Recent Articles

Minneapolis musician selected for Doris Duke Artist Award

Minneapolis native, New York-based pianist and composer Craig Taborn among 13 jazz artists to receive 2014 Doris Duke Foundation awards


Earlier this week, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced the first-ever recipients of the Doris Duke Impact Awards and the third group of individuals to receive Doris Duke Artist Awards. According to the press release, “both awards are part of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, a special ten-year initiative of the foundation to empower, invest in and celebrate artists by offering flexible, multi-year funding in response to financial challenges that are specific to the performing arts. Doris Duke Artist Award recipients receive $275,000, and Doris Duke Impact Award recipients receive $80,000. Since commencing in April 2012, the program has awarded a total of $18.1 million to artists in the fields of jazz, dance and theater.” The 2014 jazz related award recipients are:
2014 Doris Duke Artist Awards

Oliver Lake
Steve Lehman
Roscoe Mitchell
Zeena Parkins
Craig Taborn
Randy Weston

2014 Doris Duke Impact Awards

Muhal Richard Abrams
Ambrose Akinmusire
Steve Coleman
Ben Monder
Aruán Ortiz
Matana Roberts
Jen Shyu


Pianist and composer Craig Taborn is multi-talented in the realms of straight-ahead and free jazz. Continue Reading →

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Ruben and Lalah play well in the Twin Cities

By Raymond Jackson
Contributing Writer





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 →

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Few acting roles for Black females




By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

Final installment of a four-part series

12 Years a Slave made five out of nine top-10 films of 2013 lists by movie critics, and Fruitvale Station made two such lists; these two movies featured Black males as leads.  However, only two Black females — Halle Berry (The Call, Sony Pictures) and Paula Patton (Baggage Claim, Fox Searchlight) — were leads in movies released by major Hollywood studios in 2013. “Critics don’t look at a film and notice that every one of the lead roles is White,” Uptown Magazine Editor Ronda Racha Penrice said in an October article. A UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies released the “Hollywood Diversity Brief” in October and it stated that there is “a dearth of gender, racial and ethnic diversity in film and television — both in front of and behind the camera.”

Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow) and Kerry Washington (Scandal) are the only Black female leads on prime time network television this season. “I’m 5’1 and an African American woman. I just didn’t think anyone would have me to play the cop,” said Beharie of her character in an Essence magazine interview. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spotlights

JXTALICIOUS -Last of Summer Happy Hour

Friday, Sept. 27, 6-9 pm • JXTA Artists’ Cooperative at 1108 W. Broadway. Mpls.• Join the 1108 Artists in a late summer studio crawl. Stroll through nine artist studios while enjoying refreshments by Tabota Seyon of Right on Thyme Catering. Check out our spaces and learn about the diversity of art forms represented in the co-op. Continue Reading →

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Hip hop classes nurture creative expression


By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer


Arriving at renowned Watershed High School in South Minneapolis and walking to the “Hip Hop, History and the Arts” classroom to speak with curriculum founder-instructor Chadwick “Niles” Phillips is, to say the least, an interesting experience. The students have wrapped up rehearsal for the day, and he’s prepping them for the following evening’s premier of their artistic outing, “The Youth Performance Series (Act 4).”

This is, it’s clear, not simply a gathering reminiscent of Fame. These “at-risk” adolescents of color are taking advantage of the vital opportunity to pursue an alternative to the street life that more and more often sees minority youth ending up either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. The class is a viable alternative to having idle time on their hands and unwittingly following a dead-end path to a trouble-laden future. It’s a chance to begin realizing an ambition to do something positive with themselves and enjoy having their dreams nurtured to the fullest extent possible. Continue Reading →

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Disney on Ice features first Black princess

Treasure Trove production includes African American figure skaters

By James L. Stroud, Jr.

Contributing Writer


Year after year, since its debut in 1981, Disney on Ice has entertained families around the world and employed more than 400 professional skaters that bring life to Disney characters on ice. The Disney on Ice concept was created by Kenneth Feld. Feld’s company, Feld Entertainment, is the licensee of the Walt Disney Company, with exclusive worldwide rights to produce live Disney-themed shows. Disney on Ice has performed in more than 70 countries and six continents. On Thursday, December 8, 2011 through Sunday, December 11, 2011, Disney on Ice will make its way to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Continue Reading →

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My Secret Language of Wishes: Gifted actors wasted on cloying, convoluted play



Cori Thomas’s My Secret Language of Wishes at Mixed Blood Theatre is a sterling showcase for gifted actor Brittany Bradford. Bradford plays Rose, a sensitive, brightly spirited teenager severely afflicted with muscular dystrophy and is utterly convincing. In fact, the full cast is quite capable with Nora Montanez, Taj Ruler, Jevetta Steele, Signe Harriday and Mo Perry all turning in solid performances. Had they a viable script with which to work, this would have been a powerful production. Instead, the ensemble makes its way through a static morass of inert storytelling that, indeed, tells — time and time again — a great deal more than it ever shows. Continue Reading →

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