Monday, June 26, 2017

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: Just the Fax, Ma'am (5:01)

Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, Just the Fax, Ma'am!
In today's world of 24-hour news, it's a challenge at times being able to decipher legitimate news versus that dreaded fake news. In today's video, I discuss my Triple S System on how to differentiate factual and properly sourced news vs. news that is just made-up. I believe this is important for everyone to learn so you don't share news that could damage your career or diminish respect you have earned from your friends and peers. Let me know what you think!
Enjoy, we wish you a creative day and see you for next week's session!

Comment by email:
Thank you so much Bill!  Aaron  [Aaron P. Dworkin]

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Acoustic Guitar: How Composer Scott Joplin’s Sizzling Syncopations Inspired Ragtime Guitar As We Know It

Bob Evans - Maple Leaf Rag (Composed Joplin, Arranged Evans)

Scott Joplin (c.1867-1917) is profiled at, which features a Bibliography and comprehensive Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma,

Acoustic Guitar

From the August 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar | BY STEPHEN BOISSON

This year marks the centennial anniversary of ragtime innovator Scott Joplin’s death, on April 1, 1917. The big news of the day was America’s involvement in the Great War, not the passing of a once-popular composer. Joplin’s funeral was a quiet affair, with scant notice in the press. The maestro had requested that his most famous composition, “Maple Leaf Rag,” accompany the service, but his widow deemed such joyful music to be inappropriate. Lottie Joplin regretted that decision for the rest of her life.
His music—and ragtime in general—lay dormant through the 1920s and ’30s. But Joplin’s syncopated, intricate creations, such as “Sunflower Slow Drag,” “Elite Syncopations,” “The Entertainer,” “The Cascades,” and, of course, “Maple Leaf Rag,” continue to regale us.

A Gateway to Ragtime
Snippets of the old style ran through popular songs and jazz tunes, many of which placed “rag” in the title. Country-blues guitarists recorded simplified ragtime forms: Mississippi John Hurt based “My Creole Belle” on a section of “Creole Belles” by J. Bodewalt Lampe and George Sidney; Reverend Gary Davis cut an abbreviated version of “Maple Leaf” called “Make Believe Stunt.” Indeed, by the time of its resurgence in the late ’60s and ’70s, many acoustic pickers were playing real ragtime—David Laibman, Eric Schoenberg, Stefan Grossman, Duck Baker, Guy Van Duser, Ton Van Bergeyk, Lasse Johansson, and others. And Dave Van Ronk deserves special mention for recording “The St. Louis Tickle” in 1963. (Current fingerstyle great Mary Flower even has an instructional DVD devoted to ragtime guitar.)
As Joplin reigned during the music’s heyday, he reclaimed the throne upon its return. Though “Maple Leaf Rag” was at no point forgotten, it was again a popular gateway to the genre. “It’s a song that people like when they hear it,” fingerstylist Pat Donohue says. “I’m always looking for those.”
“Maple Leaf Rag” was published in 1899 by John Stark and Son of Sedalia, Missouri, where Joplin lived at the time. The composer was guaranteed one cent per copy. Stark boasted that “Maple Leaf Rag” sold more than a million copies, “and no abatement of demand,” though it’s not proven those numbers were met in Joplin’s lifetime. Nonetheless, the royalty from this composition alone provided Joplin with a comfortable base income.

While “Maple Leaf Rag” was not the first ragtime instrumental published, it was the most musically ambitious for the day.

“Maple Leaf Rag” was widely beloved. At a White House soiree during Theodore Roosevelt’s administration, the president’s 17-year-old daughter, Alice, asked the director of the U.S. Marine Band to play Joplin’s piece. When the director pleaded ignorance, Alice assured him that “the Boys” played it often for her, and the request was met. In fact, the U.S. Marine Band made one of the earliest recordings of the song.
While “Maple Leaf Rag” was not the first ragtime instrumental published—that would be William Krell’s “Mississippi Rag” in 1897—it was the most musically ambitious for the day. Most rags were divided into three strains, or sections, whereas “Maple Leaf Rag” has four. The melody takes surprising twists and turns and the bass part is equally felicitous.
Joplin’s musical sophistication would prompt him to move beyond ragtime, to ballets and operas, an ambition Stark tried to dissuade. In his final years, he was debilitated by tertiary syphilis and an exasperating struggle to stage his 1911 opera, Treemonisha. The closest he came was a barebones recital in 1915 at Harlem’s Lincoln Theatre, where he provided the orchestration on piano.


National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Expands to Iowa by Welcoming New Chapter in Des Moines

Washington, DC - NOBLE is proud to announce the expansion of its membership to Iowa. "As we continue to respond to the growing needs of the communities we serve, we are proud to welcome Des Moines chapter into the NOBLE family. Our law enforcement community continues to provide advocacy, instruction and guidance to members across this country as well as elected officials, community leaders, advocacy groups and others. Considering the challenges that we face as a nation in forging mutual respect and accountability, NOBLE seeks to advance its mission through continued growth. We look forward to launching operations and supporting our newly chartered membership organization in Iowa,"- stated NOBLE National President, Perry Tarrant, and Region Four Vice President, Brenda Goss Andrews.
NOBLE is proud to have the support of the Honorable Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, as he and the city recognize the importance of the organization's work and influence as we continue the dialogue and much needed reform work throughout the country.
NOBLE's newest chapter will publicly be announced in a press conference on Thursday June 29th at 10am. Please join us at the Polk County Training Center located at 1985 NE 51st Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50310. We are honored to have mayor Cownie joining us as well as the Polk County Sherriff's Department and leaders from across the state.


Texas Public Radio: William Appling's Final Recordings: A More Authentic Rag

Scott Joplin: The Complete Rags, Waltzes & Marches
William Appling, Piano
WASO 2008-4 (2017)

Scott Joplin (c.1867-1917) is profiled at, which features a Bibliography and comprehensive Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma,


Jun 20, 2017 
If you want to start a fight at a ragtime concert, start mucking with the tempo of the music. YouTube videos are full of comments about how fast or slow the pianist is playing any particular piece. The King of Ragtime, Scott Joplin, himself wrote “it is never right to play Ragtime fast.” But how fast is fast? There are piano roll recordings of Joplin himself clocking in the “Maple Leaf Rag” at around 100 beats per minute. That feels about right for a style of music that was based in equal parts on African syncopation and European harmony, dressed up as a lively march.

Now there’s a new release of William Appling’s final recordings of Scott Joplin’s complete piano works, and they’re presented at measured tempi that allow the ear to better hear Joplin’s inventive harmonies, but I confess that with few exceptions, the heart wants what it wants, and for the most part I want my rags to pop when I hear ‘em.

Nevertheless, this new set offers plenty of riches and rare performances, from the three-quarter time, parlor-room elegance of “The Augustan Club Waltzes” and “Harmony Club Waltz” to the lilting “Solace,” and even a composition based on the largely forgotten real-life “Crash at Crush,” when an MKT railroad agent cooked up a publicity stunt to smash two steam engines into one another in East Texas. The collision killed two (maybe three) spectators, injured several others, and led Joplin to write the “Great Crush Collision” march, complete with pianistic flourishes meant to imitate the sound of a locomotive.

Appling’s performance of these rags is welcome for lovers of the genre, which to this day still falls somewhere between the world of jazz and classical, never quite getting its due. His interpretations, while not supplanting the now classic recordings of Joshua Rifikin, are illuminating, and the four-disc set also includes a lengthy booklet detailing the historical context of Scott Joplin's life and the development of ragtime.  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Brennan Center For Justice: SCOTUS Set To Hear First Partisan Gerrymandering Case in a Decade

Supreme Court of the United States


The case could impact congressional maps in around half a dozen states and legislative maps in about ten states and have major implications for the next round of redistricting after the 2020 Census.

June 21, 2017

Cross-posted from The American Prospect

Americans are fed up with gerrymandering. The most recent Harris poll shows that 74 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of Democrats, and 71 percent of independents believe that politicians shouldn’t have a hand in drawing lines that benefit them.  
Despite public opposition across the political spectrum, politicians have taken a stronger and stronger hand in line-drawing, resulting in gerrymandered maps that are more and more extreme. The problems continue to mount: A combination of “Big Data,” single-party control of state governments, and polarized politics have allowed paid political operatives to craft increasingly surgical gerrymanders far more potent than their precursors, locking in lopsided maps that are deeply unrepresentative of the electorate. 
The good news is that the Supreme Court has the chance to take a major bite out of extreme gerrymandering this fall when it hears Gill v. Whitford, an appeal of a landmark decision striking down a Wisconsin state assembly map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.
In Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers drew the lower house map in secret, behind closed doors, with no input from Democrats. The result was a huge and disproportionate advantage for Republicans, at odds with Wisconsin’s status as a swing state. In 2012, Republicans won 60 of the 90 nine seats in the Wisconsin Assembly, despite winning only 48.6 percent of the two-party statewide vote; in 2014, they won 63 seats with only 52 percent of the statewide vote.
Read the full story on The American Prospect

The FBI’s Secret Dossier on the Legendary and Controversial Writer JAMES BALDWIN: THE FBI FILE By William J. Maxwell

James Baldwin: The FBI File
William J. Maxwell

Praise for James Baldwin: The FBI File:
“Maxwell presents the actual documentation in chronological order, using brief discussions to provide valuable context. . . He adeptly curates the strange hoard of documentation, but the primary sources will be most appreciated by completists. An unsettling demonstration of how a paranoid, reactionary government can treat significant artists.”—Kirkus
“This compendium offers an unquestionably unique look into the life of one of America’s most esteemed thinkers, whose work has seen a resurgence as a centerpiece of the Black Lives Matter movement.”—Publishers Weekly

Decades before Black Lives Matter returned James Baldwin to prominence, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI considered the Harlem-born author James Baldwin the most powerful broker between black art and black power. Baldwin’s 1,884-page FBI file, covering the period from 1958 to 1974, was the largest compiled on any African American artist of the Civil Rights era. This collection of once-secret documents, never before published in book form, captures the FBI’s anxious tracking of Baldwin’s writings, phone conversations, and sexual habits—and Baldwin’s defiant efforts to spy back at Hoover and his G-men.

James Baldwin: The FBI File reproduces more than one hundred original FBI records, selected by the noted literary historian William J. Maxwell, whose award-winning book F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature brought renewed attention to bureau surveillance. Maxwell also provides an introduction exploring Baldwin’s enduring relevance in the time of Black Lives Matter along with running commentaries that orient the reader and offer historical context, making this book a revealing look at a crucial slice of the American past—and present.

Spector Travel of Boston: We design authentic travel experiences that will deeply expose you to the history, culture and local communities of Africa

Spector Travel has unprecedented knowledge of
Africa. We design authentic travel experiences
that will deeply expose you to the history, culture
and local communities of Africa.

Contact Spector Travel for expert advise on AFRICA!

Eric Conway: Baltimore Sun: Serenade festival celebrates JFK centennial by bringing together choral groups from around the world

The annual Serenade, a choral music festival presented by Alexandria-based Classical Movements, will include two Baltimore concerts and one in Annapolis. Ensembles from Zimbabwe, India, the U.S. and several other countries, as well as a choir made up of refugee girls, will perform programs that mark the John F. Kennedy centennial and one of his major legacies, the Peace Corps. (Courtesy video)
Eric Conway, D.M.A. writes:
Hello all,

Please see link below to a Baltimore Sun Article featuring Classical Movements, the organization that assists the Morgan choir in our international tours.  Classical Movements will present their Annual Washington-based Choral festival Serenade, with choral groups from all over the world performing.  Morgan's choir is mentioned in this article since we have used this group in recent years.  See list of free concerts listed in the Serenade Festival article.  Hopefully, you will be able to attend one of the concerts.


Link to Baltimore Sun Article:

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
Carl Murphy Fine Arts Center, Room 329C
Baltimore, MD 21251

Friday, June 23, 2017

ASALH: Become a Featured Author, Register for the Founders of Black History's Featured Authors' Book Signing Event

Registration Deadline:
July 22, 2017
Dear Authors,  

Expose your title to an interested audience at the 2017 ASALH annual conference. As a participating author in the Authors' Book Signing Event, your title will be posted to the conference Featured Authors' Event page on the ASALH website. In addition, it will be listed in the Annual ASALH Convention Souvenir Journal. The souvenir journal is the gateway to more interested parties as conference members share the journal with their colleagues. Additionally, the souvenir journal is posted on the ASALH website. 
Reserve Your Space Now!
Applications Require ALL of the Following:
  1. Membership to ASALH (click link to pay online). ASALH Membership is required. If you are not a current member, you must first process your membership and then register as an author.
  2.  Author Processing Fee of $50.00 (click link to pay online).  
  3. Send for approval one(1) autographed copy of the book(s) you intend to sell by July 22, 2017 to Attn: Karen May-Book Signing Coordinator at the following address:
    2225 Georgia Avenue. NW
    Suite 331
          Washington, DC 20059     
★ To Process Fee(s) using ASALH Online:
  1. You will need to log in to ASALH Online to complete your transaction. Use your primary email address.
  2. Enter your password.
a. If this is your first time logging in, use the temporary   password Woodson1.
b. Click "Forgot Your Password" if you need to reset.

★ To Register by Mail:

Membership dues and Author's Processing Fee can be paid by check, or you can provide the credit card number on the Author Registration Form.
Event Date: Thursday, September 28, at 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
The Featured Authors Event will take place on Thursday, Sep. 28, 2017, as part of the 101st Annual ASALH Conference, Sep. 27 - Oct. 1, 2017, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event is open to the public and will be held in the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel. Conference Registration is not a prerequisite to participate in the featured Authors Event.

Our annual meeting is an occasion to share the cultural and historical contributions by people of African descent. Attendees from across the nation and around the world will convene to explore the 2017 National Black History theme: Crisis in Black Education.

With over 200 panels featuring prominent figures in Black cultural studies, as well as scholars and students from all disciplines, the ASALH Conference presents an optimal opportunity for you to present your research and current projects, as well as, learn about some of the other leading projects in the field of African American History.

Please plan to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Karen May
Publications and Exhibits Coordinator

John Malveaux: 90th birthday tribute July 29, 2017 during 22nd Central Ave Jazz Festival for living legend trumpet player Clora Bryant will include presentation of a scroll

John Malveaux of 

The 90th birthday tribute scheduled July 29, 2017 during 22nd Central Ave Jazz Festival for living legend trumpet player, vocalist, educator, and goodwill ambassador Clora Bryant will include presentation of a scroll to Clora from Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor, Second District & Chair of the Board, Mark Ridley-Thomas. Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Fourth District Janice Hahn will also sign the scroll for Clora Bryant. Additionally, Supervisor Janice Hahn, will provide a FREE bus to transport 50 Long Beach residents to/from Central Ave Jazz Festival on July 29, 2017.

Mr. Rick Baptist, Vice President, Musicians Union of Hollywood (AFM local 47) is a trumpet player and he will present a plaque to Clora on behalf of local 47. Additional presentations will be announced as they are confirmed.

Dizzy Gillespie was so impressed with Clora Bryant that he gave her one of his bent horn trumpets. Please see pic Clora Bryant,

Schomburg Center: We are proud to serve as the world's #1 institution dedicated to Black history. I hope you will make a fiscal-year end donation.

As we prepare to begin a new fiscal year, we can't help but be grateful for all the support we've gotten from Schomburg Society members like you over the past 12 months.

Thanks to you, our exhibitions are more powerful and relevant than ever, our collection is more impressive, and our archives are more accessible.

We've shared some exciting news—the personal archive of James Baldwin has a home at the Schomburg Center, joining the collections of Maya Angelou, Paul Robeson, and other luminaries.

You can see why we are so proud to serve as the world's #1 institution dedicated to Black history and culture and why I hope you will make a fiscal-year end donation to help us make the most of this exciting acquisition.
Please make a special donation of $20 or more
From the 1950s until his death in 1987, James Baldwin loomed large as America's most prominent Black writer and intellectual. His novels and essays illuminated the African American experience, articulated a new vision of social justice, and powerfully explored inspired themes surrounding integration, class distinctions, and individuals' quests for acceptance in both post-war America and Europe.

The Schomburg Center will now be able to share James Baldwin's writings with a global community of scholars, while opening the life and works of this dominant literary figure to our many visitors.

As we celebrate this landmark acquisition and plan for the next fiscal year, we'd love to have your additional support. Please make a gift of $20 or more by June 30.

Because of your loyalty as a Schomburg Society member, this great institution has achieved new heights in our mission to showcase the contributions of people of African descent to the worlds of art, literature, theater, music, and diplomacy. Thank you so much for your support.


Kevin Young
Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

African Musical Arts: "A Celebration of African Composers for Piano" - new CD by Peter Henderson

A Celebration of African Composers for Piano
Peter Henderson, Piano 
African Music Publishers AGCD 2706 (2017)
Now released! Please listen to track excerpts and share link with your friends!

Recommended for your collection, this Black Music Month
African Musical Arts @ GRAND CENTER
3547 Olive Street, Suite 110
Saint Louis, MO 63104
Tel: 314-652-6800