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 ...

Marvelous Marvin Hamlisch takes up Pasadena Pops baton 2

Music
“I love Pasadena,” proclaimed Pasadena Pops’s new conductor, Marvin Hamlisch, perfectly suited for the family-oriented position because he’s no shrinking violet. The veteran composer of Broadway (“A Chorus Line”) and Hollywood film (“The Way We Were,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Sting”) continued: “I like the idea of being around talent in L.A. and Hollywood. We can ...

Choreographer Kyle Abraham, Pittsburgh homeboy, BESSIE awardee

Dance
Gifted dance artist Kyle Abraham, whose “The Radio Show” just won a Bessie Award, and who I immensely enjoyed meeting at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in August, is my homeboy from Pittsburgh. Never mind that I’m a good twenty years older than Kyle — a full generation. He and I share a few Pittsbuggian, er ...

Kyle Abraham makes it or breaks it

Dance · Music
“I got really frustrated when a good song got ‘broken,'” says the soft-spoken young choreographer, Kyle Abraham, chatting over breakfast at Jacob’s Pillow this past weekend. “I’d call the station many times to vote in support [of cutting-edge music the audience didn’t like.]” During my three-day visit to the historic summer dance venue, I enjoyed ...