Thursday, January 31, 2019
Friday, January 25, 2019
Los Angeles, CA — Thousand attended the 34th MLK, Jr. Kingdom Day Parade produced by Dr. Adrian Dove, president, and CEO. Street spectators were treated to a day filled with history coupled with music and dancing to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dave Roberts, Manager, L.A. Dodgers was this year's Grand Marshal. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a previous parade grand marshal, gave a riveting speech, while Leslie Sykes, ABC7 co-anchor, was mistress of ceremonies and hosted the television coverage with Michele Tuzee, ABC7 co-anchor.
ABC7 broadcast the 34th Annual Kingdom Day Parade Live on Monday, January 21, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The parade was proud to welcome back its presenting sponsor; Blue Shield of California.
The Kingdom Day Parade honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and has grown from its humble beginnings into the largest and longest-running birthday celebration of Dr. King, Jr. in the nation! This year, 2019 would have been Dr. King’s 90th birthday. Although he never reached the age of 40, his legacy will live forever. This year's theme is “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Democracy”.
The three-mile parade route began at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd & Western Avenue, and proceeded west to Crenshaw and then South thereupon to Vernon Ave, with a post-parade festival at the Leimert Park ending of the Parade.
The Kingdom Day Parade’s community and corporate/supporters include the current Presenting Sponsor, Blue Shield of California. Additional sponsors include the Los Angeles Dodgers and The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, Farmers Insurance, Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Mall, Wells Fargo Bank, U.S. Bank, KNBC Channel 4, KTLA Channel 5, Radio Free 102.3 KJLH, The Real 92.3 Home of “Big Boy,” 94.7 The Wave, Power 106 (105.9) Hip Hop Live; KDAY 93.5- Back in the Day, Downtown LA Motors-Mercedes, AIDS HealthCare Foundation, Denny’s Crenshaw, LAUSD’s Beyond The Bell, McDonalds, and Wescom Credit Union. The parade is also appreciative of the in-kind and moral support from the City and County of Los Angeles and their various departments, as well as the Los Angele Unified School District and METRO, along with the businesses and residents and the alignment.
Posted by donloeslowdown.blogspot.com at 12:14 PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
By Darlene Donloe
Damien Sneed wasn’t even born when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago on May 4, 1968. It would be 11 more years before Sneed, who will be 40 on Jan. 30, would make his entry into the world.
No matter. Sneed, who is also from Augusta, Georgia just like Dr. King, still counts him as one of his mentors.
To pay homage to the slain civil rights leader, Sneed has produced a show called We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is currently on a 36-city tour marking the 35th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr., national holiday.
Sneed will make a stop in Northridge, CA at The Soraya on Sat., Jan 26. Joining him in the celebration is gospel singer, Erica Campbell, and evangelist/vocalist Markita Knight.
Sneed, who now lives in New York, promises the show will be “amazing.”
Just as amazing is his life and his accomplishments.
Adopted by “older parents,” Sneed, who is single, eventually found his biological family. He found his mother 16 years ago when he was 23. He found his father, six years ago. He now has 13 siblings.
A musical prodigy who was playing the piano at three years old, Sneed, who attended Howard University, began playing at his family's church when he was five years old, and by age eight, he was hired by the church as the music director for the senior choir.
So began a career as a pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, vocal coach, and arts educator, all of which eventually led to him traveling the world and working with such icons as Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee, and more.
When you talk to Sneed, it’s obvious how much he loves music. For him, combining his love for music with his respect for Dr. King is a blessing.
I recently caught up with the multi-talented Sneed to talk about his upcoming tribute to Dr. King at The Soraya.
DD: It’s been 50 years since the death of MLK Jr. – why do we still need to celebrate MLK?
DS: His message still rings true today. It’s still a very important necessity that we all come together.
DD: Dr. King had a dream. Do you think it’s been fulfilled?
DS: Partially, but there is still much work to be done.
DD: In all these years has Dr. King’s star dimmed?
DS: I think it’s been forgotten a little bit. We’ve gotten comfortable like we’re in a place where we don't need it anymore. We need it in our schools and communities. We need to pull wisdom from him by going back and pulling his speeches.
DD: If he were here today, do you think he’d be elated or deflated about where we are as a people?
DS: Deflated. His dreams are not about just holding hands and walking together, it was more of an ideology – and some things are done in action, but not in the heart.
DD: What does MLK mean to you?
DS: Me growing up in Augusta, he was a mentor of mine. He went to Morehouse early and he also was a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. His legacy is important to me, especially because of the close proximity. I always felt a connection to him. Always.
DD: Do you feel some kind of responsibility paying tribute to MLK?
DS: This is a big responsibility. As artists, we have to use our talents wisely. We have a platform now so we can sing on stage. I’m honored to have received first-hand accounts about him from his family members.
DD: While celebrating MLK – does that include any kind of educational component? If so, what is the lesson?
DS: It’s not just about music. I’m speaking during the entire concert. We incorporate some of his speeches. We also incorporate everything from The Wiz to spirituals, classical jazz, and audience participation. We always get an overwhelming response.
DD: Any challenges directing/producing when mounting this show?
DS: There haven’t been any challenges. It all came easily because I grew up with all this music. And I have great people working with me.
DD: Do you learn anything about your craft or about yourself each time you do a new show/CD?
DS: There are 70 songs in our repertoire. January 18, we are releasing We Shall Overcome – digital media and the physical CDs. With each new project, I continue to grow. Musically, and vocally, my skill set increases.
DD: How do you approach selecting a show and the music?
DS: It’s done through divine inspiration. I pray and feel and think about what would be appropriate for the people coming even before I see them.
DD: How many styles of gospel are incorporated into this show?
DS: Everything! We have Latin, contemporary, traditional, praise and worship.
DD: Is your gift of music learned or God-given?
DS: God-given. My parents invested in my talent at a young age so I could be nurtured by the best teachers and people in the world. They always stressed for me to be versatile.
DD: What does music do for you? Do singing and playing do the same thing for you?
DS: It depends on what singer I’m playing for. I like doing all of them. I like doing both at the same time.
DD: Imagine if there was no music, could you live?
DS: I’d be different. I’d go into math, or writing. I was pre-med. I’d go into obstetrics, gynecology or emergency medicine.
DD: You have accomplished a great deal in your life/career – what is left? Is there something at the top of your bucket list?
DS: I want to do some scores. I wrote some opera last year for Lyric Opera Chicago. It was called Empower. I’m going to do the Houston Grand Opera next year on March 5, 2020. So, for me, film scoring is left.
DD: What should people know about the history of gospel music and its cultural background?
DS: They should take the time to know about the history. A lot of people don’t know a lot about it. They know at it, but don’t know it well.
DD: Describe yourself and then tell me how you let your hair down?
DS: Shopping for clothing. I like to shop for everything, luggage, bags, hats, pants, shirts, and shoes.
Posted by donloeslowdown.blogspot.com at 11:46 AM
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Photo by: ScottMitchellphotography.smugmug.com
The GRAMMY Museum welcomed GRAMMY®-winning R&B artist Thelma Houston as she received a new Grammy Award that was destroyed in the 1994 Northridge, California earthquake. The GRAMMY Museum®'s Clive Davis Theater presented An Evening with Thelma Houston on the 25th anniversary of the earthquake, where Scott Goldman served as the moderator for an intimate conversation and performance by Houston.
Perhaps best known for her number one international hit “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” Thelma Houston shared her inspirational journey that chronicles her illustrious career, by sharing intimate musical stories and behind-the-scenes adventures along with a very special acoustic performance, leading up to her iconic GRAMMY® Award-winning number one pop song "Don't Leave Me This Way."
After 50 years of performing, 23 albums, and winning a GRAMMY Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Houston continues to celebrate her long and outstanding career.
About Thelma Houston
After decades of chart-topping performances and 23 albums, GRAMMY® Award-winner Thelma Houston is still going strong.
This Motown Records’ artist, has claimed the top of the Pop, R&B and Dance charts with her high-powered rendition of "Don't Leave Me This Way." That Gold Record classic gave Thelma the distinction of being the first solo female artist at Motown to win the GRAMMY-Award for "Best R&B Female Vocal Performance."
Thelma was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City, honored as an "Apollo Legend" on the syndicated hit TV show, Showtime at the Apollo, and performed at The Vatican for The Pope
In January 2009, Thelma was asked to headline one of the main inauguration parties for President Barack Obama in Washington, DC. Thelma was honored to perform on the #1 rated television show in the USA, Fox's American Idol, shortly after and opened up the finale of the hit summer show, NBC's America's Got Talent.
With appearances from Tokyo to Las Vegas to London and beyond, Thelma continues to bring audiences to their feet with her dynamic, energetic show. This Diva logs over 200 performances annually and the singer/songwriter is enjoying every moment of her success.
Posted by donloeslowdown.blogspot.com at 5:20 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2019
As Disneynature celebrates 10 years since its first feature-film debut, its newest conservation intitiative—this one tied to the upcoming big-screen adventure “Penguins”—was revealed today. For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2019), Disneynature will make a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) to help protect penguins across the southern hemisphere.
Founded in 2002, WCN invests in a select network of on-the-ground conservationists, including top experts in the field of penguins like the Global Penguin Society (GPS). The worldwide leader in science-based penguin conservation, GPS champions specific programs that align with Disneynature’s conservation mission. “For example, one of our aims is to track different species of penguins’ movements across four continents in the southern seas,” said GPS founder and president Dr. Pablo Borboroglu. “Penguins swim thousands of kilometers to migrate and look for food. What they encounter during their journeys determines their survival, affects the viability of their species and informs science and conservation action. We are also dedicated to cleaning plastics from the beaches, breeding areas and seas impacting penguin populations. Campaigns to clean up beaches around penguin colonies along selected coastal sectors will help secure a healthy and safe habitat for penguins.”
“Disneynature has an amazing platform,” said Charles Knowles, president, and co-founder of WCN. “They’re able to reach a global audience in a way that we can hardly fathom. They are uniquely positioned to tell the real story of penguins and the challenges they face. By teaming up with Disneynature—which is so strongly aligned with our own mission—we are able to uniquely communicate about the species we care so much about.”
“Antarctica is one of the few areas in the world that most people will never have an opportunity to see firsthand,” said Roy Conli, one of the producers of “Penguins.” “It’s one of the most remote and harshest environments on Earth—but its stark beauty is breathtaking. Cultivating an understanding and appreciation of the area, the surrounding oceans and the animals who live there is essential to the future of our planet. That’s one of the reasons I love sharing the story of Steve—a penguin who’s working so hard to thrive in this world, and doing his part for the next generation.”
To capture the stunning footage for “Penguins,” a team of the best polar experts in the world traveled to four different locations over the course of three years for a total of nearly 900 camera days. Temperatures dropped below -40 degrees on several occasions and winds twice topped 150 mph while filmmakers were on location.
Their efforts resulted in the extraordinary story of Steve who promises to charm audiences worldwide. “It’s so fun to watch Steve compete with all the other penguins to set up his nest and win his mate,” said Conli. “It’s hard not to relate to this guy.”
“Penguins” will be the first-ever Disneynature film released in IMAX®. The film will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of the IMAX EXPERIENCE® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-Mastering) technology.
Disneynature’s all-new feature film “Penguins” is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he's targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind “Bears” and “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s “Penguins” opens in theaters nationwide and select IMAX® theatres starting Wednesday, April 17, 2019.
ABOUT WILDLIFE CONSERVATION NETWORK
The Wildlife Conservation Network’s (WCN) mission is to protect endangered wildlife by supporting conservationists who ensure wildlife and people co-exist and thrive. WCN invests in a select network of on-the-ground conservationists, offering the financial resources, tools, and services they need to effectively protect wildlife. WCN also creates large-scale Crisis and Recovery Funds, investing in projects that can protect a threatened species across its entire habitat. As no one organization or person can save wildlife alone, WCN emphasizes collaboration, connecting conservationists and supporters and creating a community united in a passion for wildlife. Learn more about WCN's unique approach to saving wildlife and the work of our conservation partners at .
ABOUT GLOBAL PENGUIN SOCIETY
The Global Penguin Society (GPS) is dedicated to the survival and protection of the world´s penguin species, fostering integrated ocean conservation through science, management (policy making) and education. GPS is an internationally recognized leader in the conservation of penguins, and the coasts and oceans they inhabit. The Global Penguin Society endeavors to:
- Develop sound science to use in the conservation of penguins and marine environments at local, regional, and global scales;
- Educate communities and decision makers about the importance of penguins and their habitats, aiming at achieving lasting behavioral changes;
- Identify priority areas for the conservation of penguins and their ecosystems, propose and implement guidelines for their protection; and
- Influence the establishment, implementation and efficacy of public and private conservation policies.
GPS is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Learn about penguins and how GPS helps them globally at: .
Celebrating 10 years since its first U.S. theatrical feature, “Earth,” Disneynature brings the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife stories on the big screen in order to engage, inspire and educate theatrical audiences everywhere. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®. All seven of Disneynature’s theatrical film releases—”Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats,” “Chimpanzee,” “Bears,” “Monkey Kingdom” and “Born in China”—rank among the top 10 highest overall grossing feature-length nature films to date, with “Chimpanzee” garnering a record-breaking opening weekend for the genre. “Penguins,” opening April 17, 2019, is the label’s 8th theatrical release. Disneynature’s commitment to conservation is a key pillar of the label and the films empower the audience to help make a difference. Through donations tied to opening-week attendance of its films, Disneynature has contributed to a host of conservation initiatives. For more information about Disneynature, like us on Facebook: facebook.com/Disneynature and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Disneynature.
Posted by donloeslowdown.blogspot.com at 12:21 PM