Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Gaslight Cabaret

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard about the return of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival, which starts October 13 and runs through November 11. 

Joining the program with contributor Steve Potter were Farah Alvin and William Michals, discussing their careers and appearance at the festival in November. Alvin is a singer, songwriter and actress. Michals is a baritone singer and actor.

Amanda Doyle, author of "100 Things To Do In St. Louis Before You Die."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is the kind of city you can live in all your life and still uncover hidden gems in neighborhoods you’ve never before visited.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, local author Amanda Doyle helped us uncover some of those gems as she discussed her book “100 Things to Do in St. Louis Before You Die.”

Kris Kleindienst, co-owner of Left Bank Books, stand next to the ResiSTL display table.
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

The protests in St. Louis over the last three weeks have topped the news almost daily.

Even for those who stay up on what’s happening, there may be questions about how this came to pass again, just three years after race-related protests in Ferguson.

Delving into St. Louis’ history of racial division and relations between police and black people can seem overwhelming. St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman set out to make a reading list with recommendations from people who are used to being asked.

Matt Sorrell, Lavinia McCoy and Sean Morris discussed soul food on St. Louis on the Air.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is home to so many soul food restaurants, it is hard to get an accurate count of them all. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, contributor Steve Potter delved into the world of soul food from an outsider’s perspective. What comprises the food type? And what should you know about ordering?

Words from home: Newspapers

Oct 8, 2017
Chinese-American News offices in University City. 2008. 300 pixels wide
Courtesy of the News

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 5, 2008 - Area residents don't have to go online or to another country to read ethnic newspapers. Publications here have been breaking news and keeping the region informed in languages other than English for decades.

Today, the Bosnian Sabah, Spanish Red Latina and Chinese-American News along with national publications like Il Pensiero are keeping that tradition alive. The papers are also looking to the future and possible reinvention as English language publications - or dual language publications - with a specific ethnic focus.

Reviews of top shows: at RAC and Mad Art

Oct 8, 2017

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 4, 2008 - If you missed the incredible opening of "Screwed In" -- and even if you saw it -- it's highly, highly recommended that you visit the exhibition, even though it's a completely different (and quieter) animal than it was on that opening night.

Leonard Slatkin spent 27 years with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, 17 of them as music director. When he left that post in 1996 the SLSO gave him the title Conductor Laureate. Since leaving St. Louis in 1996, he has been music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a post he will give up at the end of the current season.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for October 8, 2017 will feature “The Music of Mal Waldron.”  Pianist Mal Waldron was one of the great accompanists in jazz, playing with nearly everyone during his over 50-year career, including Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Teo Macero, Steve Lacy, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Terence Blanchard & Donald Harrison, Abbey Lincoln,  David Murray, Judy Niemack and Anthony Braxton.  He composed over 400 tunes and we will hear two of these played by our own Hard Bop Heritage group and Dizzy Gillespie.  He also composed music scores for at least four films.

(L to R) Michael Donovan, Robert Lynch and Sherry Sissac
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

In Missouri’s big cities and in its rural area, the arts have a big impact – not only for their inherent value – but economically as well.

“It’s a billion dollar story [in Missouri],” said Michael Donovan, Executive Director of the Missouri Arts Council, an organization that has funded the arts in communities across the state for more than 50 years.

Donovan along with Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Sherry Sissac, Deputy Director of the Regional Arts Commission, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Friday.

Steve Potter
Susannah Lohr

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Public Radio afternoon host and talk show contributor Steve Potter.

With St. Louis Public Radio fulltime since 2001, Steve has contributed to the station in many ways. For 11 years he hosted the arts and culture program Cityscape, and the last few years has served as a back-up host and contributed arts and culture segments to St. Louis on the Air.

Author Nick Pistor and St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discuss "Shooting Lincoln" at Left Bank Books on Sept. 27.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The men who took the most memorable photographs during the Civil War are the subject of local author Nick Pistor’s newest book, “Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Race to Photograph the Story of the Century.”

At a special St. Louis on the Air event last week at Left Bank Books in the Central West End, host Don Marsh talked with Pistor, who is a former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

On Chess: Race to the Candidates Tournament

Oct 5, 2017
2017 World Cup Champion Levon Aronian will go on to the Candidates Tournament in 2018
Lennart Ootes

Levon Aronian, from Armenia won the 2017 FIDE World Cup, defeating his Chinese rival Ding Liren in the finals. The World Cup was held in Tbilisi, Georgia, between Sept. 2-27.

The World Cup was a unique event this year as the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, chose to participate. He didn't have to, however, because the World Cup is primarily a qualifier in the world championship cycle and is used to determine the challenger to the reigning world champion. 

Todd Decker, musicology professor and chair of the Department of Music at Washington University
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The music used in films helps tell a story, guide plotlines and elicit emotional responses from an audience. This is especially true of war films.

Todd Decker noticed there is a distinct difference in the music of combat movies before the war in Vietnam and after it.

Prior to the Vietnam War, music was “meant to send the audience out of the theater marching along to victory,” said Decker, a professor of musicology and chair of the music department at Washington University in St. Louis.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson congratulates business owners and residents of South Grand Boulevard on Oct. 4, 2017.
Chelsea Hoye| ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis has been named one of this year's five Great Streets on the American Planning Association’s Great Places in America list.

The nonprofit organization recognizes streets and public places across the country that demonstrate "exceptional character, quality, and planning — attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire others around the country."

“It’s the stories, the memories, and the people that continue to make a street and a community great,” said Jim Drinan, CEO of the American Planning Association.

The Dinosaurs album cover features all four bandmates shot in black and white in a line.
Provided by Big Muddy Records

Four decades ago, a young Bob Reuter walked into the T&D Lounge, a south St. Louis dive bar, just as the country band on stage announced the end of its run at the club. Reuter, then in his mid-20s, walked up to the bar and talked the bar manager into offering him the performance slot. But there was just one problem. He didn’t have a band.

So Reuter reached out to three friends and formed the Dinosaurs, which he claimed was the city’s first punk band. It wasn’t, but over the next three months, the band played a weekly four-hour gig at the bar, combining covers with original tunes that sounded too punk for  rock ‘n’ roll and too rock for punk.

Big Muddy Records has refocused attention on the late guitar player, singer and DJ with its release of the band’s first self-titled album. That early music established the brash Reuter as an enduring force in St. Louis’ underground music scene.

Burnt-end nachos at West Port Social, one of Sauce Magazine's picks for new spots to try in St. Louis in October.
Sauce Magazine

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of October.

On Monday, Catherine Klene, the magazine’s managing editor, and Matt Sorrell, a staff writer, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know. 

You can find full descriptions here, but here are the spots they recommend:

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, world-renowned author Dan Brown, most famous for “The Da Vinci Code,” joined host Don Marsh to discuss his most recent novel, “Origin.”

The book, featuring the famous character Robert Langdon again, will be released on Oct. 3 and centers heavily on new technology. 

Sept. 30, 2017. Dail Chambers works on a piece called A Song for the Black Rising at the St.ART event in Forest Park. Chambers the piece examines repetition and and reflects the current Stockley verdict protests and the 20th-century Great Migration of
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

The two-day St.ART festival this weekend is billed as a street art event, but it takes places in parks, not streets.

It opened Saturday at Langenberg Field in Forest Park with local artists including Basil Kincaid, Cbabi Bayoc and Peat Wollaeger covering 8- by 10-foot canvasses with mostly black and white materials including paint, spray paint and quilted pieces.

The stark images represent deep divisions within the St. Louis community, said organizer Michael Tompkins.

“The segregation, not just in race, but also in the socioeconomic divide,” Tompkins said.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for October 1, 2017 will be “The Music of John Lewis.”  Best known as the pianist and music director of the Modern Jazz Quartet, John Lewis was involved in much more.  During his over 50 year career, he played with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and was involved in the development of Third Stream music, a classical jazz hybrid.  We will hear him with the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Miles Davis “Birth of the Cool Band,” The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and small groups, the American Jazz Orchestra, Clifford Brown and J.J.

Mårten Jansson and Philip Barnes discussed the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus' 62nd season on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh learned more about the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus’ 62nd season, which begins Oct. 1. The first performance of the six-concert season will feature a world premiere by Swedish composer Mårten Jansson.

Joining us in studio were Jansson himself as well as Philip Barnes, the artistic director of the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, to preview the concert and what’s coming up in the 2017-2018 season.

Grandmaster Georg Meier from Germany eventually won the 2017 Fall Chess Classic, but not without a difficult battle.
Austin Fuller | Saint Louis Chess Club

The 2017 Fall Chess Classic brought together strong grandmasters from all over the world. The tournament, which has the goal of providing experience and training opportunities to collegiate students, as well as for the American women’s team, was a huge success. Despite the ongoing FIDE World Cup, which just finished in Tbilisi, Georgia, the event attracted a serious amount of attention from around the globe.

On the set of a documentary shot in Ireland in 2016, featuring SLU professor Thomas Finnan.
HEC-TV

Time has a way of erasing what came before, often pushing lived history underground. A new documentary from HEC-TV that will premiere this fall follows the effort of one Saint Louis University professor and archaeologist as he and his team aim to uncover a specific piece of Irish history: the remnants of Gaelic lordship from the Middle Ages.

Gaelic Ireland refers to the era from around 1200 to 1700, or the late medieval period.

On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, we discussed tips and trends of drinking in St. Louis in 2017.
Sauce Magazine

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, our partners at Sauce Magazine joined the program to discuss their annual “Guide to Drinking,” and how St. Louisans can get the best of their drinking experience in St. Louis.

Joining the program to discuss:

  • Matt Sorrell, Staff Writer, Sauce Magazine
  • Heather Hughes, Managing Editor, Sauce Magazine
  • Catherine Klene, Managing Editor, Sauce Magazine

Listen to the full conversation:

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

A convoy of 60 vintage military vehicles idled on the parking lot at Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka last Wednesday, ready to roll at sunrise.  

But first, the convoy paused for the National Anthem.

These can-do jeeps, ambulances and trucks were parked here overnight, while the drivers slept at nearby hotels and campgrounds. The vehicles were built to transport soldiers and supplies during World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars. Now, they’re vehicles of history, owned by members of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, an organization of nearly 10,000 collectors.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 24, 2017 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour (Dizzy Gillespie Tunes) + New Music.”  The quieter side of jazz in the first hour will feature tunes by Dizzy Gillespie played by pianists Lynne Ariale, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Keith Jarrett, Mary Lou Williams, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Barron.  The noisier side of jazz will be heard in the second and third hours with new music played by Harold Mabern, the Debbie Poryes Trio, Emi Meyer, the group Hudson, a Martian Solal/Dave Liebman duet, Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd playing a Mo

Sherman Alexie, a Spokane-Coeur d'Alene-American novelist, short story writer, poet, and keynote speaker of BookFest St. Louis joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Sherman Alexie, acclaimed novelist, memoirist, poet and filmmaker, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday. The author is keynoting the inaugural BookFest St. Louis, which will take place in the Central West End this weekend.

Alexie is also in the midst of promoting his recent memoir, “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me,” which was published earlier this year.

SLSO Music Director David Robertson in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The acoustics of Powell Hall. The musicians. The audience.

David Robertson acknowledges that embarking on his final season as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is “bittersweet.” Robertson, however, who’s been with the SLSO since 2005, isn’t looking back just yet. He’s focused on the orchestra’s upcoming season, its 138th.

On Chess: Can chess prevent memory loss?

Sep 21, 2017
People enjoying a game of chess outside the Chess Club
Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

Dr. Lauren Schwarz and colleagues at Saint Louis University School of Medicine are conducting a research study examining the effect learning and playing chess has on memory loss. The researchers are using neuroimaging to measure whether or not a specified program of playing chess results in functional changes within the brain. This study is being conducted with funding provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in Saint Louis.

Marsha Coplon and Jeane Vogel are working to collect oral histories from Meacham Park residents.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A year and a half ago, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Springboard to Learning and Webster Arts formed a collaboration to document and celebrate the history of Meacham Park.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by Marsha Coplon, education director for The Rep, and Jeane Vogel, executive director of Webster Arts, to discuss the Meacham Park Celebration that is the culmination of the collaboration.

Author Margaret Atwood will recieve this year's St. Louis Literary Award on Tuesday, September 19.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, iconic author Margaret Atwood joined the program to discuss her career and legacy with contributing host Steve Potter.

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