Tag: new york arts

Miguel Zenón’s rhythms follow a changing culture

Boston Globe, February 21, 2013 The saxophonist Miguel Zenón came from Puerto Rico to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music in 1996, and fast emerged as a major creative voice in jazz, with a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2008 to attest to it. In his young but prolific career, he has made […]

Nona Hendryx balances soul, conscience

Boston Globe, July 8, 2012 NEW YORK— Let’s say you formed your first band as a Trenton, N.J., teen in the ’50s. You helped invent funk in a trio, LaBelle, that found cult status in the ’70s. You pioneered sci-fi themes before George Clinton. Later, you forged ahead as a solo artist and in collaborations […]

Boston singer Marianne Solivan’s NY move pays off

Boston Globe, May 25, 2012 NEW YORK — This city may boast the nation’s highest concentration of jazz musicians, venues, recording opportunities, and cover-charge-paying aficionados, but that doesn’t mean you can just show up here and get a gig. Just ask singer Marianne Solivan. When she first got here in 2007, with enough money for […]

For singer-songwriter Morley, it’s all about connections

Boston Globe, May 11, 2012 NEW YORK — There are lots of birds in the lyrics of Morley, the singer-songwriter who’s found an original place for herself at the intersection of the jazz, folk, funk, and world-music scenes here, and who flits between these worlds with the grace and ease of the winged creatures that […]

Dafnis Prieto plays more than meets the ear

Boston Globe, February 24, 2012 NEW YORK – In a prominent spot on the shelf in the peaceful living room of drummer Dafnis Prieto’s apartment in Washington Heights sits a row of books on one of Prieto’s favorite subjects: optical illusions. Close by is a stack of volumes on an artist famous for his use […]

From book arts, a fresh look at fraught issues

WNYC News, July 30, 2009 Print journalism may be in trouble, but print in the arts is alive and well, and it’s taking on social issues. An exhibition up now uses “book arts” – artworks based on print and the printed word – to take on race and racism in some new and sometimes humorous […]

Love for Michael Jackson knows no time or color

WNYC News, July 1, 2009 Spontaneous celebrations of Michael Jackson have gone on in the streets since his death last Thursday, but yesterday was the official tribute at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and New Yorkers came out en masse. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter was there.

News that inspires: Xaviera Simmons

WNYC News, June 23, 2009 A Brooklyn artist sees beauty in some of the harrowing images she finds in the news – such as the plight of African migrants escaping to Europe. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter caught up with her.

Five women artists, five takes on Islam

WNYC News, June 5, 2009 Islam is in the air – from Barack Obama’s big speech, to a festival in New York this month of Muslim arts and ideas. Among those voices are five young women artists who have a show at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art in Brooklyn. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter spoke […]

FLY: Five first ladies of dance

WNYC News, May 29, 2009 Five black women at the top of their field. Germaine Acogny, Carmen de Lavallade, Dianne McIntyre, Bebe Miller and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar are dancer-choreographers who are pioneers in the dance world. They perform this weekend in a rare program of solo pieces, at the Kumble Theatre in Brooklyn.

Sculptor Elizabeth Catlett

WNYC News, May 21, 2009 Sharecroppers, laborers, mothers and their children — these people have captured the imagination of sculptor Elizabeth Catlett for over 40 years. Catlett talked about her life and work at the Museum of Modern Art earlier this week and WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter was there.

All-night Indian music concert

WNYC News, May 14, 2007 Even the most obsessive music lover might think twice about a concert that lasted more than 3 or 4 hours. But in Indian music, all-night concerts that run from dusk to dawn are highly appreciated. This weekend some of India’s most revered musicians played all night at St John the […]

A summit of Japanese costume roleplay in Brooklyn

WNYC News, May 1, 2009 More than a thousand people are expected to gather this weekend under the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. They won’t be there to smell the flowers—they’ll be there to pose as their favorite Japanese cartoon characters. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter asks why.

An all-female take on graffiti

WNYC News, April 29, 2009 Graffiti art has as much of a following in the gallery world as it does on the streets. And, a new show in Williamsburg is presenting graffiti with a twist. In a genre dominated by men, this show is all female. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reports.

The record store experience in the era of digital downloads

WNYC News, April 18, 2009 Saturday is Record Store Day, a day of events and promotions at independent record stores around the country and overseas. If you sense a hint of desperation it’s because the rise of digital downloads has pushed a lot of record stores out of business. So what’s happened to the record […]

Bed-Stuy Meadow

WNYC News, April 13, 2009 In a few weeks wild flowers will sprout up all over Bedford-Stuyvesant. That’s the hope of activists who sowed the flowers over the weekend on untended land in the Brooklyn neighborhood. But the environmental project also raised questions — about how to organize community action in a changing neighborhood.

Fly Girlz

WNYC News, April 7, 2009 It’s a time-honored way to cope with the stress of growing up in a tough neighborhood: you make music about it. A group of girls from Brownsville are telling their story, with a little help from some new friends.

New take on Indian classical music

WNYC News, March 9, 2009 Classical music jumped across continents this weekend. The two-week festival that celebrated the opening of the new Alice Tully Hall came to a close with a concert that showcased a new take on Indian classical music. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter was there.

Fashion Week… recycled

WNYC News, February 23, 2009 Fashion week wrapped up late last week, but as the designers measure their success and the models move on to the next chic venue, discarded runways and backdrops are getting put to good use. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reports on one woman’s quest to rescue leftover materials from the dumpster, and […]

That neo-hoodoo that you do

WNYC News, November 15, 2008 “Neo-Hoodoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith” is the title of an exhibition that’s running at PS 1 in Queens until January 26th. Poet Quincy Troupe is reading at the museum Saturday. Troupe says what was once forgotten is now remembered. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter spoke with him.

From soccer pitch to silver screen

WNYC News, October 29, 2008 French athlete Zinedine Zidane is a star on the soccer field… and now on the big screen. “Zidane” the film is running this week only at BAM and at Anthology Film Archives. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter has these observations on the way soccer becomes a work of art.

Life and work of Mahmoud Darwish remembered

WNYC News, September 29, 2008 The Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who died in August, was considered the most distinguished literary voice of his community. So much so, in fact, that he received a state funeral from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Last week Darwish’s New York admirers got together to celebrate his work. WNYC’s Siddhartha […]

Armory show explores “Democracy in America”

WNYC News, September 24, 2008 “Democracy in America” — it’s a big agenda and it’s also the title of a show up this week at the Park Avenue Armory. There’s work from more than 40 artists — taking on the political issues of our time. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter checked it out and has this report.

DJ legend on a dancefloor mission

WNYC News, August 19, 2008 He’s a legendary DJ from even before the days of disco. Now Brooklyn’s own Nicky Siano has returned — on a mission — to bring the soul back to the dance floor. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reports.

Fab pre-fab buildings

WNYC News, July 18, 2008 With all the anxiety about mortgages and foreclosures, you might forget another part of the housing crisis: The need for affordable new housing in many parts of the country. A new exhibition at MoMA shows how some architects are working with prefabricated housing to come up with new housing solutions. […]

On Brooklyn’s black heritage

WNYC News, June 18, 2008 When gentrification comes to a neighborhood it isn’t just the residents who can feel like like they’re being pushed away. It’s also the local history. So how can a community’s past contribute to its future? WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reports from Bedford-Stuvesant.

Art and satire in Iran

WNYC News, May 24, 2008 “Ardeshir Mohassess: Art and Satire in Iran” is the first major U.S. retrospective of Mohassess’s work. The self-taught artist presents 70 monochromatic ink drawings that comment on Iran’s social, political and cultural life before and after the 1979 revolution.

The South comes up North

WNYC News, May 30, 2008 Up from the Deep South… all the way to Brooklyn. A two-week festival is underway that celebrates the culture of the Mississippi Delta. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reflects on the birthplace of the blues.

International artists trek to East Williamsburg

WNYC News, May 9, 2008 The East Williamsburg industrial area is one of the remaining manufacturing districts in the city. But, it’s also the latest refuge for arts organizations and artists fleeing high rents in Manhattan. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reports on a group of international artists who are making the neighborhood their base.

A walk down 125th Street

WNYC News, April 25, 2008 Changes are coming to 125th Street. Plans to rezone Harlem’s main artery look headed for approval in the city council, after a compromise to limit the height of new buildings to 19 stories. The amount of affordable housing in the plan has also been increased. While the look of 125th […]

Iraqi musician in New York

WNYC News, March 19, 2008 Five years after the US invasion of Iraq, an Iraqi-American musician is preserving the classical music of Baghdad here in New York. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reports.

Arab music thrives in New York

WNYC News, March 10, 2008 A major festival of Arab music is taking place in Brooklyn all this month. After 9/11 there were fears that funding and opportunities for Arab artists would dry up. Siddhartha Mitter reports on the thriving scene for Arab music in New York.

From the Philippines to upstate

WNYC News, December 14, 2007 Two percussionists, making a life together and building a family to the rhythm of dozens of drums. She is Filipino-American, he is Cuban-American and they make music that combines both their cultures – and many others. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter spent time with Susie Ibarra and Roberto Rodriguez for our ongoing […]

East Village hosts Howl festival

WNYC News, September 9, 2007 This weekend the East Village celebrates its offbeat cultural legacy with the Howl Festival. The event is named for the famous 1957 poem by Allen Ginsberg, who died ten years ago. The neighborhood has gone through big changes, but the festival shows it hasn’t lost its quirkiness. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter […]

Jazz drummer Max Roach memorialized

WNYC News, August 25, 2007 Drummer Max Roach, who died last week, was one of the pioneers of modern jazz, and musicians and poets came out in force for his funeral Friday. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reports.

Harlem Book Fair: The uptown book scene

WNYC News, July 21, 2007 The ninth edition of the Harlem Book Fair takes place today. Up to 70,000 visitors are expected on 135th Street between Fifth and Seventh Avenues, along with 300 exhibitors from the spectrum of African-American publishing. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter checked in on the uptown book scene.

Young artists bring Langston Hughes’ home back to life

WNYC News, May 1, 2007 The poet Langston Hughes died of cancer 40 years ago this month. His work spanned the time from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Power movement, and he is recognized as one of the great figures of American literature. But Hughes’s longtime home in Harlem hasn’t fared as well as […]

Multi-media work explores post-9/11 American identity

WNYC News, September 9, 2006 New York performance poet Sekou Sundiata has been compared to Langston Hughes and Marvin Gaye for his writing about Black America. But 9/11 left him confused about American identity. Out of that he’s built a multi-media work, a cycle of songs, poems and monologs, video and dance. Siddhartha Mitter reports.