By Raymond Jackson
On a great feeling Sunday evening, Ruben Studdard and Lalah Hathaway started their 2014 tour at The Dakota Nightclub, located in downtown Minneapolis, in grand fashion!
Although the previewing marked Ruben as the marquee, once the show began it was quite apparent that there was no specific marquee involved in this performance. They were both simply fantastic. They began the show together with a five piece band and two background vocalists, who too, were really good. During the opening, two duet ballads, the dinner crowd knew they were destined to receive an after dinner mint, that would be the most favorable they had tasted in quite some time. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Is Black History Month still relevant? A mix of Black folk from the “young, and young at heart” assembled at Sirius XM’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and discussed this topic early February. USA Today columnist Dewayne Wickham, Association for the Study of African American Life Executive Director Sylvia Cyrus and social commentator Jeff Johnson were featured panelists on “Banneker, Barack and Beyond: The Meaning of Black History,” moderated by Sirius XM weekday morning host Joe Madison February 6. Sirius XM Urban Programming Vice President Dion Summers helped organized the event. “The question that we put out there — does Black History Month matter anymore — was aimed more at the group we call the ‘millennials’ (ages 18-34),” explained Summers in a phone interview with the MSR. “There always has been a certain understanding of Black History Month. Continue Reading →
Electric Lady Janelle Monáe delivers
By Junauda Petrus
Janelle Monáe’s concert on Tuesday, October 22 at the Skyway Theater, like her music, referenced a legacy of soul that young audiences were eager to witness. The music from her latest contribution, The Electric Lady, like her past works, is thought-provoking and critical, yet funky and cutting edge. Monáe’s music is bringing Afro-futurism to modern-day realities with cleverness, freshness and fun in a musical climate that is in desperate need of her fearless, funky soul. The show was a dynamic unforgettable experience that made it clear she has all of the makings of a musical icon. Monáe is a genius at making music that is complex and entertaining – an impressive pairing in a musical era in which mainstream content is often saturated with lyrics that seem allergic to any real depth or social reflection. Continue Reading →
With the fourth anniversary of the passing of Michael Jackson upon us, it’s a good time to pause, reflect and celebrate his life and his music. Celebrating Jackson’s music is something a number of contemporary artists, jazz musicians included, have done more constantly in recent years. I’m thinking of Joey DeFrancesco, Vijay Iyer, Esperanza Spalding, and the list goes on. Not only is it a popular thing to do, it’s a fine way to pay tribute to one of the most important entertainers of all time. Speaking of fitting tributes to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, BWB’s Human Nature — featuring trumpeter Rick Braun, tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and guitarist Norman Brown — was released by Heads Up/Concord Music Group on June 18. Continue Reading →
Judging by the response of most of the crowd — “We love you, Michael!,” dancing in the seats, “This is the best show I’ve ever seen.” — Mystic Lake’s “The Ultimate Thriller” on June 7 and 8, was a success. On the night of June 7, the team of musicians and dancers performed for an almost packed house. Any true fan of Michael Jackson would know that his career was not initiated by the Moon Walk. His unique voice, apparent even during adolescence, was what brought him early fame and kept him there for decades. So when this Latin-accented look-a-like tried to impersonate a soulful ballad, his voice, though passable, could in no way be confused with the King of Pop. Continue Reading →
By Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD
Vitiligo is a condition where white patches occur on the skin. This was a condition that Michael Jackson had. It can be particularly troubling when patients have tan, brown or dark brown skin, as the spots are much more obvious. Socially and psychologically, vitiligo can be devastating and have profound quality-of-life effects.
What causes vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a condition where the cells in the skin that produce color (melanocytes) either die early, or are inappropriately destroyed by the patient’s immune system. Continue Reading →
Marcus Miller has one of world’s most recognizable bass sounds, and he’s bringing that sound to the Dakota for a two-night stint on Sept 11-12. At 53, his impressive musical résumé reads like a who’s who of some of the best talent in the world. We’re talking Luther Vandross, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Take 6, Kenny Garrett, and the list goes on and on. He continues to build on a rich recorded legacy of his own, which now includes a chart-topping new album entitled Renaissance on Concord Records. The CD has 13 tracks and features special guests such as vocalist Gretchen Parlato, New Orleans vocalist/pianist Dr. John and Panamanian salsa star Rubén Blades. It also includes covers of hits by the Jackson Five, War, Janelle Monàe, and Ivan Lins. Continue Reading →
You Are Not Alone Michael: Through a Brother’s Eyes (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), Jermaine Jackson’s biography of his younger brother Michael Jackson, could have more to recommend it as informed reading about the immortal international star. In some respects, it isn’t a book one can take seriously. It is, however, tailor made for fans who take it on blind faith that Michael Jackson could do no wrong. It also, quite likely, was ghost written. Jermaine Jackson’s talent is in the studio, singing, playing and producing. Continue Reading →