Spring Issue/Post One/Volume Four

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I am sure my friends and family are welcoming the seasonal change of Spring after the terrible long Winter that some of them had. As you know, Winter does not quit easily, and the remnants of the past Winter can linger a while, even in early Spring. But, it will all settle in and the warm weather will warm your hearts and bodies.

There is growing interest across the country concerning multiple instances of injustices involving people who are victims of these injustices; people of color, LGBT people, poor people, people in prisons who should be exonerated and much more. Over the years because of efforts made by professional law makers and attorneys, efforts have been made to correct injustices that effects many people in those denominations. Such an effort has been part of the work being done by The Equal Justice Initiative that works effortlessly to exonerate people who are incarcerated unjustly by the criminal justice system.

Recently, an effort has been made successfully regarding a man accused  incorrectly of a crime he did not commit, Anthony Rae Hinton, who walked out of jail after thirty years because of injustices regarding his incarceration. What is of most concern by those who have worked hard to free him, regardless of proof of his innocence, is that those people in the justice system knew that proof was available fifteen years ago of his innocence and yet no effort was made to release Hinton from prison who was scheduled during his time in prison to be executed. And, his lawyers stated that his situation was caused by others in the justice system who used his status as a poor individual who was unable to afford legal council and evidence that was used against him for the crime he did not commit. There are many cases like this, fortunately, there is an organization whose specific purpose is to prove the innocence of those who are wrongly accused and committed to jail time.

ArtNews Leroy Neiman Foundation Gives $2.5 million dollars to Smithsonian for Jazz programming, Jazz Cafe. http://www.artnews.com/2015/04/02/leroy-neiman-foundation-gives-2-5-m-to-the-smithsonian-for-jazz-programming-jazz-cafe/

2015 Celebrations This year, 2015, there are three important centennial celebrations in the world of music, Billie Holiday, on April 7, 2015, Billy Strayhorn, on November 29, 2015,  and Frank Sinatra, December 12, 2015.

Remarkably, these three memorial celebrations of these three remarkable artists coincide with each other basically because Billy Strayhorn’s compositions incorporated with the artistry of his writing companion, the great, Duke Ellington, served Sinatra well in his performances of their material, as well as Billie. Billie Holiday was the most consequential singer of her generation, and it is important to note that Strayhorn and Sinatra in many ways mirrored her artistry basically because of Holiday’s interpretive skills as a singer and that remarkable voice not matched by anyone until this day.  These three artists were monumental with their interpretations of the material they performed over the years, and it is astounding that they are celebrating this year together in this century. Here are some pieces of information I wish to share with you.

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Frank+Sinatra+60sb20cea3e507a1d02065715b1218466f1f2da7994https://www.yahoo.com/music/billie-holiday-protest-singer-the-story-and-115670346341.htmlhttp://jazztimes.com/articles/156863-world-on-a-string-sinatra 100, and www.billystrayhorn.com.

 Braggin’ Rights Occasionally I comment on my blog about my grandchildren or some comment about family that I am willing to share. Like braggin’ rights that I have since it is MY blog.

Well, here is a moment I wish to share with you. My granddaughter, Lauren,  who is ten years old, has got the bug to follow in her granddad and cousin Deion’s footsteps who is in the entertainment industry. She is very talented and gotten accepted from her audition on March 28th at the Northwest School Of  The Arts, grades 6-12.

She sang two selections from Annie, and recited  a monologue from A Raisin In The Sun. She will attending NWSA in the Fall with a major in Musical Theater Drama 6. Of course all of us in the family are so proud of her and look forward to a wonderful future for her.

She is exceptionally talented in dancing, singing, acrobatics, designing clothes, drawing and painting that I am sure will follow her in her scholastic abilities and talents in the coming school years.

Lauren performed two songs from the movie, Annie , and dialogue from “A Raisin In The Sun”. Hail to Lauren….

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Finis The month of April  brings many thoughts from the world of jazz regarding four of the most prominent figures in jazz history; Billie Holiday, April 7, Carmen McRae, April 8 , Ella Fitzgerald, April 25, Duke Ellington, April 29.

During my time on the air as a broadcaster for Public Radio, WGBH, hosting the Jazz Gallery show for twenty-three years, I featured these four illustrious talents every year to give my audiences the opportunity to enjoy their artistic abilities but also to ensure that their art continued into the 21st Century. Holiday and Ellington enjoyed the opportunity to be included in their perspective Centennial positions, especially Billie,  who celebrates her 100th year this month.

The recording histories of these people are outstanding, the quality and the quantity is immeasurable, and we have been fortunate to be able to enjoy their artistic  achievements through their recordings….from my perspective….I read an article recently and after reading it I became aware that what I was reading left me with questions about the content of the material. I had to decide if the material I was reading was just propaganda or based on real facts. With so much information that we take in daily from all kinds of resources, i.e, newspapers, magazine articles, multi-media outlets, friends, family and comments that people make, we have to decide how we are able to wade through all of it and find out if the information is factual or not. It does not matter if your favorite announcer or the politician you believe in is giving you the right scoop. If you are vulnerable to any kind of news and propaganda that you are receiving and are not willing to research and find out the facts, then you are a victim of the information you may be receiving.

We all have opinions, based on many factors that involve all kinds of things in our lives from the time we were children into adulthood. We are victims of our society that determines how we interact with each other and how we understand the information that is passed down to us. Sometimes we do not have control about that information because it takes over our ideas and sensibilities. That is what makes up our World and each of us have to determine and decipher what it means to all of us and how it effects us as people. Think about that.

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