Richmond, VA: Dining and Dashing Around the 2016 Jazz Festival

  The seventh annual Richmond Jazz Festival ran from August 11th to the 14th, in venues around town and culminated at the lush 100-acre Maymont Park with a two-day outdoor fest. Musicians like Herbie Hancock, Stephanie Mills, The Roots and Diane Schuur thrilled music fans. And when festival goers weren’t lapping up the music they […]

Music Lovers Gather at the 2016 Richmond Jazz Festival

On a hot mid-August summer weekend in Richmond, Virginia, thousands of music lovers gathered for the seventh annual Richmond Jazz Festival. They picnicked, socialized and strolled around the verdant lawns of the vast, 100-acre Maymont estate, splitting their time between three concert stages that were filled with world-class musicians: Herbie Hancock, Stephanie Mills, Arrested Development, […]

Miss Sharon Jones!

  Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings is a Grammy-nominated R&B band from Brooklyn. Their groove is funky like James Brown’s. Jones’ gyrations are as wild and ferocious as Tina Tuner’s. The group’s soul shake and their lead singer’s indomitable spirit blend into something very special, heartfelt and familial. When Jones is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, […]

Star Trek Beyond

  The big debate shouldn’t be if this is the best Star Trek film ever. The more interesting conversation is about whether Star Trek Beyond is a better sci-fi space adventure film than 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. On most levels, the answer is yes.   J.J. Abrams is out as director and comes […]

Ice Age: Collision Course

  It’s official. This is the year of animation. So many films from the genre are sprouting up like spring daisies that it’s making the Oscar race for Best Animation Feature Film a nail-biter. And it’s only midyear. Add to the list of strong contenders the fifth chapter in the Ice Age franchise, a doozy […]

The Secret Life of Pets

The race for the Best Animation Feature Film Oscar is on. Finding Dory may be the most touching and sentimental contender. On the other hand, The Secret Life of Pets has got to be the coolest of the challengers, so far. It’s a thoroughly amusing comedy thanks to the over-animated Kevin Hart and dour sarcastic […]

The Legend of Tarzan

  Some things should be left in the past and forgotten. Case in point: Tarzan. This modern version, The Legend of Tarzan, adds some politically correct touches to an old-fashioned (dated) story. But even with new gloss and a fresh scent, the central problem still remains: a near super human white man lording over apes, […]

Free State of Jones

  “You can not own a child of God,” proclaims a slave named Moses (Mahershala Ali, HBO’s Treme). “We don’t got no country on either side. We’re our own Country,” says Confederate Army deserter Newton “Newt” Knight (Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer’s Club). Those poignant bits of dialogue sum up the rebellious spirit in this rousing […]

The 2016 San Francisco Jazz Festival Hits a Cool Vibe

  For years San Francisco has been the West Coast playground and refuge of jazz musicians. Since 2013, those artists have had a permanent home at the SFJAZZ Center, the first-ever standalone structure in the country dedicated to jazz. Think of it as a cool opera house, where the beats get funky, the music is […]

Presenting Princess Shaw

  She, Samantha Montgomery, is a 39-year-old who works a 9-5 at a nursing home in a rough section of New Orleans. On her own time, she takes on the persona of Princess Shaw, a singer/songwriter who posts a cappella performances of her songs on her YouTube channel. It’s a shot in the dark. Will […]