Friday, March 25, 2011

Change: Freedom, Peace and Healing

Greetings! This is your Diva of the Day for Thursday, March 24th, Kimberly C. Gaines. Today's show focused on the idea that we can change the world. It is evident from the events that are taking place. The world is on fire with the change we chanted for just two years ago. Sometimes what we ask for doesn't come how we expect it to though. The old adage be careful what you ask for comes to mind. 
So in this the fourth week of Women's Herstory Month I challenge all of us to listen to the clamoring around us of a world in flux and funnel it into ourselves to create solutions, new beginnings and hope for a greater tomorrow. This playlist touches on understanding freedom, finding peace and allowing the healing process to take place. Hope you enjoyed. Support the artists check the playlist below.

The world is undergoing change… just as we collectively asked for. The old adage be careful what you ask for comes to mind. From East Africa, the middle east, the Pacific Ocean, and yes the United States change is a foot. 
Time Artist Song Title Album

1:06:03 KING Supernatural The Story
1:12:54 Monica Blaire Set Me Free Portraits of Me
1:16:49 Janelle Monae Cold War The ArchAdnroid
1:29:32 Janelle Monae Oh, Maker The ArchAdnroid
1:33:15 Chaka Khan Super Life Funk This
1:38:14 4Hero featuring Jody Watley Bed of Roses Play with the Changes
1:42:53 Maiysha Alchemy This Much is True
1:46:38 Silhouette Brown Fools Gold Two
1:52:21 Zo! featuring Sy Smith Greatest Weapon of All Time SunStorm
2:01:04 Ledisi Lost and Found Lost and Found
2:04:01 Gabbi McGee Help Wanted Mississippi's Daughter
2:08:16 Marsha Ambrosius Far Away Late Nights & Early Mornings
2:15:31 YahZarah Come Back As A Flower The Ballad of Purple Saint James
2:20:08 Nisha Streams of Consciousness The Metamorphosis
2:26:49 V.V. brown I Love You Traveling Like the Light
2:31:08 Monday Michiru New Beginnings 4 Seasons
2:34:41 Restless Soul Featuring Rasiyah Time To Fly Kyoto Jazz Massive 10th Anniversary Disc 1
2:41:34 Break Reform Cut a Map In The Soles of My Feet Reformation
2:49:30 Bei Bei & Shawn Lee Make Me Stronger Into the Wind
2:52:26 Carmen Rodgers Tell Your Story The Bitter Suite
2:58:08 Kelis So Be It Red Hot + Riot

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

International Sweethearts of Rhythm in the DC area!

GREAT Free Jazz & Women’s History Month event as part of Smithsonian’s JAM on Weds, March 30 at Artisphere.

A pioneering all-female, interracial big band enjoyed world-acclaim in the 1940s, and had significant local ties to Arlington and DC. “A Women in Jazz Tribute to the International Sweethearts of Rhythm” features several surviving original band members in a panel discussion at Artisphere on Wednesday, March 30, followed by a swing dance featuring the all-female Leigh Pilzer/Jen Krupa Quintet. This event is FREE and open to the public. A detailed press release is attached.

Broadcasting entrepreneur Cathy Hughes (Radio One), a descendant of one of the Sweethearts members, will lead a panel discussion called “Jazz and Civil Rights,” focusing on the Sweethearts importance as a multi-cultural, all-female aggregation that toured not only the Jim Crow South, but also a six-month European tour which included the first African-American women to tour with the USO during WWII. Excerpts will be screened from Judy Chaikin’s upcoming documentary, Girls in the Band (see clip). This event is offered as part of the 10th annual Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) program, which is focused on the legacies of jazz women, and their advocates, who helped transform race, gender and social relations in the U.S. in the quest to build a more just and equitable nation.

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, founded in 1937 at the Piney Woods Country Life School in Piney Woods, Mississippi, will be the focus of the JAM Launch, a museum display and special online and public programming offered by the National Museum of American History to highlight the unique legacy of the school that music built and their dynamic, women's jazz band.

Laurence C. Jones founded the Piney Woods Country Life School for poor and African American children in 1910. In the early 1920s, he supported the school by sending an all-girl vocal group on the road. Following that success, in 1937 he formed the Swinging Rays of Rhythm, an all-girl band led by Consuela Carter. Around 1941, the band settled in Arlington, Virginia, where there was a wealthy Virginian who provided support for them. Members from different races, including Latina, Asian, Caucasian, Black, Indian and Puerto Rican, lent the band an "international" flavor, and the name International Sweethearts of Rhythm was given to the group. At one Howard Theater show, the band set a new box office record of 35,000 patrons in one week of 1941. In 1944 the band was named "America's #1 All-Girl Orchestra" by Downbeat magazine. They enjoyed an enormous following among the African-American audiences playing "battle-of-the-bands" concerts against bands led by Fletcher Henderson and Earl Hines. During World War II, letter-writing campaigns from overseas African American soldiers demanded them, and in 1945 the band embarked on a six-month European tour, which made the band’s African-American members the first black women to travel with the USO.

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm made two coast-to-coast tours in their bus. As a racially mixed band, they defied the Jim Crow laws of the South. The white women in the band wore dark makeup on stage to avoid arrest. Despite being stars around the country, when the band traveled in the South all of the members ate and slept in the bus because of the segregation laws that prevented them from using restaurants and hotels. The first white musicians joined in 1943. There were also several lesbians in the band, including Tiny Davis, whose sexuality was later the subject of Schiller and Weiss' documentary, Tiny and Ruby: Hell Divin' Women. Ms. Davis had to turn down the opportunity to tour again with the band in 1946. This, along with other lineup changes, led to the band folding in 1949.

Despite the impact of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm being repeatedly ignored in popular histories of jazz, the band enjoyed a resurgence in popularity among feminists in the 1960s and 70s. The band was among the first marketed as women's music. In 2004 the Kit McClure Band released The Sweethearts Project on Redhot Records. It is a tribute album recorded entirely with an all-female band using only songs the Sweethearts recorded.

Offering small-group jazz with big-band spirit, the Leigh Pilzer/Jen Krupa Quintet is inspired by duo collaborations such as those of Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer, J. J. Johnson and Kai Winding, and Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. With Jen on trombone and Leigh on baritone and soprano saxophones and roster of world-class rhythm section members their repertoire ranges from standards to originals. Jen, Leigh, and the rest of the group have played with big bands including the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and DC-area military jazz ensembles.

Artisphere is a new breed of urban arts center that features four distinct performance venues, three visual art galleries, a 4,000 square foot ballroom, a free Wi-Fi Town Hall and HERE, a restaurant and bar. Artisphere’s wide array of programming is as diverse as its audience, ranging from contemporary visual art, Shakespeare, late-night DJs, and multi-cultural film fests to spoken word, chamber music, family programs and swing and salsa dancing. Artisphere is located at 1101 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia, two blocks from the Rosslyn Metro (blue/orange) and within walking distance of Georgetown. Artisphere is open Monday through Friday from 11am to 11pm; Saturday from 11am to 2am and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Admission to Artisphere and all its visual art galleries is free; there is a cost for ticketed events. Artisphere is pleased to offer its patrons free parking evenings after 5pm and on weekends. Artisphere is wheelchair accessible. Sign-language interpreters available on request for events; two weeks advance notice requested; TTY: 703-228-1855.For more information about Artisphere and its wide array of programming, visit

Artisphere has six arts organizations in residence— Aurora Opera Theatre, Artisans Center of Virginia, Fashion Fights Poverty, National Chamber Ensemble, UrbanArias and the Washington Shakespeare Company. Artisphere’s retail gallery is curated by the Artisans Center of Virginia.

For more information about this FREE event, THE PUBLIC may call 703-875-1100, or visit . For more detailed information, images or interview requests, THE MEDIA is asked to contact me, Jim Byers, Marketing Director, Arlington Cultural Affairs at 703-228-1847, or email , or Artisphere’s Director of Communications and Marketing, Annalisa Meyer, at 703-875-1124, or at

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Women's History Month Programming at WPFW

Thanks to the programmers at WPFW for highlighting the amazing work of women this month!

  • The Tuesday Edition of Midday Jazz will feature interviews and live on-air performances by women showcased in the Inaugural Washington Women in Jazz Festival. :-)
    -Keanna Faircloth
  • Monday March 14: guest Leith Mullings, author of "Resistance & Resillence: The Sojourner Syndrome", interviewed by Judith Maye
    Monday March 21, Special on the 100th Commemoration of the Triangle Shirt Waist Fire, with guests Clayola Brown (union leader, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, organizer with UNITE HEREand Joyce Miller, founding member of CLUW (Coaltion of Labor Union Women), first woman elected to serve on the AFL-CIO Executive Committee, International Union, inductee into the HistoryMakers African American history archive)
    -Joni Eisenberg
  • On this Wednesday's "Don't Forget the Blues" (March 16), in honor of Women's History Month I am going to feature blues women from the Blues Hall of Fame .... These are the female artists who have so far been inducted into The Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame.
    Artists include: Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, Etta James, and others!!
    --Steve Hoffman
  • I will celebrate Women's National History Month on Saturday, March 26,
    in honoring several women of the music industry relating to R&B.
    I will honor as many as I can in my 2hour show 6am-8am. No specifics
    as of yet, but I will definitely pay tribute to them. Millie Ware.
  • March 13
    • Virginia Johnson - revitalization of Dance Theater of Harlem & upcoming performance.
    • Peggy Fleming - photographer
    March 20
    • Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and two other contributors to the new book Hands on the Freedom Plow
    • New play "Ann Joice" about an indentured servant trying to obtain her freedom
    March 27
    • Roberta Flack
    • Carlos Schroder will be my guest focusing on international women performers
    -Miyuki Williams
  • I started last Friday.playing men who honored a specific woman or women
    in the title of the composition and women composers, producers,
    vocalists, instrumentalists, etc throughout the entire month of March
    as I always do. - Myrrh
  • Monday, March 14 - INSIDE OUT DC's only FM LGBT Radio Show
    celebrates the first anniversary of same-sex marriage in DC.
    the show will feature poet, publisher and author Michelle Sewell, as guest host!
    The show's guests include an African-American lesbian couple, Renee and Inger, engaged to be married in May 2011,
    Attorney Michele Zavos, licensed same-sex officiant, Deborah Cummings-Thomas and
    Jeffrey Richardson, the newly appointed LGBT Liaison for Mayor Vincent Gray!
    we'll discuss the strides DC has made in the past year, new threats to the marriage bill, and
    the possibility of Maryland getting same-sex marriage as well.
  • Thursday, March 24th at 11PM Please join alternating Thursday Late Night Jazz host Bobby Hill tonight as he concludes his month-long celebration of Women’s History Month. Tonight’s program begins with a musical remembrance of the four little black girls murdered in the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama church bombing; feature music from vocalists Renee Maria, Pat Petersen, and Laurie Anderson; vocal ensemble music from the Ward Gospel Singers, the Florida A&M University Gospel Choir, and the Tuskegee Institute Singers; as well as music from harpists Helene Breschand and Zeena Parkins, kotoist Yagi Michiyo, cellist Diedre Murray, and accordionist Pauline Oliveros.

  • Thursday March 10, from 10:30-11:00 On The Margin's guest is Julia Alvarez taking about the Mirabal sisters and her novel In the Time of the Butterflies.

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