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Ford Theatres presents Meshell Ndegeocello

PRECINCT REPORTER GROUP NEWS — Ford Theatres presents visionary vocalist and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello who performs songs from her GRAMMY®-nominated album Ventriloquism, as well as a selection of her favorites, on Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 pm as part of its IGNITE @ the FORD! series.

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By Precinct Reporter News

Ford Theatres presents visionary vocalist and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello who performs songs from her GRAMMY®-nominated album Ventriloquism, as well as a selection of her favorites, on Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 pm as part of its IGNITE @ the FORD! series.

Musically, Ventriloquism has the hallmarks of all of Ndegeocello’s work — lush and investigative, subversive and sublime. As always, she pays tribute to her diverse influences and in these cover songs, listeners hear them layered over one another. The reimagining deconstructs and comments on the narrow expectation of sound and structure for black artists and black music, while offering a musical refuge during these uncertain times. Ventriloquism is released 25 years after her GRAMMY®-nominated debut album Plantation Lullabies.

In awarding Ndegeocello the 2019 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts prize for music, Vijay Iyer called her, “a rare constellation in the artistic firmament, whose generosity of spirit defies the confines of genre and whose work dwells in both darkness and deliverance.”

Chuck Arnold in The New York Post said of Ventriloquism, “She arrived at the concept for the LP — on which she radically reinvents such classics as Sade’s ‘Smooth Operator’ and George Clinton’s ‘Atomic Dog’ — during a difficult period about two and a half years ago when her father, saxophonist Jacques Johnson, passed away . . . this is a record about, and full of, transformation. These are well-loved songs that Ndegeocello loves a little bit more, singing them with a rich, warm tone (she’s never sounded better) and backed by a band who know how to anticipate every bob and weave she might make. It’s one of her best.”

Ndegeocello herself said, “I would go to my parents’ house, and my mother’s car radio only played the oldies station.  So I just was listening to all the songs I grew up with. I’d be awash in memories . . . those are all the songs I would listen to at my parents’ house to make me feel better.”

She said a Billboard interview, “The covers idea was more so the result of a very intense year I experienced with the death of a parent and the dementia of another. And it was nice to just sit with tunes that you love and you know in and out in an emotional way. It was cathartic for me to try to give them another life, these songs.”

Charlotte Richardson Andrews said in The Guardian said, “These are bold offerings – creative, unpredictable and rich with Ndegeocello’s sensual contralto. There is intention here, a subtle, transformative magic . . . there’s no denying the originality on offer here, from this rightly revered music game outlier.”

Brad Nelson of Pitchfork said, “A cover is an act of scholarship, an act of criticism, an act of intimacy. An act of love. Tackling a range of R&B radio hits from the 1980s and 1990s, Meshell Ndegeocello treats the practice of covering another’s songs as an act of intimacy and empathy. She doesn’t perform these songs as much as she renovates them from surface to center, peeling away wallpaper, pushing furniture around, crumpling and discarding any unnecessary dimensional space until she figures out what kind of room the song is.”

Thomas Inskeep in Spin said, “Prince’s ‘Sometimes It Snows in April’ is the centerpiece of the album, a fitting tribute as we approach the second anniversary of his death. Ndegeocello’s take is . . . hushed, almost religious — you know the line in ‘Maria,’ from West Side Story, ‘Say it soft, and it’s almost like praying’? That’s the impact here: it sounds like a prayer to and for Prince.”

Ventriloquism is a place, like its process, to take refuge from one storm too many. “The year around the recording of this album was so disorienting and dispiriting for me personally and for so many people I know and spoke to all the time,” she said. “I looked for a way to make something that was light while things around me were so dark, a musical place to go that reminded me of another, brighter time.”

“Early on in my career, I was told to make the same kind of album again and again, and when I didn’t do that, I lost support. There isn’t much diversity within genres, which are ghettoizing themselves, and I liked the idea of turning hits I loved into something even just a little less familiar or formulaic. It was an opportunity to pay a new kind of tribute.”

This event is part of IGNITE @ the FORD!, a series comprised of world-renowned contemporary artists whose work is thought provoking and reflects the world in which we live. Proceeds from IGNITE @ the FORD! events benefit the Ford Theatre Foundation. Tickets are available online at FordTheatres.org and by phone (323) 461-3673. Ford Theatres is located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068.

This article originally appeared in the Precinct Reporter Group News

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Last Weekend to View African American Artist Faith Ringgold Special Exhibit at San Francisco’s de Young Museum

The exhibit, titled ‘Faith Ringgold: American People’, is on display until Sunday, Nov. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco.

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Faith Ringgold in her studio. Photo courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The Sunflowers Quilting Bee’ 1991. Photo courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Faith Ringgold in her studio. Photo courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The Sunflowers Quilting Bee’ 1991. Photo courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

By Post Staff

San Francisco’s de Young Museum is now featuring an exhibit of the first retrospective of American artist Faith Ringgold on the West Coast. The exhibit, titled ‘Faith Ringgold: American People’, is on display until Sunday, Nov. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco. Ringgold, 92, specializes in using quilting in her work. Ticket prices, which include access to all galleries, are $25 for adults; $18 for seniors or visitors with disabilities; $14 for full-time students and no charge for children under 16. Go to Tickets.Moma.org for more information.

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Museum of the African Diaspora Presents It’s Annual Gala Afropolitan Ball 2022

MoAD is a contemporary art museum whose mission is to celebrate Black culture, ignite challenging conversations, and inspire learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora. MoAD is one of only a few museums in the United States dedicated to the celebration and interpretation of art, artists, and cultures from the African Diaspora.

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Fantastic Negrito
Fantastic Negrito

By Clifford L. Williams

San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora’s (MoAD) Afropolitan Ball, billed as a high energy celebration of Bay Area Black talent, will be headlined this year by Bay Area triple Grammy Award-winning artist, Fantastic Negrito. It will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at 685 Mission Street in S.F.

After a two-year hiatus, this year’s fundraising gala returns with electrifying performances featuring the uptempo grooves of local supergroup Bayonics, who will be performing their unique blend of Latin music, reggae, and R&B. In addition to DJ sets from Oakland’s DJ Lady Ryan, who has played with artists such as George Clinton, Journey, Erykah Badu, and is resident DJ for the Golden State Warriors.

Guests will also enjoy a wide variety of tastes from the African Diaspora and a hosted bar sponsored by Hella Coastal Brewery and Uncle Ernest, as well as other surprises.

Negrito’s new album, White Jesus Black Problems, is an exhilarating ode to the power of family and the enduring residence of our shared humanity, according to MoAD’s spokesperson Nina Sazevich.

A Premier reception will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for members of the museum’s Curator Level and above. Featuring jazz, afro-funk, and soul rhythms by Ethio Jazz, and a chance to mingle with MoAD’s Executive Director Monetta White and fellow MoAD supporters and friends.

White noted that “this year’s ball is a celebration of all that MoAD has accomplished over the past 17 years and those who’ve helped MoAD succeed — its staff, board, members, donors, community supporters, and the artists who make MoAD tick … We are so excited to bring our community back together for what will surely be the best party in the Bay Area.”

The annual Afropolitan Ball benefits MoAD’s exhibitions, emerging artists, public programs featuring renowned artists and authors, and award-winning arts education programs serving over 6,000 youth.

Tickets for the general public to the main event are $325 each, which includes a one-year membership to the Museum. Current members can purchase tickets at a discount.

Recognizing COVID-19 protocol, MoAD is committed to maintaining the health and safety of all guests at the event. Proof of vaccination is required for all attendees.

MoAD is a contemporary art museum whose mission is to celebrate Black culture, ignite challenging conversations, and inspire learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora. MoAD is one of only a few museums in the United States dedicated to the celebration and interpretation of art, artists, and cultures from the African Diaspora.

The Museum presents exhibitions highlighting contemporary art and artists of African descent and engages its audience through education and public programs that interpret and enhance the understanding of Black art. Founded in 2005, the Museum continues to be a unique, cultural arts staple in the San Francisco Bay Area community.

For more information about the Afropolitan Ball, visit www.moadsf.org/event/afropolitan-ball-2022. For information about MoAD, visit the museum’s website at moadsf.org or call 415.358.7200.

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Four Seasons Announces Artists for 2022-23 Season

Violinist Angango Yarbo-Davenport, violinist, launches Four Seasons Arts Season on Saturday, October 8, at 3:00, with a program entitled: “Around the World in 70 Minutes.” She will be joined by pianist Elena Cholakova. The program includes works by Florence Price, Juan Antonio Cuellar, Igor Frolov, Jennifer Higdon, and Robert Aldridge.

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The Kanari Saxophone Quartet returns to the Bay Area on Jan. 26, 2023, to deliver a performance that transforms the perception of the saxophone.
The Kanari Saxophone Quartet returns to the Bay Area on Jan. 26, 2023, to deliver a performance that transforms the perception of the saxophone.

By Mary Jo Hudgel

Four Seasons Arts announces its 2022-2023 annual series of music. Programming emphasizes classical music compositions with contemporary works incorporated. The series intentionally offers an inclusive roster of artists that reflects racial, ethnic, and musical diversity.

Violinist Angango Yarbo-Davenport

Violinist Angango Yarbo-Davenport

Violinist Angango Yarbo-Davenport, launches Four Seasons Arts Season on Saturday, October 8, at 3:00, with a program entitled: “Around the World in 70 Minutes.” She will be joined by pianist Elena Cholakova. The program includes works by Florence Price, Juan Antonio Cuellar, Igor Frolov, Jennifer Higdon, and Robert Aldridge.

The Kanari Saxophone Quartet returns to the Bay Area on Jan. 26, 2023, to deliver a performance that transforms the perception of the saxophone. The quartet aims to highlight the instrument’s remarkable versatility by presenting meticulously crafted repertoire from all periods of classical and contemporary music.

Both concerts will be held at: St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., in Berkeley.

Four Seasons has scheduled other chamber music events with the Viano String Quartet; the Park Brothers Guitar Duo; Piano Duo Beaux Arts; Thomas Mesa and Ilya Yakushev Piano/Cello Duo; and solo artists Jennifer Ellis, Harp, Amadi Azikiwe, Viola, and Thomas Buckner, a pioneer in performing and commissioning New Music.

A complete listing of Four Seasons Arts concerts can be viewed at www.fsarts.org. Concerts are presented in Berkeley at St. John’s Presbyterian Church and the Berkeley Piano Club.

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