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Monday, March 14, 2011

The Color Of Strings

In honor of Women’s History Month...
Kente Arts Alliance presents the third installment of The Color of Strings jazz concert series

World-renowned cellist and vocalist Akua Dixon and her Quartet.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 @ The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater
5941 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206

Tickets will be available online at and by phone at 412-394-3353. Tickets will also be available at Dorsey’s Records (Homewood) and Jamil’s Global Village (East Liberty). Advanced purchase - $20; at the door - $25.

Akua Dixon is an accomplished cellist, composer, conductor and vocalist who honed her skills performing with legends such as; Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Max Roach, Betty Carter, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Ray Charles. A native of New York City, she is a graduate of the famed H.S. of Performing Arts. She next studied cello with Benar Heifetz and composition with Rudolf Schramm. Later she studied bass concepts with Reggie Workman and Jazz Practice Techniques with Jimmy Owens at the Collective Black Artists Institution of Education. Her first professional job was as a member of the famed Apollo Theatre Orchestra.
In 1973, she founded her own string quartet, Quartette Indigo. Music critics often refer to the ensemble as "jazz's leading string quartet". The quartet's repertoire features original works and arrangements of jazz classics by Ms. Dixon. Her first release, "Quartette Indigo" on Landmark Records, received four stars in Downbeat Magazine. Her new CD is entitled "AFRIKA! AFRIKA!", and was released on Savant Records. Critics are now saying that the group "swings madly".
She is the 1998 recipient of "The African American Classical Music Award" given by the Northern New Jersey Spelman Alumnae Association. Ms. Dixon performs nationally and internationally at concert halls and colleges, public schools and libraries; and at jazz festivals in Chicago , Hawaii , Berlin , St. Lucia, Tri-Sea, North Sea, Pori, Saalfelden, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadaloupe, and San Diego. Her music for string quartet has been featured on an eight country, 26-concert tour of Europe and Scandinavia.

visit Kente Arts Alliance at

Living Our Legacy, After

I hope that everyone had a wonderful week end.  Mine was unexpectedly whimsical.  I want to share with you some of what my Saturday was like.  One of the things that I did was attend the Living the Legacy event given by New Voices Pittsburgh.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love African drums.  I like the sound of hands hitting the skins, I love the reverberation in my body from the drums...I just love them.  Unfortunately I had a mini emergency that I had to attend to,so I had to leave a bit earlier than I had expected to, but the time that I was there was very nice.  It was like church without the dogma!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Living Our Legacy

Tomorrow come out and celebrate with New Voices Pittsburgh be sure to get your discounted tickets!

SpotlightPittsburgh Guests receive special $10 tickets.
To get on the list for SLP rate email

Pick your tickets up at the door.

The final event for New Voices PIttsburgh's Women of Color HERstory Month 2011!

"Living Our Legacy" 7th Year Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser

Saturday, March 12th
937 Liberty Ave
Downtown, Pittsburgh PA

Celebrate New Voices Pittsburgh and 7 years
of fearless activism, courageous leadership and
innovations for social change. We will showcase
phenomenal performance artists, celebrate our
achievement and graciously thank our supporters
with a wonderful night of music, art and dance
with great food & beverage, people and fun!

This event will include performances by:
August Wilson Dance Ensemble
DJ D-Roc
Jacquea Mae
Ruby Jain
Sol Divine
Vie Boheme Trio
and MORE…

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kinks, Locks, and Twists Conference

Explore the intersections of Environmental and Reproductive Justice at this one-day conference. Environmental Justice experts will connect beauty, culture, policy, media, and the economy to personal environment, behavior change, and community development.

Featured presenters include:
Felicia Savage - Yoga Instructor, Healthy Black Family Project
LaKeisha Wolf - EnjoyourSelf Authentic Gemstone Jewelry and Natural Body and Haircare & Ujamaa Collective
Von Singletary - Landslide Community Farm
Joy KMT, The Black Mommy Circle & The Rainbow
Maria Kent - Ogechi Natural Haircare
I-Asia Eybers - ONE Nation (Our Nu Emerging Nation)
Medina Jackson - Pathways to School Success, University of Pittsburgh
Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis - Women for a Healthy Environment
LaVerne Baker Hotep- EVE Project
POWERUP Girls- Andy Warhol Museum

Visit to register.
Registration fees $10-$25. Student, low income, group rates available.
Email or call 412.247.4084 for more information

Sponsors: The Shadow Lounge, Natural Choice Barbershop and Hair Salon, Ujamaa Collective



Presented by Kelly Strayhorn Theater
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - Saturday, March 5, 2011 
30 artists.  12 events.  4 days.
KST's SUNSTAR Music Festival celebrates the best of women music makers with a four-day lineup of concerts, parties, talks & more. From Bhangra to Bluegrass and everything in between, SUNSTAR showcases the vibrancy and diversity of independent female artists. In addition to concerts and special events, the festival includes workshops for young women who are interested in the creative process of the performing arts. 

How can digital media help queer and marginalized communities represent themselves? SUNSTAR kicks off with a screening of "un/binded desires," a film by nationally acclaimed director Mónica Enríquez-Enríquez. The film shows parallel images of bondage as an expression of queer difference accompanied by conversations with queers exploring their parents' histories of migration while speaking about their own desires. A director's talk follows the screening presented in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh's Women's Studies Program, Cultural Studies Program, and Humanities Center.
Wed March 2 | 7PM - 9PM | FREE | 
The SUNSTAR Social is the place to mix and mingle with festival artists and your friends at Kelly Strayhorn Theater! Local band, The Sectionals featuring Erika May, provides the music to our opening gathering of friends and fans.   SUNSTAR features an exciting line up of emerging and established female artists for a full schedule of concerts, workshops and discussions. Featured SUNSTAR Music Festival performers include Carolina Chocolate Drops, DJ Rekha, Shara Worden/My Brightest Diamond, Samita Sinha and Rebecca Walker.
Thur March 3 | 5PM | FREE | 

Time Magazine named Rebecca Walker one of the fifty most influential American leaders under forty because of her transformative views on race, gender, sexuality and power - an award which has been followed by many others. Author of the original Third Wave primer To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism, Walker brings her unique perspective to SUNSTAR for a lecture, Q&A session and book signing.
Thur March 3 | 6PM | $15 | 
Visceral. Classical. Experimental. New York performer/composer Samita Sinha combines traditional Northern Indian classical music with experimental sound. Sinha fuses and expands the boundaries of language and culture with her unique style in this mesmerizing performance. Sinha performs her solo piece, "Cipher," based on the Hindustani classical vocal composition known as tarana. In tarana, certain words and syllables based on Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit phonemes are sung at a fast speed. Sinha accompanies her voice with three microphones and three boxes, including electronic tabla and electronic tanpura. These instruments that have trapped a centuries-old tradition of acoustic finery into convenient, portable boxes.
Thur March 3 | 8PM | $15 | 
Mixing elements of opera, cabaret, chamber music, and rock, My Brightest Diamond is the project of multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden. A classically trained musician, Worden dazzles audiences with her avant rock performances. Featuring performances by singer/songwriter Bridgette Perdue, poet Christina Springer, poet Kelli Stevens Kane, and DJ Mary Mack.
Thur March 3 | 9PM | Shadow Lounge | $10 | 

Think you are the next SUNSTAR performer? This after-school program features a mash-up of culturally diverse music for young women ages 11-19 with a focus on women and image today. Featuring performances by Alumni Theater Company, Dr. Goddess, Kaitlin Hunter of Dreams of Hope, Kellee Maize, Shaina Wallace of Hip-Hop On L.O.C.K., SolSis, and Staycee Pearl dance project.
Fri March 4 | 3PM - 5PM | $5 | 

Pittsburgh, are you ready to Bhangra? Internationally acclaimed DJ Rekha brings an all out dance party to SUNSTAR. One of the leading American exponents of Bhangra music, DJ Rekha specializes in the style and mixes dancehall, dub, and hip-hop into her sets. Based in New York City, she hosts the long-running monthly club night Basement Bhangra, which has been held at Sounds of Brazil (S.O.B.) since 1997. You don't want to miss out on the hippest dance party this city has ever seen!
Fri March 4 | 9PM - 2AM | $15 | 
It's hard to contain the energy and enthusiasm of Rhiannon Giddens. Her life story reads like a post-modern novel with overlapping plots. Talents and fascinations, whims and obsessions tumble over each other and pour in a fiery stage performance rooted in disciplined virtuosity. It's the training of opera overflowing into the unchained world of old-time music. Listen to Rhiannon's story and ask questions at this exclusive SUNSTAR event. 
Sat March 5 | 2PM - 3PM | FREE | 
The KST lobby transforms into an urban market place showcasing the talents of local female entrepreneurs. Come early to shop a variety of items including jewelry, clothing, and handmade crafts.
Thur March 3 | 4PM - 9PM |
Fri March 4 | 2PM - 5PM  

Sat March 5 | 8PM - 10PM 
The Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops are the newest and youngest players in a long lineage of Black String Bands. Interpretations of songs by Tom Waits and Blu Cantrell reside comfortably next to Depression-era blues and traditional work songs. Rolling Stone Magazine described the Carolina Chocolate Drops' style as "dirt-floor-dance electricity". If you ask the band, that is what matters most. It's OK to mix it up and go where the spirit moves. Featuring performances by ABAFASI, DJ Shorty Rock, Sonji, and Vanessa German.
Sat March 5 | 8PM  | $25 | 

Festival Closing Party
Sat March 5 | 10:30PM | FREE | AVA Lounge

 800.838.3006 to purchase tickets.
 412.363.3000 tickets for groups of 10 or more 
Buy a SUNSTAR Festival Pass to access all festival events and activities with the exception of Carolina Chocolate Drops. Tickets for Carolina Chocolate Drops may be purchased separately. SUNSTAR passes are $50 General, $25 Artists, Students and Zip Code 15206.

Womens History Month Celebrations

Hey people! Currently in Spotlight is the SUNSTAR music festival, and also, the Kinks, Locs, and Twists environmental and reproductive justice conference presented by New Voices Pittsburgh.

  Beginning today through Saturday, there is plenty to enjoy.  Take a look at each post to get all the details. SpotlightPittsburgh will be posting pics and details throughout the week from SUNSTAR. You can get all the action here on the site, twitter @sptlghtpgh, (I always give a min by min account on twitter) Google buzz, and Youtube as well. Enjoy, and I hope to see you! Celebrate the women in YOUR life!