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Thursday, April 28, 2016

GARIFUNA JAZZ

Music: It was a glorious spring afternoon. The Alexander Avenue stoop in the historic Mott Haven section of the Bronx provided a multi-level staging area for the Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble’s music that brought traditional jazz mixed with Garifuna music to this South Bronx neighborhood. Comment.

Sign painter beautifies Georgetown

Arts & Theater: Sign painter, Andrew Allen was born in Georgetown 50 years ago, the exact year Guyana attained independence from Great Britain in 1966. So in a fitting tribute to the land of his birth and the Golden Jubilee, the painter said he wants to make a contribution and is calling on the Guyana government to commission him to paint murals for the upcoming week of celebration. Comments (1).

Light bites  & art

Arts & Theater: Visual artist Fudd, known for his contemporary abstract paintings with a gritty urban influence and Chef Nina B. are presenting their inaugural event, The House that Art Built a gallery exhibition combining food and art on April 30 at The Living Gallery located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Comment.

Sandy Wills’ story

Arts & Theater: Author, Speaker and Veteran Television Journalist Cheryl Wills from NY1 News is telling the powerful story about her enslaved ancestor who fought for his freedom as a soldier during The Civil War. Her great, great, great grandfather was the amazing Sandy Wills Comment.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A musical ‘Prince’ has passed away

Music: Purple reigns….and purple rains. The royal color painted a swath across the nation and in England with good and bad news that at age 90 in England, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch and here Prince Rogers Nelson passed away at age 57. Comment.

Trying new things can also be fun

Books: “Here, try this.” Ugh. That’s advice you almost never take because you hate new things. You know what you like, you know what you don’t – and there are plenty of things that fall into the last category. But, as in the new book “Little Shaq Takes a Chance” by Shaquille O’Neal, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, unless you try something, how do you know for sure? Comment.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 3rd Street Blackout (Unrated) Romantic comedy about a tech-addicted couple (Negin Farsad and Jeremy Redleaf) forced by a Huirricane Sandy power outage to face each other sans electronic devices. With Janeane Garofalo, Devin Ratray and Ed Weeks. Comment.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Saldana successfully channels Simone in biopic

Movies: Most of the pre-release buzz surrounding this controversial biopic has swirled around the debate about Zoe Saldana’s darkening her skin, donning an afro wig and wearing a prosthetic nose to portray Nina Simone (1933-2003). Comment.

Caribbean in Motion showcases animators to the world

Arts & Theater: An exhibit that brings to the United States a contemporary sample of animation and animated video art that showcases the potential that Caribbean animators offer to the world is being shown at the headquarters of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. Comment.

Friday, April 22, 2016

‘Fire Fire’ video released

Music: Jamaican dancehall queens Kimiko ‘Versatile’ and Keiva ‘D Diva’ bust a move in the opening salvo of the hot new Ska video “Fire Fire” from award winning crooner Richie Stephens & The Ska Nation Band featuring Rankin Lele and Papa Leu (from Sud Sound System crew — the biggest Italian reggae band) on vocals. Comment.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mayor cites Caribbean club operator with ‘Larry Gold Day’ proclamation

Music: From now and in perpetuity, April 1, 2016 will be known as Larry Gold Day in New York City. The official proclamation was signed, sealed and delivered by New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio and was celebrated at SOBs where virtually every genre of music has had a showcase. Comment.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Four loyal ‘birds’ stick together

Books: You and your girls are birds of a feather. You flock together, preen together, share your nest when needed and, while you happily sing one another’s praises, you’d never open your beak to spill their secrets. Then again, as in the new book “The Blackbirds” by Eric Jerome Dickey, you’d never crow about all the details of your own life, either. Comment.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Brain-altered convict chases int’l terrorists

Movies: CIA Agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) was in London on assignment to deliver a ransom to a computer hacker called the “The Dutchman” (Michael Pitt) when he was assassinated en route by a terrorist (Jordi Molla) with a vicious gun moll (Antje Traue). This would ordinarily be a big loss for the Agency, given the veteran spy’s talents and abilities. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Compadres (Unrated) Unlikely-buddies action thriller about a disgraced ex-cop (Omar Chaparro) who joins forces with a young hacker (Joey Morgan) to exact revenge on the mobster (Erick Elias) who kidnapped his girlfriend (Aislinn Derbez) and framed him for a crime he didn’t commit. With Kevin Pollak, Eric Roberts and Hector Jimenez. Comment.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Caribbean Playreading Series in NY

Arts & Theater: Award winning Jamaican actress and singer Dianne Dixon has joined a stellar lineup of actors from across the Caribbean for the Braata Productions Caribbean Playreading Series to be held at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) in Queens, New York, from April 22 – 24. Comment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tackling race issues head on

Books: Anything’s worth a try. Never done it before? Then give it a whirl, you have nothing to lose. You might actually like it. You might grow to love it. And then again – as in the new book “We Love You, Charlie Freeman” by Kaitlyn Greenidge, the experiment might go horribly awry. Comment.

Haiti artists forge reputation with art made of junk

Arts & Theater: PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Amid a maze of car repair shops in Haiti’s gritty capital, Andre Eugene pitches a shredded tire he found atop a towering sculpture he built out of rusty engine parts, bed springs and other cast-off junk. Comment.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jamaican chef to compete in food competition

Food: Twenty-seven-year-old Jamaican-born Chef Andre Fowles who served up a mouth-watering dish of Goat Curry with Chick Pea, Buss Up Shut, and Jasmin rice, to clinch the title of Champion on the Food Network TV reality show, Chopped, will compete in the April 19, championship tournament — Chopped Champions Battle 4 Kitchen Storm — that will be aired on Food Network TV at 10 pm E/T. Comment.

Shaken fireman faces moment of truth

Movies: Caleb Abrams (Jensen Atwood) is single today only because his former fiancee, Asia (Michelle D. Ivy), broke off their engagement the night before the wedding. During the year since, the buff Baltimore fireman has rededicated himself to his career while pursuing a love of painting in his spare time. Comment.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 13 Cameras (Unrated) Psychological thriller about a couple of newlyweds (PJ McCabe and Brianne Moncrief) whose Peeping Tom landlord (Neville Archambault) invades their privacy by secretly installing surveillance cameras all around their new home. With Sarah Baldwin, Sean Carrigan and Jim Cummings. Comment.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Oracabessa Festival

Music: It is now official! Dancehall star David ‘Mavado’ Brooks, who has a special love affair with music fans in the tri-state area, will be one of the headline performers alongside ‘My Dream’ singer Nesbeth, at the 3rd annual Oracabessa Festival that takes place at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens on Memorial Monday, May 30, 2016. Comment.

Regina Carter’s Southern Comfort

Music: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2015-16 season on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 8 pm with Regina Carter’s Southern Comfort. Comment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Guyana themed Mother’s Day Show

Fashion: Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary will get a big boost on Sunday, May 1 when entrepreneur Pamela McKenzie brings the colors of the Golden Arrowhead flag to her Annual Mother’s Day Fashion Show and dinner. Comment.

A granddaughter’s tale of a notorious Nazis

Books: You’ve heard the stories. Great-Grandpa made hooch in the basement during Prohibition. Grandma was arrested for protesting back in the ‘60s. Your great-grandma once chased a man off with a gun. Comment.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Hardcore Henry (R for pervasive profanity, incessant mayhem and graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and drug use) Revenge thriller, set in Moscow, about a vigilante’s attempt to rescue his wife (Haley Bennett) who’s been kidnapped by a Russian warlord (Danila Kozlovsky) with an army of assassins. Cast includes Sharlto Copley, Tim Roth and Will Stewart. (In English and Russian with subtitles) Comment.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Recipe Rescue cooking champs

Food: Two ninth-grade students who are members of NYU Lutheran Family Health Centers Project Reach Youth (PRY) Track program at the John Jay High School Campus came out top winners on March 12 in the 2016 Recipe Rescue cooking competition hosted by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Taking first place in the final round for high school students was Evelyn Corona Ramirez, 14, and in fourth place was Cheyenne Washington, 15. Comment.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

EASTER FASHION

Fashion: The Brooklyn Transition Lions Club brought the best out of some patrons on Saturday when they were asked to strut their stuff before an appreciative audience at the club’s inaugural Easter Fashion Show Luncheon extravaganza at St. Gabriel’s Golden Hall on Hawthorne Street in Brooklyn. Comments (1).

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Man of Steel against the Caped Crusader

Movies: Let’s face it, Christian Bale’s Batman was going to be a hard act for any actor to follow, especially Ben Affleck who had already proved underwhelming as a superhero when he played Daredevil back in 2003. And the departure from the franchise of Chris Nolan, the legendary director of the critically-acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy, only served to lower expectations even further. Comment.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Phagwah brings Spring to Richmond Hill, Queens

Music: The vivid colors of spring were everywhere on the streets of Richmond Hill, Queens last Saturday, when Caribbean nationals celebrated the festival of Phagwah, to welcome the dawn of spring, a season of joy and love, and signifies good over evil. Comment.

Making prisons more productive

Books: You do the crime, you do the time. If you’re willing, in other words, to misbehave or break the law, you need to be willing to face consequences. But what if the crime doesn’t match the punishment? What if your sentence doesn’t have a period at the end? Or what if, as you’ll see in “Incarceration Nations” by Baz Dreisinger, you didn’t commit a crime at all? Comment.

‘Bacchanal’ re-launches original Jamaica Carnival

Music: Calypso and soca music lovers in Jamaica will go back to the future on April 3 with the re-launching of Jamaica Carnival. Missing from the cultural calendar since Byron Lee, its founder died at age 73 in 2008, it seemed as if his brainchild died with him. Not so said his daughter Julianne Lee. Comment.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Catching the Sun (Unrated) Green economy documentary extolling the efforts of entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China to capitalize on the race to solar energy Comment.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Nesbeth heads to New York

Music: Reggae’s newest musical sensation Nesbeth has a big date in New York on Memorial Monday, May 30, 2016. Comment.

Dance your way to fitness, Carib style

Arts & Theater: A vision written down with a due date is no longer a dream; instead, it evolves into a goal. Just a year ago, Candace Thompson envisioned a dance collective to support and celebrate Caribbean American dancers in the Diaspora. Today, the Dance Caribbean Collective is still catapulting forward with new elements including fitness dance classes, bigger shows and more. Comment.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

MISS NEW YORK WINS CROWN

Fashion: Shawntay Henry of Brooklyn Miss New York is the winner of the 2016 Miss Caribbean United States Pageant held in New York on March 18 & 19. Miss Henry is originally from the United States Virgin Islands now lives in New York. Comment.

A trendy variation on ‘The Big Chill’

Movies: Bodhi was a popular guy back in high school several years ago. So, when he passed away unexpectedly from an aneurysm, it’s no surprise that many of his friends might decide to return home to attend the funeral. Comment.

Times when losing isn’t a bad thing

Books: You are the best kid… at something. You can run the fastest. You can jump the highest. You’re the best skipper, the best hopper, or the best dancer. But what if there was somebody better than you? See what might happen in “The Quickest Kid in Clarksville” by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Frank Morrison. Comment.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Bleed (Unrated) Horror flick about a couple of newlyweds (Chelsey Crisp and Michael Steger) who come to regret inviting their friends to participate in a ghost hunt on the grounds of an abandoned prison that turns out to be really haunted. With Riley Smith, Elimu Nelson, David Yow and Lyndon Smith. Comment.

Presenters named for Sparrow symposium

Music: Four distinguished presenters will bring different perspectives on Mighty Sparrow’s phenomenal career at the symposium focused on the legendary artist, that will take place Friday evening, April 8 at Medgar Evers College, presented by the Trinidad & Tobago Folk Arts Institute, in collaboration with the Medgar Evers College School of Professional & Community Development. Comment.

Friday, March 18, 2016

SVG Garifuna group hosts National Heroes Day

Music: Marsena Ballantyne, the Sandy Bay-born president of the one-year-old, Brooklyn-based Garifuna Indigenous People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Incorporated (GIPSVG, Inc.), has described as very successful last Saturday’s staging of the group’s inaugural National Heroes Day celebration in Brooklyn. Comment.

The Robert Glasper Trio

Music: The Robert Glasper Trio will be performing at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 8 pm. The group will perform selections from their 2016 GRAMMY Award-nominated album “Covered” along with some of Glasper’s original compositions. Comment.

Darlene Love comes to NY

Music: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2015-16 season on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 8 pm with Darlene Love. Comment.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

BALLADS FOR LOVERS

Music: Lovers of ballads, romance, R&B and red hot euphony will love the music of Dru Hill who are presently on tour celebrating their 20-year anniversary. Comment.

Poet laureate among black writers honorees

Arts & Theater: The Center for Black Literature at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College (CUNY) says former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove and literary pioneer Charles Johnson will be among honorees at the 13th National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) at the college. Comment.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Quilting for a charitable cause

Arts & Theater: The multi-purpose sanctuary of Church of the Holy Apostle in Manhattan was humming with activity — it was a modern day quilting bee. Groups of women and one man sat at circular tables in the hall, needles in hand stitching or knotting hand-made quilts of all sizes destined for others. Comment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

12-year-old recovers from incurable illness

Movies: Annabel Beam (Kylie Rogers) was born in Burleson, Texas where she was raised by her parents on a farm surrounded by cats, dogs, goats, cows and a donkey. She enjoyed an idyllic childhood there with her sisters, Abbie (Brighton Sharbino) and Adelynn (Courtney Fansler), until the age of 10 when she started experiencing severe stomach pains. Comment.

Walking tour of sculptures of women

Arts & Theater: Artist, historian and activist Lulu Lolo has taken on the mantle of drawing attention to how few New York City statues and monuments are dedicated to women. In New York City, there are 150 public statues of men and five of actual women who are not symbols — Statue of Liberty or fictitious characters — Alice in Wonderland. Comment.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: The Confirmation (PG-13 for mature themes) Dysfunctional family comedy about a cash-strapped carpenter’s (Clive Owen) attempt to reconcile with his estranged, eight-year-old son (Jaeden Lieberher) who’s been dropped in his lap while his ex-wife (Maria Bello) is away on a weekend retreat with her new husband (Matthew Modine). Support cast includes Robert Forster, Tim Blake Nelson, Patton Oswalt, Spencer Drever and Stephen Tobolowosky. Comment.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Dominicans and Haitians – bridging the gap

Arts & Theater: The Dominicans Love Haitians Movement has joined the ranks of creative Dominicans in artistic collaboration with Haitians reaching across the contentious boundary that separates the two populations of the one island, Hispaniola. Comment.

Tackling identity by using art

Arts & Theater: Conversations of identity, culture, and what it means to be an American intersect in private amongst cultural groups. There are those who cling to their roots, ignoring their ties to being an American, and those who navigate the various layers of what comprise their identity. Comment.

MASTERWORKS REDEFINED

Arts & Theater: The Dallas Black Dance Theatre returns to New York for its fifth season of self-produced performances on April 22–23, 2016 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, located at 405 West 55th St., New York, NY 10019. The “Masterworks Redefined – New York” series will showcase the energetic dance artistry of the repertory dance company that is turning 40 in its 2016-2017 season. The National Endowment for the Arts designated Dallas Black Dance Theatre as an “American Masterpiece Touring Artist.” Comment.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Terry Gajraj story

Music: Heart pounding, butterflies out of control, Terry Gajraj paced back and forth nervously backstage at the Brightstar Productions “Indo-Caribbean Show” in Toronto, Canada. Terry was about to share the stage for the very first time with many of his idols to sing in front of 8,000 hungry fans. This moment forever changed his life. Comments (5).

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

‘Soul Serenade’ takes a spin on vinyl

Books: Vinyl is making a comeback. Those are five words that put a smile on a music aficionado’s face. A CD isn’t the same, they say. An MP3 is nowhere near as good. You don’t get the right sound unless you’re spinning a record, so vinyl is coming back – but, for people like Rashod Ollison in “Soul Serenade,” it never really left. Comment.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Symposium to examine Sparrow’s career

Music: The storied career of the artist who has been the most renowned name ever in the field of calypso, Mighty Sparrow, will be examined in a symposium presented by the Trinidad & Tobago Folk Arts Institute, in collaboration with the Medgar Evers College School of Professional & Community Development, on Friday evening, April 8. Titled “Just Like That, Sparrow Turned 80,” the symposium will be held in the Mary Pinkett Lecture Hall on the Medgar Evers College campus in Brooklyn, N.Y. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: About Scout (Unrated) Unlikely-buddies drama about a 15-year-old Goth girl (India Enninga) who embarks with a suicidal stranger (James Frecheville) on a road trip across Texas in search of her missing little sister (Onata Aprile). Featuring Danny Glover, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Seymour and Nikki Reed. Comment.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Vincy soca star goes big in Europe

Music: In continuing his expansion in Europe, Vincentian-born international soca superstar Kevin Lyttle has partnered with the Dutch entertainment company, Perpetual Motions Entertainment. Comment.

Ras Slick makes power moves

Music: If the past few months are any indicator of what lies in store, it is clear that 2016 will indisputably be a year of great success for Reggae entertainer Ras Slick, also known as Sylburn Rowe by friends and family. Comment.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rihanna’s whine is not a crime

Music: Dancing is an art in the Caribbean. Men and women form crews, following the instruction of Merital Family or Elephant Man to showcase their dancing shoes, athleticism, and creativity. Comment.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SVG Garifuna group hosts inaugural National Heroes Day

Arts & Theater: With inordinate national pride and identity, the Brooklyn-based Garifuna Indigenous People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Incorporated (GIPSVG, Inc.) is hoping to tap into nostalgic celebrations by hosting, for the very first time, a grand National Heroes Day spectacle in Brooklyn. Comment.

Cultural clash: Radical Islam and Malian culture

Movies: In 2012, radical jihadists invaded the country of Mali from the north. Even though the population was already 98 percent Muslim, the uncompromising religious zealots declared Sharia the law of the land. Comment.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The firebrand’s fight for social justice

Books: You know your own mind. After thinking things through, you have your opinions and while you’re willing to listen to what others say, you’re also willing to defend what you believe in. And, as in the new book “The Firebrand and the First Lady” by Patricia Bell-Scott, your friends don’t necessarily have to agree with you. Comment.

D’Marsh’s French inspired styles

Fashion: Manifique! — Says it all for the Fall 2016 La Vie Du Noir French inspired collection by designer Glenroy Marsh. The connoisseur of fashion was on point flooding the runway with a delightful array of black outfits trimmed with just a bit of color to show off his Caribbean roots. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Ava’s Possessions (R for profanity, sexuality and graphic images) Louisa Krause plays the title character in this horror flick as a woman who has her demons exorcised by a priest (John Ventimiglia) only to have them try to reenter her body. With Carol Kane, Wiliam Sadler and Jemima Kirke. Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016

More than a myth Belafonte lives his legacy

Music: Depending on the prism an individual looks through to define Harry Belafonte, any number of definitions could apply to his legacy and storied creative and humanitarian career. Comment.

EVENING OF POETRY

Books: Poetry lovers filled to standing room BRIC House’s performance space last week for the Stoop Series event “We Be Darker Than Blue.” Performance poet Mahogany L. Browne guided a full program of word-art which culminating with featured guest Sonia Sanchez. Comment.

Friday, Feb. 26, 2016

‘Art Connect’ sheds positive light on Laventille

Movies: No matter where you are in the world, there is always a neighborhood, section, or block in a particular place that carries some sort of bad reputation. Comment.

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016

Vincy designer wows NY

Fashion: Top Vincentian fashion designer, Kimon Baptiste, says she has received “excellent” response to her “Kimmystic.Clo” label in her maiden “Pop-up Shop” in Brooklyn, New York last Saturday. Comment.

Challenges of an Alzheimer’s caretaker

Books: You can’t remember what you came into the room for. That happens with disturbing frequency. Forgetting your glasses, losing your keys, it really bothers you because you’re not sure if it’s a normal part of aging or something else. And in the new book “Before I Forget” by B. Smith & Dan Gasby with Michael Shnayerson, the worry isn’t yours alone. Comment.

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016

Jesse Owens’ triumphs at 1936 Berlin Olympics

Movies: Jesse Owens (Stephan James) is famous for winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics staged in Berlin. The and track and field events events in which he competed included the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the 4 x 100-meter relay race. Comment.

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Backtrack (R for profanity, violence and disturbing images) Psychological thriller about a shrink (Adrien Brody) who starts questioning his own sanity after discovering that his patients are ghosts. With Robin McLeavy, Bruce Spence and Jenni Baird. Comment.

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016

Singer of the year

Music: The year has just begun and soulful multi-talented singer Nefatari has been deemed by music fans and insiders as the next “It” face of music. Comment.