1. The Pace Report: "I Put A Spell on You: The Nina Simone Music Tribute" wsg Dr. Sonia Sanchez


    from Brian Pace / Added

    2,335 Plays / / 1 Comment

    “To be young, gifted and black” Lorraine Hansbury During the late 1950’s African-Americans were beginning to speak of the injustices of race, discrimination, education, and the lack of pride of a people that was subjected to the rigors of American racism. Certain scenes of white segregation took hold and roar it’s ugly head when Emmett Till, a young teenager from Chicago, visited his family in Money, Mississippi during the summer of 1955. Being from the north, the young Till wasn’t acclimated to the strict ‘Jim Crow‘ laws and rules blacks had to obey. One day he went to the store with his cousin and allegedly whistled at the store owner’s wife. Word spread fast and then soon Till was kidnapped from his great uncle’s home and then tortured, beaten, and shot then killed. Roy Bryant, owner of the store that Till made the gesture, along with J.W. Milam, then took Till’s body and thew him in the Tallahtachie River with a cotton gin fan tied around his neck. Both Bryant and Milam were acquitted for the murder of Emmett Till. Mamie Till, the mother of Emmett, wanted the world to see what these brutal men did under the laws of the ‘Jim Crow‘ south. This incident, along with the monumental arrest of Sister Rosa Parks, lead to what would become the era of the Civil Rights Movement that lead, and still leads the battle for blacks and minorities around the country. It was also this time that the Black Arts Movement began producing black writers, artists, directors, and musicians to express their art, via the arts, a new awakening throughout the country. Writers like James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Cecil Brown, Nikki Giovanni, and Ishmael Reed expressed the deep concerns of the plight of blacks trying to have the same equal rights. Even sports figures like Muhammed Ali, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlain played a major part on trying to allow blacks to compete or ask for the same pay as their other white counterparts. When it came to the Black Arts Movement in the arts, icons like Paul Roberson and Josephine Baker had been blackballed by Hollywood and Washington, DC due to their strong political beliefs and how some in the establishment didn’t take kindly to “black nationalism” as J. Edger Hoover, former F.B.I director stated. Musicians like Odetta, Harry Belafonte, Abbey Lincoln, and Max Roach began to play and sing songs of the civil rights movement. These song or spirituals were the nucleus of rallies and marches all over the south. Sister Nina Simone was both a fiery and passionate musician and vocalist that gave the world her unique social commentary at a time during the 1960’s when all blacks were tired of fire hoses, home bombings, and the south’s ‘Jim Crow’ laws. One of Simone’s many anthems included “Mississippi Goddam,” a song about the many atrocities that took place in Mississippi and parts of the south during the early 1960’s. Incidents like the murder of NAACP activist Medgar Evers being assassinated, the four little girls that where bombed to death in Alabama, and Dr. Martin Luther King’s endless tirades to organize effective non-violent demonstrations to raise the awareness of civil injustices against blacks. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21st, 1933 in Tyron, North Carolina, Nina the was sixth child of eight in a struggling working class family. Her father was a minister by trade, but was also a businessman that owned many businesses until the depression wiped out the local economy in the surrounding cities where she grew up. Her mother and many in the community knew of young Eunice’s gift to play the piano and singing. She always played during church every week as well as special functions. Nina received free piano lessons and played and competed during middle and high school. Upon graduation, she was supposed to study classical piano at the Curtis Institute of Music where Nina had high expectations to become a classical pianist. Although she wasn’t accepted, she moved to New York City where she studied at the Juilliard School of Music. Playing bars in Atlantic City to help pay for her tuition, she changed her name to Nina Simone named after the French actress Simone Signoret. Nina was also developing her stage presence and her unique blend of all forms of American roots music. She played classical, pop, jazz, blues, and what would evolve into soul music. On a whim, she recorded a group of singles that would become her debut record called “Little Girl Blue” in the winter of 1958. One of the singles of that session,“I Loves You Porgy,” would become a hit for Nina and the rest would become history. Nina, years later would find out decades later that when she sold the rights to her debut album for $3000, the record would go on to make millions leaving her angry for years that she didn’t get any royalties. From the start, she didn’t have many hit recordings like her contemporaries like Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Sarah Vaughan. Nina’s music was considered ahead of the curve allowing her to play some of the most important supper clubs and theaters all over the world. At a time when singers were either working the soul and jazz circuits, Nina was singing music that represented the connection of what was going on around the country. She forced black and white listeners to embrace African based records like “Zungo” and “Baby Brown.” Also, she became a fixture for the civil rights movement with songs like “Old Jim Crow” and “Blacklash Blues.” Another important record of her’s was Dr. Billy Taylor’s anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free.” A couple of weeks ago during the 2011 Urbanworld 15th Annual Film Festival one of the many special events that took place was “I Put a Spell on You: The Music Tribute of Nina Simone” with special guest Dr. Sonia Sanchez. Ms. Sanchez has been on the front-lines since the origins of the Black Arts Movement since the early 1960’s and rubbed elbows and marched with the likes of Malcolm X, Dr. King, Eldridge Cleaver, and her dear friend Nina Simone. The tribute was present by Party Rebel, Forrest Renaissance, and the legendary Jamal Joseph of New Heritage Films and the Impact Repertory Theater. Many of today’s up-and-coming female soul and jazz vocalists came out and performed many of Nina’s legendary songs. Artists like Maya Azucena, Abby Dobson, Nikki Jean, Lina Elder, Cookie Batie, Lady Blue, Avnah, Kendra Ross, and Brianna Colette brought a new and fresh voice to Nina’s music to fans that range from their teens to their 80’s. The program was almost two and the half hours and Dr. Sanchez opened the festivities with the poem she wrote and performed at Nina’s funeral. Throughout the evening many of the vocalists expressed their gratitude to Nina and how she spoke up for women’s rights as well as the unfair rights of blacks. During the 1970’s Nina began singing and speaking out against the Vietnam war. It was also that time when she undergone some personal problems and fled to Barbados and then to Liberia, Switzerland, and finally France where she resided until she died. Nina, like poet/vocalist legend Gil-Scott Heron, were leaders of a conscious movement to help blacks through music, to empower people to take a stand on injustices. As the 1970’s lead to affirmative actions and the hiring of blacks in all sectors of the workforce, their talent and messages of their music fell on deaf ears. Disco and funk ruled the radio airwaves; and jazz and music with social causes became what would become punk rock and rap music, two musical styles that shut them out. Punk rock become the anti-establishment for angry white kids and rap was the same but came and originated from the inner-city ghettos from New York City. Nina fled the states to find herself as well as try to have somewhat of a normal life from performing. Whereas, Gil became a junkie and never became the icon he once was. What I admire about Nina and brother Gil is that they wrote and sang what it is to truly be “young, gifted, and black” at a time when they made us examine ourselves and how we must play a part in this race war. It seems that we don’t have musicians that had the guts to put up with both race and artistic integrity like Nina and Gil. At a time when there are two wars, a borderline recession, racists epithets spewing freely from Tea Baggers and angry G.O.P’ers; no one has stepped up to the plate artistically. I commend Nina and Gil for their musical genius to lead at time when blacks need to take a stand. I guess my generation and the generation under mine is content with Lil’ Wayne and Dr. Murray killing the King of Pop. I bet Nina and Gil are rolling over in their graves right about now!

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    • Blowout / Payback


      from Noisemaker Media / Added

      Artist: Blowout / Title: Payback / Directed by Mark Carranceja / Co-Directed by Walter "Blowout" Miller / Music Produced by Element (M. Carranceja) / Year: 2008 / Starring: Walter "Blowout" Miller, Danny "DP One" Pinero, Cynthia Bracero, Rolando Liriano, Pete Miser, David "Castro" Delgado, Maya Azucena / www.noisemakermedia.com / www.turntableanihilists.com

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        from Creative Control / Added

        1,008 Plays / / 1 Comment

        Watch a sneak peek of Caits Meissner's The Living Room Sessions, a new webseries that offers unmasked, experiential glimpses into the lives of underground artists, and the settings in which they create. Episode one coming June 15th here on Creative Control TV.

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        • Maya Azucena: A SoulMentary


          from Beresford Bennett / Added

          903 Plays / / 1 Comment

          Grammy-winning, world renowned soul singer, Maya Azucena, is revealed in this short that takes you into who she is as an artist, humanitarian, and spokeswoman. It is an international journey of sound, heart, and consciousness, about one woman's commitment to uplift others, one note at a time. Maya Azucena: A SoulMentary is a music-filled documentary, edited by Beresford Bennett.

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          • Maya Azucena | Cry Love


            from Noisemaker Media / Added

            Download "Cry Love" single on iTunes: http://bit.ly/nWqoNL and "Cry Love" LP on iTunes: http://bit.ly/uwOAZr Noisemaker Media and Maya Azucena Present "Cry Love." "Cry Love" sets a high water mark for the illustrious career of Grammy recording artist, Maya Azucena. This Pete Miser/Christian VerHalen-produced song serves as a socio-political platform which declaims the social injustices of humanity. Director Mark Carranceja paints with light to tell an intimate tale of characters who struggle through the injustices of their respective circumstance. Maya Azucena | Cry Love | A Noisemaker Media Production | Deborah Dorman and Jeff Dorman [Executive Producers] | Mark Carranceja [Director, Cinematographer and Editor] | Deborah Dorman and Jeff Dorman [Executive Producers] | Music Produced by Pete Miser | Co-Produced by Christian VerHalen CAST: Andres De Vengoechea [John], Joey Lindecy [Pimp], Desislava Zhivkova [Call Girl], Mitzy Bello [Pregnant Mother], Elio Cerna [Father], Lorenzo Sanchez-Stramiello [Child], Alyssa Abreu [Model], Tony McGrath [Model], Mallory Rosenblatt [Model], Sheena Rutty-Minott & Her Daughters [Family] NOISEMAKER MEDIA: Rosina Murphy [Assistant Director] | Luis Valbuena [Production Manager] | Justin Denmark, Malik Honor and James Palugod [Lighting and Grip] | Malik Honor and James Palugod [Behind The Scenes Camera Unit] | Eric Greszczak, Stephenetta Harmon, Andrew Marrero, Ralph Marrerro and Christina Ortiz [Production Assistants] MAYA AZUCENA'S STAFF: T'Rah Holliday [Hair, Make-Up and Design], Kyra Climbingbear [Assistant MUA], Bern The Label [Wardrobe], Alicia P [Jewelry For "Justice"], Fred Fraleigh [Wings For "Justice"], Elio Cerna and Kaila McDonald [Production Assistants] | Ujima Entertainment Services, LTD. [Booking & Management For Maya Azucena] Filmed at Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, Bronx, NY. Thanks to G1, Intikana Kekoeia and all of the members at the collective for their support during production. Production equipment provided by Hello World NYC & CSI Lighting NYC. For more info on Maya Azucena, please visit: http://www.mayaazucena.com For booking and management services, please contact: management@ujimaproductions.com Follow Maya Azucena: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MayaAzucena Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mayaazucena For more info on Noisemaker Media, please visit: http://www.noisemakermedia.com Follow Noisemaker Media: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/noisemakermedia Twitter: http://twitter.com/noisemakermedia MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/noisemakermedia Vimeo: http://www.vimeo.com/noisemakermedia YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/noisemakermediaone ©2011 Noisemaker Media and Maya Azucena. All Rights Reserved.

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            • Maya Azucena: How Do You Use Your Voice?


              from Omega Institute / Added

              483 Plays / / 0 Comments

              Award-winning singer and activist Maya Azucena takes a stand against violence through the upcoming One Billion Rising Campaign and her new music video, Dance Revolution. Maya connected with One Billion Rising founder, Eve Ensler, at the Omega Women’s Leadership Center’s 2012 Women & Power Conference. This resulted in a unique collaboration to help end violence against women and girls. The Women & Power Conference is a celebrated biennial gathering bringing together women leaders and visionaries from all over the world to share ideas and insights. Learn more about Women & Power: http://www.eomega.org/omega-in-action/key-initiatives/omega-womens-leadership-center/programs/women-power-series. Watch Dance Revolution: http://www.mayaazucena.com/

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              • Mr. & Mrs. Katz


                from Neglakay Productions® / Added

                469 Plays / / 0 Comments

                This is the video for the marriage of then Ms. Pilar Newton and Mr. Ivan Katz. On Sunday the Twenty Third of October Two Thousand and Eleven at two o'clock on a picture perfect afternoon, witnessed by thier family and friends, at Prospect Park in the Gracian Shelter. Brooklyn, New York. Ivan and Pilar are now known as Mr. & Mrs. Katz. Song: "Belong To The Sun" from the Album "Cry Love" by Maya Azucena www.mayaazucena.com/ Performed by- Maya Azucena Horn by: Francisco Sadeus.

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                • B-Side | Maya Azucena


                  from Brooklyn Independent Media / Added

                  381 Plays / / 0 Comments

                  Celebrating the warrior spirit is nothing new to song bird Maya Azucena. Both a celebrated songstress and an altruistic actives, Maya’s talents are boundless, and she’s shared them, and her epic 4 octave range, with us on this incredible episode of B-Side. Hosted by Tondrae Kemp. Original air date: Aug 28, 2014 BRICartsmedia.org/bkindiemedia

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                  • Maya Azucena - Set You Free


                    from Boat Safety Films / Added

                    362 Plays / / 4 Comments

                    Purity is less of a true experience these days, and more of a faux effect. Purity of tone, heart, and dare we say, soul, are harder to come by than a seventeen-leaf clover in a Bed-Stuy parking lot. Purity of vision, pitch, and hair. Hard up for a little old fashioned, soul style, full-on spiritual, blues-melting call to purity? Meet Maya. She'll fix that up for you.

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                    • Bop Gun - July 11, 2010 - Rest in P - BB King New York


                      from Bill Bryant / Added

                      355 Plays / / 3 Comments

                      The Black Rock Coalition pays respect to Garry "Starchild" Shider with this show on July 11th at BB King in New York. "Bop Gun" features Maya Azucena backed by M. Nahadr, Charla Funk & Shelley Nicole on vocals with the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra including, Darrell McNeill, Melvin Gibbs, Andre Lassalle, Dennis Diamond, Gene Williams and special guest Jerome Brailey on drums.

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