Archive for February 7th, 2012


EVENT: Brooklyn Museum Fund for African American Art Hosts 2nd Annual Benefit Dinner

February 7, 2012

On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, African American art donors and patrons gathered in Harlem at Red Rooster, the restaurant owned by famed chef Marcus Samuelsson, to raise funds for the Brooklyn Museum Fund for African American Art. Notable black artists in attendance were Sanford Biggers, Mickalene Thomas and Lorna Simpson, as well as prominent African American donors and museum trustees Kenneth and Kathryn Chenault, Saundra and W. Don Cornwell, Charlynn and Warren Goins, Tracey and Phillip Riese, Board of Trustees President Stephanie Ingrassia, and Charles and Suzanne Randolph Shorter.

The event celebrated the fund’s inaugural acquisition, Web of Life, a 28-foot mural designed by leading twentieth-century African American artist John Biggers.

The museum states that The Fund for African American Art is a collecting initiative launched in 2010 to build Brooklyn Museum holdings of precontemporary African American art. The fund was launched by a $200,000 matching gift from Museum Trustee Saundra Cornwell and her husband Don, and by fractional gifts from Charlynn and Warren Goins of their important landscape by Robert Duncanson and a Charles Ethan Porter still life. The initiative was launched with the purchase of an early Sargent Johnson sculpture. Ms. Cornwell and Ms. Goins initiated the purchase fund along with former Trustee Tracey G. Riese.

Additional gifts inspired by the initiative include five Edward Mitchell Bannister pastels given by Jason Wright, two early Hale Woodruff watercolors given by E. T. and Lyn Williams, an early Norman Lewis watercolor from Ian Fuller, and a Charles White etching from Milton and Nancy Washington. Camille and Luther Clark have promised the gift of their African American art library as well.

Currently showing at the Brooklyn Museum is Question Bridge, a video installation featuring 150 diverse African American men.  Created by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, the exhibition includes five video screens, placed in an arc, playing videos of the men responding to questions. Their words are woven together to simulate a stream-of-consciousness dialogue, through which important themes and issues emerge. The subjects addressed include family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, violence, and the past, present, and future of Black men in American society. The men represent a range of American geographic, economic, generational, educational, and social strata.

The artists hope that the Question Bridge project will be a catalyst for constructive dialogue among Black men and others in the nation that will help deconstruct stereotypes about Black male identity in our collective consciousness. The Brooklyn Museum will present a wide range of public programs in conjunction with the project. For more information on Question Bridge at the museum, and an upcoming Teen Night open house event on February 10th for Black History Month, visit here.

Visit the Brooklyn Museum website at

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NEW MUSIC: Macy Gray Returns with “COVERED” | Release March 27th on 429 Records

February 7, 2012

Macy Gray, newly signed with 429 Records, is preparing for the release of her stunning new album “COVERED”—a collection of all new recordings of handpicked songs she’s chosen to reinterpret in her own inimitable fashion.  Produced by Hal Willner (Lou Reed, Metallica), “COVERED” tackles material largely drawn from indie rock songs from the last decade—interpretations her fans will be familiar with as she’s been performing them live over the years.  The album contains biting, dark signature tracks such as Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” or My Chemical Romance’s “Teenagers” which Gray subversively overhauls into something wholly her own.  Also included are short skits featuring J.B. Smoove, Nicole Scherzinger and a guest appearance by Idris Elba. “COVERED” will be released worldwide on 429 Records March 27th.  In addition, Macy is planning a worldwide tour and has wrapped filming with director Lee Daniels (Precious) for his forthcoming film ‘The Paperboy” which also stars John Cusack, Zach Effron, Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey. The film will debut @ Cannes in May with confirmed worldwide distribution in October.

Since her dazzling debut introduced this singular talent to the masses, Macy has forged an uncompromising musical path beholden to her own vision and garnering accolades at every juncture.  With “COVERED” Macy has turned the cover album concept on its ear choosing edgy contemporary choices and approaching them in an innovative and uncompromising way. Not surprising considering she’s spent her career defying expectations and stretching musical boundaries.   

Says Macy on being inspired by Nina Simone’s cover songs: “She didn’t worry about what people would think or how they would compare it to anybody else. I saw how she just took that song and every song she ever did and made them her own.  So I went in with the confidence that we could do whatever we wanted.”

“COVERED” Track Listing:

1)Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythmics)
2)Creep (Radiohead)
3)You Want Them Nervous (skit featuring J.B. Smoove)
4)Smoke 2 Joints (The Toyes)
5)La La La (Teaching The Kids) (featuring Layann Al Saud, Avery Albert, Happy Hinds & Siena Stelber)
6)Teenagers (My Chemical Romance)
7)The Power of Love (featuring Hugh Salk)
8)Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
9)Sail (AWOL Nation)
10)I Try Is Cool And All But…(skit featuring Nicole Scherzinger)
11)Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
12)Love Lockdown/Buck (Kanye West/Nina Simone)
13)Mel Rap (featuring Mel Hinds)
14)Bubbly (featuring Idris Elba) (Colbie Caillat)
15)Wake Up (Arcade Fire)
16)Really? (skit featuring MC Lyte)


NEW MUSIC: Eric Benet: REAL LOVE | Spring 2012

February 7, 2012

Eric Benet is out on tour!

02/07/12 Alexandria, VA at The Birchmere Buy tickets
02/08/12 Alexandria, VA at The Birchmere Buy tickets
02/09/12 Durham, NC at Carolina Theatre Buy tickets
02/10/12 Atlanta at Atlanta Civic Center Buy tickets
02/11/12 St. Louis at Lumiere Place Buy tickets

For more dates/info, please see


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