By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.
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.
Staten Island Jazz Festival 33
By Walter Rutledge
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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
Bad Hombres, Nasty Women featuring Weird Al Yankovic spoofs the final debate between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton. Continue reading
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
Daniel Beaty performs Knock, Knock on Def Jam Poetry. The poem/spoken word shares the relationship between a boy and his father. Continue reading
By Walter Rutledge
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
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