Was great to reconnect with NYC fam, dear friends Mara Schiavocampo and Tommie Porter at their Harlem pad! Great food; Great peeps - including our usual suspects, including the special presence of E! Entertainment News' Alicia Quarles; her husband Mike; and their extended fam! THE FOOD - as always - was AMAZING! And it would NOT have been a party without me singing something - in this case a duet of Whitney Houston's "My Name Is Not Susan" with Alicia! LOL! FUN! Oh, and how could we ever forget the PRINCESS HOSTESS WITH THE MOST-EST: MISS NINA!
Ant & I recently enjoyed an inspired and invigorating set of live song from Tevin Campbell who did ALL of his hits and a few of Michael Jackson's tunes inside of a tribute: "Butterflies"; "Human Nature"; and "Remember the Time". This, at BB Kings! So nice to see Tevin again --- in great form! And even nicer to see my friend Darius Booker singing beautifully in Tevin's background vocal chamber.
FREE ANGELA AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
At Mara and Tommie’s Easter Brunch, BFF Sidra Smith attended. She’s Co-Producer on "Free Angela" (documentary about Angela Davis that’s in theaters this Friday). AND ANGELA DAVIS WAS IN THE HOUSE! So PROUD of Sidra who invited Ant’s and my favorite couple Mara Schiavocampo and hubby Tommie Porter out to celebrate alongside us the PREMIERE of “Free Angela And All Political Prisoners”. WHAT A GREAT NIGHT! AND WHAT A GREAT FILM! Sid enrolled Jada Pinkett Smith; Will Smith; and Jay Z to come aboard the project as Executive Producers. Those Smiths attended the special night which took place at The Schomburg Center. And so many of the WHO'S WHO were in the house, I can't name them all: but including Sonia Sanchez, Kathleen Cleaver, Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, Micheala angela Davis, Vy Higginsen, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Michael Vann, Stacey J, Nelson George (who is presenting a screening of WATTSTAX and Panel Discussionthis Friday 4.5. BUY TICKETS! http://www.njpac.org/events/detail/wattstax#NJPAC), friend and publicist BJ Coleman's client Max Tapper ('One Live to Live', etc.); Common, Kevin Powell, BET’s President & CEO Debra Lee, Roland Martin, Omarosa, Paul Wharton, Rhonda Ross (Her next show is at CUTTING ROOM!!! Tickets are already selling fast!!! http://tickets.thecuttingroomnyc.com/event/244163-rhonda-ross-new-york/), her husband Rodney Kendrick, Jamie Foster Brown, George Faison, T, Melanie Fiona, T.J. Holmes, Terrie Williams, Jacquie Lee, and so many more!!! And of course, it was like a FAMILY REUNION! I saw so many near and dear to me in the mix and in support of ‘Free Angela’. CHECK OUT SIDRA SMITH’s interview on ESSENCE.COM: http://www.essence.com/2013/03/29/essence-exclusive-interview-sidra-smith ‘Free Angela’ is in theaters this FRIDAY, APRIL 5TH! So, please HONOR Sidra; the film’s creative visionary and Director Shola Lynch and the Executive Producers Will Smith; Jada Pinkett Smith; and Jay-Z THIS FRIDAY and BEYOND by seeing “Free Angela And All Political Prisoners” – EXCLUSIVELY IN SELECT AMC THEATRES. And PLEASE get in on the MOVEMENT:
TWITTER: @FreeAngelaFilm I #FreeAngela
GET GLUE: www.GetGlue.com
TAKE PART: www.TakePart.com
BET UP FRONT
Just got word that the L.A. installment of BET's Up Front was a success - including reaction to the presentation videos I had a hand in helping produce! It's been quite the labor of LOVE for the last couple of months. Next stop: Chicago, then New York City for the last stop on the tour - in mid-April (which I hope to attend)!
I am glad I got to pop by the launch of my friends Nathan Hale Williams' & Tammy Ford's soon-to-be-weekly networking event BIZ BOND at Hudson Bond on 215 W 40th btw 7th & 8th Avs. PLEASE come and join us the next time!!! Congrats Nathan and Tammie! Fun and POWER NETWORKING to boot!!! WIN WIN!
My friend Karen Chilton is a mutli-layered threat: actress; author; playwright; voice-over artist; and so much more! I first came to know her through my friend Ken Roberson (ALSO AN EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMER who is directing our girlfriend La Chanze’s upcoming 54 BELOW show that will tribute DIANA ROSS). A few years ago, Karen wrote the critically-acclaimed biography “HAZEL SCOTT: THE PIONEERING JOURNEY OF A JAZZ PIANIST FROM CAFÉ SOCIETY TO HOLLYWOOD TO HUAC” (University of Michigan Press). Her current work CONVERGENCE is being presented as a staged reading at Joe’s Pub (www.joespub.com). The five-character play set on Chicago’s Gold Coast will featureSharon Washington & Reg E. Cathey (Directed by Awoye Timpo with music by Xavier Davis). CONVERGENCE uses the relationship between a prominent psychiatrist and her schizophrenic patient to explore the dynamics of class and community. The play’s rhythmic style uses jazz as a metaphor as the dialogue between the characters flows from melodious and harmonious to discordant and cacophonous. It all goes down Monday, April 15th at 6:30 pm. TICKETS ON SALE NOW for $15. Click on www.joespub.com.
KIDS JAZZ CONCERT SERIES
WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM celebrates the 20th anniversary of the award-winning Kids Jazz Concert Series with five, free interactive programs for young people. The celebration features percussionist Bobby Sanabria at Newark Symphony Hall on April 6; bassist/vocalist Mimi Jones, Montclair Art Museum, April 13; drummer Lenny White, Newark Museum, April 20; vocalist Lauren Hooker, Luna Stage, April 27; and pianist Michael Wolff, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, May 4. For more information on the 2013 WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series, please visit www.wbgo.org/kids.
ISOUL HARRIS’ NICKI MINAJ
Shout out to my Morehouse brother Isoul Harris – Editor in Chief of UPTOWN MAGAZINE! His book “NICKI MINAJ: HIP POP MOMENTS 4 LIFE” is out in the U.S. this week!!! It's the first mass market biography of the superstar (Omnibus Press). Isoul calls it a smart & fun exploration & analysis of her meteoric rise to superstardom. Those who wish to support, check it out in Barnes & Noble or order here: http://amzn.to/QnW9Yn #NickiMinaj #Minaj #minajhippop #books #author #writer #hiphop #femalerappers #AmericanIdol YOUR BIG BROTHER IS SO PROUD!
My girl Bevy Smith deserves a STANDING OVATION! Her limited series on Bravo “Fashion Queens” – co-starring Miss Lawrence and Derek J reached 1.1 MILLION viewers last week! JOB WELL DONE, LADIES! And BRAVO and Mr. Cohen: ORDER UP! LOL! CONGRATS ALL!
In closing, and as I mentioned last week, pop culture icon Nelson George and WATTSTAX at NJPAC I Friday April 5 CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO: http://www.njpac.org/events/detail/wattstax #NJPAC
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