Congressional Advocate

The Honorable Greg Walden - 2017 Congressional Advocate

Monique Nelson, Uniworld Group - Media Advertising Executive of the Year

Lamia Rezgui, Voice of America - International Journalist of the Year

The Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner MMCDTM was created in 2016 to honor and salute luminaries and highlight the need for greater diversity in telecommunications and media (2016 Event Video Reel - https://vimeo.com/177397447). Visit voteitloud.com for more information, and follow the event across social platforms by tracking #VILMMCD and @VoteItLoud.


Jean Malveaux: CBS New York: 1982 Basquiat Artwork Sells For Record $110.5 Million

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Untitled 1982 (Credit: Sotheby's)

John Malveaux of  
sends this link:

— A 1982 artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a record $110.5 million at Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art Thursday night.

Sotheby’s said the sale of “Untitled” was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction. The painting’s graffiti-like typography depicts a face in the shape of a skull.

The piece was purchased by noted Japanese collector and e-commerce entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war.