Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Septemner 17, 2017 will be “The Dizzy Gillespie Centennial.”  Jazz needs a Dizzy Gillespie for his audience communication skills and basic humanity.  We will celebrate his hundredth birthday, which will be in October, with a survey of the music in his career mainly from a time when he was playing at his best technically and imaginatively.  We will hear Dizzy with his own groups and big bands, Cab Calloway, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson, Jazz At the Philharmonic, Quincy Jones, Benny Carter and

U2 in concert
Danny North

 

The ongoing protests over a judge’s decision to find former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith have led major entertainment venues to cancel events.

Tonight’s scheduled concert by U2 at the Dome at America’s Center has been canceled, as has Sunday’s show by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran at Scottrade Center.

 The St. Louis Symphony also has canceled its concert for tonight.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend, Cherokee Street between Gravois and Jefferson will be officially designated as a Hispanic/Latino cultural district known as “La Calle Cherokee.”

The area, known for a proliferation of Latino-owned businesses and street festivals, will be unveiled as such during the annual Fiestas Patrias celebration observing Mexican Independence Day.

Joining St. Louis on the Air to discuss the importance of the designation and the celebration were:

"A Small Band," Glenn Ligon's work inspired by the Harlem Six and Steve Reich's composition, sits in the Pulitzer Art Foundation's main hall.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Fifty-four works. Forty-two artists. A meditation on the colors blue and black. 

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation’s current leading exhibition “Blue Black,” curated by acclaimed Brooklyn-based artist Glenn Ligon, is on display until Oct. 7 and asks the viewer to contemplate identity, power and race.

Sept. 11, 2017 photo. Prison Performing Arts Sescond Acts Ensemble members Robert Morgan (left) and Lyn O'Brien are buddies as well as fellow actors.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ Prison Performing Arts serves 1,000 inmates every year, some as actors, others as audience members. But leaving prison doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to the program.

Through its Second Acts Ensemble alumni troupe, PPA provides a theatrical outlet on the outside for those who honed their acting skills behind bars.

In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Robert Morgan and Lyn O’Brien, two Second Acts members, about how PPA and recently deceased founder Agnes Wilcox changed their lives.

September 12, 2017 photo. Shakespeare in the Streets' "Blow, Winds," inspired by "King Lear," is staged on the steps of the St. Louis Public Library, Central Library, downtown.
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

More than 1 million of us call the St. Louis area home.  But depending on whether you live in Affton, Ladue, Wellston or any other of the 90 municipalities — and where you went to high school — the experience varies widely.

A new play puts a Shakespearean spin on living in St. Louis. “Blow, Winds,” inspired by “King Lear,” is this year’s production of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ Shakespeare in the Streets.

Vitaly Neimer teaching a child to play.
powerfulchess.com

I took my first steps in chess in St. Petersburg when I was 5 years old. In cold Russia, chess is considered one of the mainstream sports to follow. Then, my family and I moved to Israel and discovered that chess was not any less popular.

Chess followed me through school, military service and even to a university in the United States.

Ron Himes, Beverly Foster and Dr. John Morris discussed how Alzheimer's disease impacts African-American patients and families.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

African-Americans over the age of 70 are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as white people. While there are no answers, said Dr. John Morris, director of the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University, there are some factors that might be contributing to this gap.

Nine acts were invited by the St. Louis Blues to perform at a game this season.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Blues have invited nine acts to perform the national anthem at a game this upcoming season.

The invitations are the result of a partnership between the Blues and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, an audition process that took place on a recent Saturday at Powell Hall. The Blues and SLSO selected more than one winner after being impressed by the abundance of local talent.

Open to solo singers, groups and instrumentalists, more than 650 contestants sent in video applications. Thirty-four were invited to participate.

Annie Malone, Josephine Baker, King Baggot, Ginger Rogers and Jane Darwell are just a few people with St. Louis and Missouri ties who have made significant contributions to film.

Brit Daniels of Spoon played at LouFest. Sept. 9, 2017
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

LouFest 2017 reached another set of milestones, selling out Saturday.

Music Record Shop handled sales of the performers' recordings and provided space for festival-goers to meet artists.

The festival also held its first concurrent art exhibition, overseen by TechArtista. It featured wooden triangle constructions to be repurposed after the festival. Check out our photos of LouFest highlights.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 10, 2017 will be “The Music of Oscar Peterson.”  Pianist Oscar Peterson is reputed to be the most recorded pianist in jazz.  We will hear him with Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Ed Thigpen, Ben Webster, Flip Phillips, Lester Young, Stan Getz & Lester Young, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Jazz At the Philharmonic, Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Stitt and Stuff Smith.  This show is part of the St.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

The annual LouFest music festival will be anchored in part this year by a celebration of St. Louis rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry.

A tribute Saturday, titled “Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry!” will feature musicians from national acts The Roots, Spoon, Huey Lewis, and St. Louis’s own Pokey LaFarge, Bryan Greenberg and Chris Chew. Berry’s grandsons Charles Berry III and Jahi Eskridge also will share the stage. The event will take place on the main Bud Light Stage from 8 to 9 p.m., before headliner Snoop Dogg performs.

Agnes Wilcox and Freeman Word
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on September 8, 2017:

A re-mix of “Then, and Now Again, a Workers’ Opera" will be performed on Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum in memory of Agnes Wilcox who passed away on August 28. The production will be directed by Freeman Word and is free and open to the public.

Famed author Salman Rushdie, visiting St. Louis this weekend to discuss his most recent novel, “The Golden House,” says that if you want to be a good writer, “you need to get into a lot of different kinds of rooms.”

He was referencing his knowledge of and imagination with the setting of his latest novel: a secluded garden in New York only accessible by the people whose homes abut the property. 

The Rep's 51st season.
(Courtesy: The Rep)

This week, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis launches into the second half of its first century, embarking on its 51st season. It features a robust, wide-ranging lineup of productions from musicals to classics to two Tony Award-winning productions.

Steven Woolf, the theater company’s artistic director who recently announced he will retire from the company in two years, said the company is keeping up its momentum from its landmark 50th anniversary year.

Lizz Brown
St. Louis American

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis American.

Longtime St. Louis radio personality, attorney and social justice activist Lizz Brown passed away on Wednesday in St. Louis, following a lengthy illness.

Brown fought for the rights of African Americans and for justice. As host of the award-winning talk show “The Wake Up Call” for 15 years on WGNU, Brown conducted thousands of interviews with newsmakers and policy shapers. At the beginning of her radio programs, she would say, “Living my life as a liberal and loving it.”

On Chess: Building the future chess elite

Sep 7, 2017
Former world chess champion Veselin Topalov contemplates his move
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

 

The path to becoming world class in any endeavor isn’t always perceptible to those who would like to travel down it. Certainly those who have made it to the end of the path can look back and tell others how he or she got there.

Recently, a group of young nationally-ranked chess players from the United States were given such a chance by former world chess champion Veselin Topalov.

Traveling to Albena, Bulgaria, six young players were invited to attend the first American-Bulgarian Chess Camp at the end of July. Along with six other players from Bulgaria, the students received a week’s worth of grandmaster level chess instruction, practice games against similarly strong opponents, and a chance to challenge the former world champion in an event called a simultaneous exposition.

Dana Hotle, Kyle Lombard and Adam Manness dicussed the Chamber Project of Saint Louis' 10th season.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Can the story of the famed Dred Scott decision be effectively put to music? In this tenth year of the Chamber Project Saint Louis, composer Adam Manness is giving it a try.

Theater in St. Louis is not only alive and well, it's getting stronger than ever. There are over 25 professional theater groups and oodles of community theater groups, some of which have been around forever. Our region has the well-known larger groups such as The Muny, The Rep, The Black Rep and Fox Associates which produces Broadway plays that win Tony Awards and gives us the power to get the best Broadway shows right here in St. Louis.

Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Updated September 1 with St. Louis on the Air remembrance –

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the life and legacy of Agnes Wilcox, who died unexpectedly in Canada earlier this week.

Among the many people who could talk about Wilcox, the founder of Prison Performing Arts, three joined us:

Nudo House co-owners Qui Tran and Marie-Anne Velasco
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine was back and provided some tips to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of September.

St. Louis-based author Ridley Pearson.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This interview was re-broadcast on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Monday (Labor Day), September 4.

Originally published April 4, 2017:

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by bestselling St. Louis author Ridley Pearson to discuss his Disney side.

Storyteller Bobby Norfolk once worked as a park ranger at The Arch. The lack of represenation of York in the Museum of Westward Expansion helped inspire his current performance.
File photo | Provided | Bobby Norfolk

Who were the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the Western United States? The obvious answer is Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. But many likely don't know that an enslaved African played a crucial third role.

Lewis and Clark are famous for undertaking the “Corps of Discovery” in the early 1800s. But another man, York, typically only receives a footnote in history books.

St. Louis storyteller Bobby Norfolk wants the change that. In our latest Cut & Paste arts and culture podcast, we talk with Norfolk, whose Sept. 15 storytelling event at The Link Auditorium in the Central West End focuses on York’s experience, which included adventure, hardship and terrible mistreatment.

St. Louis poet Alison Rollins
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis poet and librarian Alison Rollins started along her poetry journey in high school at Nerinx Hall in Webster Groves.

She is now a published poet, is pursuing a library sciences degree and is the librarian at the high school she attended.

The tournament hall at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center during the 2017 Spring Chess Classic.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

It has been an extremely hectic “Summer of Chess” for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, starting way back in mid-June with live commentary of Paris/Leuven and finishing strong in August with the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz, featuring the all-mighty Garry Kasparov and an astonishing performance by Armenia's Levon Aronian.

As things cool down from these events, the club takes a small respite before organizing another important event.

The Sleep Cycle

Aug 31, 2017

All of us spend a significant portion of our lives sleeping.  When we are asleep, we dream, we have rapid eye movements, some of us talk, some of us walk and at one time or other we all have nightmares.  There are a surprising number of tunes having to do with what goes on when we sleep.   We feature music by Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Ben Webster, Irene Reid, Johnny Hodges, Bertha Hope, Roger Kellaway, Count Basie, Ornette Coleman, Kurt Elling, Gary Burton, Horace Silver, Irene Reid, Meredith D'Ambrosio, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Charles Mingus, Gerald Clayton, Marilyn Crispell, Toshiko

Portion of Pageant and Masque panorama photo showing crew and assorted costumed cast members with Art Hill seating visible in the distance. Photograph, 1914. Missouri History Museum Photographs and Prints Collections.
Courtesy of the Missouri History Museum

A new 6,000-square-foot exhibit opening September 2nd at the Missouri History Museum contains panoramic photographs of St. Louis from 1900 to 1950.

“People are going to feel like they are stepping into a moment in St. Louis history,” said Adam Kloppe, public historian for the Missouri History Museum and content lead for “Panoramas of the City.”

The moments captured in the exhibit include the following 35 foot long photographs:

Walter Trout plays at the main stage of the Big Muddy Blues Festival in St. Louis on Sept. 1, 2013.
Fred Ortlip via Flickr

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, contributor Steve Potter talked about this year’s Big Muddy Blues Festival. The primarily outdoor festival takes place on Laclede's Landing and includes 50 acts on three stages, three indoor clubs and two events at the National Blues Museum.

“St. Louis has on the greatest heritages of music in the world. Often I think that we need national acts … but we have something special here in St. Louis so that’s what we’re featuring,” said Jeremy Segel-Moss, a musician and co-coordinator of the Big Muddy Blues Festival.

Author Lewis Diuguid, the son of Du-Good Chemical company founder Lincoln Diuguid August 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For more than 50 years, Lincoln I. Diuguid worked as a researcher and inventor at his Du-Good Chemical company on South Jefferson Avenue in St. Louis. But it was his formula for community engagement that would have a lasting impact on countless African-American youths.

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