Robin James

Recent Articles

Well-traveled Craig Taborn speaks on homecoming gig, new album and more

 

 

In a big push forward, Golden Valley, Minnesota prodigy, Craig Taborn’s new album, Chants, (ECM) will be released on April 23. This will be followed by a tour which will be aided by a big headlining mini-festival, “Heroic Frenzies: The Music of Craig Taborn” on Friday, April 26 at the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater in Minneapolis. The Walker was one of 11 Chamber Music of America (CMA) 2013 nonprofit presenting jazz grantees and as a result will be presenting the Craig Taborn Trio. A total of $116,875 was distributed by the CMA— which is the national network for ensemble musicians— to assist with concert-associated costs. In the past, the Walker has presented the music of provocative and influential jazz pianists-composers Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer. Continue Reading →

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Blacks are four times more likely to develop kidney disease

Early detection essential to controlling the condition
 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

Eliminating health disparities is hard work, particularly when it comes to tackling the list of disparities directly related to the African American population. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is linked to that list of health challenges. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has designated March as National Kidney Month to raise awareness about the prevention and early detection of kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure. The risk of kidney disease is linked directly to higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, two of the leading causes of kidney disease. This increase is thought to be closely linked to rising rates of obesity. Continue Reading →

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Local makeup pro launches cosmetic line — Women of Color embellishes darker-hued skin

 
 
 

 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

Popular makeup brands are catering to women of color now more than ever as companies examine and rethink the importance and power of reaching this unique audience. Celebrities like Queen Latifah (Cover Girl Queen Collection) and Salma Hayek (Nuance cosmetics line for CVS) have their own makeup lines for women and are budding entrepreneurs in the field of makeup and beauty products. As a result, they are changing the way we approach beauty. This year, Fashion Fair, the prestigious cosmetics brand for Black women, celebrates its 40th anniversary. If you’re like most women, you’re looking for great makeup at an affordable price that also comes highly recommended. Continue Reading →

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José James and band awes Cedar crowd

 

 

José James didn’t just sing during his homecoming concert at the Cedar on January 29, he spoke his mind. And he delivered on the wish that most concertgoers have when they go to see a promising new artist perform. He took them on a journey. And the audience — among them, friends, family, and mentors who flocked in adoration — witnessed one of 2013’s greatest musical success stories in the making. James is a renegade artist in the tradition of Prince. Continue Reading →

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Minnesotans converge in celebration of Black History Month Expo to feature Black products, services, and fun for all ages

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

Black History Month matters. What’s being lauded as the biggest Black History Month Celebration in Minnesota — the 2013 Midwest Black History Month Expo (MBHE) — is happening at the Saint Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul on February 23, from 10 am to 7 pm. The MBHE is a ticketed event that is open to the public. All are encouraged to attend. Continue Reading →

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New music, new events and a dedication for 2013

 

Welcome to 2013. “When you’re moving in the positive, your destination is the brightest star,” Stevie Wonder sings, and so there it is, the goal for 2013. Looking ahead, here are some news items to help usher in your 2013 in a terrific and positive way. Plus, my top albums of 2012.  

It’s Miller Time — sort of

“Miller Time” premiered Sunday, January 6, on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Continue Reading →

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Hometown talent celebrate BMA’s 25-year anniversary

 
African American cable music company saluted by local music artists
 
By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

“Coming here tonight, I see so many great friends in the house who are here with us tonight…Without you there would be no us,” Pete Rhodes, the founder of the BMA Network, said at its first BMA Channel celebration held at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant on Friday, December 21. This three-hour event, which Rhodes hosted, was free and open to the public. A first-of-its-kind event, it also served as the 25th anniversary of the BMA Network. Sponsors of the event included IPR, Comcast, and the Minnesota State Lottery. Technically speaking, BMA has been around for 28 years, but as far as formal annual celebrations go, the number 25 works. Continue Reading →

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New music includes an early look at 2013 releases

 

Early next year, the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records is set to release two new albums from two legendary artists, Aaron Neville and Wayne Shorter. Now the label is busy promoting both artists and albums via touring and television. Shorter has even written a new piece composed for Esperanza Spalding, who recently won a 2012 Soul Train Music Award. Adding to the highly anticipated upcoming 2013 release schedule thus far, the Concord-Telarc division has released an impressive list of some new 2013 releases of their own. But wait: Helping to round out this year’s crop of new releases is one from ArtistShare featuring the Clayton brothers with friends. Continue Reading →

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Good and bad news: MN Orchestra, new singer’s debut, Down Beat poll results

 

Planning your holiday entertainment? Wondering about young African American female singers on the rise? Want to get caught up on Down Beat’s Reader’s Poll results? No problem.  

MN Orchestra labor dispute bad news for jazz lovers

Well, first of all, you may not have heard, but the Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) has cancelled or rescheduled concerts until next season. Continue Reading →

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