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Tonight… it’s Lalah Hathaway!!

Tonight I’m very excited to see the incredible Ms. Lalah Hathaway performing live at BB Kings in Times Square. If you’re in Manhattan, definitely be sure to come check her out. Also, just in case you missed it, I’ve added the recent Studio 360 feature I created for her during the release of her latest album, “Where It All Begins.” Just press play on the player below and enjoy!

Be sure to read the original post of Lalah here. I’ll be adding more content to my blog and website soon, so PLEASE subscribe! :)

Renowned Composer, Terence Blanchard at The Greene Space!

4-time Grammy-award winner, Terence Blanchard

Tonight, I’ll be hosting the Global Salon at ‘The Greene Space‘ with Grammy-award winning composer and New Orleans native, Terence Blanchard! Terence has scored just about every single Spike Lee movie ever released — from ‘Jungle Fever,’ ‘Malcolm X‘ to ‘25th Hour,’ and ‘Inside Man.’ He’s also released some spectacular albums as a jazz musician. So tonight promises to be an amazing event of extraordinary music and powerful reflections of the human spirit.

Tonight’s showcase will also provide a status update on New Orleans’ restoration efforts from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina of 2005. Blanchard’s award-winning, “A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina),” was the soundtrack to a 4-hour Spike Lee documentary which aired in 2006 on HBO. Blanchard, along with his mother and aunt were featured in the documentary. His mother actually lost her Pontchartrain Park home in the tragedy.

His recent film score is the critically-acclaimed, “Red Tails” — a movie inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen and directed by Anthony Hemingway with George Lucas serving as Executive Producer.

Tonight’s Global Salon will also feature author and award-winning literary translator, Susan Bernofsky. Susan is also responsible for connecting dozens of prolific writers from all over the world through her blog, Translationista. As a native of New Orleans, we’ll discuss with her how the city has inspired her as a writer, Susan’s upcoming projects about the Gulf region, and how she sees the city of New Orleans and its residents moving forward.

Authentic, complimentary New Orleans food and wine will be served as well! So if you’re anywhere near New York City and would like to have a soothing, meditative pause from the comprehensive Whitney media coverage, come check out our season finale of ‘The Global Salon‘ tonight at The Greene Space (44 Charlton Street at Varick). The show starts promptly at 7PM.

And if you’re outside of the tri-state area, you’re more the welcomed to view the event in its entirety live as a webcast at www.TheGreeneSpace.org! Complete video of the event will also be available on the website for future viewing.

Whitney Workout!

For those of you who enjoy working out at the gym (or listening to a hot mix in your car while driving), here’s a mix to help you shed the pounds, all while honoring the legendary songstress, Whitney Houston!

With this mix, you’ll hear many of your favorite Whitney tunes (“I Will Always Love You,” “I Wanna Dance,” “How Will I Know,” and more) all given a sweet, progressive-dance touch-up! So click here to download!

Shout out to WNYC colleague, Annmarie Fertoli and my friend, Rob Deletis, out in Bethel, CT who have been waiting patiently (months actually) for me to conjure up a 30-minute music mix download.

So I hope you enjoy the workout mix and forever rest in eternal peace, Whitney!

Japan’s Spotlight… Tonight at The Greene Space!

Tonight, I’ll be hosting another event at The Greene Space here in New York City. One of my favorite smooth jazz artists will be performing — Keiko Matsui. Get ready for an enchanting evening of spiritual reflection and soothing, naturalistic emotion! And for the first time ever, Keiko will be collaborating with Japanese pop singer, Akiko Yano, for an exclusive 4-hand performance on the Greene Space Fazioli! Akiko has a massive Japanese following and has worked with artists like Pat Metheny, Thomas Dolby, The Chieftains, and The Yellow Magic Orchestra.

The Global Salon also provides an amazing platform for discussion — so I’m very excited to have the Deputy Chief at the Consulate General of Japan in New York — Yasuhisa Kawamura.

We’ve also invited prolific writer/editor, Roland Kelts, and renowned author, Ian Buruma, who’s written very insightful books about Japanese culture, including “Behind the Mask,” and “God’s Dust: A Modern Asian Journey.”

Once again, tickets for this event are SOLD OUT, but check out the live webcast of the event tonight at 7P (EST) at www.TheGreeneSpace.org.

Many thanks to PEN World Voices Festival for their partnership, every single staff member of The Greene Space who work effortlessly behind the scenes making sure everything’s on point, and the Executive Producer, Indira Etwaroo. You believed in me and you’ve given me an opportunity to shine! Thank you for providing me with the freedom to design remarkable showcases dedicated to our global, cultural landscape. I could not have done any of this without your support.

Mark your calendars for the next Global Salon on Wednesday, February 15th, featuring Grammy award winner, Golden Globe recipient, Terence Blanchard!

So Is a ‘Good Man’ Hard To… (De)fine?

Click here for the latest episode of David Alpern‘s “For Your Ears Only,” which aired nationwide on the radio this past weekend. I was excited to co-host this particular episode because I was given the assignment to write a segment about an online magazine called, “The Good Men Project.”

To hear that segment, click here.

The Good Men Project is a media alternative to traditional perceptions of what constitutes and defines a man [think anti-GQ/Details/Esquire, or even Sports Illustrated]. This movement offers up a glimpse into the world of the “enlightened masculinity.” There’s also an associated book published under The Good Men Foundation, a nonprofit that donates book proceeds to the Boys and Girls Clubs and other charities.

I had never heard of this project before. But after reading a few posts, I was impressed with some of its content.

I mean — check out some of the post titles: “All I See Are White Men:” Confronting Racism in Silicon Valley,” “Non-Monogamy,” and two of my personal favorite posts: “Mostly Straight, Most of the Time,” and “The New Macho.” The last two posts address a topic similar to a post I had written on my personal blog last year which featured the rugby legend, Gareth Thomas: “The Courage of a Real Man: Defy StereoTypes.”

Tom Matlack is co-founder of “The Good Men Project” online magazine at goodmenproject.com, whose latest issue features the Occupy VC argument — the story primarily covered on David’s radio show.

As I continued to read through several posts on “The Good Men Project,” I couldn’t help but remember an incident that happened to me about three years ago. Back in 2008, I went with a group of (gay male) friends to see the film, “Sex and The City.” Immediately after the movie ended, I almost wanted to throw up! I began thinking to myself — “Eddie, you’re gay, aren’t you supposed to love this movie and go completely bizarre over the story lines and fashions of Carrie and Samantha and all the rest of those characters who I seriously couldn’t attempt to name right now!?” Low and behold, I walked away from the theater incredibly depressed and actually kind of disgusted.

Afterwards, we all went out for dinner and I remember exclaiming at the table, “Why can’t there be a film FOR men — I mean, real men? Why can’t men feel good about themselves?” And the 3 of them looked at me like, “Hmmm, Eddie, that’s a thought… but that’s why we have therapy — anyway, pass the guacamole.”

Well, fast-forward to present-day, it feels amazingly refreshing to read stories and comments from The Good Men Project about the complexities of men. The site discusses issues related to race, family, gender, and sexuality — subject matter I think about mentally but perhaps I try to avoid talking about openly.

Matlack recently made a comment in one of his interviews stating, “Men are not Bud Light commercials.” Although Bud Light [Lime] is actually the only beer I’ll drink, I get where he’s coming from. Men are as complicated, if not more complicated, than women. But Tom’s statement impacts advertisers. For instance, there are whiskey ads on “The Good Men Project,” but no beer — so I’m curious as to how other advertisers have reacted to his project’s perspective, ‘Good Men’s’ level of growth, and how they’ve been able to measure their success.

Unfortunately, the length of the FYEO segment only allowed us to talk very briefly about the Occupy VC story and the origins of the project.

I’m sure we’ll continue to hear more about The Good Men Project as well as its provocative ideology known as the new ‘Manhood Movement’ in the very near future!

Thanks again to David Alpern for bringing this project to my attention. I’ll be co-hosting FYEO with him throughout the remainder of the month, so stay tuned.

Lalah Love!

December 9, 2011 1 comment

Be sure to check out PRI’s Studio 360 this weekend for a new Lalah Hathaway feature! Lalah is a contemporary R&B/Jazz singer who’s also the daughter of the late, soul legend, Donny Hathaway.

With the duration of the 360 piece only 8 minutes and our interview lasting for an hour, there were tons of tape left on the cutting room floor! (lol)

During our session, I reminded her that she was actually the very first celebrity I had ever interviewed! I conducted this interview for an NPR-affiliate, KPVU-FM back in 1991 inside her tour bus at the time. Right when the interview started, Lalah pulls out a cigarette! Lalah then asks if I would be offended if she smoked! I was so caught up in the moment of meeting her at the time that I actually told her: “Sure, Ms. Hathaway, it’s totally fine!” But in my mind, I was literally DYING — friends who know me are completely aware of my hatred of cigarette smoke! But yet, we conducted the interview on that tour bus anyway.

That was 20 years ago! And I shared that story with Lalah during our 360 interview — and she cracked up! Thankfully, she informs me that she’s given up smoking!

Lalah and I also talked about one of my favorite songs, “Small of My Back,” taken from her latest album, “Where It All Begins.” I told Lalah that it reminded me of a track leftover from the “Off The Wall” recording sessions of Michael Jackson! She flipped out! According to Lalah, the background vocals of that track [which are all sung by Lalah] are actually a tribute to Michael Jackson! She mentioned that all the layered vocals you hear in the song are reminiscent of what Janet and Michael would do in their recordings!

My interview with Lalah’s mother, Eulaulah Hathaway, was also very rewarding. I actually had an opportunity to meet her during Lalah’s NYC performance at the Highline Ballroom a couple of days after we conducted our interview.

I would love to hear your comments about the feature! Amazing shout-outs to Andrea Greene, Rick Nuhn, and Joel Amsterdam for making this interview happen!

Eddie with Nilson Matta & Gretchen Parlato at The Greene Space!

Our third installment of ‘The Global Salon‘ happens this Friday night at The Greene Space in Soho, NYC! I’ll be hosting this incredible monthly event live!

This showcase will feature the beautiful country of Brazil and the extraordinary music of its region. I’m particularly excited about the musicians that will be featured on that evening.

Grammy-award winning, Nilson Matta will be our featured performer — he’s long been considered by critics to be one of the greatest bass players in the world! He’ll be accompanied by acclaimed pianist, Helio Alves. Both were born in Sao Paulo and they’re best known for their work with Yo Yo Ma, Duduka Da Fonseca, and Cafe Da Silva.

I’m also thrilled that award-winning jazz vocalist, Gretchen Parlato, will stop by as our special guest and will sing music from one of my favorite jazz albums of this year, “The Lost and Found,” as well as from her self-titled album in 2005. Gretchen loves and is inspired by Brazilian jazz.

I love blending jazz dynamics of the old with the new (musically) within our Global Salon series! We did a similar programming move during last season’s Global Salon when Bebop legend, Hod O’Brien, teamed up with Grammy-nominee, Gerald Clayton on our grand piano. They both performed a pure, unadulterated, improvised 4-hand selection and it was breathtaking! So on Friday, I’m definitely looking forward to Parlato connecting with both Nilson and Helio for an amazing, Brazilian classic piece!

The event is SOLD OUT, but if you’d still like to check out the event online (or if you’re outside of the NYC area), the live webcast of the Global Salon (www.thegreenespace.org) happens at 7PM EST on Friday, December 9th!

Global Salon at NYC’s The Greene Space Tonight!

November 10, 2011 1 comment

Our second installment of ‘The Global Salon‘ takes place tonight at The Greene Space located in Soho, New York City. I’ll be hosting this event live! But if you’re not in NYC, you can also check out the event as a live webcast starting at 7P EST on www.thegreenespace.org.

This episode of The Global Salon will focus on CITIES IN SWEDEN, where we’ll dive into a discussion about why the Swedes trust their government so much when other countries and nations throughout the globe are protesting their governments! We’ll also have a discussion about ‘Socialism vs Capitalism,’ Swedish influences in music here in the States, how their language influences social perceptions (and vice-versa), as well as an interestingly rich dialogue on a collision of cultural and political issues associated with the Stieg Larsson novel and upcoming David-Fincher film adaptation of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”

The guests booked for the show are simply amazing and incredibly diverse: Nina Persson, lead-singer of the ’90s Swedish pop group, “The Cardigans” — you remember that song they played on the radio back in the day, “LOVEFOOL.” They had to have played that song once every hour on the hour on Top 40 radio back then!! Nina’s husband, Nathan Larson, will be in the house to discuss the art of composing music to film and the role music plays in the cinematic experience. Nina and Nathan will also be giving us an exclusive live performance as a duet.

We also have Swedish historian [flying in from Stockholm], Lars Trågärdh — who just recently made a cameo on a skit for the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Other spectacular guests include Danish writer, Janne Teller, who’s novel which talks about the meaning of life was BANNED but is now considered a cult classic by critics around the globe. Also, Scandinavian Studies Director, Anna Stenport, who’s flying in from the University of Illinois to be a part of the show and the film commissioner of Sweden, Ingrid Rudefors, will be there as well!

It promises to be an amazing night filled with unique conversations, plenty of wine, awesome music, plus some Swedish food for you to munch on!

Thanks again for checking out my website and I hope to see you tonight at The Greene Space (44 Charlton Street, Varick is the cross street). Show starts promptly at 7PM EST.

Arab Spring’s Future in the ‘Fall’ (of Gaddafi) [*New* FYEO Download]

This weekend, I’ll be co-hosting the news radio magazine, “For Your Ears Only,” which will air locally this Sunday morning on AM820 WNYC and in nearly 200 other countries nationwide and around the globe! This show, formerly ‘Newsweek On-Air,’ can also be heard as a downloadable podcast.

For this episode, we speak with Jane Eisner, editor of The Forward, to discuss recent implications of the Israeli-Palestinian prisoner swap and how the Middle East plans to move forward after the death of Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.

We’ll also connect with a former CIA-insider, Professor Paul Pillar; award-winning documentarian/author Barbra Gordon — “I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can (1982),” TV vet and co-founder of Premier Digital Publishing, Daniel Tibbets; and singer/songwriter, Amanda McBroom — who shares an interesting story about how she came to write the song, “The Rose,” a track made famous by Bette Midler, who performed it in the 1979 movie.

A special shout-out to veteran journalist, David Alpern, who serves as host of the show and has worked on the program for nearly 30 years! Thank you so much for the opportunity to join your team of co-hosts and I’m thrilled to be a part of the broadcast!

The (R)evolution of Gospel: Defy StereoTypes

This week, NPR’s “STUDIO 360″ Radio Show, will air another feature of mine entitled, “Kim Burrell‘s New Gospel of Love.” In the segment, the singer talks about how many people, particularly Christians, should step back and re-evaluate the meaning of the word, “LOVE.” According to Kim Burrell, love is about being genuine, being authentic — not only to others but also to ourselves.

During the interview, we talked for over an hour about a number of things. Yes, there was some spectacular audio left on the cutting room floor — including private conversations she’s had with artists like Stevie Wonder, Harry Connick, Jr., Herbie Hancock, Brandy, Tyrese, and a host of others. She also talks rather candidly about her weight loss and issues regarding an outfit she wore during last year’s BET Honors event which featured a Whitney Houston tribute.

And surprisingly enough, Kim Burrell and I spoke about her views and opinions relating to equal rights for gays and lesbians.

So even if you don’t listen to or like gospel music, take a listen to this feature below. I’d love your feedback and comments as well as your stance on the word “love” and the notion of acceptance — both within and outside the boundaries of religion.

Many of us were probably raised a certain way with certain values and principles to live by. But as we continue to grow and begin to interact with people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, or even sexual orientations, I sincerely hope we’re able to expand our minds more on a personal level. If you’re a person who has the ability to ‘put yourself in the other person’s shoe,’ then I think you’ve already started the process of becoming one step closer to a more enhanced, culturally-diverse world of acceptance and understanding towards another human being.

Eddie Robinson with Gospel singer, Kim Burrell

The election of President Barack Obama has definitely silenced those nationwide who thought we would never see an African-American Commander-In-Chief in the White House. Perhaps this limited thinking of not having a Black U.S. President would have been considered radical five or ten years ago — definitely radical perhaps 50 years ago!

But now that we’re living in the 21st century, battling issues of same-sex marriage where people’s religious ideals and morals are at stake, would it be so radical to think that Christian men or women could open up their hearts and minds to actually love and accept someone who’s gay or lesbian? Is this act of love and acceptance really that radical?

When the bible states, “God is Love,” do you honestly think God would reject someone of His own creation?

That sense of rejection (from family members, Christians/Church leaders, etc.) is what hurts so many young gay children to this day as it relates to being victims of bullying and suicide. Even as a 29-year-old adult, I wanted to take my own life, so imagine what a young child could be thinking. Suicide is real. Being bullied is real.

Re-discover and meditate on the real truth about what LOVE really means to you.

Once again, thanks for reading my blog post and for your continued support.

By the way, more QUANTUM news to come as well! Subscribe to blog for future updates.

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