Friday, May 27, 2016

Tap Dancer Savion Glover Performs Magical Feats, Teams Up With Jazz Musician Jack DeJohnette

Savion Glover

By Darlene Donloe

Tap dancing sensation Savion Glover never uttered a word as he took the stage last night for An Evening With Savion Glover & Jack DeJohnette at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, located on the campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN).

In actuality he didn’t have to articulate a thing.  Everything he needed to say – was heard loud and clear as he tapped his heart out – allowing his feet to do the talking for him.

What he said through his interpretive brand of tap is up for debate. But, what isn’t up for debate is the caliber of Glover’s sensational footwork.  He’s mesmerizing! He’s innovative! He’s brilliant!

With his signature long dreads draped atop his head and donned in black slacks, a black short-sleeved tee, a striped red and white shirt and, of course, his beige tap shoes – Glover, 42, showed exactly why he is considered a master of his craft. He’s the man who took tap to new heights and made it cool and popular again.

Glover (The Tap Dance Kid, Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk) performed magical feats with his feet. He tapped fast, he tapped slow, he slid across the stage, he hopped, he jumped, he doubled his timing, he tripled his timing. He did the thang!   

The 2016 Ambassador of Dance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Glover left it all on the stage. Drenched in his sweat, the hoofer, who recently choreographed the Broadway musical, Shuffle Along, starring Audra McDonald and directed by George C. Wolfe, performed with an inexhaustible abandonment, never easing up in his efforts.

Glover is a bad boy! It doesn’t get any gooder than Glover’s bad!

Joining him on stage for a tap off and as an added attraction was former Star Search winner Marshall Davis Jr., who has danced with Glover for years, including in Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk.

After Glover’s first set, Grammy winner Jack DeJohnette took the stage with bassist Jerome Harris and pianist George Colligan.  The trio’s jazzy, melodic sound engulfed the Valley Performing Arts Center with songs like Blue.

The blending of Glover’s tap and DeJohnette’s drumming proved to be a hit, as the appreciative crowd, which included beloved actor and hoofer Dick Van Dyke, frequently hooted, clapped and gave several standing ovations.

Jack DeJohnette

The real treat of the evening was when Glover and DeJohnette, who is considered one of the greatest drummers in the industry, did a challenge.  Glover would tap and DeJohnette would follow on drums with the same rhythm.  Later Glover, Davis, DeJohnette, Harris and Colligan all performed together in a jam session crescendo that brought down the house.

An Evening With Savion Glover & Jack DeJohnette was a fulfilling and incredible evening of theater.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent) An Evening With Savion Glover & Jack DeJohnette gets an E (excellent).

Thursday, May 26, 2016

'Nobody's Perfect' On DVD, Amazon and ITunes

An action/suspense thriller, Nobody’s Perfect, is currently available on DVD, Amazon and ITunes VOD. 

From award-winning filmmaker Derrick Simmons, Nobody’s Perfect tells the story of Sasha, a young woman who meets Morgan, the man of her dreams, or so she thinks. However, once they get married, Sasha’s dreams become a nightmare when she is subjected to an abusive relationship full of control, violence and fear.

This is a powerful story that takes the audience on an emotional journey as two people suffer through the consequences of domestic abuse.

Simmons wrote, directed and produced Nobody’s Perfect through his production company, Derrick Simmons Film Works. He also stars in the film alongside Lexi Moeller.

Derrick Simmons

“This movie goes beyond the typical story of woman meets man and falls in love,” said Simmons. “The film delves into the intricacies of what becomes a convoluted relationship, dealing with complex issues that include domestic violence.  The film literally reminds us that Nobody’s Perfect.

After an extensive film festival run that included the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Nobody’s Perfect is now available on home video.

An award-winning filmmaker, Simmons, a native New Yorker, received the 2015 Best Director and Theatrical Career Achievement Awards from the Poconos Film Festival. Nobody’s Perfect received the 2014 Best Film award at the Mt. Vernon Film Festival.  

“I’m very excited about how well Nobody’s Perfect has been received by the filming community,” said Simmons. “It’s been an awesome experience.”  

“It has been an amazing feeling to be recognized for doing something you love,” said Simmons. “I cannot express enough my gratitude to everyone who has supported me through my career in the film industry. There is so much more to come in the near future.”

Directed by Derrick Simmons, Nobody’s Perfect stars Derrick Simmons, Lexi Moeller, Don Wallace, Rick Aiello and Tim Gallin.

Nobody’s Perfect: A Derrick Simmons Film is available on DVD,
Amazon and iTunes VOD. 

Nobody’s Perfect: Movie Trailer

Find out more about Nobody’s Perfect at


Technical Information:
SRP: $12.99 Amazon (DVD)
         $4.99 VOD
Rating: sexual content, language.
Language: English
Run Time: 1 hour 34 Minutes

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Brian Culbertson Ready To Take "Funk!" On Tour

“Been Around The World” to precede new album 
and extensive concert tour

Los Angeles, Calif. (25 May 2016): Message to funk received from the Mothership: hit-maker Brian Culbertson is in the studio conspiring with his cosmic group of musical soul brothers on his second funk collection, “Funk!,” which will be released September 16 on his BCM Entertainment label. Less than a week after his seventeenth album streets, the award-winning multi-instrumentalist will launch a coast-to-coast concert tour on a scale unlike any trek ever mounted by the vivacious showman who will be flanked by the same band showcased on the album. To help set the stage for the 11-song set plus three playful interlude sketches, all produced by Culbertson, radio stations will be serviced “Been Around The World” in early July.     

Those who have caught a Culbertson show over the last year might have had a premonition that the R&B-jazzman was about to again morph into an emissary of funk, a mission that began with his 2008 recording “Bringing Back The Funk,” which he co-produced with the late Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire and featured legendary funksters Bootsy Collins and Larry Graham. His set list at recent gigs included a pair of funk classics, “Got To Give It Up” and “Play That Funky Music,” which made it onto the new album. The Chicago-bred musician who plays piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, clavinet, Hammond B3 organ, synths, trombone, bass, drums, percussion and sings on the entire record wrote or co-wrote nine new songs for “Funk!” that showcases his live band – Marqueal Jordan (vocals & sax), Tyrone Chase (guitars), Eddie Miller (keyboards, organ & vocals), Rodney Jones, Jr. (bass, guitar & vocals), Chris Miskel (drums) and Michael Stever (trumpeter & horn arrangements) - along with Chance Howard, a nasty R&B keyboardist, bassist and vocalist who has toured and recorded with fellow Minnesota native Prince. Noted trumpeter Patches Stewart will replace Stever for the Funk! Tour. 

Next month, Howard will join Culbertson on stage to premiere a few choice cuts from “Funk!,” including the first single, at Culbertson’s fifth anniversary Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, a wine and jazz lifestyle experience in the heart of California Wine Country taking place June 8-12. 

“The concept for ‘Funk!’ was to make an old-school, throwback funkadelic record in the style of P-Funk meets Prince and to tour with the same band that appears on the album - my band plus Chance (Howard). We finished tracking and are mixing this week. The show we will be taking out on the road is unlike anything anyone has ever seen from me before. It’s on an entirely different level. Yes, we’re taking it there! I’m also very excited about capturing the magic by shooting a Blu-ray to be taped on tour this fall,” said Culbertson, who as an imaginative and trend-setting artist, producer and songwriter has architected 28 Billboard No. 1 singles along with a library of chart-topping albums. 

Once again, Culbertson has opened the doors to the recording studio by posting a series of video blogs from the “Funk!” sessions on his website ( as well as engaging his followers through Facebook Live. And like his most recent studio release, he’s offering fans the opportunity to get involved with the process by launching an Indiegogo campaign ( that provides a menu of unique options, including VIP concert tickets, tickets for the Blu-ray filming, autographed CD, limited edition vinyl album, a private personalized video message, sheet music and a bobble head Funk! doll.
Tickets go on sale for the Funk! Tour for fan club members beginning June 1 and to the general public starting June 3. For more information, please visit
The songs that comprise “Funk!” are:

“Get Ready”
“The Call”
“Been Around The World”
“Take It Up”
“Let’s Take A Ride”
“We Got What You Want”
“Sunshine” (interlude)
“Hey Girl”
“Damn, I’m Hungry” (interlude)
“Got To Give It Up”
“Mile Sauce”
“Play That Funky Music”
“Spend A Little Time”
“To Be Continued…” (interlude)

The Funk! Tour itinerary is listed below (additional dates will be added):

September 22-25             Seattle, WA                                        Jazz Alley (two shows Sept. 23 & 24) 
September 26                   Portland, OR                                      The Aladdin
September 27                   Bend, OR                                             Tower Theater
October 5                            Fresno, CA                                          Tower Theater
October 6                            Santa Barbara, CA                            Lobero Theater
*October 7                         Newport Beach, CA                        Hyatt Newporter
*October 8                         Temecula, CA                                    Thornton Winery
October 9                            Scottsdale, AZ                                   Livewire
October 11-12                   Denver, CO                                         Soiled Dove (two shows per night)
October 13                          Salt Lake City, UT                              The State Room
October 14-15                   Las Vegas, NV                                    Aliante Casino
*October 16                       Catalina Island, CA                           Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival
October 20                          Indianapolis, IN                                 Murat Theater
October 21                          Cincinnati, OH                                    Ludlow Garage
October 23                          New Albany, OH                               Schottenstein Theatre
October 25                          Pittsburgh, PA                                   MCG Jazz (two shows)
October 26-27                   New York, NY                                    B.B. King’s 
October 28                          Cranston, RI                                       Park Theatre
October 29                          New Haven, CT                                 John Lyman Center
October 30                          Boston, MA                                        Scullers Jazz Club (two shows)
November 4                       Collingswood, NJ                              Scottish Rite Auditorium
*November 5                    Mount Pocono, PA                          Mt. Airy Casino Resort
November 11                    Minneapolis, MN                             Dakota (two shows)
November 13                    Detroit, MI                                          Royal Oak Music Theatre
Nov. 28-Dec. 2                   London, England                              Pizza Express

*denotes tickets are already on sale

"Destined" and "Sensitivity Training" at LAFF

The Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off June 1-9, 2016 at the Arclight Theater in downtown Culver City.  Two films, Destined and Sensitivity Training investigate the human condition and, in their own ways, issues of diversity.


Destined tells the parallel stories of Sheed and Rasheed, portrayed by the same actor (Cory Hardrict), as they explore the idea of destiny as well as how the smallest incident can manifest itself into a life changing event. Written and directed by Qasim Basir, “Destined” presents two possible outcomes, involving everything from street violence to corporate corruption. Cory Hardrict delivers a breakout performance navigating his role in each world, demonstrating that on any path, the future is mutable and journey toward fulfilling your destiny is never simple.

Writer/Director:         Qasim Basir  
Producers:                  Tommy Oliver, Rick Rosenthal, Matt Ratner  
Co-Producers:            Billy Mulligan, Codie Elaine Oliver, Eddie Rubin, Sultan Sharrief     
Exec Producers:         Tom Rau, Walter Thurmond, Cory Hardrict, Hill Harper, Hassan Golzari, Bert Kern, Arun Kumar, Nick Morton
Starring:                      Cory Hardrict, Margot Bingham, Jesse Metcalfe, Jason Dohring, Zulay Henao, Hill Harper, La La Anthony, Paula Devicq, James McCaffrey, Mo McRae, Robert Christopher Riley
Editors:                       Qasim Basir, Rene Besson
Composer:                  John Jennings Boyd           
Cinematography:        Carmen Cabana
Runtime:                     1hr 35min

Screening:                   Monday, June 6 at 9pm - Arclight Culver City  
Tuesday, June 7 at 12:00pm - Arclight Culver City

Sensitivity Training

Sensitivity Training follows the unlikely friendship of two decidedly opposite personalities. Serena (Anna Lise Phillips) is a misanthropic microbiologist, great with bacteria but horrible with people. After crossing a line with a colleague, Serena is forced into sensitivity training with Caroline (Jill Alexander), the bubbly woman assigned to be her coach. Caroline and her sunny disposition represent everything Serena hates, but she is determined to make Serena an acceptable human. While Serena does her best to get rid of Caroline, she may have finally met her match.

Writer/Director:         Melissa Finell 
Producer:                    Megha Kohli     
Exec Producer:           Charles Haid   
Starring:                      Anna Lise Phillips (Revolution, Animal Kingdom), Jill Alexander (Silicon Valley, Mad Men), Quinn Marcus, Amy Madigan, Charles Haid, Andy Gala, Amy Vorpahl, Gregory Itzen, Finnegan Haid, Michael Laskin, Challen Cates, Courtney Fansler   
Editor:                         David Egan     
Production Designer: Richard H. Perry
Music Supervisor:       Bryson Barnes 
Composer:                  Paul Chihara                  
Cinematography:        Paul Cannon
Runtime:                     1hr 25min 
Nominations/Wins:    Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Production Grant (won)
Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award (won)

Screenings:                 Sunday, June 5 at 11:15am - Arclight Culver City  
Wednesday, June 8 at 4:15pm - Arclight Culver City  

Connect with “Sensitivity Training” via:

2016 LAFF Diversity Speaks Panels Announced

LOS ANGELES (May 24, 2016)— Today the LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, announced the final programming elements for the 2016 Festival including a special panel on international storytelling featuring filmmakers from the Global Media Makers program and the lineup for the Diversity Speaks panels. The Festival runs June 1-9, 2016 at the ArcLight Cinemas. Individual tickets and passes are on sale now; please visit for more details.

Global Media Makers Presents: Storytelling From The Inside Out
Global Media Makers is a U.S. Department of State and Film Independent international mentoring initiative that connects visual storytellers from around the world with leading U.S. entertainment professionals through specially tailored mentorships, workshops and master classes. Join us at the LA Film Festival where filmmakers from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey, engage in a candid dialogue with American filmmakers, to discuss diversity, representation, stereotypes and the importance of telling stories from an inside perspective. The event takes place on Thursday, June 2 and will be introduced by Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

Participating Global Media Makers filmmakers are: Amin Dora, director, Lebanon; Asma Bseiso, writer/director, Jordan; and Hüseyin Karabey, writer/director/producer, Turkey. Other filmmakers in the panel: Cherien Dabis (May in Summer, Amreeka), writer/director, USA; Hany Abu-Assad (OmarParadise Now), writer/director, Palestinian; and Mohamed Diab, writer/director, Egypt, who will be presenting clips from his most recent film Clash, which premiered at Cannes this year. 

Diversity Speaks Panels
At the Diversity Speaks panels, taking place on Saturday, June 4, content creators of underrepresented communities who embody innovation will discuss how they manage to combine their passions for storytelling, entrepreneurship and their cultural identities into success stories. Issa Rae (Insecure, Awkward Black Girl) will join Film Independent Curator Elvis Mitchell in conversation for an intimate off-the-record talk. In the Art & Activism panel visual storytellers of various mediums will discuss how they use their art to bring light to social issues; panelists include Jay Ellis and Vanessa Ramos (Bordertown) and Terence Nance (Oversimplification of her Beauty). In the Low Budget in LA panel, Andrew Ahn, Kelly Thomas, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim and David Ariniello from Spa Night share their experience making a sub million-dollar movie in the film capital of the world. Diversity Speaks is sponsored by HBO and Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television and supported by Yvonne Huff Lee and Jason Delane Lee | Lagralane Group. @LAFilmFestival. #LAFilmFestival.

The LA Film Festival is a key part of the exhibition arm of Film Independent, showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives. The Festival produces one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals and award-winning talent from Los Angeles and around the world. The Festival’s signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Celebrating Women Filmmakers, Master Classes, Spirit of Independence Award, Coffee Talks, LA Muse and more. The Festival also screens short films created by high school students. Presenting Media Sponsor is the Los Angeles Times. Premier Sponsor is Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Principal Sponsor is Jaeger-LeCoultre. Platinum Sponsors are American Airlines, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., EFILM | Company 3 and HBO. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. WireImage is the Official Photography Agency. More information can be found at

Film Independent is the non-profit arts organization that champions creative independence in visual storytelling and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.
Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the LA Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. For more information or to become a member, visit