3/6/22 O&A NYC MUSIC: Staten Island Jazz Festival 33- Her Legacy Continues

By Walter Rutledge

In August Universal Temple of The Arts founder Sadja Musawwir Ladner joined the ancestors. A fixture in Staten Island arts scene for over fifty years Ladner provided arts education, performance opportunities and outreach to the underserved communities of her beloved borough- Staten Island. Her untimely passing shocked and saddened all who encountered this “community spirit”, fortunately her legacy lives on. On Saturday March 12, at 5pm the Universal Temple of the Arts will present the Staten Island Jazz Festival 33 at the historic St. George Theatre located at 35 Hyatt St, downtown Staten Island.

The festival will feature jazz music seven artists/groups including Nikara Presents…Black Wall Street (Nikara Warren), Bria Skonberg, Winard Harper & Jeli Posse, The Leopoldo F. Fleming Afro Caribbean Ensemble, Danny Mixon Quartet featuring vocalist Antoinette Montague, Dal Segno Trio featuring Darrell Smith, Michael Morreale and Houston Person and The Universal Temple of the Arts Jazz Ensemble. The evening will honor Women’s History Month as it celebrates the life and legacy of Ladner. There will also be a spoken word presentation featuring Professor Charles Thomas, Jordan Bracy and dancer Nubia Briathwaite, and a dance tribute choreographed by Walter Rutledge featuring Roumel Reaux, Briathwaite and Rutledge.

Musician Darrell Smith will make his debut in the role as the festival’s Music Director. Smith first met Ladner as a sixteen-year-old jazz enthusiast, now his many credits include imbuing and inspiring the next generation of young jazz aficionados at Jazz at Lincoln Center. O&A Editor-in-Chief sat down with Musical Director Smith to discuss the upcoming festival and all things jazz.

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Tickets can also be purchased at the St. George Theatre Box Office.

8/24/20 O&A NYC DANCE… AND MORE: Peace One Love- Bringing Brooklyn Together

By Walter Rutledge

Dance has always been a catalyst for change. In 1936 Martha Graham created her masterwork Chronicles as a weapon against the rising menace of fascism in Germany. In 1959 Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder evoked the hopelessness and inequality of Black men on a southern prison chain gang. On Saturday August 29 Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn (also known as Creative Outlet or just C.O.) will also use the power of dance to heal a community with Peace One Love, an afternoon of the arts celebrating the spirit of the now internationally recognized Black Lives Matter movement.   Continue reading

9/6/18 O&A NYC INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHTS MEET SPORTS: Nike Follows Colin Kaepernick Just Do It Ad With “Dream Crazy”

On Labor Day, Nike unveiled the latest installment of their unbreakable Just Do It ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who has sparked an incredibly polarizing conversation by choosing to kneel during the national anthem. Continue reading

2/13/17 O&A NYC WITH WaleStylez VIDEO: New Nike Message- Equality And Opportunity

By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.

Airing tonight during the Grammy is featuring Nike’s powerful and serious new advertisement that sends a message regarding opportunity and discrimination.  Continue reading

10/21/16 O&A NYC THE RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE: Bad Hombres, Nasty Women (ft. “Weird Al” Yankovic)

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Bad Hombres, Nasty Women featuring Weird Al Yankovic spoofs the final debate between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton. Continue reading

9/17/16 O&A NYC GOSPEL SUNDAY: Doubt is Real

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Doubt is Real, part of the new generation of Christian spoken work and gospel rap, continues in the tradition of the Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Edwin Hawkins Singers, BeBe and CeCe. Winans and Kirk Franklin, by praising God through popular culture.  Continue reading

9/30/16 O&A NYC INSPIRATIONAL TUESDAY: Daniel Beaty- Knock Knock

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Daniel Beaty performs Knock, Knock on Def Jam Poetry. The poem/spoken word shares the relationship between a boy and his father.   Continue reading

10/27/15 O&A NYC Music: The Staten Island Jazz Festival

By Walter Rutledge

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The 28th Annual Staten Island Jazz Festival presented by the Universal Temple of the Arts (UTA) is becoming one of the city’s “don’t miss” events. The festival took place on Saturday, October 17th in the Music Hall at Snug Harbor. Over the years the festival has built a loyal Staten Island base, but this year it attracted an enthusiastic diverse Tri-State audience of both jazz aficionados and newcomers. Continue reading

7/28/15 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Prince Ea- Why I Think This World Should End7/28/15 O&A Inspirational Tuesday: Prince Ea- Why I Think This World Should End

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Rapper Richard Williams, aka Prince Ea, gives us a rundown of various issues our generation is facing in his spoken word piece. He begins with the bold statement, “The world is coming to an end,” and proceeds to highlight key issues our generation is facing. Continue reading

6/29/15 O&A Dance: Souls Of Our Feet Dance Festival Continues Tonight

By Walter Rutledge

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The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center concludes their 2015 Souls Of Our Feet Dance Festival with two events Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30 at the Actors Fund Arts Center 160 Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn, 7:30 pm. On Monday the third dance presentation will featured three New York based Hip Hop companies, Full Circle Souljah, Jendog/YalinDream and Special Ops/Flatbush Bullies. Tickets for this event are $20 and can be purchased online at wwwthelmahill.com and at the box office prior to the performance.

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Each group brings a different favor of this American art form that was born in urban NYC. Full Circle Souljahs, under the direction of Bronx native Rokafella, blends Hip-Hop with traditional dance styles and compositional forms to produce dances ranging from pure street dance to concert style urban dance narratives. Jendog/YalinDream are a music with a message duet that combines rap, spoken word and hip hop imagery. Special Ops/Flatbush Bullies mixes flexing, bone breaking, and break dance in a street battle format , this high-energy “in your face” style will make you want to bust a sag and pull your hoodie over your head. In Lieu of a formal post performance Q&A, each company director will provide brief statements detailing their organization’s mission and aesthetic philosophy.

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On Tuesday June 30 at 7pm the series will conclude with A Dancer’s Life, a conversation with dancer Loretta Abbott. Abbott, whose career spans over six decades. Abbott holds the distinction of dancing the Wade In The Water section of Alvin Ailey’s masterwork Revelations with Ailey himself (she was Ailey’s last partner). In addition to concert dance she was in the original Broadway cast of Purlie, Raisin and Liza With A Z. Abbott will discuss her career and artistry with Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Artistic Advisor, and Out and About NYC Magazine Editor in Chief Walter Rutledge.

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Abbott and Rutledge will open the evening with a duet entitled Sentimental Reasons. The work choreographed by Rutledge and commissioned by Dancers For A Variable Population 10027 Project is a tribute to the partnership of Abbott and the late Al Perryman. Named the Dynamic Duo they had special onstage chemistry, and impeccable comedic timing. This free event will include a closing night reception. For more information visit thelmahill@msn.com or call (718) 875- 9710.