Arts & Culture

J. Henry Fair

Sharon Isbin, a renowned classical guitarist, will come to St. Louis next week. Isbin has performed with over 170 orchestras around the world, often joins Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and has received multiple Grammy Awards.  

Although she started playing guitar when she was only nine years old in Italy and primarily grew up in Minneapolis, her return to St. Louis will be a bit of a homecoming.

Audio Agitation
Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s audio agitation is inspired by wanderlust, our health reporter's recent travels to Thailand, and the desire to get up and go. Sometimes the sun is up, the breeze is fine, and it doesn’t matter where you’re headed, you just need to be in motion. At that point it's time to take a walk or hop in the car or on a train. Many songs about travel also acknowledge the troubles that come with travel, because it's not always an easy ride.

Women and police on South Grand during a gathering to mourn VonDerrit Myers
Provided by Jarred Gastriech

Grand Center gallery Duet is pairing photographs by two photographers who documented the Ferguson Protests and the Bataclan shootings in Paris, as well as street life from the larger metro areas of both cities.  Both the gallerist and co-curator said the juxtaposition is intended to spark viewer’s awareness of the photographers’ unique perspectives in both circumstances.

"There are two things that go on with the photograph; the things that you know intellectually and culturally, and then the thing that makes a photograph special, that there’s something personal about it," said gallery owner and Lindenwood University Professor Daniel McGrath.

Watching the videos for all of the St. Louis singers, songwriters, bands and musicians who submitted entries to NPR's Tiny Desk Contest 2016 was not heavy lifting.

Why would it be?

There were creative interpretations of what constitutes a "desk." But best of all, original songs across genres offered a feel for the wealth of local talent we have in our area.

Conrad Anker Credit Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

American mountaineer Conrad Anker is a surprisingly laid-back guy for someone who led the three-person team to the first-ever summit of the formidable Shark's Fin of Meru Peak (also starring in the doc that won a prestigious Audience Award at Sundance last year). He was also the man who found the body of climber George Mallory on his first summit of Mt. Everest.

These baseball caps (Cardinals, Pirates, two Orioles, KC Royals and Detroit Tigers) spell out "spookd" in a piece by artist Ryan Doyle.
Ryan Doyle

Make no mistake. As a white man, artist Ryan Doyle does not try to "explain" racism to anyone.

Doyle’s work is a way to explore his own experiences and the racist environment we all live in. Take his recent work using baseball caps. It features molds of the caps’ home team letters, spelling out "spookd."

On Chess: Boy Scouts learn the merit of chess

Mar 3, 2016
Joshua Becher constructed his own giant chess set, in which each of the pieces are represented by different scouting ranks.
Provided by Joshua Becher

On Feb. 27, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis again hosted a Boy Scout chess merit badge workshop. Since launching the merit badge in 2011, the Chess Club has helped hundreds of scouts achieve their chess merit badge. It hosts a free five-hour weekend chess workshop, where certified instructors teach scouts chess topics, including the basics of the game, intermediate strategy and tactics, and even how to play in a chess tournament.

Courtesy, the Sheldon Art Gallery

A visitor finds it difficult to move along to the next picture when he’s looking at Radcliffe Bailey’s absorbing and  many-layered glittery print, “Tricky 3.” This large, complex and challenging picture at the Sheldon Art Galleries sets the tone for a new exhibition, “Printmaking in St. Louis Now.” In size,  scope, substance and intention, the show qualifies as a respectable blockbuster.

Multicolored peppers
mgstanton | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1QRJCip

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.

Meera Nagarajan and Heather Hughes, the magazine’s art director and managing editor, respectively, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

On their list? Olive & Oak, Boundary, The Muddled Pig Gastropub, and more.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A native of St. Louis, Leon Burke III began music studies at age 12. By age 16 he was already conducting. Although he was also interested in science and math, he chose music as his field of study in college, earning a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Kansas. He also studied as a Fulbright Fellow in Paraguay.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Operations manager Robbie Pratte pointed to an orange line on a utility post outside the landmark Bolduc House Museum in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., that is set to reopen on Tuesday.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 28, 2016 will be the fourth of a five-part series on “Jazz Families: Blood Relatives.”  There are an amazing number of jazz musicians who have blood relatives (mothers, fathers, siblings) who are also jazz musicians.  The musicians heard on this show include St.

Alen Kajtezovic (center) traveled to St. Louis to attend the conference with a group of young people from the Waterloo, Iowa Islamic center.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

While Donald Trump’s pathway to the Republican nomination for president continues to strengthen, some Muslim Americans in St. Louis for a conference on social justice say they’re more concerned about the people who support him.

The Islamic Society of North America hosted the conference in west St. Louis County Saturday, which was attended by about 400 people.

The Peace Train

This summer, a nationwide movement known as “The Peace Train,” will start its tour across the country in Ferguson. The program’s mission? Bringing together people from all backgrounds to sing about shared values and hopes for a better future.

The Peace Train 2016 Tour Across America is modeled off of a similar project in South Africa from 1993 that was documented in the film “When Voices Meet.”

(Mark Kitaoka, Courtesy: Opera Theatre of St. Louis)

Famed writer Salman Rushdie was born in 1947 in India. In 2005, he published a sweeping work about the beleaguered but beautiful territory of Kashmir, a place with ancestral ties. As of 2016, that novel is becoming an opera of the same name—to be premiered by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June.  

The opera’s composer, Jack Perla, and librettist, Rajiv Joseph, joined “St. Louis on the Air” contributor Steve Potter to discuss the opera and how it came to be.

Audio Agitation
Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

Two days ago NPR’s First Listen program premiered a new album by Heron Oblivion. The indie-psychedelic super group of sorts includes musicians from psych-folk group Espers and noise-rockers Comets on Fire. 

Rapper Bates performs, a microphone is in her hand and one of her arms is outstretched.
Provided | Kazia Steele

St. Louis area rapper Bates has no problem making her voice heard.

Famed choreographers Dianne McIntyre and Bebe Miller discussed their parts in Dance St. Louis' production of New Dance Horizons IV.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Dance St. Louis’ fourth installment of “New Dance Horizons” celebrates Black History Month. It will highlight the works of three nationally-renowned African-American choreographers inspired by those who came before them.

Miles Davis and Maya Angelou were two such artists with St. Louis ties that inspired choreographers Bebe Miller and Dianne McIntyre, respectively, as they created pieces that will be performed by St. Louis dancers this weekend.

OakleyOriginals | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1Qd8rzx

Prolific writer Howard Megdal, whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, USA Today, among others, just released his fourth book “The Cardinals Way: How One Team Embraced Tradition and Moneyball at the Same Time.” In it, he details how the Cardinals franchise has been able to embrace both “moneyball” and tradition to become one of the most beloved and successful teams in the sport.

On Chess: Women and the power of the queen

Feb 25, 2016
Jean Hoffman views the exhibit: Ladies' Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Known by many as a game of war and kings, the chess world is often perceived as male-dominated. Today, less than 14 percent of the members of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) are female, and only one woman ranks in the top 100 chess players in the world. However — in spite of the underrepresentation of female players within today’s competitive chess world — women have played a central role in the development of the modern chess game.

Brian Cohen, LouFest Founder
Provided by Brian Cohen

Brian Cohen, one of the founders of the LouFest Music Festival, is leaving to start a new venture with the Cortex Innovation Community. The new enterprise will be aimed at showcasing various innovative projects from the city’s tech, science, art, and music communities.

Steph Perkins
Provided by PROMO

PROMO, Missouri's statewide advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, has named Steph Perkins, 31, as its new Executive Director.  

Perkins has been with the organization for seven years. The new Executive Director said he intends to pay attention to issues like discriminatory legislation and health care as well as day-to-day inequalities. 

St. Louis has an active Polish community. On Wednesday's "St. Louis on the Air," we'll be talking about it.
Dan Markye | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1VCzpEo

You may have heard the oft-repeated statistic that “Chicago has the largest population of Polish people outside of Warsaw.” As WBEZ pointed out last year, that may not be entirely true. While St. Louis certainly does not have the same number of Poles as Chicago or New York, we do have an active Polish community.

On Tuesday's 'St. Louis on the Air,' clinical psychologist Suma Chand will discuss overcoming fears and phobias, such as spiders.
Jake Vince | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1oDwd14

Airplanes. Insects. Rabid bears. Needles. There are millions of things to be scared of in everyday life but, for some, fears and phobias dominate the mind. Suma Chand, a clinical psychologist and associate professor in psychiatry with Saint Louis University, helps patients with phobias and fears overcome them.

St. Louis is host to over 40 comic creators. We talked to two of them in-studio and more online today.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Comics are no longer solely relegated to syndicated placement in newspapers or in comic books—the increasing popularity of the World Wide Web changed that. Today, you’re just as likely to find a comic you love on a Tumblr, Facebook page, or webpage than in a comic book shop. These web comics (that come in strips, series, and serials) are often an entry for women and people of color into the world of comics and comic book publishing — a field typically dominated by white men.

Steven Louis Brawley and Nancy Fowler.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Author Steven Louis Brawley said that at the first Pride parade held in St. Louis, in 1980, many participants had to disguise themselves with painted faces and masks as they were worried about what repercussions revealing their sexual orientation would have.

Times have changed. On June 25, 2014 four same-sex couples married in St. Louis City Hall despite Missouri’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. A little over a year later, on July 26, 2015, the Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, ensuring same-sex couples could marry the country over. 

Soldiers Memorial
Susan Hegger | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis residents have less than a week left to visit the Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum downtown before it closes Feb. 28 for two years, until 2018.

“It’s a very significant moment for the Soldiers' Memorial because it means the start of the complete renovation,” said Karen Goering, director of operations.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 21, 2016 will present the third part of a five-part series on “Jazz Families: Blood Relatives.”  There are an amazing number of jazz musicians who have blood relatives (mothers, fathers, siblings) who are also jazz musicians.  This show will have music from our own Singleton Palmer Dixie Six with Ben Thigpen, Ben’s son Ed Thigpen, our own Jeter-Pillars Orchestra, the Quintet of the Hot Club of France with the Reinhardt brothers, the Marsala brothers, the Montgomery brothers, Red and Whitey Mitchell, Bud and Richie Powell, Stu and Claude Williamson, Charl

Provided by The Coliseum Ballroom Documentary Project

They’ll be rocking to the oldies Saturday night at the civic center in Gillespie, Ill., where a crowd of a certain age will gather to share memories of the old Coliseum Ballroom, which was destroyed by fire in 2011.

Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

Tattarrattat —  a word created by James Joyce in his opus Ulysses is a palindrome that refers to the specific rhythm of someone knocking on a door. For this week’s Audio Agitation, we take "tatarrattat" as our guiding light, our investigation of rhythm as it appears in instrumental melodies. 

Audio Agitation presents songs that dart from cluttered to classical, sweet to strange.

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