As Urban Bush Women approached its 30th anniversary this year, founder/artistic director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar felt like she was finally ready to make a dance inspired by John Coltrane’s monumental jazz work, “A Love Supreme.”
“I love the music. It’s just powerful. It’s a masterpiece,” Zollar said in a telephone interview earlier this week.
Fifty years ago next month, an estimated 74 million television viewers were introduced to The Beatles when they performed on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” For a lot of Americans who were teenagers then, and for many born after World War II, The Beatles’ arrival on these shores also marked the beginning of musical dreams.
Penelope Rowlands, then 13, is the young woman in the center of The New York Times photo featured on the cover of her new collection, “The Beatles Are Here!” Rowlands wrote about the photo in an article for Vogue magazine years later, and also reconnected with all but one of the women in the photo.
It seems there are endless variations for the artist who wants to pursue the color white as the overall theme in a series of paintings. For some years Don Mertz has worked through this challenge and presents some of them in his current show, sponsored by the Durham Art Guild. Because of the London-Heyden exhibition in the main gallery, the Guild has traded spaces with the Durham Arts Council and Mertz’ show is in the upstairs gallery, making the lobby to the theater quite splendid.
The first day of Black History Month will be ushered in with marching feet, banging drums, dancing, waving and even cowboys as the 12th Annual Durham MLK-Black History Month Parade marches up Fayetteville Street at noon Saturday.
Silvia Heyden (born 1927) and Edith London (1904-1997) met in Durham in 1966; London was an established painter and Heyden was still experimenting with her tapestries.
The exhibition which has brought the two artists together again is absolutely gorgeous. Never mind their technical expertise or their many awards -- seeing their work on the walls of the Durham Arts Council gallery is a gift and an honor.
Here are some recent local music releases guaranteed to entice and intrigue:
In the depths of the Durham Arts Council building last week, the Durham Symphony Orchestra gathered to rehearse its upcoming “A Musical Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.”
It was a weeknight, and the musicians who came were volunteers and paid professionals, some in jeans and T-shirts, others in the business casual they wore all day at an office.
Like a hot toddy on a cold winter’s night, which this week is full of, “Once” warms you up and leaves you feeling happy. The tour of the hit Broadway show is at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Sunday. Opening night Tuesday was a blustery one outside, but inside the show started before curtain time – in fact, there was no curtain – by opening up the on-stage bar to a few lucky patrons.
Whether America can be described as a melting pot or a salad bowl, the fact remains there are many subcultures just below the surface of our national identity. The standard version is the United States was founded by white, middle-class Christian men who had wives and children, and while that was the textbook picture of our citizenry in 1775, there were large pockets of Americans, like women and blacks, who had no public face.
Stephen Cowles, one of the organizers of the 2014 Durham Mardi Gras Parade, described last year’s event as a mini music festival – both at the indoor venues and on Rigsbee Avenue, where musicians played. This year, Cowles said organizers would like to “foment” that kind of vibe by closing off the street at Rigsbee after the parade, and adding a venue.
Stuart Ward took a risk when he turned down the understudy role in the hit Broadway musical “Once” when it was being performed in London. But he had another job, playing guitar with Sir Cliff Richard at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and didn’t want to be an understudy. Ward wanted the lead. “Once” has received eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It is based on the Irish film.