In Pittsburgh, with Andy Warhol

Visual arts
It was a great joy to exit my United Airlines flight last weekend — yes, the pleasure of getting off the damned airplane was augmented by an exhibition of Andy Warhol art work right there at Pittsburgh International Airport. Capturing my eye in particular was a display case of photos illustrating Warhol’s rather impressive transition ...

Gene from Pittsburgh 1

Dance
I’ve  been spending a lot of time with Gene Kelly for the past week. It’s a good feeling. We’re from the same home town. Kelly was a huge movie star. The only other dancer to reach that level was Fred — not from Pittsburgh. Read my story on The Huffington Post.

Bob Marley remembered 2

Film · Music
What I learned about reggae artist Bob Marley from “Marley,” an inspiring new documentary produced by his son: he was biracial (I did not know that) he was the soul of jamaica  he was gorgeous and nicely built he was all music, from childhood he was all artist, beatific in the final years of his ...

Ahmad Jamal, child pianist, photographed by “Teenie” Harris

Music · Visual arts
He’s propped up on a trumpet case! It’s the young Ahmad Jamal (born Frederick Russell ‘Fritz’ Jones), a Pittsburgh native whose photo by renegade photog, Charles “Teenie” Harris, is featured in an exhibit at the city’s Carnegie Museum of Art. Jamal’s is only one of 80,000 photographs Harris snapped of daily African-American life in the ...

Jack Cole danced in Pittsburgh 1

Dance · Music · Theater
Rummaging around the Internet, I found this priceless image of a program dating from the Nixon Theatre in my home town of Pittsburgh. [click image for detail] The Nixon Theatre was the top game in town — the place where circa 1971 I saw naked hippies writhe on stage in “Hair.” Not surprisingly, the hard-working ...

A Paul Taylor premiere at ADF, always a joyous event

Dance
**LATE BREAKING NEWS ** UPDATE ** LATE BREAKING NEWS ** UPDATE** The Paul Taylor Dance Company announced today that its upcoming 2011-12 three-week New York season will be held at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center from March 13  – April 1, 2012. “I am looking forward to seeing my amazing dancers perform ...

Docu honors Gospel music, born in America, underpinning jazz and blues

Music
As a teen, I had my first exposure to gospel music listening to Sunday broadcasts on Pittsburgh’s black radio station, WAMO. So I wouldn’t miss the documentary film, Rejoice & Shout:   Those beautifully named gospel singing groups — The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Dixie Hummingbirds, The Soul Stirrers. Why don’t dance companies have ...

Letter from Wuhan 1

Dance
Greetings from Wuhan, one of China’s “four furnaces.” It’s a hot one today, blazingly sticky and humid; for every particle of air, an equivalent particle of dirt. The dancers already had class and rehearsal and are hanging out, resting, before tonight’s show. Wuhan is a big old-industry town in the heartland of China, a bastion ...

Yo Martha, Martha Graham! Yvonne Rainer wants to teach you something. 1

Dance
Graham was featured as a Google “Doodle” on her birthday today Happy Birthday Martha Graham born in Pittsburgh on May 11, 1894, 117 years ago

Get stoned … go higher! See David Dorfman’s “Prophets of Funk”

Dance · Music
Dance maker David Dorfman throws down the gauntlet. And the gauntlet is this: Can he out-do, in his choreographed tribute to Sly & the Family Stone, what the great sixties interracial funk band achieves in a cold television studio? Check out this video: I wouldn’t miss it — if only because the cast includes Kyle ...