Arts & Culture

Jazz Unlimited for March 27 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music.”  The late pianist Paul Bley will be remembered during the Keys and Strings Hour.  New music will be featured in the second and third hours.  It will include trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, Charles Lloyd, the young pianist Joey Alexander, Hendrik Muerkins, drummer Sherry Miracle and Five Play, the Stryker/Slagle band, Snarky Puppy, the Phil Woods Quintet, Bill Frisell, the Kansas City Generations Sextet, the Russian bassist Ark Ovrutsky and Three Story Sandbox.

Today we’d like to offer up six after-hours songs that would sit well in smoky bars, dance clubs or warehouses.  They’re a distinctly modern blend of traditional soul, rap and electronic music.  Notes slip and slide over minimal baselines and skittering drums.  Vocal melodies twist electronically. Blips and bleeps bubble up beneath piano chords. 

Commentary: Light plays an important role in art

Mar 25, 2016

The title of an exhibition of Tala Madani's work at the Contemporary Art Museum in St Louis (CAM) is "First Light.” Many of the paintings feature the presence of illumination, for example, from the beam of a car headlight or a flashlight; Madani's subjects interrogate both themselves and each other in search of larger truths. This notion of projection connects her work not only to cinema and its presentation of images through light, but also to art history and the tradition of chiaroscuro, or the contrast of light and dark.

St. Louis was home to the late, great jazz musician Clark Terry, who died in last year at the age of 94.

Contemporary trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling was one of the many jazz musicians, from Miles Davis to Quincy Jones, who was influenced by Terry. Stripling, who spent part of his childhood in St. Louis, has returned to the city to pay tribute to Clark Terry at Jazz at the Bistro.

"Why does the Civil War still hold sway over St. Louis and Missouri?”

That was the intriguing — and very large — question that Steve Flick submitted to Curious Louis. “We just can't seem to be able to get beyond the Reconstruction Era in this state,” said Flick, a lifelong St. Louisan.

A new experimental documentary provides a snapshot of what it was like to grow up in north St. Louis in the 1970s.

The project began when artist William Morris discovered in the basement of his family home 30 rolls of Super 8 movies, shot by his mother, Annie Morris. He paired them with original and existing music as well as audio interviews of her talking about growing up in a Mississippi sharecropping family in the 1930s and 40s.

The European war crimes trial that’s been called “the largest since Nuremburg” ended Thursday, bringing uneasy relief to the St. Louis Bosnian community. Former Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic was convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity and one count of genocide, but many of the region's Bosnians still felt underwhelmed by the decision.

"A guilty verdict on any count is better than no guilty verdict. And that’s against the backdrop of realizing that the mere existence of a crime tribunal is a failure,” said Dina Strikovic. “It’s a failure to act. It’s a failure to prevent."

A few years ago, the New Yorker bravely posed the question “Can crowdfunding replace artists’ day jobs?” While that answer still remains to be seen, crowdfunding is becoming a viable source for artists wishing to pursue passion projects.

This year’s Sundance Film Festival premiered a documentary about someone St. Louisans know and love: the incomparable Maya Angelou. The film is titled “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” and will have its St. Louis premiere on Thursday, March 24 at the Missouri History Museum, as part of Washington University Libraries Film & Media Archive’s Henry Hampton Film Series.  It is the first documentary to be made about Angelou’s life.

Ida Goodwin Woolfolk: Educator, civic leader led by example

Mar 24, 2016

Ida Goodwin Woolfolk – regarded by many as a treasure, one of the region’s most resplendent gems – died at home Wednesday.  Her death was announced by her daughter, Sarah Woolfolk Edwards, on Facebook. She was 72 years old.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but recently she had experienced congestive heart issues, said her friend, Michael P. McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Illustrators are storytellers who synthesize thousands of words into just a few images, or even a single frame. We recently invited three prominent local illustrators to tell stories about drawing for a living, in the first live recording of our Cut & Paste arts and culture podcast.

Have you ever wondered what St. Louis looks from the perspective of a hawk or eagle?

The St. Louis Art Museum will offer you a chance to find out, starting this weekend. Artist Andrea Stansislav’s new exhibit "Convergence Infinité" focuses on video captured by flying a drone equipped with a camera over the city.

Yasser Seirawan
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is launching a new online show, Today in Chess.

Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL, explained the concept of the new series: “Here in Saint Louis, the chess capital of the United States, we take pride in coming up with innovative ways of raising awareness throughout the chess world. With the Moscow Candidates Tournament in full swing, we felt the time was right to create an entire new type of program that would give thoughtful insights on the most topical events that most chess fans are following.

Wake up and smell the hops! The craft beer scene in St. Louis is brewing, with 10 new craft breweries opening in the past year alone, says Catherine Klene, managing editor of Sauce Magazine.

If you look back at the past two to three years, at least twice that many have opened, she said. The St. Louis Brewers Guild, which exists to educate people about brewing and promote the St. Louis beer scene, has about 40 breweries in its membership.

“There’s been a huge craft beer movement in the past decade or so,” Klene said.

The Repertory Theater of St. Louis and Stages St. Louis were the top winners among two dozen companies in Monday night’s fourth Theater Circle Awards. Each of the troupes had five wins. Four of Stages’ awards were for the musical “Anything Goes.”

Getting a new or renewed passport in the next several months will take longer than usual, as the U.S. State Department's Passport Services expects it will soon get a glut of applications.

Talk to the director and producer of the giant screen film “Living in the Age of Airplanes,” for more than 20 seconds and you’ll realize: this guy digs airplanes. Brian Terwilliger, whose cinematic resume has been built on documenting the power of flight, said that he wanted to make audiences feel the same awe with his most recent feature, now playing at the Saint Louis Science Center.

Mike David came home from Vietnam in the early 1970s with two Purple Hearts and a feeling of doom after spending a year in combat on a squad known as a “killer team.”

“All six of us were in constant fear for our lives, every moment of the day,” he said.

It took David a decade to start dealing with his PTSD with the help of friends and meditation. He wishes he’d had more creative opportunities to heal, like a new program offered by a Maplewood organization called Artists First.

Jazz Unlimited for March 20, 2016 is “The Music of Sonny Rollins.”  Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins is one of the greatest living improvisers in jazz.  Over his sixty plus year career, he has taken part in many recordings as both a leader and sideman.  He has also composed well-known jazz standards that remain challenging today.  We will him with his own groups, Bud Powell, Brown/Roach Inc. Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.  His compositions will be played by St. Louisan Grant Green with Sonny Clark, J.J.

The spring season of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival has returned, featuring 12 artists and 22 performances over the course of nine weekends. Two performers with a long, friendly history on the New York cabaret scene joined “St. Louis on the Air” contributor Steve Potter to discuss their performances this weekend.

Marissa Mulder, a cabaret singer, will perform a tribute to Marilyn Monroe in a variety of styles. She said she drew inspiration to do so from a photograph.

“There was just something about her eyes in the photograph that registered with me,” Mulder said.

Morgan Hagedorn asked a question of Curious Louis that we’ve heard echoed at least 1000 times in 1000 different situations all over St. Louis.

Why are St. Louisans so fixated on where other people went to high school?

It’s been one week since St. Louis Public Radio held its first Tiny Desk Concert with Mt. Thelonious.  We’re still reeling from all the good times!

We were so pleased with number of entries and the variety of sounds submitted by St. Louis that we decided to take a deeper dive into the submissions. TDC entries could only showcase one song but there’s so much more out there. So here’s an offering of surprises we found while “crate-digging” through the catalogs of the entrants.

Drew Heitzler’s latest work examines the intersection between St. Louis, Los Angeles, and a book that momentarily broke the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. 

Heitzler's show is the current exhibit at Parapet/RealHumans, a gallery space in the Fox Park neighborhood. It draws attention to a moment in 1974 when the Pulitzer Prize for fiction wasn’t awarded. 

The oldest Roman Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi River is fully open to visitors once again.

The Basilica of St. Louis, better known as the Old Cathedral, never shut down during a multi-million dollar renovation that restored the church to its 1870s glory.

Dozens of Metro bus drivers are tracing new routes through north St. Louis County starting this week. The service changes stem from the new North County Transit Center that opened Monday in Ferguson to serve one of the area’s fastest growing markets. 

Cecilia Nadal, the founder and executive director of Gitana Productions, remembers the first time she met Faraja Lungele, a 14-year-old refugee who came to the United States from Kenya after fleeing the Congo.  Lungele would repeatedly peek into rehearsals in the basement of St. Louis Public Library’s Carpenter branch in south St. Louis and quickly return upstairs, without saying a word.

After three or four sightings, Nadal pulled Lungele aside, they talked, and she found out that Lungele loved to sing and dance.

Saint Louis University Hospital
Courtesy SSM Health

When the industrialist Firmin Desloge died in 1929 at 86 years of age, his various enterprises, including Missouri lead mining, made him as rich as tycoons such as William K. Vanderbilt and Andrew Mellon. In obituaries he was described as one of the wealthiest men in America, and his status was buoyed as well by his membership in the select group of the French-American aristocracy. A portrait photograph shows him sporting a great bushy mustache, along with unruly curly hair and a very content and happy face.

Hikaru Nakamura and Irina Krush are defending champions.
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

In less than one month, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will once again become the most interesting chess club in the world. That is not because of some fluke; the American chess crème de la crème is set to step foot in the venue and engage in an unprecedented war over the chessboard.

A North County arts venue is undergoing a dramatic change on the eve of its third birthday.

For the past two years, artists and curators who have been accepted as residents at Paul Artspace have paid to spend months on-site using studios and tools. From now on, those residencies will be free.

NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest gives bands the chance to compete to play a concert at NPR’s headquarters, appear on the game show Ask Me Another, and tour across the country.

 

To bring that competition home, St. Louis Public Radio held our own Tiny Desk Contest. We collected submissions to the national contest and had you, our readers and listeners, vote on your favorite act. Voting is now closed, but you can still see all of the entries.

Mark Wallace, Alyssa Avery and Ian Lubar of Mt. Thelonious were great guests and played to a packed lobby, around our own version of a tiny desk, for close to an hour. Watch their performance below. and visit their website for more music and show dates.

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