Archive for May, 2011

Media Advisory: NCCU Commencement Weekend

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

North Carolina Central University will, for the first time, hold separate spring commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Graduate and professional degrees will be awarded on Friday afternoon in McDougald–McLendon Gymnasium. The baccalaureate ceremony will be on Saturday morning in O’Kelly–Riddick Stadium.

Graduate and Professional Commencement

Master’s degrees and law degrees will be awarded to 424 recipients on Friday, May 13, at 3 p.m., in McDougald–McLendon Gymnasium on the NCCU campus (616 E. Lawson St.). The speaker will be Dr. Norman B. Anderson, a 1997 NCCU graduate who is chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association.

Seating is limited in the gymnasium. The ceremony will be telecast to overflow audiences in B.N. Duke Auditorium, the University Theatre in the Farrison–Newton Communications Building and the School of Law.

Baccalaureate Commencement

The university will award 534 bachelor’s degrees on Saturday, May 14, at 8 a.m., in O’Kelly­–Riddick Stadium on the NCCU campus. The speaker will be John Lewis, civil rights leader and member of Congress from Georgia.

In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in McDougald–McLendon Gymnasium, and will be telecast for overflow audiences in B.N. Duke Auditorium, the University Theatre in the Farrison–Newton Communications Building and the School of Education.


For the Friday ceremony, ample free parking will be available in the Latham Parking Deck at 705 E. Lawson St. and in the upper and lower parking lots next to the BRITE building on Lawson Street. The easiest access to the parking deck is from Lawson Street via Alston Avenue. The easiest access to the BRITE lots is from Lawson Street via Fayetteville Street.

For the Saturday ceremony, parking is open throughout the campus with the exception of the lots adjacent to the Hoey Administration Building. Visitors are strongly encouraged to arrive early.

Yes, NCCU Has A Bowling Team

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

It has been one of the best-kept secrets in the NCCU athletics department, probably because the team rarely plays at home.

But if things keep getting better and better, soon the exploits of the Eagle bowling team are going to be well known in the NCCU community.

The Eagle rollers went 34-30-1 this season, the best campaign since the university left the CIAA bound for membership in the MEAC. That came after a combined 53-172 over the previous three seasons, including a 13-59 mark in 2010.

“We have a bowling team?” sophomore Laverne Jones said is the most common response she hears when people find out she’s on an athletic scholarship.

“Then they say ‘You can’t beat me,’” added Toria Silver, who will graduate with a degree in child development this weekend, but still has eligibility left and will continue studies at NCCU. “We’ve been challenged twice by the football team and the baseball team, but they never showed up. Most people think of bowling as a hobby, and not a sport.”

It certainly wasn’t just a hobby for this season’s Eagles, who had a lot to brag about for the first time since NCCU’s inaugural varsity team won the inaugural CIAA championship in 2001.

“I think we had a really good season,” NCCU coach Karen Sanford said. “The young ladies worked hard. We had our first 1000 set (a 1036 against Elizabeth City State on Feb. 11) and Laverne broke the school record with a high game of 256 (to lead that victory over the Vikings.)”

The squad had only six players this season, but Sanford said she would never want more than seven anyway. Five compete in each match, and substitutes are allowed during a game if someone gets an injury or is just having a bad day.

The four others on this season’s team were seniors LaTia Blacknell from Durham Riverside and Shelisha Ejimakor from Raleigh, sophomore Khrystal Richardson from Matteson, Ill., and freshman Kristyne Garrett from Raleigh Enloe.

But they didn’t compete on high school teams before coming to NCCU.

“Laverne found me,” Sanford explained. “Her cousin sent me an e-mail and said she was looking for a place to go. I e-mailed her and called her and signed her, and here she is. I used to work with Toria’s mother (Victoria), so I knew her before she was born.”

Jones was also a guard on the basketball team and played on the back row for the volleyball team at Goldsboro’s Eastern Wayne High.

Jones, the “anchor,” who bowls the fifth and tenth frames when the Eagles play a Baker game, averaged a 177.8 this season. She started at the age of eight on the recommendation of her mother Nenita, and remembers her best recreational game at 264.

“Sometimes it takes a toll, but I started getting used to it after a while,” Jones said of the weekend matches, in which a player may roll as many as 40 games. “I know Coach has confidence in me. I’m hoping we can win some championships next year.”

Silver, who had played volleyball and basketball at Shepard Middle School, attended the Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High on campus.

Silver, who has been rolling since she was seven when her mother got her into it, is the leadoff or “sparkplug” in Baker games and averages 167.4. She had a 273 in an exhibition game against Bethune-Cookman last season.

“I was happy we got to be a better Baker team this year,” Silver said. “And when we shot that 1036 it was awesome. I want to finish No. 1 in the MEAC South next year.”

MEAC championships may be a bit of a different goal in bowling than in other sports, too.

Maryland-Eastern Shore won NCAA National Collegiate titles – the designation in which there are not Division I and II and III but just one champion – this season and in 2008.

And the Hawks have had to beat schools from major conferences like the Big XII (Nebraska) and the SEC (Vanderbilt) to do it.

“Everybody wants to go to the nationals, but our goal for next year will be to make the MEAC Championships,” said Sanford, who has a recreational team named the ‘Eagle Rollers’ that competes for USBC national championships. “The top four in the South will make it. I think we’ll be looking pretty good. We’ll lose two seniors, but we have two good recruits coming in. We want to win some championships and put a banner on the wall.”

Durham Arts Council and PAQA – South Present International Art Quilt Exhibition, May 20 – July 17

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

The Durham Arts Council (DAC) presents the 9th annual exhibition of innovative art quilts organized by the Professional Art Quilters Alliance-South (PAQA-South), opening on Friday, May 20 with a free, public reception. The exhibition is titled “ARTQUILTSmovement” and includes entries from all over the United States and Canada.

Official jurors for the exhibition are Sara Powers, Executive Director of the Visual Art Exchange gallery in Raleigh and Ann Harwell, a quilt artist with Artspace in Raleigh. The jurors selected 38 works related to the exhibit theme with a focus on technique, design, originality and craftsmanship. Each work reflects the artist’s interpretation of the concept of movement.

From May 20 through July 17, 2011, ARTQUILTSmovement will be on view in the Allenton and Semans Galleries of the Durham Arts Council as part of the DAC’s rotating exhibitions program. The public is invited to the opening reception on Friday, May 20, from 5-7pm at the DAC’s historic downtown Durham facility which will feature live acoustic music in the galleries as well as wine and refreshments.

PAQA-South and the DAC are sponsoring a 2-day workshop for artists in conjunction with the ARTQUILTSmovement exhibition, titled Shameless Self-Promotion: A No-Excuses Art Marketing Workshop, led by national art business coach, Alyson B. Stanfield. The workshop will be held on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 at the DAC. The fee for the workshop is $150 and topics will include: artist website management, getting results from your mailing lists and why social media is worth the effort.

For more information about PAQA-South, ARTQUILTSmovement, or the Shameless Self-Promotion workshop, please visit, email [email protected] or visit Alyson Stanfield’s website at

NPR Jazz Notes

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

A Blog Supreme
Where The Tuba Lives: 5 New Orleans Songs Featuring The Fat Horn
Many things make New Orleans a one-of-a-kind music town, but one is the tuba, the monstrous brass instrument worn like a python squeezing its victim.

Piano Jazz
Bela Fleck On Piano Jazz
Fleck joins host Marian McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi for trio renditions of “In Walked Bud,” “All the Things You Are” and “Polka Dots and Moonbeams.”

A Blog Supreme
Here Are The Best Jazz Photos And Short Videos Of The Year
At least according to the Jazz Journalists Association, which announced its JJA Jazz Award nominations for 2011 this morning. Winners are named in a ceremony on June 11, 2011, which will also be streamed as a live video webcast.

A Blog Supreme
How We Don’t Talk About Musicians
Drummer Scott Clark is one of the best to be found in Richmond, Va., anchoring a number of excellent bands. But in an interview, he reveals that the life of a musician isn’t as easy as his playing looks.

A Blog Supreme
‘Treme,’ Episode 11: Fourteen Months After
As season two opens, not much has really changed in post-Katrina New Orleans — and what has changed isn’t necessarily good. Luckily, the city’s music remains a constant. Read a recap of the live performances, featuring Christian Scott, The Subdudes, Bonerama and Juvenile.

Bobby Sanabria

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Bobby Sanabria, a drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer, filmmaker, conductor, educator, multi-cultural warrior and multiple Grammy nominee, has performed with a veritable Who’s Who in the world of jazz and Latin music, as well as with his own critically acclaimed ensembles. His diverse recording and performing experience includes work with such legendary figures as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Charles McPherson, Mongo Santamaría, Ray Barretto, Marco Rizo, Arturo Sandoval, Roswell Rudd, Chico O’Farrill, Candido, Yomo Toro, Francisco Aguabella, Larry Harlow, Henry Threadgill, and the Godfather of Afro-Cuban Jazz, Mario Bauzá.

Bobby, the son of Puerto Rican parents, was born and raised in the “Fort Apache” section of New York City’s South Bronx. Inspired and encouraged by maestro Tito Puente, another fellow New York-born Puerto Rican, Bobby “got serious” and attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music from 1975 to 1979, obtaining a Bachelor of Music degree and receiving their prestigious Faculty Association Award for his work as an instrumentalist. Since his graduation, Bobby has become a leader in the Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and jazz fields as both a drummer and percussionist, and is recognized as one of the most articulate musician-scholars of la tradición living today.

Bobby has been featured on numerous Grammy-nominated albums, including The Mambo Kings and other movie soundtracks, as well as numerous television and radio work. He was the drummer with the legendary “Father of the Afro-Cuban Jazz movement,” Mario Bauzá’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. With them he recorded three CD’s, two of which were Grammy-nominated, that are considered to be definitive works of the Afro-Cuban big-band jazz tradition. Bobby was also featured with the orchestra in two PBS documentaries about Bauzá and also appeared on the The Cosby Show performing with the orchestra. He also appeared and performed prominently in a PBS documentary on The Life of Mongo Santamaria and on camera in the CBS television movie, Rivkin: Bounty Hunter.

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