Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Bruiser Queen (Morgan Nusbaum and Jason Potter) stand before a giant mural
Provided by Bruiser Queen

Today's the day! We've reached the end of our local Tiny Desk Contest countdown. Our final favorite to highlight? Bruiser Queen

This week, we highlighted the favorite local Tiny Desk Contest submissions ahead of a Tiny Desk STL Happy Hour concert on Thursday,  at Anew, the rooftop venue above the Big Brothers and Big Sisters building in Grand Center.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

If you look at a map of the Normandy area, three large splotches of green space stand out amid the patchwork of small municipalities that make up this chunk of north St. Louis County.

They’re golf courses, and they date back to the early 1900s.

On Chess: March Madness at the PRO-Chess League

Mar 16, 2017
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

European Chess Grandmasters earn their bread and butter by playing for clubs in leagues across Europe.  Clubs hire grandmasters to play for their teams in the fight for the National Club Championships.  As with soccer, members take great pride in their clubs and seek to hire the strongest players.  It is not uncommon for a grandmaster to play for teams in the German, Dutch, French and Spanish leagues over the year, allowing them to earn a decent living wage.  

Kenny DeShields sits at a wooden table smiling wryly
Provided by Kenny DeShields

This week, we're counting down favorite local Tiny Desk Contest submissions ahead of a Tiny Desk STL Happy Hour concert on Thursday,  Anew, the rooftop venue above the Big Brothers and Big Sisters building in Grand Center.

More than 50 St. Louis area acts submitted to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest this year. There were more than  6,000 entrees nationally.

After an intense voting round, we've narrowed down the top five local submissions to the contest, which we are highlighting on our website and on St. Louis on the Air this week. Earlier this week, we brought you interviews with Monkh and the People and Roland Johnson. Yesterday, we heard from Augusta Bottoms Consort.

Today, we turn our attention to Kenny DeShields.

Jessica Hentoff, the executive director of Circus Harmony, recently lost her father, who died in January at the age of 91. She joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss a tribute she's planning for him.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In January, Nat Hentoff, a syndicated columnist and writer noted for his jazz criticism and attention to First Amendment issues, died at the age of 91.

His daughter, Jessica Hentoff, is a St. Louis resident and will pay tribute to her father’s work in an upcoming performance featuring Circus Harmony, the organization of which she is executive director.

Gwen Moore and Percy Green joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss the Missouri History Museum's recent exhibit "#1 in Civil Rights."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you remember the day two St. Louis activists climbed 125 feet up a construction ladder on the unfinished north leg of the Gateway Arch, you remember a key moment of the civil rights movement in St. Louis. Percy Green was one of the people who climbed the Arch on July 14, 1964.

Band members stand holding various stringed instruments from left to right are Gloria Attoun, Michael Bauermeister, Paul Ovaitt, Rebecca Mayer.
Provided by Augusta Bottoms Consort

This week, we're counting down favorite local Tiny Desk Contest submissions ahead of a Tiny Desk STL Happy Hour concert on Thursday, March 16, at Anew, the local rooftop venue above the Big Brothers and Big Sisters building in Grand Center.

More than 50 local acts submitted to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest this year. There were over 6,000 entires nationally.

Lebanon, Ill. Mayor Rich Wilken presented Lebanese photographer Fadi BouKaram with a key to the city.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

As you may have heard featured earlier today on “Morning Edition,” Fadi BouKaram, a photographer from the Middle Eastern country of Lebanon, is on a unique journey throughout America.

BouKaram is traveling in an RV and is attempting to visit all of the communities in the United States named after his homeland.

Lebanese photographer Fadi BouKaram is traveling across the U.S. visiting every town that shares the name of homeland. Here he is pictured in front of his 21-foot RV.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Fadi BouKaram, a photographer from the Middle Eastern country of Lebanon, is on a mission in the United States. He’s attempting to visit all of the 40-plus communities in the U.S. that share the name of his homeland.

He acquired an RV and began the five-month trip on Oct. 15, 2016. The first Lebanon he visited in the United States was in Oregon.

Tiny Desk Saint Louis logo rooftop concert
Susannah Lohr

More than 50 local acts submitted to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest this year. There were over 6,000 entires nationally.

While the winner of the national contest, Tank and The Bangas,  has been crowned, we decided here at St. Louis Public Radio to ask for your help selecting a few local favorites. After an intense voting round, we've narrowed down the top five local submissions to the contest, which we'll be highlighting on our website and on St. Louis on the Air this week.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 12, 2017 will be “The Repertory of Brown-Roach, Incorporated.”  One of the greatest small groups in jazz history, Brown-Roach, Incorporated, was formed in 1954 by Clifford Brown and Max Roach.  It lasted only two years until Brown’s young life was cut short in a traffic accident.  We will hear the group on two selections and also hear their recorded repertory played by Dinah Washington, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgerald, Thad Jones, Ron Jefferson, Joe Henderson & the Wynton Kelly Trio, Joe Lovano, the Dutch Jazz Orchestra, Karrin Allyson, Wes Montgomery, Qu

Joan Lipkin, the artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company, joined "St. Louis on the Air" on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

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For the past six years, That Uppity Theatre Company has produced 50 short plays presented as part of a festival called “Briefs: A Festival of Short LGBTQ Plays.” The festival continues this weekend and it will be the last, said Joan Lipkin, artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company.

A crowd of artists had many questions for St. Louis' mayoral candidates at this February 27 forum.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louis’ next mayor takes office, local artists will be waiting.

They’ve got a list of things they want the mayor — likely Lyda Krewson — to do in support of the arts. They presented their ideas to mayoral candidates in a recent forum presented by Citizen Artist St. Louis. Their goals include a living wage, more artists at the table when economic development plans are decided and recognition of artists’ economic contributions.

The Winter Chess Classic Tournament Hall, located on the second floor of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center March 2017
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

In this column, we usually talk about some of the most prestigious events in the entire world: The U.S. Chess Championship, rhe Sinquefield Cup, the Olympiad, the Candidates, the Women's World Championship. However, very rarely do we talk about the path to the top.

Magic City plays a show Feb 19, 2011 at the Schlafly Tap Room. The band is performing seated on the group bathed in yellow light
Provided by Dana Smith and Magic City

When St. Louis bassist Anne Tkach died in a house fire in 2015, the members of her band, Magic City, found themselves adrift. The group had been working on a follow-up to Les Animaux Épouvantables, their 2011 driving rock ‘n’ roll album.

Tkach and drummer Sam Meyer kept the group anchored. Without her, the band members weren’t sure how to keep working on the album. Her death made every possibility seem out of the question.

Eventually, the musicians pulled themselves together. This month, they’ll release the album “Le Vie Est Chere” in Tkach’s honor.  It will be their last release as a band. They’ll play one last show at Off Broadway on March 31.

Shannon Greir, seated in this file photo, took classes at St. Louis' Improv Shop to work her way into the theater world and produce her play, "Fat."
Provided | Shannon Greier

Shannon Geier knows what it’s like to be rejected because of the way she looks. For years, she struggled to lose weight, and was often afraid of how people would react to her.

“I felt like the love I got was conditional, based on my size,” Geier said. “[I’ve been] on blind dates and having the guy see me and turn around and run from the restaurant.”

Today, Geier is at a weight she considers healthy. Now a playwright, she hasn’t forgotten the pain of rejection, but has found a way to talk about it in "Fat," a new play on stage in St. Louis that deals with weight and body image.

David Greenhaw, Ghazala Hayat and Mont Levy joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss "The Cave."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis on the Air

Your support makes this program possible. Keep St. Louis Public Radio Strong. Donate today.

An upcoming production from Arts & Faith St. Louis aims to connect Jewish, Christian and Muslim people together in the shared traditions and history of the Abrahamic faiths.

Tiny Desk Saint Louis logo rooftop concert
Susannah Lohr

A big thanks to all of you who took the time to sample St. Louis' local music scene and submit your videos to NPR's Tiny Desk Contest.

NPR Music's rules don't allow us to pick a contest "winner." But, with your input, we're able to select singers and bands people in the St. Louis area should know more about. Nationally, there were more than 6,000 entries. Nearly 50 of them were in the St. Louis Public Radio listening area.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 5, 2017 will be “The Compositions of Hoagy Carmichael.”  Songwriter-pianist-singer Hoagy Carmichael was an important figure in the jazz scene of the 1920’s and 1930’s and some of his compositions are still used today.  We will celebrate his compositions with music played by Duke Ellington, Sidney Bechet & Muggsy Spanier, the Ray Brown Trio, Peck Kelly, Bill Charlap, Oscar Peterson, Louis Armstrong & Jack Teagarden, the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Curtis Fuller, Dave Brubeck, the Jeff Hamilton Trio, George Adams, Ahmad Jamal, Carmell Jones, Shei

Kent Coffel as Zorba and Dominic Dowdy-Windsor as Nikos in New Line Theatre's production of "Zorba"
Jill Ritter Lindberg

Your support makes this program possible. Keep St. Louis Public Radio Strong. Donate today.

Overgrown greenery almost entirely obscures a gravestone at which a giant white paper mache heart is positioned.
Provided by Jennifer Colten

When Terri Williams’ daughters brought home their Black History Month assignment from school, she noticed most of the historical figures were entertainers or athletes. 

This contrasted with the uniquely heroic lives she saw represented by the figures interred at Washington Park Cemetery — people like Ira Cooper, the first black police lieutenant in St. Louis, George L. Vaughn, the attorney who fought for J.D. Shelley in the Shelley vs. Kraemer court case that eliminated courts’ abilities to enforce housing segregation.

William’s learned about such figures while researching the cemetery for the new exhibit “Higher Ground: Honoring Washington Park Cemetery Its People and Place,” which opens at The Sheldon this weekend.

Wednesday: The best new St. Louis restaurants to try during the month of February
Michelle Volansky

Your support makes the unexpected possible. Keep St. Louis Public Radio Strong. Donate today.

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 March.

Officer Nate McCraw enjoying a chess game with public school students.
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The current climate of community and police relations in our country has forced law enforcement agencies to examine what tactics work well and what areas pose challenges. Officers work extremely hard day in and day out to keep the citizens of our community safe. However, the focus on building relationships while performing their jobs should also be a priority and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is committed to finding opportunities to build better community relationships, especially with youth. Now, they are doing so through chess.

Choreographer Stephanie Martinez worked with Big Muddy Dance Company to create a piece inspired by Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, who died in 1957.
Provided | Dance St. Louis

A 20th century Chilean poet who wanted her daughter to be more than just a princess is the inspiration for a dance performance on stage in St. Louis this weekend at the Touhill.

The dance that is rooted in the poem is called “Destino, Roto.” It’s one of three pieces in Dance St. Louis’ “Women Who Inspire,”  the name of the organization’s fifth annual New Dance Horizons presentation.

Bill Siemering was instrumental in the founding of National Public Radio and the creation of "All Things Considered." Today, he runs Developing Radio Partners.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

National Public Radio will serve the individual: it will promote personal growth; it will regard the individual differences among men with respect and joy rather than derision and hate; it will celebrate the human experience as infinitely varied rather than vacuous and banal; it will encourage a sense of active constructive participation, rather than apathetic helplessness.

That’s an excerpt from a 1970 mission statement that Bill Siemering wrote at the outset of National Public Radio, of which he was one of the original organizers and its first program director.

St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones responds to questions from the audience while alderman Lyda Krewson looks on.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The leading Democratic candidates for mayor of St. Louis all say they would boost support for the arts if elected.

Aldermen Antonio French and Lyda Krewson, Board President Lewis Reed and St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones all made that commitment Monday at The Mayoral Town Hall on Arts and Culture. Kara Turrentine, a consultant for Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, also voiced his support for artists.

Donald Brewer starts raking trash on 7th Boulevard just after sunset on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2017.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Mardi Gras crowd was thinning out, and drunk revelers zigzagged in the middle of the street, kicking cans and shivering in the 35-degree weather. As they left the big party, Donald Antonio Brewer meticulously raked bits of confetti, beads, and plastic cups from the median onto Seventh Street for the street sweepers to catch later that Saturday night.

Event Flier for Mayoral Town Hall for Arts and Culture on February 27 depicts a mass of people and the dates.
Provided by Citizen Artist STL

As the St. Louis Mayoral Race heats up, a group of artists are insisting candidates address how policy makers will make sure that the city makes the arts a priority.

Artist and educator Pacia Anderson's life revolves around the arts — from her friends to her work life and projects with civic leaders.  “There’s so much overlap between arts and policy, just when I wake up in the morning,” she said.

And yet, Anderson thinks politicians don't address the intersection of the arts and policy enough. To make sure that happens in a new city administration, she and other members of Citizen Artist STL have organized tonight's Mayoral Town Hall on Arts and Culture, where candidates will be pressed on how their policies and administration would focus on the arts and the support creative people need.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 26, 2017 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music.”  The Keys and Strings Hour,” or the quieter side of jazz will feature Sonny Rollins compositions played by Joe Pass, Junko Onishi, Grant Green & Sonny Clark, Phineas Newborn, Jessica Williams, Tommy Flanagan, Fred Hersch and Mal Waldron.  New music will feature a new release of a 1980 concert with Dizzy Gillespie and some bebop cohorts, Pedrito Martinez, the Ben Marklee Big Band playing Cedar Walton compositions, our own Fred Tompkins, Branford Marsalis & Kurt Elling, Jeremy Udden, Theo Bl

St. Louis/East St. Louis native Harry Edwards is a renowned sociologist, specializing in sports protest.
Wikimedia Commons

No one who speaks out has ever been welcomed with open arms, for the most part, even when people say things like ‘I understand the message.’ The reality is that silence has been evil’s greatest and most consistently dependable ally.

So said Dr. Harry Edwards, a prominent sociologist who specialized his research and activism in the areas of sport, race and protest, on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air. He has also written several books, including “Revolt of the Black Athlete” and “The Struggle that Must Be.”

Edwards also happens to be a St. Louis native.

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