Archive for January, 2010

NCCU Welcomes Dr. Ben Carson

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

carsonAs part of the NCCU Centennial Celebration and in honor of Black History Month, North Carolina Central University will host a lecture with Dr. Ben Carson, director, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, on Tuesday, February 9 at 3 p.m. in the McDougald – McLendon Gymnasium. Dr. Carson will speak from his motivational book, Think Big. The event, as well as the reception and book signing following the program, are free and open to the public.

A graduate of Yale University and the Medical School of the University of Michigan, Carson pioneered several surgical innovations. In 1987, he performed the first successful operation to separate craniopagus (Siamese) twins, joined at the back of the head – leading a 70-member surgical team through 22 hours of surgery. Named by CNN and TIME magazine as one of the 20 most notable scientists and physicians, Carson holds more than 50 honorary degrees. In June 2008, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by then President George W. Bush.

Perhaps Carson is best known for his story of triumph over tragedy. Raised in a single-parent home, Carson struggled through his early years of school, resulting in poor academic performance, low self-esteem, and a terrible temper. It was the intervention of his mother – who challenged both Carson and his brother to strive for excellence – that resulted in the realization of his childhood dream, becoming a doctor.

Today, Dr. Carson works to expand the Carson Scholars Fund, with the goal of naming a Carson Scholar in every school in the country. His motivational book, Think Big, utilizes eight principles of excellence, his personal formula for success.

This event is sponsored through the NCCU Lyceum Series. For more information on this program, contact Robin Williams, Developmental and Supplemental Learning Center, at (919) 530-6932, or [email protected].

Black History Month on WNCU

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Savannah Music Festival LIVE Presents: Marcus Roberts

Monday, February 8th @ 9pm

In the 100 years since jazz music became an integral part of American culture, the piano has remained fundamental to its development. There have been many great pianists whose original contributions and achievements have helped define the course of jazz, and that tradition still remains intact today. In this episode of the Savannah Music Festival LIVE, we listed to one of the most extraordinary pianists of our time, Marcus Roberts. Hear Roberts perform solo, with his trio and with a few special guests (Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Printup and Walter Blanding) during his spring 2008 visit to the Savannah Music Festival.

North Carolina’s Contribution to Jazz

Friday, February 12th @ 9pm

Thelonious Monk’s sound is one of the most recognizable in modern jazz. An original on and off the bandstand, he launch pad of modern bebop, and also created a body of work in its own orbit. (NPR Jazz Profiles)

Sunday, February 14th @ 3pm

Feb. 6th, 2010, marks the 62nd birthday of Bob Marley. In this interview/music mix, Dred Scott Keyes speaks with Christopher Farley, author of the best-selling book, “Before The Legend:The Rise of Bob Marley.” Farley lays to waste some of the myths surrounding Marley including the fact that his father was neither white nor served as an officer in the British army.

Savannah Music Festival LIVE Presents: Battle Royale

Monday, February 15th @ 9pm

The tradition of instrumental competition on the bandstand in jazz goes back to the origins of the music. By the early 1930s, such competitive on-stage battles became known as “cutting contests,” and they almost always produced some terrific entertainment for the audience in attendance. In this episode of SMF Live, we listen to a concert we produced at the 2009 Savannah Music Festival entitled Battle Royale. It featued a variety of instrumentalists squaring off against one another, but the purpose was completely musical. Driven by the creative conception of Marcus Roberts to put two rhythm sections on stage side by side, The Clayton Brothers and the Marcus Roberts Trio provided the foundation for an explosive display of musicality featuring such artists as Wycliffe Gordon, Andre Heyward, Terrell Stafford, Scotty Barnhardt and many others.

Friday, February 19th @ 8 and 9pm

John Coltrane’s never-ending quest for musical improvement and self-awareness distinguished his playing and compositions in the ’60s. It was driven by an increasing spirituality, most potently unveiled in his 1964 recording A Love Supreme. Coltrane later created music of great turbulence and ecstasy, and he remains a powerful inspiration to artists of all disciplines. (NPR Jazz Profiles)

Other specials:

Truckin’ My Blues Away : Saturday, February 13th, 9pm: – a look at the music and musicians of the drink houses and juke joints of the rural South. Host Barry Yeoman takes us into the lives of colorful artists named Captain Luke, Guitar Gabriel, Boo Hanks, Eddie Tigner, and Little Freddie King. Working men in their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, who have written, sung, and played songs about their world all their lives

Saturday, February 20th @ 2-4pm

This is award-winning musical documentary is about the life of Sam Cooke- from his days in Gospel music to his triumph in R&B to his untimely demise.

On Dec. 14th, 1964, the death of Sam Cooke was broken across the world. Some saw his death as the wrath of God- and an omen- for crossing the line between gospel and R&B music. Others saw his death as a needless tragedy. Still others saw Sam’s death as an end of the road towards self-reliance and musical independence. Today, Sam Cooke remains one of America’s most influential singer-songwriters, having been inducted into the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame. “The Gospel Truth: The Sam Cooke Story” looks at the life of Sam Cooke through the eyes and voices who knew him well- his father and brother, the Rev. Charles and L.C. Cooke, Soul Stirrers member Leroy Crume, biographer Peter Guralnick and others.

Sunday, February 21st @ 3pm

While African-Americans are credited with inventing rap music, it was Jamaican artists like U Roy and I Roy who began that musical phenomena. A dub poet is a poet who has set his or her words to music, Jamaican style. Dred-Scott Keyes and Bernard White interview Mutabaruka, Jamaica’s original dub poet.

Monday, February 22nd @ 9pm

Imagine a musician single-handedly redefining what an instrument can do, elevating it to a whole other level. That’s what the late Max Roach did for the drums. Whether its jazz or rock or funk, there isn’t a drummer today who isn’t somehow influenced by what Roach played. But that’s only a part of Max Roach’s story, which spanned the Harlem Renaissance, the development of modern jazz, right up to hip hop and multi-media. Over a fifty-year career he blazed his way across genres as percussionist, bandleader and composer. Max Roach tells his story with frankness and a characteristic sharp wit, supported by “special guests” including Dizzy Gillespie, and noted drummers Paul Motion and Art Taylor.

Max Roach—Drums Unlimited is narrated by Kenny Washington, a host of shows on public radio and Sirius, and himself a well-known jazz drummer. Washington brings his own drum-knowledge to the table, as well as a friendship with Max Roach. Max Roach passed away in August, 2007.

RESCHEDULED: Durham Artist for Haiti Relief Concert

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

haiti-flagRESCHEDULED DATE: Saturday, February 6, 2010

The St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Inc/ Hayti Heritage Center send our condolences to the people of Haiti. This catastrophe is beyond comprehension to a people who have been struggling to recovery from natural disasters over the last year. In an effort to act the Foundation along with 18 groups and over 100 artists from Durham and surrounding communities will come together to raise money at the DURHAM ARTISTS FOR HAITI RELIEF CONCERT, Saturday, January 30 in the St. Joseph’s Performance Hall at the Hayti Heritage Center beginning at 5:00 pm – 12 midnight. Suggested donation of $20 at the door and all proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross for Haiti Relief.

“I have been so saddened by the events in Haiti and after talking with others in the community just felt we need to do something to show our support as artists. So I begin to plan this concert last week and it has all come together with the support of so many people, businesses and volunteers. We (Hayti Heritage Center) have a unique connection to Haiti having been named after the first free and independence nation of the Diaspora. In addition to a link that many may not know that is seen daily on top of the steeple of the historic St. Joseph’s structure- a VeVe (the weathervane) which is the symbol of Erzulie, The Goddess of Love, which is a voodoo symbol worshiped in the Haitian culture”, states V. Dianne Pledger, President/CEO of St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation.

We are fortunate to have artists that are willing to give back to support worthy causes, and on Saturday night the public will have the opportunity to hear some jazz, gospel, R & B, comedy, spoken word, blues, a little bit of everything to raise money to support the efforts to restore the nation of Haiti.

Scheduled to appear: Prince Miah & The Girl ToyZ, The Marcus Anderson Group, Baron Tymas Trio, Jasme Kelly, The Rise Band, Bull City Slam Team, The William Darity Group, Jatovie McDuffie, Jennifer Evans Gospel, Brandi Q & PB Band, Darrell Stover, Cinnamon Davis, Dasun Ahanu, The Johnny White Band, The William McLaughlin Group, Ian Siler & True Prayze, Kurt Melges & Leslie Land and more.

We urge you to support the recovery of this nation with a financial contribution; our neighbors in Haiti are racing to confront the enormous devastation. It is at times such as this that our help is need most. If you are unable to attend the concert the Hayti Heritage Center has set up a fund which will be sent to the Red Cross for relief efforts. You may donate through our on line donation system and identify your contribution for Haitian Earthquake Relief, or drop by the Hayti Heritage Center. Our prayers are with the Haitian community throughout the world.

Additional relief efforts and contact information is as follows:


  • Financial Donations
    • Donate $10 to the American Red Cross – charged to your cell phone bill – by texting “HAITI” to “90999.”
    • Contribute online to the Red Cross
  • Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information.

The St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Inc. (SJHF) founded in 1975, is an African American cultural and educational institution deeply rooted in the historic Hayti community of Durham, North Carolina. SJHF is dedicated to advancing cultural understanding through diverse programs that examine the experiences of Americans of African descent – locally, nationally and globally. The Foundation is committed to preserving, restoring and developing the Hayti Heritage Center, the former St. Joseph’s AME Church, a National Historic Landmark, as a cultural and economic anchor to the greater Durham community. For more information call (919) 683-1709 or

NCCU Celebrates Black History Month

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

North Carolina Central University will celebrate Black History Month in its Centennial Year with a series of events that are free and open to the public. The keynote speaker is Glenn Harris, associate professor, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, who will address this year’s theme, “The History of Black Economic Empowerment.” The lecture is scheduled for Monday, February 15, at 3 p.m. in the H.M. Michaux, Jr. School of Education Auditorium.

On Tuesday, February 9, Dr. Ben Carson, director, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, will speak from his book, Think Big, in the McDougald – McLendon Gymnasium, at 3 p.m. A book signing and reception will follow the program.

The stage comedy, “Dance on Widow’s Row” by playwright and North Carolina native Samm-Art Williams will open at the University Theatre, Friday, February 12, at 8 p.m. NCCU students will lend their talents to this production set in Port Town – a fictional, coastal community. This play was featured in the 2001 National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C. Kenneth Hinton, adjunct instructor, is the director.

Other highlights include a lecture by Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Oluwafemi Faseum, “Talking Drums as Instruments for Music Making and Communication in West Africa,” a cello recital, “A Cello Recital of Negro Spirituals,” by Associate Professor Timothy Holley, and what has been billed as an “African American Cultural Explosion,” sponsored by the Earle E. Thorpe Historian Society. For more details, visit <>.

Discussion/Presentation – “Youth for Justice”
Date & Time: February 1, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Alfonso Elder Student Union, Room 146 – 146A
Description: Speakers include Tomasi Larry, Benita Artis, Charmaine Troy and Norma Petway

Lecture – “Talking Drums As Instruments For Music Making And Communication In West Africa”
Date & Time: February 2, 5:30 p.m.
Location: BRITE Building, Room 1050
Description: The event speaker will be Oluwafemi Faseum, Fulbright scholar-in-residence, NCCU Department of Music.

Film – “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin”
Date & Time: February 2, 6 p.m.
Location: Miller – Morgan Building, Auditorium
Description: The NCCU Department of Public Health Education will sponsor this event. A reception will follow the film.

Lecture – “Marcus Garvey: Race First”
Date & Time: February 3, 3 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 201
Description: The event speaker will be Balca Ceesay, NCCU undergraduate student.

Discussion – “Hayti and the Parrish Street Gang During the Jim Crow Era”
Date & Time: February 4, 2:30 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 207
Description: The event speaker will be André Vann, university archivist.

Film – “Favela Rising”
Date & Time: February 5, 11 a.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 205
Description: The NCCU Department of History will sponsor this event.

Exhibit – “Alexander (Alex) Rivera: Pioneer Photojournalist for Black America”
Date & Time: February 7, 2 p.m.
Location: NCCU Museum of Art
Description: The exhibit will run through April 23.

Lecture/ Video Presentation – “Reviewing A Colored School, A Narrative Film on Black Education, Self-Determination, and Pride: Parallels to the NCCU Traditional Experience”
Date & Time: February 8, 1 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 207
Description: The event speaker will be Janice Dargan, visiting assistant professor, NCCU Department of English and Mass Communication.

Lecture – Lyceum Program Speaker Dr. Ben Carson
Date & Time: February 9, 3 p.m.
Location: McDougald – McLendon Gymnasium
Description: Dr. Ben Carson, director, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, will speak.

Lecture – “The Right Man: The Genealogy of James Edward Shepard, 1875– 1947”
Date & Time: February 10, 3 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 203
Description: Historian Henry Lewis Suggs will speak.

Lecture – “Uncovering the Lost Papacy: The Three Black Popes”
Date & Time: February 11, 10:45 a.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 207
Description: NCCU undergraduate student James Blackwell will speak.

Play – “Dance on Widow’s Row”
Date & Time: February 12, 13, 19 & 20, 8 p.m.
Location: Farrison Newton-Communications, University Theatre
Description: A Samm– Art Williams comedy, directed by NCCU visiting lecturer Ken Hinton, will be performed by NCCU’s Department of Theatre.

Lecture – “The History of Black Economic Empowerment”
Date & Time: February 15, 3 p.m.
Location: H.M. Michaux, Jr. School of Education, Auditorium
Description: Glenn Harris, associate professor, University of North Carolina at Wilmington will offer this keynote address.

Presentation – “President Barack Obama: Identity and Dreams of My Father”
Date & Time: February 16, 6 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 207
Description: Michael V. Taliefero, NCCU undergraduate student will speak.

Lecture – “NCCU’s Economic Impact on the Durham Community”
Date & Time: February 17, 3 p.m.
Location: C.T. Willis Commerce Building, Room 315
Description: Andrea Harris, president of N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development, will speak.

Lecture – “Infected with Fear: White Supremacy in North Carolina Politics 1876– 1965”
Date & Time: February 17, 7 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 201
Description: A.J. Donaldson, NCCU graduate student, will speak.

Film – “The Jackie Robinson Story”
Date & Time: February 18, 11 a.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 205
Description: The NCCU Department of History will sponsor this event.

Lecture – “It is Deeper than Rap: ‘Caught the Jingle but not the Music,’ Gangsta Rap and Black Masculinity”
Date & Time: February 18, 1 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 201 – B
Description: Brian Robinson, NCCU graduate student, will speak.

Seminar – “Somebody Had to do it: Children on the Front Lines of School Desegregation—Engaging HBCU Students as Researchers
Date & Time: February 19, 1 p.m.
Location: Alfonso Elder Student Union, Room 146 – 146A
Description: Paula Q. Hall, NCCU associate professor, and Millicent E. Brown, associate professor, Claflin University will speak.

Film – “Black Panthers and San Francisco State: On Strike”
Date & Time: February 22, 11 a.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 205
Description: The NCCU Department of History will sponsor this event.

Lecture – “Grace Campbell: Cooperatives and Black Economic Empowerment”
Date & Time: February 23, 6 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 201
Description: Lydia Lindsey, NCCU associate professor will speak.

Lecture – “Maroon and Gray: Fight or Flight, Slaves in Antebellum Eastern North Carolina”
Date & Time: February 24, 3 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 207
Description: Marcus Nevius, graduate student, NCCU, will speak.

Lecture – “’Segregation Must and Will be Destroyed’: Louis Austin, the Carolina Times, and the Long Civil Rights Movement”
Date & Time: February 25, 2:30 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 201
Description: Jerry Gershenhorn, NCCU associate professor, will speak.

Panel Discussion – “Sixty Years of Health Education at North Carolina Central University”
Date & Time: February 25, 6 p.m.
Location: Miller-Morgan Building, Auditorium
Description: Event speakers include B.T. McMillon, Howard Fitts, Ted Parrish, Laverne Reid, and LaHoma Romocki.

Book Presentation/Signing – Adriana Lentz-Smith
Date & Time: February 26, 3 p.m.
Location: Edmonds Classroom Building, Room 201-B
Description: Adriana Lentz-Smith, Duke University assistant professor and author of Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I, will speak.

Musical Performance – “Negro Spirituals and Cello Music of African Americans”
Date & Time: February 28, 4 p.m.
Location: Edwards Music Building, Recital Hall
Description: Timothy Holley, NCCU associate professor will perform.

“African American Cultural Explosion”
Date & Time: February 28, 6 p.m.
Location: Alfonso Elder Student Union
Description: This event is sponsored by the Earle E. Thorpe Historian Society.

Passing on Steve Satterfield

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Gospel radio sensation Brother Milton “Steve” Satterfield passed on Thursday, January 14, 2010, at the VA Medical Center in Durham, N.C. after battling a lengthy illness.

Steve was a volunteer announcer for many years at WNCU 90.7 fm. He was host of gospel program, Precious Memories, which aired Sunday mornings from 6:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m.

A wake and “musical celebration” will be Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 6 to 8 p.m. at Union Baptist Church, 904 N. Roxboro St., Durham, N.C.

Homecoming services are scheduled for Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 2 p.m. at Union Baptist Church, 904 N. Roxboro, St., Durham, N.C.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Burthey Funeral Home of Durham, N.C.

Family will take visitors at 3405 Gibson Rd, Durham, N.C.

Legendary Drummer Ed Thigpen Has Passed

Friday, January 15th, 2010

ed-thigpenEd Thigpen, drummer with the Oscar Peterson Trio during the famed jazz pianist’s popular early-’60s period, died on Wednesday, January 13, at the age of seventy-nine. Besides appearing on dozens of albums with Peterson, Thigpen recorded and performed with many other jazz greats, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Kenny Drew, Johnny Hodges, John Coltrane, and Dinah Washington, as well as pop artists including Johnny Mathis, Pat Boone, Peggy Lee, and k.d. lang.

He also released a number of albums as a leader, his last being 2004’s #1. Thigpen was a renowned drumming educator, most recently teaching at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he had made his home since 1972. He was the author of the popular tutorial book Rhythm Brought To Life and, as a well-known master of brush playing, the creator of the DVD The Essence Of Brushes. Thigpen was the inspiration for signature brush, stick, cymbal, and practice pad models from Regal Tip, Sabian, and Remo. For more news visit

Photo by Nicola Fasano

Jazz Week Top 100 List for 2009

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Click here to download pdf file.

Dexter Gordon

Friday, January 1st, 2010

gordon2Dexter Keith Gordon was born on February 27, 1923 in Los Angeles, C.A. His father, Dr. Frank Gordon, was one of the first African-American doctors in Los Angeles who arrived in 1918 after graduating from Howard Medical School in Washington, D.C. Among his patients were Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. Gordon”s mother, Gwendolyn Baker, was the daughter of Captain Edward Baker, one of the five African-American Medal of Honor recipients in the Spanish-American War. He is considered to be the first musician to translate the language of Bebop to the tenor saxophone.

Gordon began his study of music with the clarinet at age 13, then switched to the alto saxophone at 15, and finally to the tenor saxophone at 17. He studied music with Lloyd Reese and at Jefferson High School with Sam Browne. In his last year of high school, he received a call from alto saxophonist Marshall Royal asking him to join the Lionel Hampton Band. He left Los Angeles with the band, traveling down south and learning to play from fellow band members Illinois Jacquet and Joe Newman. In January 1941, the band played at the Grand Terrace in Chicago for six months and the radio broadcasts made there were Dexter’s first recordings.gordon3

It was in 1943, while in New York City with the Hampton band, that Gordon sat in at Minton’s Playhouse with Ben Webster and Lester Young. This was to be one of the most important moments in his long musical career as, as he put it, “people started to take notice.” Back in Los Angeles in 1943, he played mainly with Lee Young (Lester Young’s brother) and with Jesse Price plus a few weeks with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. In 1944, he worked with Louis Armstrong ‘s orchestra which was one of the highlights of his careers. Being in the company of the great trumpet master was inspiring and gave him insight into the world of music that he never forgot. It was during this period that Gordon made his first lengthy solo recordings as the leader of a quintet session with Nat “King” Cole as a sideman.

In 1944, Gordon joined the Billy Eckstine band, the source of many of the Bebop innovators of the time and many of the most prominent bandleaders in the future. He was surrounded nightly by Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Leo Parker, John Malachi, and other architects of the new music. He began to record for Savoy Records in 1945 with tunes such as Blow Mr. Dexter, Dexter’s Deck, Dexter’s Cuttin’ Out, Long Tall Dexter (none of which were named by the composer). These early recordings are examples of the development of his sound and his style which influenced many of the younger tenor players of that day, including Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane.gordon4

In 1976, Gordon enjoyed a hero’s welcome in the U.S. when he made his return engagement at Storyville in New York City with Woody Shaw, Louis Hayes, Ronnie Mathews, and Stafford James. He subsequently played the Village Vanguard, signed with Columbia Records, and was officially back in town. He organized his first working band during this period with George Cables, Rufus Reid, and Eddie Gladden. He considered this band to be his best band and he toured extensively with them and recorded Live at the Keystone (Mosaic) and Manhattan Symphonie (CBS Sony) with the group.

In 1986, Gordon moved into his new career, acting, in the motion picture Round Midnight which was directed by Bertrand Tavernier. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Leading Actor in 1986 for his portrayal of Dale Turner, a character based on the lives of Lester Young and Bud Powell. The music for the film won an Oscar for musical director, Herbie Hancock. The film included fellow musicians Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Higgins, Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, Pierre Michelot, John McLaughlin, and Wayne Shorter. His last major concert appearance was with the New York Philharmonic in Ellingtones, a concerto written for him by acclaimed composer David Baker and conducted by James de Priest.

Gordon died on April 25, 1990 in Philadelphia, P.A.