Mellow maestro, smooth jazz keyboardist-producer Wenso Ashby’s new album is Artistry, paying homage to, among other jazz masters, Joe Sample and Duke Ellington. In a modest setting, the collection showcases this internationally accomplished veteran on such lush offerings as “Signature” and “Midnite Walkin,’” piano backed on bass by guests Charles Hayes, Julius Walker and Duane … [Read more...]
Arts & Entertainment: a space for local and national arts and entertainment stories, with an emphasis on stories pertaining to African and African Americans.
If you catch one club act this weekend, make sure it’s jazz maestro pianist James “Cornbread” Harris at Loring Pasta Bar where he’s a regular Friday draw. The evening I made it over, the master was in fine form. I arrived in time for his off-the-cuff ode to transportation and a rambling missive somehow connecting Jimmy Forrest’s “Night Train” and Duke Ellington’s “Take the … [Read more...]
Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer Prize win is a major milestone for hip hop, a genre that celebrates its 45th birthday this August. It’s also a triumph that many, a mere decade ago, would have never predicted. As someone who teaches and studies the politics of hip hop and rap, I was pleasantly surprised myself. I thought of hip hop’s early years when some were adamant that the … [Read more...]
The print date for this issue of MSR also happens to mark what would have been the 60th birthday of Prince Rogers Nelson. As Prince’s faith journey ultimately led him away from celebrating birthdays, I will respect his beliefs and refrain from wishing him a happy one here. As fate would have it, however, the month of June also happens to be Black Music Month, which by a bit … [Read more...]
Minneapolis-based choral organization VocalEssence has recently unveiled the musical offerings for its jubilee 50th season. Highlighting a diverse lineup of concerts and programming, the nonprofit’s 2018-2019 season promises outdoor summer sing-alongs, a new family series, and musical celebrations of inclusion, perseverance and identity. The season kicks off in August with a … [Read more...]