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Detroiters get first chance to hear new compositions by Black composers

Writing cutting-edge new music is hard enough, but assembling a whole orchestra of qualified musicians to play it while it is being composed is near impossible. Fortunately, a new partnership between the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and EarShot (the National Orchestra Composition Discovery Netwrok) is giving four emerging African American composers an opportunity to develop their newest works with an orchestr ...

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Detroit teens get show in N’Namdi gallery, win money

Twelve local high school students recently won the 2014 “McDonald’s Celebrates Black History Moments on Canvas” art contest. First, second and third-place winners of the contest won $2,000, $1,000 and $500, respectively, in addition to having their work shown in an internationally acclaimed gallery of contemporary art. The nine remaining finalists each received a $125 Visa gift card. In a press statement, o ...

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Spike Lee ‘goes off’ on gentrification

This week, Filmmaker Spike Lee offered a rant on gentrification, according to New York Magazine. For Detroiters, experiencing gentrification, the comments are timely. Speaking Tuesday night in his hometown of Brooklyn, blocks away from his company headquarters and his father’s apartment, Spike Lee goes off. “Here’s the thing: I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. And why d ...

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Detroit dinner goes wild!

Detroit is earning a reputation for great dining. Water cooler debates compare downtown’s Roast with Southwest Detroit’s El Barzon. Slow’s BBQ has gotten international attention. Some even say friendships and political alliances are made or lost depending on which coney island, American or Lafayette, one stumbles into after a long night. But none of those Detroit favorites offer stir-fried snapping turtle, ...

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The Bottom Line

After two years of operation, the Bottom Line Cafe has established itself as a Midtown option for coffee and tea drinkers, as well as a creative space for local artists. Located in the basement of the Beethoven Apartments, this growing Black-owned coffee shop is tucked in the Cass Corridor area at Third and Prentis. Since opening in July 2012, Kyle Harris and his parents Al and Pat serve the fast-paced life ...

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ICP confronts the FBI in court

Metro Detroit rap group Insane Clown Posse has made national headlines in recent months, not for their controversial comic book horror lyrics or popular television series, but for challenging the FBI, which has labeled ICP fans a criminal gang. The case brings light to the subjective way the FBI designates gang affiliation. In 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation shocked the music world by designating ...

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DILLA DAY 2014

If you listened to hip hop or R&B any time from the mid 90s through the first decade of the new millennium, chances are you’re familiar with James Dewitt Yancey, known as J Dilla or Jay Dee. J Dilla came from a musical family — his mother was an opera singer and his dad a jazz bassist. He was one of the founding members of Slum Village. The music he produced influenced a generation of artists including A Tr ...

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Spike Lee wants your music

Spike Lee is busy finishing up his latest movie, “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” financed entirely through the online crowdfunding website kickstater.com. According to a Feb. 10 Kickstarter project email, he is crowd sourcing music for the soundtrack as well. Lee is currently accepting “submissions for only R&B and rap songs by independent/unsigned artists,” says the email. “The music is inconsequential to the s ...

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Local press publishes imprisoned man’s book of haiku

James Fuson has been in prison for two decades. At the tender age of 17, not yet old enough to buy cigarettes, he was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. “Prison is not for the naïve,” he writes, “and … a kid … is not ready for it. One of two things will happen to that kid: He will either break and become part of the machine or get tough and grow into a stronger individual. Either way… ...

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Ethnic Heritage Ensemble to perform at N’Namdi Gallery

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble returns to Detroit for another live performance on Feb. 28. The Chicago-based ensemble combines contemporary African American musical styles with traditional African instrumentation and rhythms. Percussionist/composer/band leader Kahil El’Zabar, saxophonist Ernest Khabeer Dawkins and trumpet-player Corey Wilkes make up the group. The show will take place at the N’Namdi Center fo ...

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