Posts Tagged ‘Spike Lee’

Style File

Friday, June 13th, 2014
Rosie Perez, actress

Rosie Perez, actress

They say Father Time is undefeated…and if he is, then one person giving him a run for his money is actress Rosie Perez. Perez continues to age gracefully, 25 years after dancing onto the scene in the Spike Lee summer joint Do The Right Thing (easily one of the most audacious acting debuts ever, second only to Eddie Murphy in 48 hours)

Perez, who is a fight fan, was in the area recently to visit the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Throwback Thursday: Star Power

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Jim Brown, Julius Edwards, Spike Lee, Rufus Morris, General Davis at the School of the heARTS (what is now Merchant's Commons Building) a decade ago.

Jim Brown, Julius Edwards, Spike Lee, Rufus Morris, General Davis at the School of the heARTS (inside what is now the Merchant’s Commons Building). Brown and Lee came to Syracuse a decade ago to premiere the 40 Acres & A Mule documentary Jim Brown: All-American.

Art of Noise

Saturday, September 21st, 2013
DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller): Sound Scholar

DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller): Sound Scholar

Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) is not your typical DJ. Think of him as part Steve Jobs, part Dr. Yusef A. Lateef, part Spike Lee (mixed with touch of Jazzy Jeff). Miller came to the CRAVE Festival in Syracuse on Friday gave a lecture about his love of sampling, vintage vinyl records, quantum physics, open source program development, and the current age of mass customization. Miller showcased his recent work, which was inspired by a trip to Antarctica.

He said he plans to use his platform as an artist/explorer to leverage cultural capital to protect human rights and the environment.

In addition to scoring films, Miller is also the narrator for an app for one of my favorite artists, Romare Bearden. Check back for photos of his Saturday night concert.

DJ Spooky developed a music-mix app for the iPad

DJ Spooky demonstrated a music-mix app he developed for the iPad.

Nobody Knows My Name

Sunday, June 24th, 2012
Jazz Singer Gregory Porter, Soul to the Bone

Jazz Singer Gregory Porter, Soul to the Bone

Saxophone-legend Kenny G may have been the headliner for the first night of Syracuse Jazz Fest on Friday, but Grammy-nominated vocalist Gregory Porter stole the show.

A self-described preachers kid, Gregory impressed those in attendance at Jamesville Beach with songs such as Be Good, On My Way to Harlem, and Mother’s Song.  These Sophistasoultastic cuts conjure up images of the Cosby Show of the 80s, Spike Lee’s early films and even the choreography of Garth Fagan.

His song-writing is vivid and his performance high spirited.

To call Porter a jazz singer may be restrictive. His mature and robust sound may be jazz, but it’s corseted in soul and the cadence of his church rearing.

Gregorty Porter, a singer's singer

Gregory Porter, a singer’s singer

Some singers are vanguards.  Nat had it. Donny had it. Ray had it. Sam had it. Stevie has it and yes Porter too, has that vibe of a pioneer.

Jazz Fest Producer Frank Malfitano even said he was one of the most talented jazz singers of the last 3 decades.

During the finale Porter mesmerized the crowd with 1960 What, a homage to cities such as Detroit. Coincidentally,  Malfitano used to produce that city’s Jazz Fest.

New fans showered Porter with appreciation during an impromptu meet-and-greet beside the stage following his set. Many shared their disbelief that they weren’t familiar with this man.

From now on his reputation in Syracuse is all good.

Save the Children

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Salina B. Lazarus, Tonya Lewis Lee and Pastor Daren Jaime at Syracuse University

Salina B. Lazarus, Tonya Lewis Lee and Pastor Daren Jaime at Syracuse UniversityProducer, attorney and author Tonya Lewis Lee says she was surprised to learn several years ago that infant mortality rates among African American women were twice that of whites and Latinos here in the United States.  She also found out that even among educated African American women, and those with access to healthcare, the infant mortality rates were disproportionately high.

“Clearly this is not a poverty issue,” she says.

Lewis Lee, the national spokesperson for the Healthy Baby Begins with You Campaign, was in town today at Syracuse University to present the 36-minute documentary she produced titled: Crisis in the Crib: Saving Our Nation’s Babies.

Despite the alarming statistics, Lewis Lee says she is optimistic that with increased education, further advances in genetics, as well as a collective effort from government, the medical community and the private sector working together, things can improve.

“There’s no overnight fix,” she says.

Lewis Lee talked earlier this year to NIFTN’s George Kilpatrick about her book Giant Steps to the Change the World.  She said her next project will be to co-produce a film adaptation of the Christopher Paul Curtis book The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 along with actor, comedian Chris Rock.

Anniversary Vigil

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Vigil for victims of Hurricane Katrina at Syracuse University

Vigil for victims of Hurricane Katrina at Syracuse University

Members of the Syracuse University community held an impromptu program for the victims of Hurricane Katrina last night in Hendricks Chapel. Students and members shared experiences about evacuating or returning to clean up the Gulf Region.  This week marks the five year anniversary of the storm.

Second only to the Spike Lee’s Katrina films (and interviews),  I found the best testimony about the Hurricane and immediate aftermath was given by former Syracuse television executive Gary Wordlaw in 2006.

Members of Delta Sigma Theta discuss their sorority's rebuilding efforts

Members of Delta Sigma Theta discuss their sorority’s rebuilding efforts