Featured Post

Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

Breaking News

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cedric the Entertainer to Host Soul Train Awards

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CENTRIC announces the 3rd annual SOUL TRAIN AWARDS, the classic music awards show that highlights R&B music's finest and bridges the gap between the soulful sounds of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Celebrated actor and stand-up comedian Cedric the Entertainer will host the 3rd annual SOUL TRAIN AWARDS, taping at the iconic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA on Thursday, November 17 and premiering on both CENTRIC and BET in a special simulcast at 9:00 PM* ET on Sunday, November 27.

Celebrating 40 years, the 3rd annual SOUL TRAIN AWARDS  will honor the longstanding careers and musical influences of the renowned group Earth, Wind, and Fire and "Empress of Soul" Gladys Knight.
"We are honored to be celebrating 40 years of Soul Train by bringing the SOUL TRAIN AWARDSback to CENTRIC," stated Paxton Baker, CENTRIC's General Manager and Executive Vice President. "The Soul Train brand has played a fundamental role in shaping American culture. With such a dynamic host and illustrious legends, I am confident that this year's show will be the best yet."

"We are thrilled to have an opportunity to partner with BET/Centric again to produce another SOUL TRAIN AWARDS presentation," said Soul Train CEO Kenard Gibbs. "These annual awards allow us to celebrate the legacy of the Soul Train brand by showcasing amazing new talent that has been influenced by the music icons who have contributed to the success of the Soul Train series."

Charismatic actor/ comedian Cedric "The Entertainer" is best known for his many crowd-pleasing performances in such hit films as "Barbershop," "Be Cool," "Madagascar," "Intolerable Cruelty," and "The Original Kings of Comedy" to name a few. He most recently co-starred opposite Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks in the comedy feature "Larry Crowne" and will next be seen starring  in the political drama "Grass Roots" directed by Steven Gyllenhaal. He then lends his voice to the animated feature "Madagascar 3." Cedric's universal appeal, versatility, and tremendous career successes spanning television, live performances, and film have solidified his standing as one of the premier entertainers in the world. As a philanthropist, Cedric  founded "The Cedric 'The Entertainer' Charitable Foundation", which provides scholarships and outreach programs to enhance the lives of inner-city youth and their families in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. He plans to extend the foundation nationally. Cedric has awarded over 100 scholarships and countless incentives through his foundation.

The SOUL TRAIN AWARDS is produced by BET Event Productions and Sunseeker Media and directed by Manny Rodriguez. Paxton Baker, CENTRIC Executive Vice President and General Manager, Tami Willis-Arasli, CENTRIC Vice President of Specials and Music and Derek Lewis, Vice President of Production Programming; Bart Phillips, Sunseeker Media; and Soul Train Holdings' Kenard Gibbs will all be the executive producers of the network telecast. The SOUL TRAIN AWARDSis produced in cooperation with the City of Atlanta led by Mayor Kasim Reed and Stacii Jae Johnson, Special Events Director for the Office of the Mayor. For more information, please visitwww.centrictv.com.
*All times ET
Read more ...

Mathew Knowles' Music World Music Presents A TWIST OF JAZZ

CD Features Chaka Khan, Anna Wilson, and Suzy Bogguss
Available at Online Retail Outlets on October 4

(Houston, TX - October 3, 2011) - Mathew Knowles' Music World Music Presents A Twist of Jazz, a collection of songs featuring Chaka Khan, Anna Wilson and Suzy Bogguss. The three featured artists bring R&B, Pop and Country influences to jazz songs and American standards to create a whole new genre-bending sound. The CD features both new songs and previously recorded classics. It will be released in digital form only and is available at iTunes,Amazon.com and other online music retailers everywhere.

"I'm excited about the release of this CD because it offers listeners the opportunity to both hear some of their favorite artists performing in ways they may not have heard them before, and it offers listeners an opportunity to experience music that may not be a part of their regular musical repertoire," said Mathew Knowles, founder, President and CEO of Music World Entertainment. "Jazz has infused so many different genres of music, and this CD reinforces those connections."

The CD features four songs from Chaka Khan's album, ClassiKhan (featuring theLondon Symphony Orchestra). Soul-diva Khan takes on classic jazz and popular songs and reinvents them with her signature voice and style. She performs a sensual and jazzy version of "Hey Big Spender," a hit song from the musical,Sweet Charity, which premiered on Broadway in 1966. She puts her own twist on the American popular classic "I'm in the Mood for Love," managing to offer something unique in her performance of a song that was written and first performed in 1935 and that has been recorded by greats such as Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey, the Nat King Cole trio, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Smokey Robinson, Barbara Streisand, Quincy Jones, and Brian McKnight. She offers a stirring performance of Thelonious Monk's jazz classic, "Round Midnight" that is both sultry and powerful. And she puts her stamp on "Diamonds Are Forever," in her soulful performance of the theme song from the 1971 block-buster film, 007 Diamonds Are Forever.

Anna Wilson's recently released album, Countrypolitan Duets made an impressive mark in both the U.S. and CanadaCountrypolitan Duets debuted at #5 on the Canada Jazz chart and #15 on Billboard's Jazz chart. The CD combines country and pop music with a twist of jazz to create a revolutionary new sound that is earning fans from every musical genre. Two songs that offer her unique musical blend are on A Twist of Jazz CD. Wilson pairs up with Matt Giraud, a finalist from Season 8 of American Idol, for a performance of the classic "You Don't Know Me." Wilson and Giraud offer a new take on the song that was written in 1955 and made popular by Ray Charles in a 1962 recording. "You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," which Wilson performs with Country star Ray Price and popular Country band Rascal Flatts, has had had two previous rounds of popularity: in 1972, when Ray Price recorded a solo Country version of the song; and in 1974 when an R&B version of the song was recorded by Gladys Knight and the Pips. This duet bridges the country and soul versions of that song, creating something entirely new. Wilson also offers a classic jazz performance of her original song "Fedora," which was released as a single inDecember, 2010. Its style is evocative of the smoky jazz clubs of a bygone era.

Suzy Bogguss serves up three songs that mix country and jazz styles in a way that truly offers the best of both worlds. "Jumping Into Spring," "Burning The Toast," and "Stay Out of My Dreams" all have a swing jazz style with a Country twist-from Bogguss' bouncy singing style, to the jazz piano played against a country "fiddle."

For more information on A Twist of Jazz CD, please visitwww.musicworldent.com.
Read more ...

Seriously?!-Obama Fried Chicken in China

buzzz worthy. . .

FILE UNDER SMH: We've barely gotten pass the racial epithets about Black folks, monkeys, watermelon, and chicken that popped up during the last presidential election in America, as the Chinese are taking racial stereotyping to another ridiculous dimension and  using the POTUS to do so.

President Obama (or someone who is his spitting image with squinted eyes) is the face of a chicken restaurant patterned after KFC over in China called OFC (Obama Fried Chicken).  The sign shows an Obama like caricature dressed as Col. Sanders, the original KFC logo.

The restaurant in China is not alone in the misuse of Obama's image to advertise.  KFC ran ads using an Obama look alike in Hong Kong earlier this year.  Across the shores, right here on American soil an OFC (unrelated to the one in China) was opened in Brooklyn in 2009.  Al Sharpton led a protest for the owner to change to name, which was previously Royal Fried Chicken according to the New York Times.  At the time the restaurant's manager Mohammad Jabbar, said the name change was an act of fondness.

Read more ...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

First Magazine to Showcase African-Americans in Food, Wine and Travel Makes Its Debut in Print

 After years of planning and months of anticipation, V. Sheree Publishing announced the premiere print issue of Cuisine Noir, the first magazine to showcase African-Americans in food, wine and travel.

Chef Tre Wilcox from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Marquee Grill & Bar in Dallas reconnected with Cuisine Noir after being the first online feature story in 2007 when the magazine originally launched before changing ownership and re-launching under V. Sheree Publishing in 2009.  Readers will enjoy an in-depth look into Wilcox’s career and rise to the top.

Cuisine Noir was founded by Richard Pannell who noticed a lack of African-American chefs in mainstream food and wine magazines.  Deciding to do something about it, he started to print Black Cuisine in 1998 as an insert in the Los Angeles Watts Times. When the insert was no longer an option, he continued to shop the concept around and soon changed the name to Cuisine Noir and pitched it to Sheree Williams in 2007 who came on board and helped to launch the magazine first as an e-zine and now in print.

“When Richard first told me about Cuisine Noir, I knew immediately that it would change lives and the way the world perceives African-Americans in food and wine.  As an e-zine, we have been able to meet and feature so many talented professionals and now with our first print issue, we can only take that exposure to the next level,” said Williams.

Over the years, readers have enjoyed articles on chefs such as Jeff Henderson, Marcus Samuelsson, Carla Hall, Kevin Mitchell, Joseph Randall and Erika Davis. In addition, the magazine’s high profile features with Dr. Maya Angelou, Coolio, Wendy Williams and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges allows readers to see the “foodie side” of their favorite celebrities that other publications don’t necessarily highlight.

The premiere issue also features actress and comedienne Sherri Shepherd who dishes on her four cornerstones of happiness.  With food being one of them, she admits to not being much of a cook, but still knows good food.  Yountville proves to be Napa’s epicurean oasis in the issue’s travel story.  Once you see what the town has to offer, you’ll see why locals call it home and a great place for food, wine and relaxation.

Readers will also enjoy new food recipes from the test kitchen and cocktails by some of the country’s top black mixologists.  Chicago’s Brian Duncan rewrites the wine game to make the experience about enjoyment and not intimidation and our experts select 10 of their favorite wines to enjoy with the change of seasons.

This first issue is surely a collector’s item noting an important milestone in the history of African-American chefs and also the publishing industry. “As African-Americans, our influence in the culinary industry and on cuisines around the world has been overlooked over the years.   Cuisine Noir is now a vehicle to acknowledge and document our contributions for generations to come,” said Pannell.

Copies of the issue are on sale at www.cuisinenoirmag.com while they last for $4.50 in the U.S. and $5.50 in Canada.  In addition, issues will be sold at various events across the country.

Readers are also encouraged to visit Cuisine Noir’s blog, The Culinary Scoop, for daily news, promotions, cookbook reviews and more celebrity interviews in its exclusive column Walk on the Foodie Side at www.theculinaryscoop.com.
Read more ...

Jeff Majors Homeless Tour Kicks Off Oct. 14


Special Concert Will Feature Majors Alongside Gospel Legend Vickie Winans 
and Urban Gospel Artist Swoop Brown

Inspirational Jazz/Gospel harpist, Jeff Majors, is bringing his 6th Annual National Tour for the Homeless to the Israel Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD on Friday, October 14th @ 7:00 p.m.  for a concert featuring his musical ensemble, gospel music’s Hardest Working Woman, Vickie Winans, and Urban Gospel Vocalist, Swoop Brown, who is currently making noise with his hit “Praise You.” Over the last few years, Majors’ non-profit organization, The Network of Doves, has partnered with churches and social service organizations to raise awareness of homelessness and to provide food, blankets and other necessities for the needy in these communities across the country.

Washington, D.C. native, Majors was raised in a musical household with his mother, Annie P. Fitzgerald, who was a trumpeter long before it was fashionable for women to blow horns professionally. When he was 15, Majors had a dream where he saw himself strumming a harp, an instrument that he had never played before – and in his waking hours, he set out to learn the instrument. He eventually moved to Los Angeles and served an apprenticeship under jazz legend John Coltrane’s widow, paints/harpist Alice Coltrane, before returning East where jazz harpist, Dorothy Ashby, took him under her wings. Majors founded various jazz groups before becoming a radio personality in Radio One’s Washington, D.C./Baltimore cluster of stations. Eventually, Radio One launched a syndicated inspirational program on Majors that continues to this day.

Along the way, Majors, who has performed on “Oprah!” and played at the funeral of Coretta Scott King at the request of the King family, put his harp to tape and released eight best-selling CDs in his “Sacred” series of albums. Among the biggest of these was “Sacred Major 7” that boasted the songs “Beggar” with Gerald Levert and “God’s Gift” with Kelly Price.    Majors has collaborated with a who’s who in the music field, ranging from Gospel Queen Albertina Walker and rap group Gospel Gangstaz to GoGo King, Chuck Brown. For six seasons, Majors hosted the weekly TV One musical series, “The Gospel of Music with Jeff Majors.” The show continues to air in reruns where it reaches 40 million homes a week. The concert takes place Friday, October 14, 2011 @ 7 p.m. at  Israel Baptist Church, 1220 N. Chester Street, Baltimore, MD 21213. Call church at 410-732-3494 for directions. Visit www.jeffmajors.com for the latest news on Jeff Majors.
Read more ...

Bieber and Boys II Men to Collaborate

buzzz worthy. . .

Four years, tons of awards and a legion of swooning school-girl-aged fans later,  You Tube phenom Justin Bieber's dreams are still coming true.  Bieber announced via a tweet last month that he will be collaborating  on his upcoming Christmas album ("Under the Mistletoe" scheduled for release on Nov. 1) with Boys II Men, the guy group that influenced him to sing.

“2day i woke up and realized that the group that made me want to sing @BoyzIIMen are now on the christmas album singing with me. #DREAMBIG,” Bieber wrote on twitter on Tuesday. “i used 2 listen to their music and practice the runs. that is how i learned how to sing. now im in the studio with them making music 2gether.im telling you…never say never…never stop dreaming….never give up,” he added. “#DREAMBIG. @BoyzIIMen Im honored and blessed. thank u.” 

Bieber has already had studio time with the fellas.  In the meantime,  the Island Records artist is touring in Mexico. Also, following in the foot-steps of many mega stars, Bieber also has his own fragrance, something for the ladies called "Someday" that hit department stores earlier this year.
Read more ...

Bishop Eddie Long Wants His Money Back!

buzzz worthy. . .

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) reports that Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta pastor who settled a sexual coercion case out of court, says he wants his money back.   Attorneys representing Long from Drew Eckl & Farnham wrote a letter to three of the five men involved in the case -- Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande and Centino Kemp -- asking for $900,000 of the total pay out alleging the young men violated terms of a confidentiality agreement with Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.  Two of the accusers, Parris, 24 and LeGrande, 23 expressed their feelings about Long on a Florida news station and were interviewed by the AJC in August. Parris said he plans to release a book. 

Kemp emerged as the fifth accuser later.  In late May, Kemp wrote on his Facebook page, "I may be bad but I got paid perfectly good for it." He has co-authored a book with T. Benson Glover entitled "The First Lady." 

The terms of the initial confidentiality agreement prohibited the disclosure of the amount of the settlement, but the AJC has estimated that at least $1.5 million was split  5 ways.  More. . .
Read more ...