It was in March of 2013, while presenting songs to music mogul Wyclef Jean, that members of #MPLS discovered how much they liked to work together. From working together on a case-by-case basis, to doing shows around the city as a cover band, group leader Brandon Commodore says one day they just had to ask the question: “Do we want to keep being a cover band thing and keep doing … [Read more...]
The MSR celebrates Black Music Month
Black Music Month began after Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams came up with the idea to set aside a month to celebrate the impact of Black music. The group successfully lobbied President Jimmy Carter to host a reception June 7, 1979, to formally recognize the cultural and financial contributions of Black music. Each president since then has announced the June observance.
On May 31, 2016 President Obama issued a proclamation to honor the month stating: “This month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art. Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up — to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.” Read President Obama’s entire statement at whitehouse.gov.
Hooked when he first saw his dad drop a needle on a record Sitting in the Avenue Eatery on West Broadway, second-generation DJ Chuck Chizzle recently offered his treatise on Black music. “Music is the only thing in this world that keeps culture together. It’s the great equalizer,” stated the young man whose 40th birthday will be later this summer. Chuck’s … [Read more...]
The MSR caught up with our beloved locally-based vocalist Debbie Duncan. Duncan (DD) shared her thoughts on Black Music Month, the importance of jazz festivals, and gave the lowdown on her upcoming shows, having recently performed at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha. MSR: June is Black Music Month. What is your definition of Black music? DD: That's a hard question because … [Read more...]
Born and raised in Chicago, 39-year-old Samantha Montgomery moved to New Orleans in 2006. By day, she works as a caregiver for the elderly and, by night, she fearlessly performs as Princess Shaw online and at local open mics. Inspired by her personal joy and pain from past and present, Princess’ lyrics resonate with honesty and emotion in a very visceral way. … [Read more...]
Up-and-coming independent, Minneapolis artist Princeton Brown has the wisdom of an elder at the ripe age of 23. Seeing the world through a critical lens, Brown seeks the simple things and natural way of life, which he expresses in his music. In the recently released new single and music video for the song “Jamaica,” Brown speaks of a life and experience … [Read more...]
It’s not often that Black music is seen and heard at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul. But three Black women recently broke through and provided “a soulful and amazing night.” On Friday, June 3, PaviElle, Jayanthi Kyle and Sarah White graced the Fitzgerald stage and played to a diverse crowd. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) 89.3 The Current presented the locally-based ladies … [Read more...]
It was a clear departure from his previous live performances over the years, but his Thursday night concert in Atlanta is one Kenya Taylor will never forget. “The minute he walked out on stage, everybody lost it. He sat down at the piano and started singing," recalled the Peachtree resident of attending Prince’s last concert performance April 14. He was resuming his new … [Read more...]
Powerhouse performer Chantel SinGs steps from behind the mic to the driver’s seat to present “Divas on the Rise 2016,” an event billed as a “celebration of women empowerment, strength and success.” She first staged the showcase in 2010 in what she described as, “a platform for some of the hottest female talent in Minnesota. Ultimately, the goal is to take it nationally and … [Read more...]