Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Logan Ely is the chef behind Square 1 Project, a pop-up restaurant concept.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Sound Bites is produced in partnership with Sauce Magazine, our monthly installment exploring cuisine in the St. Louis area.

Chef Logan Ely has been around the globe and back a few times since growing up in St. Louis. He spent time at Chicago’s North Pond Restaurant after graduating Forest Park Community College’s culinary program and from there went to Hong Kong and New York.

On Chess: Super-GM event has surprising result

15 hours ago
Grandmaster Hikiaru Nakamura at the Super GM event in Norway in June, 2017. Nakamura got second place in the event.
Lennart Ootes | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The annual Super-GM event in Norway began in 2013 and continues to get stronger each year. This year’s edition held June 6 -16, had 10 players, including the “Big 3” American players: St. Louis resident Fabiano Caruana; 2017 PRO Chess League Champion with the Saint Louis Arch Bishops and reigning U.S. Champion Wesley So; and several time U.S. Champion Hikaru Nakamura.

 

The event was played in a round-robin format, where each player plays all other participants. With 10 participants, each player plays nine rounds, hoping to score the most points to win the tournament.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday.

What summer reads should be on our list? You tell us.
meg | Flickr

Well, it’s officially summer now – and with that comes time spent by the pool, on vacation or maybe even a few “sick days” spent at home. With that in mind, we brought in three local book experts to give us suggestions of their top summer reads.

We’re focusing on books for adults this time around but, in a few weeks, we’ll also discuss children’s book recommendations.

You can find links to each book discussed below, but our guest from Left Bank Books made this handy list as well. 

Players on the Arch Rival All Stars roller derby team run drills during practice on Monday, June 12, 2017, ahead of the Sibling Rivalry invitational.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

As of 9 p.m. on a Monday earlier this month,  the temperature had not sunk below 90 degrees all day. Despite the lethargic heat, the St. Louis Skatium, an un-air-conditioned, no-frills skating rink in south city, was bustling with action.

For two hours, the Arch Rival All Stars, 20 of the best women’s flat track roller derby players in St. Louis, have been running drills and scrimmaging.

June 12, 2017 photo. Patty Prewitt (right) and Amy Sherrill perform a scene from "Run-On Sentence" in the Prison Performing Arts production at the Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center
Provided | Prison Performing Arts

A St. Louis-based organization called Prison Performing Arts (PPA) is taking a fresh approach in its 27-year-old effort to turn inmates into actors.

The program is known for the “thees,” “thous” and “forswears” of Shakespeare’s scripts. But a contemporary play on stage Thursday at the Women’s Eastern, Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia expands PPA beyond The Bard.

“Run-On Sentence” is based on interviews done with those inside the institution. Inmate Patty Prewitt said the playwright Stacie Lents took time to really understand their world.

Stephen Lord, retiring music director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air on Monday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Stephen Lord has been coming to St. Louis for 37 seasons of Opera Theatre Saint Louis in some sort of role with the company. For the last 25 years, he’s been music director, but after this season closes at the end of this month, he’ll step down from that position.

Nermana Huskic, right, and Diana Mrzljak, 15, set out watermelon before lunch at Gateway 180 June 18, 2017.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Because Islam puts a special focus on charity during the holy month of Ramadan, many Muslims St. Louisans are taking extra time to serve others.

This year, Ramadan began May 27 and ends June 25.

Sunday a couple dozen people from a nonprofit organization called RukaNade served lunch at the Gateway 180 homeless shelter in St. Louis’ Carr Square neighborhood.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sundan, June 18, 2017 will be  “The Career of Wynton Kelly.”  Pianist Wynton Kelly graced many live and studio sessions with his clean, lively lines.  He was best known as an accompanist, pushing the music of Art Pepper, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Joe Henderson, Art Blakey, Milt Jackson, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Abbey Lincoln to new heights.  In addition, we will hear one of his compositions played by a group with seven tubas and a rhythm section.

Jazz St. Louis Executive Director Gene Dobbs Bradford
File photo | Dennis C. Owsley

The Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis will honor two performing arts advocates with lifetime achievement awards during the 2018 St. Louis Arts Awards.

David Baron, the author of "American Eclipse," discussed the upcoming total solar eclipse that will pass over parts of St. Louis on Aug. 21.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Author David Baron is not kidding when he says he’s been looking forward to the total solar eclipse that will occur on American soil on Aug. 21, 2017, for the past 19 years. In 1998, he saw his first total solar eclipse. He’s now seen five different total solar eclipses around the world … but never one over his homeland of the United States.

June 12 marked the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, the deadliest terror attack on American soil since September 11, 2001. Forty-nine people died in the shooting and 53 people were injured in the attack.

The Rev. Carlton Lee, right, speak at a rally in 2014 with Michael Brown Sr., left, and Lezley McSpadden, center.
File Photo |Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

“God is not going to judge you by your behavior in heaven. He’s going to judge you by what you did on earth,” The Rev. Al Sharpton said at the funeral for Michael Brown in August of 2014 at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

“He will say, ‘when Michael Brown, an 18-year-old boy, laid out in the streets of Ferguson — what did you do? What did I require of you?”

The Rev. Carlton Lee, senior pastor of The Flood Christian Church, was among the first to take action after Brown was fatally shot by a police officer.

On Tuesday, June 13, Lee died suddenly from an apparent heart attack. He was 34.

A view inside Olive + Oak, which is located in Webster Groves.
Sauce Magazine

Sound Bites is produced in partnership with Sauce Magazine, our monthly installment exploring cuisine in the St. Louis area.

In this year’s Sauce Magazine Readers Choice Awards, two local dining favorites became clear: Olive + Oak in Webster Groves and Katie’s Pizza & Pasta in Rock Hill.

The action at the Grand Chess Tour in Paris in 2016
Chess Club and Spectrum Studios

The third annual Grand Chess Tour, arguably the top chess tour in the world, is right around the corner with none other than Magnus Carlsen headlining the event. Another treat for both the players and chess fans is the addition of the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament following the Sinquefield Cup. With quicker time control events and inclusion of more players, the 2017 tour promises to be unforgettable.

De Nichols, a local artist and community organizer behind "Sticky Note to Self" and a variety of other community-focused projects, joined St. Louis on the Air on Wednesday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Can a reflection jotted on a sticky note spark social change? Can it help community activists feel less alone? Those are questions local artist and activist De Andrea Nichols is answering with her project “Sticky Note To Self.”

“From any path you take always get back to happy,” reads one sticky note. “There are lessons in our losses,” reads another. You can see them all on the Facebook page for the project here.

A 100-foot sculpture  made from fibers and plastic sheets hangs from the ceiling at St. Louis Lambert International Airport over the heads of Southwest Airlines passengers waiting to pass through security.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Amid the hustle and bustle of morning rush at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, a man in a red baseball hat, blue sportswear shirt, and flip flops chats with a woman in jeans and T-shirt and an adolescent girl in tie-dye.

Much of their exchange is lost to the cacophony of people asking agents for directions, complaining to airport workers about the long security line and making bland observations about arrivals and departures. Yet one comment slips through the noise.

“Wow, it looks like a lake,” the man said, nodding up at the new sculpture hanging from the ceiling, before turning to head through the security checkpoint.

“We Live Here,” a popular podcast from St. Louis Public Radio exploring race and class in the St. Louis region, is back on Tuesday with the first episode in its third season. The style of the show has changed over the course of its first two seasons, but season three marks the most dramatic shift.

File photo: St. Louisan Chris Akerlind won a 2017 Tony Award for his lighting work in "Indecent," featuring Adina Verson. right, and Katrina Lenk, as Rifkele and Menke.
File | Provided | Carol Rosegg/Courtesy of Sam Rudy Media Relations

A St. Louis theater professional took home a Tony Award Sunday night.

Chris Akerlind, resident lighting designer for Opera Theatre of St. Louis, won the Tony for Best Lighting Design of a Play for his work in the Broadway show, “Indecent!”

Akerlind has been with Opera Theatre since the early 1990s. This is his second Tony Award. In 2005, he won in the same category for “A Light in the Piazza.”

Nina Ferrigno, Christopher Stark and Scott Andrews discussed this year's Missouri Chamber Music Festival on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The seventh annual Missouri Chamber Music Festival returns to St. Louis this week with a slate of classical chamber-style performances at Washington University and in Webster Groves.

A married couple, pianist Nina Ferrigno and Scott Andrews, principal clarinet at the St. Louis Symphony, direct the festival, which they started in 2010 to educate and promote chamber music in the community.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for June 11, 2117 will be “The Career of  Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.”   Also known as “the great Dane with the never ending name,” Ørsted Pedersen was born in 1946.  His father was a church organist.  He took piano lessons as a child, switched to bass at age 13 and made his first recordings at 14.  By 15 he was working regularly at Copenhagen’s famed Montmartre Jazzhus and by 16, toured Scandinavia with Bud Powell.  He recorded with Albert Ayler at age 17 and had a career accompanying Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Dexter Gordon, Joe Pass, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillesp

Dr. Jonathan Smith and Sharon Stevens joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh for a discussion about the depictions of African-American men and boys in the media.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Negative public perception of African-American men and boys in American society has long been documented. Discussion in recent years has turned to how depictions of black men and boys in different media contribute to this stereotypical image.

Charles Berry, Jr. stands behind a podium with a giant image of Chuck Berry behind.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For more than 40 years, bassist Jim Marsala toured with Chuck Berry. They played together in the Kremlin in Moscow, on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, and at Berry’s regular Duck Room show at Blueberry Hill in the Loop.

In the early 2000s, Berry’s son Charles Berry Jr. joined the band. Berry then began music, writing piano lines, lyrics and guitar parts for what would be his final work — tapping Marsala and his son on guitar.

Those recordings will be released today in the rock icon’s final album, “CHUCK.” The younger Berry says it’s a classic, and shows that late in life his father remained a gifted songwriter with a knack for making people dance.

On Chess: The musical imagery of chess

Jun 8, 2017
Wesley So and Akshat Chandra playing at the opening reception of The Imagery of Chess: Saint Louis Artists on March 23, 2017.
World Chess Hall of Fame | Michael DeFilippo

Chess, music and art are pursuits from differing spheres but which have shared meaningful connections over time.

In 1944, chess master and Dadaist, Marcel Duchamp, gallery owner Julien Levy and Surrealist painter Max Ernst set out to recontextualize the game of chess by inviting over 30 painters, photographers, architects, designers, sculptors and composers to create modern interpretations of traditional chess sets. The resulting works were featured in a groundbreaking 1944 exhibition, The Imagery of Chess, which illuminated the game as a lush landscape for artistic expression of all kinds.

Redoubled No. 3 by Jen Everett dipicts a layerd photo of the side of a black man's face that has been scarred.
Provided by Projects+Gallery

Sculptor Kahlil Irving has been making art for more than 10 years and his reputation as a critical thinker and talented sculptor continues to grow. But all too often, he says, people primarily think of him and other black artists in St. Louis in terms of their race. And Irving’s sick of it.

Richard Cohen, Vivian Anderson Watt and Cecilia Nadal discuss "Between Worlds" with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Later this week, Gitana Productions will debut a production that utilizes acting, poetry, music and dance to get across a point that we share common history and similarities between people. The production is called “Between Worlds: An American Journey,” and opens tomorrow night.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by three people involved with “Between Worlds.”

Stéphane Denève will be the St. Louis Symphony's next music director.
Photo by Drew Farrell | Courtesy of St. Louis Symphony

The St. Louis Symphony has named Stéphane Denève as its next music director.

Denève, music director of the Brussels Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, will serve as music director designate during the 2018-2019 season. His three-year term begins with the 2019-2020 season.

Edward McPherson, author of "The History of the Future," joined St. Louis on the Air on Tuesday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“St. Louis is a city of gates that do not normally swing wide,” writes author and Washington University English professor Edward McPherson in “The History of the Future,” a book of essays reflecting on American places which was released earlier this spring.

This week marks the 21st annual Twangest, a local music festival celebrating Americana music at Old Rock House.
Twangfest

This year marks the 21st for Twangfest, a local music festival drawing national and local bands to Off Broadway in south St. Louis to celebrate Americana music.

For organizer John Wendland, this year’s festival (featuring bands like Black Joe Lewis, Chuck Prophet and Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards) feels like it has finally matured.

“You know, it took a while, but here we are,” Wendland told St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter.

File photo: St. Louis Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed said it would be unfair to appoint a poet laureate until the controversy is settle.d
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The delay in naming a new St. Louis poet laureate may soon be over.

in December, a poet laureate task force recommended local poet and educator Jane Ellen Ibur. The next step was up the Board of Aldermen, which oversees the position. But a dispute about whether the task force followed regulations has delayed the board’s vote for five months.

Board President Lewis Reed now says he believes Ibur will be offered the position. But first, he wants a board committee to look into the way task force chair Aaron Williams handled its affairs.

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