When Brilliant Met Divine: A Healthy Conversation with Bette Midler


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Photo by Jonathan Pushnik
Bette Midler
She sings. She dances. She acts. She jokes. She cleans up decrepit, crumbling urban properties. She wins awards for all those things. And she also, simply, talks.

In a bit of a departure from her standard high-production fare, on April 29, Bette Midler, the aptly monikered Divine Miss M, addresses the equal-parts anticipatory/participatory audience of the Brilliant Lecture Series.

"I'm happy to be doing this event. I've been doing them for a couple of years now, I kind of enjoy them," Bette Midler remarked on her upcoming Q-and-A appearance with the series which this year has also welcomed luminaries Betty Buckley, Robert Duvall, and Diane Keaton. "I've been to Minneapolis, I went to Niagara Falls, I mean, I've been around.

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Poems from Jailed Youth Set to Music in a Performance at the Hobby Center

Categories: Concerts

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Composer Mary Carol Warwick
Houston composer Mary Carol Warwick has a skill unique within the world of classical music: She's worked out how to compose music to accompany the word nigga.

Warwick has set the words of 17 poems by incarcerated youth to a song cycle with classical, gospel and Latin influences. In a number of the poems, the youth used the controversial word to describe themselves or their friends.

"I'm white and Anthony Turner is African American. I said to him, 'I don't know if I can do this. I can't even say that word.' He said, 'I chose you to work with me on this because I thought you had the balls to do it. Do you?'"

New York baritone Anthony Turner had long been an admirer of Warwick's opera, choral and musical compositions and felt this was the perfect collaboration for them. The poems had first appeared in a 2007 book called The Gathering: City Prayers, City Hopes, curated by artist and educator Jeannine Otis.

The world premiere of Turner and Warwick's collaboration -- "The Gathering / Who Am I?" song cycle -- will be on Saturday, March 30, at 7.30 p .m. at the Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall. It will feature Turner, Paul Boyd (piano), Luke Hubley (percussion), Elise Wagner (bassoon) and others. A second performance is planned for New York City later in the year.


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See Roscoe Mitchell Play a Saxophone for 10 Minutes Straight, Without Breathing, During His Houston Residency

Categories: Concerts, Jazz

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www.namelesssound.org
Roscoe Mitchell: An inventor of free jazz skronk.
If you're going to make a career out of playing a not-always-well-received genre of music, one must link with like-minded musicians, says avant-garde woodwind player and Art Ensemble of Chicago member Roscoe Mitchell, who continues to experience financial and artistic success by playing and composing creative, original music.

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Oliver Lake Talks About the Black Artists' Group, His Upcoming TRIO 3 Concert Presented by Nameless Sound

Categories: Concerts, Jazz

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Photo by Richard Conde
TRIO 3: Andrew Cyrile, Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman
Before saxophonist Oliver Lake co-founded the overlooked-until-lately Black Artists' Group (BAG), before he appeared on records with Anthony Braxton and Michael Gregory Jackson and helped establish the World Saxophone Quartet, the heavy-hitting jazz musician dealt with the rigors of being a developing unknown, playing informal jam sessions in St. Louis nearly every day with fellow musicians, dancers and filmmakers.

It was worth it, says Lake, and some of the best times in his successful career.

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Tango Master Hector Del Curto Plays iFest

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Voted the best bandoneonist (player of a type of small accordion) under 25 in Argentina when he was only 17 years old, Hector del Curto is today a world-class musician. He has played with most of the biggest names in tango, from pianist Osvaldo Pugliese to fellow bandoneonist Astor Piazolla. Representing this year's theme country Argentina, Del Curto's current project Eternal Tango will perform at the Houston International Festival on the Center Stage April 21, 22 and 29. We caught up with the 41-year-old maestro at his home in New York City.

Art Attack: We are always fascinated by people who decide very early on what they want to do, then stick to it and master it.

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Hector Del Curto: [Laughs] It was not my decision. I never thought, "I will be a famous tango musician" or anything like that. I started learning guitar when I was five, and switched to bandoneĆ³n when I was 11. But I just liked to make music. The other kids thought I was odd because I would stay in and practice when they were outside playing.

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Coachella: 5 Signs You're an Aging Hipster

Categories: Concerts, Fashion

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Timothy Norris/LA Weekly
Aging hipsters -- the very same people Coachella targeted when it began holding the music fest in Indio -- are usually easy to spot on the Empire Polo Fields. They're the ones who can't be bothered to walk over to Gobi and check out a new band because "It's too hot!" (or, in Friday's case, "It's too cold!"). They're the ones who weren't interested in At the Drive In's set because they were too old when Vaya first came out. They make disparaging remarks about everyone else's outfits ('What the fuck is that flower contraption on that girl's head?"). If you think we're talking about you, check out our list after the jump.


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