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2014 Selby Ave JazzFest entertainment lineup

Multi-Grammy nominee Harvey Mason to headline 13th annual event

Mychael Wright, founder of the Selby Ave JazzFest and owner of Golden Thyme Coffee Café, recently announced the entertainment lineup for the 2014 Selby Ave JazzFest. “This will be a good one,” stated Wright in regards to this year’s entertainers. “We’re going to have a few folks who have been with us for a number of years, a rising star within the genre and one very special surprise.”

The 2014 Selby Ave JazzFest lineup on the Allina Health Entertainment Stage will include:

• Dick and Jane’s Big Brass Band

• Walker West Music Academy’s Urban Legends of Jazz

• Brio Brass

• Jazz Heritage Showcase

• Danny Kusz

• Harvey Mason (headliner)

“This year’s showcase is a two-parter,” stated Wright. “First off will be Jason and the Q who will be taking a nostalgic look at the 1920s and ’30s. We’ll take a break for our annual awards ceremony, then follow things up with Dick and Jane Revisited, featuring Twin Cities legendary vocalist Maurice Jacox. Continue Reading →

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Keith stays the night

Keith hadn’t expected an invitation to stay the night. But Mari would hear of nothing else. So, here he sat, lounging in a robe and trunks borrowed from his father-in-law-to-be and nursing a beer, toking on a joint, watching his woman climb up out of the water and stand, shaking her hair, toweling off. As she started to rub the swell of her hips, his gaze went from admiring to a look of embarrassment. He was not quite comfortable staring at her body in front of her parents. Averting his eyes didn’t help because they fell on Mari, who looked every bit as stunning in a string bikini as her daughter did. Keith decided to talk to Hank: “So, how you like them Mets?”

“Yankee fan myself.”

“Okay, nobody’s perfect. When they gon’ get a decent shortstop?”

“Well, there won’t be any second coming of Derek Jeter. But, they got a kid coming up at Triple-A. White boy, switch hits, good with the glove, runs well. We’ll see.”

Lesli came over and flounced right down on his lap, taking the joint. “Hey, handsome.”

“Hey, yourself.”

Mari was laughing on the telephone. “You have to meet him. He’s such a gentleman. And quite easy on the eyes.”

“Mother, who are you bragging about my fiancé to?”

“Your aunt.”


“Do you have any other aunts?”

“Oh, Keith, you have to meet her.”

Keith looked to Hank who immediately put his head in his hands. He would find out later, in Hank’s den, with the other two running their mouths in the living room while something played on Lifetime, “Keith, get out of town while the gettin’s good. You think my wife is a piece of work. Her sister’s crazy as a rat. You got past Mari. Don’t press your luck all in one visit.”

“Got it. Tomorrow mornin’, catch the first thing smokin’.”

“If you value your sanity you will.” With which Hank finished his cup of coffee, his last spoonful of chocolate mousse, said, “’Night” and was gone. “’Night.”

He heard from the living room, “Come on, woman, let’s go to bed.”

“You don’t have to ask me twice.”

After a minute, Lesli came in. Wearing a Cheshire cat smile, her favorite, raggedy jeans-cutoffs and the string bikini top. “Wanna see my old bedroom?” She somehow managed to say that and look reasonably innocent yet lecherous at the same time. “Can’t wait.” The room had one poster left from before she went away to college at California State. A photo her dad had taken of Blair Underwood and Carl Franklin standing around, apparently shooting the breeze, after one of Hank’s lectures. The rest basically was blank. Nicely appointed, but blank. Your typical guest room. “So,” she said brightly, bouncing on the bed. “Whaddya think?”

“It’s a nice room.”

“No, stupid. How do you think today went?”

“Well,” he went over and laid down on the bed, kicking his sneakers off, “meeting your mother sure explains a lot about you.”

Her mouth fell open. “And what the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Ain’t neither one of you got the first lick of sense. But, y’ damn sure got personality. Continue Reading →

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Two high-caliber musicians lead in university classrooms









Are you experiencing the end of the summer blues? Ahhh, yes I can already smell fall in the air, which for me signals change. And if to journey is to embrace change, then we have but one choice and that is to do just that — embrace change. In the world of jazz, two high-level musicians are changing and adding new titles to their professional profiles. I’m talking about trumpeter Sean Jones, and saxophonist Kenny Garrett. Continue Reading →

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Sister Spokesman hosts their Third Annual Fashion show


Sister Spokesman hosted its “Third Annual Fashion Show,” on Sat., September 6, at the Minnesota Music Cafe. Below is a profile of three of the boutiques that will be at the event. Affordable Elegance

Sandra Young owns formally Affordable Elegance Consignment Boutique. Young is a former employee of Star Tribune and contributing writer for the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder. In 2006, she left her day job at the Tribune to start her consignment business. Continue Reading →

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Hank and Keith reach an understanding

By the time dinner was done with, everybody was feeling pretty nice. Which is when Mari decided to turn dinner into pool party. “Keith, darling? You didn’t happen to pack a pair of swimming trunks?”

“So happens I did not.”


“I got it.” Mari and Lesli strolled out to the front lawn, chatting like school girls. Hank handed Keith an apron, strapped on one himself. They commenced to clean up and chew the rag. “Have t’ watch you.”

“Watch me?”

“Yeah. You have and hold the singular distinction of being the first man to catch our daughter’s eye since myself who her mother didn’t cut off at the knees.” He looked Keith up and down with clear favor. “You charm snakes, too?” They both got a laugh out of that. “So,” Hank continued, lowering his voice, “this Helen St. James. She all she’s cracked up to be?”

“I don’t know what-all she’s cracked up to be, Hank.” Keith finished his drink, started a fresh one. Continue Reading →

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Zsame serenades parents at Wenso Ashby’s CD release

The evening doesn’t get off to a promising start at Else Warehouse for pianist/producer/composer Wenso Ashby’s The Rebirth: Mind, Body & Soul release event and listening party. Not having seen Ashby in ages, I eagerly reach to shake his hand. He grabs mine and literally drags me back to the door — no hello, how’ve you been, nothing  — like he’s taking out the trash, sends me back downstairs to wait. No word how long, just go wait. When I am permitted entrance, at the bar a haughty hostess ignores me. Continue Reading →

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Belle: biopic inspired by painting chronicles life of slave-turned-aristocrat

Born in the West Indies in 1761, Dido Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) was the product of the taboo union of Mary Belle, an African slave, and John Lindsay (Matthew Goode), a British ship captain. Upon Mary’s death, the concerned father brought his eight-year-old daughter to England to see whether his well-heeled aunt and uncle might be willing to take her in. After all, Lady (Emily Watson) and Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) had just adopted another niece whose own mom had passed away. Plus, since Dido and Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) were about the same age, the orphaned girls could conceivably keep each other company. Captain Lindsay further argued that his daughter was entitled to live on the family estate by virtue of her noble birthright. Continue Reading →

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The diners hold forth

Hank snatched up a cloth and began wiping the glass table down. “Would you start putting those burgers on the platter while they’re still edible?”

“Sure thing.”

“So, what’s my daughter got against Helen St. James? I saw the woman on a TV interview. Seems like a nice lady. Kind of on the sassy side, but still nice.”

“Oh, Helen’s fine. To tell the truth, Lesli doesn’t know her real well. Hasn’t taken the time. She… Well, she doesn’t like the fact that I like her. I mean, as a friend and all, but, well, Helen’s a special kind of gal.”

“Ah,” Hank said and tossed the cloth under the grill. “The green-eyed devil raising his head.”

“Yeah, you could say.”

“I wouldn’t let that throw you, son. Her mother was the same way. She’ll get over it.”

Keith winced. “You sure?”

Hank chuckled. “Just hang in there. Continue Reading →

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Local musician connects with young audience using personal experiences

By Khymyle Mims

Contributing Writer


“Hey, what’s up man it’s Mike Dreams,” are the words spoken to a young reporter at 5:04 pm on a Monday night. After giving thanks for the time, we turned what was supposed to be a brief interview with local artist Mike Dreams, into an hour-and-a-half long conversation with the man Michael Hannah. Mike Dreams, if you ask him, is just a hip hop artist from South Minneapolis with a message in his music and ties to his community. Ask a fan of the music, he’s a talented artist that relates to his audience. Ask the person who interviewed him for over an hour, and he’s a man destined for greater accomplishments in music as well as life; and it’s not by accident. Continue Reading →

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Keith survives round one

With Lesli’s mother Mari eyeballing him, Keith somehow summoned the nerve to stare right back. She pressed, “Aren’t you going to tell me how much you love her?” She took a tiny sip of her bourbon. “How much she means to you?”
Keith knew no matter what he said he’d be wrong. Figured what the hell, might as well go with the truth. “No. I’m not going to say any of that.”
She crossed her shapely legs, settled back on her hips. Reminding him again how closely she resembled her daughter. Her daughter resembled her. Vice versa, whatever. Mari pushed: “Why not?”
“Because, Ms. Hall, I can’t begin to say how much I love Lesli. Or explain what she means to me. Continue Reading →

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