Drake Pulls a Beyoncé and Drops a Surprise Mixtape: “If You’re Reading This Its Too Late”

Drake pulled a Beyoncé last night and dropped a surprise mixtape, but the guy tweeted it right before midnight. Who does that?(!?!) Normal people have to sleep on Thursday nights, Drake. You almost made us miss history.

It’s ok though. Despite the title, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” I think we have time to get ahead of the crowd on this one. Only ~2000 plays per song on soundcloud so far (it’s available on spotify and iTunes as well). I’m going to start working through the songs…I’ll give an update later. P.S. I’m hearing this is just a precursor to an album. Per The Verge,
Continue reading

Case of the Mondays – Grammy Edition: Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney ‘FourFiveSeconds’

There’s quite a bit to say about the Grammys this year, but it’s Monday, so let’s just try to make it through the day.

This week’s Case of the Monday song is inspired by Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney’s collaborative performance at the Grammys. Whether you loved or hated Rihanna’s cake dress at the Grammys, we can at least all thank God she still has talent.

‘FourFiveSeconds’ is a creative song – bared down to the vocals, and only supported by a few guitars that strum a riff as opposed to a melody. It’s the type of song however, that if you first heard it on the radio (i.e. without visuals), you might think to yourself…”yea, it’s an ok song.” Rather, it’s Rihanna’s passion during the performance that takes it to the next level. I mean seriously, she’s moving around as if she really is about to explode, which isn’t what would be implied by the simple musical backdrop. The world loves the song, as shown by it racking up ~19 million views on YouTube in just 6 days (!). Passion does go a long way in music.

Now I’m FourFiveSeconds from wildin’
And we got three more days ’til Friday
I’m just tryna make it back home by Monday mornin’
I swear I wish somebody would tell me

By the way, it is Monday, so unfortunately, we have four days til Friday. But it’s ok, we can only move up from here.

Case of the Mondays: Songs Honoring MLK Day + Frank Ocean’s Aaliyah Tribute

Somewhere somebody must have some sense. Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love.

–Martin Luther King Jr., “Loving Your Enemies Speech”, Nov. 7, 1957

 

In honor of MLK Day 2015, today’s Case of the Mondays post features four songs that were written and performed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Some of these were written to advocate for establishing MLK Day as a national holiday, and provide yet another example of how music continues to influence and create our history.

Stevie Wonder – Happy Birthday, 1981 

Stevie Wonder was very involved in the fight for making MLK Day as a national holiday. “Happy Birthday” was a popular song he used to garner support for his campaign. The song was released in 1981, and Reagan signed the holiday into existence in 1983.

 

 

Public Enemy – By the Time I Get to Arizona, 1991 

This song was written by Public Enemy’s Chuck D as a direct reply to Arizona officials, including John McCain and Fife Symington, for rejecting the federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Nina Simone – Why? (The King of Love is Dead), 1968

Recorded on April 7, 1968, live three days after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and performed at the Westbury Music Fair. Nina Simone dedicated her performance to King’s memory.

 

U2 – Pride in the Name of Love

“Early morning, April 4/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky/Free at last, they took your life/They could not take your pride.” – U2

 

 

And I would be remiss if I did not send a Happy belated birthday to Aaliyah, who would have turned 36 this year. Frank Ocean posted an incredible cover of her song “At Your Best” (originally by the Isley Brother’s) on Saturday. Check it out on his tumblr.

10 Music Artists to Watch in 2015

Happy 2015 everyone! New year, new beginnings means…

we will all try to lose weight for a few days before giving up.

BUT it also means new music. If you’re like me, you’re tired of playing the same songs on Spotify to cure your “sickness.” And you’re hoping for something fresh, because seriously, you don’t really want to be like Kanye. SO hip-hop junkies, music fest addicts, anti-Grammy category advocates, people who appreciate realness, and really just love to hear everything before the world does (*takes deep breath*) will ALL love this list of top 10 artists to watch in 2015: 

Kat Dahlia

“If Sia, Miley, and Rihanna had a vocal baby, Kat Dahlia’s voice would be it”

dahlia

It’s been a long road for Kat Dahlia and her fans, but after two years of anticipation, her album My Garden will finally be released on January 13, 2015. A pseudocyst found on her vocal cord was the reason Dahlia was forced to take a musical hiatus, cancelling her first US headlining tour, a series of club dates in key cities on the East Coast, and delaying the spring 2014 release of her album. Since then however, she’s fully recovered, and notably, has penned every song on the album (including one in Spanish) with the exception of “Crazy”. If you want to hop on the bandwagon before everyone else, check out her music videos “Gangsta” (below) and “Crazy.” And take a listen to her album which was just released to be streamed on NPR yesterday (you’re welcome).

Raury

raury

Raury is an 18-year old Atlanta native whose music has been compared with the likes of Andre 3000, Bon Iver and Kid Cudi. He dropped his debut project Indigo Child at the end of August, and has already impressed Kanye West. Similar to an artist like Lorde, his sound doesn’t exactly fit into a genre. And quite frankly, that’s what makes him interesting. While some of his lyrics still encompass the marks of a teenager with room to grow, 2015 could be a year he breaks out into the mainstream.

I’ve been waiting, I’ve been sitting thinking ’bout this situation / Like I’m MLK, I’m speaking out against the segregation

I can make it through the gate and open it for all my brethren / I don’t mean to ruffle feathers, n*ggas talkin’, b*tches hatin’

Contemplatin’ every single move you make and study you / Ready boo, n*ggas go through Earth and Hell and Heaven for a story based on Raury / Far important tryin’ to force me to a category

–Raury, “Higher”

Chet Faker

chetfaker

Chet Faker is one of those artists that makes you wonder if the Grammy’s should get rid of music categories altogether. He’s a 22 year old Australian that hails from a set of parents who had different tastes in music, which ultimately shaped his own. “My mum was listening to a lot of Motown…” he describes in one interview, “I think that’s where I got my love for a good hook, a good soul hook…and then my dad would listen to the chilled out Ibiza CDs; all that super down tempo female vocal kind of stuff.” While his real name is Nick Murphy, Chet says his stage name is an ode to Chet Baker and the mood of music he used to play. So who knows what we’re dealing with here…a Motown-EDM infused genre? Either way, it’s fascinating, and his “No Diggity” cover truly speaks to the changing times. He’s popular in Australia, but let’s see if he gains some traction in the US in 2015.

HiFadility

hifadility

HiFadility is an artist that you must watch out for in 2015. He’s a classically trained jazz pianist whose projects blend the genres of electronic and hip hop that oftentimes, will paint a landscape in your head that you can’t describe to someone else. Unsurprisingly, his accolades are countless, from winning Boston’s Next Hot Music Producer Competition in March 2014, to displaying his avant garde jazz and hip hop sound at the Museum of African American history in 2014 for a standing ovation. What makes him especially exciting this year however, is the new project he is set to release in March titled “The Queens”. I’ll let the music speak for itself rather than go into details about the meaning here, but trust, it will be worth listening to.

In the meantime, check out his four prior projects at iamhifadility.bandcamp.com and his production on the track “I Love My.”

Tink

tink

In about a week Tink will celebrate her 20th birthday, and the Chicago-hailed singer/rapper/songwriter will have a lot to toast about. She recently released her second mixtape, Winter’s Diary 2 and has a Timbaland-produced album on the way. In fact, Timbaland compares Tink to Lauryn Hill, and while that remains to be seen she does seem like the real deal. In an interview last year, the artist voiced her opinion on hip-hop: “People expect us, female rappers, to just talk about bullshit [or] sex. People stereotype female rappers a whole lot. They expect us to talk a certain way, to look a certain way [and] dress a certain way. And I’m not with that. When you listen to my songs you hear messages and real stories.” Keep it real Tink, we’re watching.

Sampha

sampha

This one seems a bit ironic to write since many blogs featured Sampha as an artist to watch in 2014. While his popularity has risen from his feature on Drake’s songs (“Too Much” and “The Motion”), along with SBTRKT’s songs “Temporary View” and “Wonder Where We Land,” it seems the world is still waiting for him to make it big. His last EP titled Dual was released in 2013, and it’ll be interesting to see what he has to offer this year – will he become the breakout artist we’re hoping for, or choose to stay on the sidelines and feature on other songs? Only time will tell.

P. Reign

P. Reign is another Drake-derivative (admit it, it’s a thing), with many new fans hopping on his bandwagon after hearing the song “DnF,” which features Drake & Future. The Canadian-born artist is due to turn 29 in January, but has a long road ahead of him if he can continue the momentum. He dropped a much anticipated EP in September of this year, and so far fans seem to love him. Doesn’t hurt that his second most popular song “Realest in the City” features up-and-coming artist PARTYNEXTDOOR (yes, another Drake-derivative).

Alina Baraz

Let’s go way underground for a second, and step into the world of Alina Baraz, a 21 year old Cleveland native. Baraz dropped out of college and re-located to LA to pursue her career in music (why not go all out right?). Aspiring artists should take note: Baraz was discovered by Danish producer Galimatias via SoundCloud after creating the song titled “Drift” over one of his productions. Since then, they’ve released Make You Feel and are expected to release an EP Urban Flora this fall. Her music reminds me of a dream-like sequence, a Michelangelo painting, or as her EP cover suggests – a work of art.

Brika

Raw, soulful, truth. Just a few words that will come to mind when you take a listen Brika’s beautiful voice and powerful lyricism. She’s been featured on this site before for her song ‘Options,’ but she deserves another go around here after the release of her EP Voice Memos in December 2014 (remember those things you used to leave on your iPhone…or maybe still do?). Point blank, much like Sam Smith, Brika could sing “blah blah blah” and it would still sound relatable.

Zhu

Zhu was one of the fastest emerging artists of 2014, but with his debut album set to hit next year, we think he deserves a spot in 2015’s rising stars. His marketing campaign has been genius, to be frank. He prefers anonymity, and while his identity is now known, he continues to perform in the shadows and let his music speak for itself. In just one year Zhu has had a hit single in 10 territories, a US deal with Columbia Records and a booking at HARD Day of the Dead directly preceding Deadmau5. With the soaring popularity of live music shows, especially in the summertime, Zhu is in the perfect spot to sell some records.

Hope you’ve found some hidden gems in this list. If you want to follow what I’m listening to, check me out on soundcloud.

10 Milestones in Cuba’s Music History…and Why You Should Care

“Why should I care about Cuban music?”

cuba art

If you’re not from Cuba and weren’t alive in the ‘50s, this question could have some validity to it. And it’s one my brother asked when I told him I was writing this post.

Since President Obama’s announcement that the US will look to strengthen its diplomatic relations with Cuba, countless articles have been written speculating about the impact this will have on Cuba’s economy. Americans can now bring back up to $100 in Cuban cigars, investors are rushing to gather real estate, and collectors are getting set to bid on artwork that they see as undervalued.

But you have to wonder how Cuba’s music fits into all of this.

Search Cuba’s cars on the internet and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a time-warp that, in truth, summarizes how a 50-year embargo has put this country’s economic advancement on hold.

Cars like this 1952 Buick are often passed down through families. Source: CNNMoney

Arguably however, music hasn’t faltered as much — unlike cars and buildings, which are physical objects that can be embargoed — music, and other cultural ‘necessities’ have continued to be exported. In America alone, we’ve had several music pioneers of Cuban descent such as Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, and Tito Puente (and even Pitbull). But one could also argue that most of the ‘influential’ Cuban American music artists were witnessed during the ‘50s mambo craze, or before the embargo was implemented – a time that many find hard to recall now.

So why should you care about Cuban music?

If the travel embargo is lifted, we may see a shift in how promoters begin to view Cuban artists. While Cuban artists do have the ability to tour through America, they often face many obstacles.  One immigration lawyer and producer in California described a Catch-22 that he witnesses in his line of work: “ ‘The promoters were saying, ‘I’m not signing the contracts until they get visas,’ and the artists were saying, ‘We can’t get the visas until we have contracts.’ ”

Only time will tell whether we do indeed get an influx of talent from Cuba, but the importance of Cuba’s music can’t be underestimated, as it shows up in genres that we listen to today, from the likes of jazz to salsa. Still, rather than bore you with an encyclopedia of Cuba’s music history, here’s a list of ten milestones in Cuba’s music history that may intrigue you to dig into the underground world of Cuba’s music…

1. In the 16th Century, the diseases that Christopher Columbus and his explorers’ carried wiped out Cuba’s native population, erasing virtually all of the history of Cuba’s native music, called areito

(depressing I know, but important to note)

2. Son was the most popular Cuban music and dance genre of the 20th century. The earliest surviving Cuban son (son de la Ma Teodora) was created in the 1570s.

Below shows a typical son band, performing son de la loma

3. Sugar plantation owners imported nearly 20,000 slaves to Cuba in the 1780s, strengthening African-derived religious practices on the island, namely santería and palo.

And an interesting fact about Santería: slaves were forbidden to practice non-Christian religions in Cuba, but did so secretly by worshipping Catholic saints in form only, understanding them to be disguises underneath which existed their traditional African deities. Santería was very influential in Cuban music due to its drumming practices.

4. In the 1870s, rumba emerged in Havana, and spread to other lower-class neighborhoods throughout Cuba

Example of rumba:

5. 1870: danzón first appears in Havana and reigns as the national dance of Cuba until the 1930s

6. 1930: Don Azpiazu’s Havana Orchestra performs on Broadway, giving mass audiences in the United States their first taste of authentic Afro-Cuban music

7. 1945: mambo appears in the United States. The word “mambo” means “conversation with the gods” in Kikongo, the language spoken by Central African slaves taken to Cuba. The Cha-cha-cha, a kind of mambo created by Cuban violinist Enrique Jorrin later swept through NYC in 1954 and the rest of the world.

Below is a scene from the 1992 film Mambo Kings, a story about two brothers and aspiring musicians who flee from Cuba to America in the hopes of reviving their failed musical careers.

8. 1947: Dizzy Gillespie’s performance of Afro-Cuban jazz at Carnegie Hall gives overnight status to Latin jazz

9. 1966: Pete Seeger’s recording of “Guantanamera” popularizes guajira music throughout the world

10. early 1970s: salsa becomes the commonly-used word to describe Cuban-derived dance music in the United States

If she can do it, you can do it too…

 

 

More on Cuba’s Music History:

http://www.boogalu.com/features/history-cuban-music

http://www.pbs.org/buenavista/music/timeline.html

Music for the Weekend: A Look at Otis Redding’s Dock of the Bay

Sittin’ in the morning sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

I love Otis Redding’s ‘Dock of the Bay,’ and after getting it stuck in my head after Scandal last week, I decided to look at the history behind it….

The song was written three days before Redding died in a plane crash on a rainy, foggy night in 1967. It was released in January 1968 and became his only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and the first posthumous number-one single in US chart history (first to reach #1 after the death of an artist) . Along with his death, the record label that he helped build saw its demise as well (albeit seven years later).

That label, Stax Records, was not only a big competitor of Motown’s, but also encompassed both blacks & whites at a time when the racial divide was growing wider and wider in American society. Between 1960 and 1975, Stax had 167 Top 100 pop hits and established the careers of Redding, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, Booker T & the MG’s and Wilson Pickett. Nevertheless, the label failed to gain rights to Redding’s discography, which instead belonged to Atlantic Records. Regarding “Dock of the Bay”, which was released so soon after Redding’s death, his guitarist Steve Cropper recalled:

We got a call from Atlantic saying, “We’ve got to rush something out. What have you got?” And I immediately said, “We need to put our hit out.”

‘They hadn’t even found Otis’s body yet.’

Cropper threw himself into completing Dock Of The Bay. He added electric guitar, seagulls, and the sound of waves.

‘Trying to work on something like that, when you don’t even know where one of your closest friends is, is difficult.’

‘Everybody was walking around staring at their feet for two months after that,’ says Stax musician Marvell Thomas.

‘There was true sadness at that place. Stax was usually a happy, peppy place, there was conversations in the hallways and songwriters over here and a demo going – that all stopped.’

Music for the Weekend: Esperanza Spalding

Little Fly
Thy summer’s play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush’d away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing;
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath;
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

-William Blake

 

It’s a little strange how I stumbled upon Esperanza Spalding again. While she’s an extremely talented musician, I haven’t encountered her music since she won a Grammy for Best New Artist a few years ago (where she was the first jazz artist to do so). To be frank, the only reason I stumbled upon her music is Pandora. I needed some help sleeping last night, so I gave my Pandora a spin and put on the ‘jazz’ genre. Later (must have not been that much later since I hadn’t got the “we try not to play to an empty room” notice yet), I found my dream being interrupted by a beautiful song. Have you ever felt like you were half asleep, yet half awake? Well, that was me. “This sounds so wonderful,” I thought…I subsequently rolled over, pressed my iPhone and tried to find the like button through my blurry vision.

Ironically, I didn’t remember that I did this until about an hour or so ago. Our subconscious has a funny way of thinking doesn’t it? What’s even better, here are some of the lyrics of the song:

 

They say if you live in a dream,
You’re hopelessly lost
Well this ain’t just any old dream
For our paths have crossed
And I may be hopelessly lost
But somehow I’ve managed to find heaven

I briefly found heaven in this song, and as always, thought I’d share (video below). Hopefully she makes a comeback one of these days…though, as we know, artists are always disappearing from the mainstream scene. If you’re in NYC, Esperanza will be playing this weekend at the Jazz Standard ($30). See here for more: http://www.jazzstandard.com/

New Song: Brika – Options

I can’t stop playing this song. It’s so good, that I’m going to let the music speak for itself on this one. But in case you’re curious about the artist, here’s a bio from Brika’s VEVO page:

Brika can best be called a product of her unique surroundings. She was born and raised in Miami and despite her eclectic taste, her primary influence is Coldplay. Her music can best be likened to a Pollock painting or a Rauschenberg collage; overflowing with fast, temperamental bursts of creativity, imbued with a daring sense of honesty, and charged with a damning refusal to be categorized or quelled for the sake of fitting a description. Her natural charisma and traveler’s air lend an impulsive and nomadic tone to a body of work characterized by simple, cryptic lyricism and minimalistic production. Thematically, her mind seems attached to a few key fixations (loss, psychology, and the nature of truth), all expounded on in fresh and innovative ways through the power of song. A true iconoclast, Brika is a talented singer-songwriter with enough rawness and accessibility to enthrall audiences the world over.

Remember the First iPod?

Next month, October 23, 2014 will mark the 13th anniversary of Steve Jobs’ introduction of the iPod. Given the upcoming release of Apple’s new iPhone 6 on Sept 18th, it seems like a perfect time to look back on the day when Steve Jobs unveiled this device. Arguably, this was the presentation that marked the beginning of a new era for music, technology, and our world.

People hate change, even when it’s necessary. So perhaps it wasn’t exactly surprising to see the amount of naysayers that emerged on the back of this release. CNET’s post after the event was titled:

Apple’s iPod spurs mixed reactions

Comments on macrumors, which seems to hail Apple as a god these days, were pretty bad to say the least…

NO! Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where’s the Newton?!

I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!

 

OH NO! Just checked Apple Store – they want $399.00 for this thing…Ouch!!!

 

All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Field™ is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.

Just another MP3 player right? Little did they know, that iPod’s sales would not only look like this

iPod

…but would also change the face of both music as we knew it. Indeed, iTunes + iPod spurred a revolution in the music industry – from the way labels release music, to the way consumers listen to it.

Steve Jobs was a visionary. And the success of his $600B market cap company adds testament to the fact that you cannot let the opinion of others change your vision…something perhaps said better by the man himself:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Every week, we aim here to discover new music & pieces of culture, to try to go against the “normal way” of thinking. Apple is a tech company, but it is ever so present in music and even the fashion/design industry. So, perhaps it’s important to not only come up with new ideas, but also to transcend sector boundaries – allowing one to broaden his or her horizons and way of thinking.

Really, our time is limited, so Think Different.

10 Things to Do in NYC this Fall

It’s starting to get a bit chilly here in New York. I saw a woman wearing a scarf under her suit during her morning commute. I myself had to opt for boat shoes instead of sandals during mine. Hopefully winter isn’t coming, but summer is definitely going away.

In preparation for the cold weather, people – New Yorkers especially – tend to swap light clothes for dark ones, and huddle around fires inside . Sounds depressing doesn’t it? Luckily, much can be done to combat this. After all, NYC is a big city with a lot to offer.

Below are 10 “artsy” events that I pulled from a great interactive article by the NY Times of the “100 events that have us especially excited”. Take a look for yourself to see what you prefer, but here’s my list (it’s not just a music list, for once):

1. Ernest Cole’s photographs of life under apartheid

  • 100 photographs by one of South Africa’s first black photojournalists give insight into life under apartheid
  • Date: through Dec 6.
  • Location: Grey Art Gallery, New York University / nyu.edu

2. Classics from the Classical Age at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Exploring the decentralized, mercantile societies of an expanding Assyrian Empire, this major international loan exhibition will include some 260 works from 41 museums in 14 countries.
  • Date: Sept 22 – Jan 4.
  • Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art / metmuseum.org

3. Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan Steps out

  • It is a busy season in New York for the talented Israeli-born pianist, who plays a solo recital at SubCulture in September, a program with the Jerusalem Quartet at the 92nd Street Y in October and concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, both in November. He also begins a multiyear term as the New York Philharmonic’s first “artist in association,” an intriguing position intended to give rising artists extensive exposure to the orchestra’s audiences. In December he plays a chamber recital with Philharmonic musicians and his frequent collaborator, the cellist Alisa Weilerstein, then Dvorak’s Piano Quintet on the stage of Avery Fisher Hall in February before his full-orchestra debut in March with Ravel’s Concerto in G.
  • Date/Location: Various

4. Tail! Spin!…Politicians (try) to say they’re sorry on stage

  • This verbatim re-enactment of email, text messages and tweets that screamed “sex scandal!” and changed the lives of formerly successful politicos including Anthony Weiner, Mark Sanford and others, created and written by Mario Correa, gets an Off Broadway bow after a successful run at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival. Dan Knechtges (“Lysistrata Jones”) directs
  • Date: Previews begin Sept. 18. Opens Oct. 1. Closes Nov. 30.
  • Location: Lynn Redgrave Theater at the Culture Project, 45 Bleecker Street, near Lafayette Street, East Village

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  • Those who keep an eye on London theater have been hearing about this show — and reading the rapturous reviews — for a few years, so it’s exciting that Simon Stephens’s multiple Olivier Award-winning play about a teenage boy with difficulty connecting to the world around him, who tries to solve the mystery of a dead dog, is headed to New York. Marianne Elliott (“War Horse”), the original London director of this drama, adapted from the novel by Mark Haddon, is on board.
  • Previews ongoing. Opens Oct. 5. Telecharge.
  • Location: Barrymore Theater, 243 West 47th Street, Manhattan / curiousonbroadway.com

6. Henri Matisse cut-outs

  • Centering on MoMA’s newly conserved Matisse cutout “The Swimming Pool,” this largest show ever devoted to the artist’s late cut-paper works will include some 100 examples and related drawings, illustrated books, stained glass and textiles.
  • Date: Oct 12 – Feb 8
  • Location: Museum of Modern Art / moma.org

7. The music of South Africa, with films by William Kentridge

  • This capacious festival, organized by Carnegie Hall, sprawls over jazz, classical and indigenous music, including maskandi (known as the “Zulu blues“) and folk music from the country’s Cape region. The concerts include the New York recital debuts of the South African sopranos Pretty Yende and Elza van den Heever as well as a musical and theatrical evening conceived by the violinist Daniel Hope and a program of films by the artist William Kentridge, set to music by Philip Miller.
  • Date: Oct 10 – Nov 5
  • Location: Carnegie Hall

8. Sculptor Judith Scott at the Brooklyn Museum

  • The sculptor, who was born with Down syndrome and worked with the Creative Growth studio program for adult artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities, wrapped scavenged objects in lengths of yarn and thread. This is her first retrospective in the United States.
  • Date: Oct 24 – March 29
  • Location: Brooklyn Museum / brooklynmuseum.org

9. Artists inspired by “Ebony” and Jet magazines

  • The longstanding magazines Ebony and Jet have frequently appeared in contemporary artworks; this show takes a deeper look at the phenomenon.
  • Location: Studio Museum in Harlem / studiomuseum.org

10. Bradley Cooper brings “The Elephant Man” to Broadway

  • Bradley Cooper stars as the severely disfigured Joseph Merrick in this revival of Bernard Pomerance’s Tony Award-winning 1979 drama. Mr. Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson will reprise roles they played in a 2012 Williamstown Theater Festival production. Scott Ellis, who directed then, does the same for Broadway. Previews begin Nov. 7. Opens Dec. 7. Telecharge.
  • Location: Booth Theater, 222 West 45th Street, Manhattan / elephantmanbroadway.com

 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be updating the calendar on this site of interesting upcoming events that I come across. Let me know if you hear of anything too – what type of events are you looking out for?