Michele Norris Ends 35 City Book Tour in
Kansas City And Says Her Book
"The Grace of Silence" A Memoir Made
Her Look Inside Herself About Race -
Calling it the Pretzel Twist
By: Dr. Gatsby Melodi' PhD
Author Michele Norris takes time out to pose with Rainy Day Books Owner
and Founder Vivien Jennings, following the event.  Credit: Gatsby Melodi'
Kansas City January 5, 2011 - Author Michelle Norris told a
near capacity sell-out crowd at Unity Temple in Kansas City that
the word race was accidental, "because this was not the book I
was going to write.  I almost think there should be a third word."

Ms. Norris continued, "Race came up the pretzel twist like move-
on to another subject.   I had to look inside my own heart.  I
began questioning myself 'Do Black people spend too much
time thinking about things?."

One focus never changed with
"The Grace of Silence" she said
"Black children will have to be twice as good.  It's a good idea to
be better than good.  The message in the book is evolve. The
most important is that people respect you", she emphasized.

Ms. Norris talked about secrets her mother kept from her
growing up as the first Black family in a white neighborhood.

She recalled, "Families left immediately.  Within one week of
having moved in to the new neighborhood three homes went
up for sale.  Mom had anger and amusement.."  

The Grace of Silence, Norris confronts hard truths about her
own family’s racial history that had been left unsaid by her
parents - from her grandmother’s work as an itinerant Aunt
Jemima peddling pancake mix to her father’s shooting by the
Birmingham police within weeks of his discharge from service
in World War II.

The event held December 8th was sponsored by  Rainy Day
Books 2706 W 53rd Street, Fairway, KS  66205 913-384-3126.

Michele Norris born September 7, 1961, is an American radio
journalist and current host of the National Public Radio (NPR)
evening news program
All Things Considered since December
9, 2002. She is the first African American female host for NPR.  
Norris lives in the District of Columbia with husband, Broderick
Johnson, and her son, daughter, and stepson
Magazine's "
Power 150" for Activism and
WOMAN'S DAY Magazine "
50 Women On
A Mission To Change the World
" Is An
Advocate For Change and Empowerment
Terrie M. Williams, President and
Founder of The Terrie Williams
Agency and co-founder of
The Stay
Strong Foundation no doubt  utilized
her influence and communications
expertise for more than 30 years to
educate and engage audiences in
causes that affect the community,
the nation and the world.

Williams is frequently featured and
quoted in the national press,
college textbooks, industry
publications and novels.
She is one of the country's most highly sought-after executive
and inspirational speakers, addressing a variety of topics
including public relations and communications, business
communications and networking, demystifying mental illness,
and creating balance in your personal and professional life.

The public discourse generated by Ms. Williams bestseller book
BLACK PAIN, and her Stay Strong Foundation's creation of a
national mental health advocacy "Healing Starts With Us", led to
a collaboration with Grey Worldwide, the volunteer advertising
agency for the Ad Council's and the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Campaign
for Mental Health Recovery.  She was asked to co-executive
producer their public service announcement campaign targeting
mental health awareness, launched February 2010.  She is the
first woman of color to receive The New York Women in
Communications Matrix Award in Public Relations, in the 70 year
The  Sensational  Stage  Musical
Starring Fantasia Barrino and Faith
Evans DVD on January 11th
Burbank, CA - Written and directed by
Nicci Gilbert (former lead singer of
the multi-platinum Grammy
nominated group
Brownstone).Released by Image
Soul Kittens Cabaret
follows seven women on their journey
to self  discovery as they struggle with
temptation, personal demons and
false promises. While trying to
revive Detroit’s hottest club in town, the Soul Kittens
take customers on the ride of their lives with sultry sex
appeal and silky vocals. Along the way, the
Soul Kittens
learn the real meaning of sisterhood from the yin and
yang of reasoning, Good Conscience
Barrino) and Bad Conscience (Faith Evans).

Soul Kittens Cabaret DVD will retail in the US for the
suggested retail price of $14.98, run time 147 minutes;
Format: Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen; Sound:  
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.
Actress   GAIL FISHER  Graciously
Returns to Your Home on DVD
January 4th in  
MANNIX  the Fourth
Season Guest starring
Brock Peters,
Juanita Moore, Virginia Capers,
Albert Popwell, Kim Hamilton from
CBS Home Entertainment /
Paramount Home Entertainment
Gail Fisher, who co-starred on the
popular series
"Mannix" for eight
years, died of cardiac arrest in a Los
Angeles hospital, December 2, 2000.  
She had emphysema and was
diabetic. The death certificate said
cardiopulmonary arrest.  She was 65.  

Gail Fisher, born August 18, 1935  in
Potter's Crossing, NJ was one of the first Black perfor-
mers to land a national television commercial when, in
1963, she became a spokesperson for
All Detergent.  
However, it was as Peggy Fair on the hit drama
with Mike Connors that brought her international
attention. On that show, which ran from 1967-75.  
Fisher won an Emmy and two Golden Globe awards.
In 1968, she made guest appearances on several TV
series like  
My Three Sons, Love, American Style, and
Room 222. As a young woman,
she also worked as a model.
Gail Fisher
Running Time: 1216
S.R.P.: $54.99CBS
Home Entertainment /
Paramount Home
BET Recognizes Six Exceptional
Individuals That are Legendary in
Music, the Arts, Service and Education
in the Fourth Annual BET HONORS
Saturday, January 15 Premieres on
Mon Feb 21, at 9PM
Hosted by actress Gabrielle Union for the 3rd year and
taped at the historic Warner Theater in Wash- ington, DC,
BET HONORS  Cicely Tyson (Theatrical Arts),   Oscar
award-winning actor/musician comedian
Jamie Foxx
(Entertainer) supermodel/entrepreneur
Iman (Service),
publishing mogul
Linda Johnson Rice (Media), musician
composer Herbie Hancock and historian /educator Lonnie
G. Bunch (Education).  
BET Honors  premieres Mon Feb 21,
at 9PM
NEW YORK - Bassist, producer,
composer, and all-around
Marcus Miller has
been a student, leader, creator,
interpreter, master,and a mentor
in the art form of music from his
teen years to the present and he
continues this legacy with
Night in Monte-Carlo
, a live
audio document of an amazing
Marcus Miller Continues His Legacy
February 1, 2011 With Both His Quartet
and the
Monte-Carlo Philharmonic
In  With New CD Titled - A
Roy Hargrove and singer,
songwriter/guitarist Raul Midón
concert he was commissioned to perform on November 29,
2008 in the “rich man’s playground” of Monaco.  It features
Marcus leading both his quartet and the Monte-Carlo
Philharmonic Orchestra, with special guests: trumpeter Roy
Hargrove as well as singer, songwriter and guitarist Raul

A Night in Monte-Carlo closes with two very special pieces.
The first is Marcus’ reverent yet contemporary interpolation of
the spiritual “Amazing Grace” which he calls “Your Amazing
Grace” that features him on an instrument that has fast
become his most singular voice, the bass clarinet.

That is followed by  “Strange Fruit,” recorded in his Los
Angeles recording studio. The title metaphorically conjures
the bodies of black men, women and child lynch victims
hanging from trees in the American south in the not so
distant past. It is an image and meditation that Miller brings
to highly emotive recall in his musical history lesson for
orchestra, crying its blues through his mournful bass clarinet
accompanied by the piano of his frequent friend and
Herbie Hancock.
Fourplay’s      Let’s Touch the Sky
Features Guitarist Chuck Loeb Guest
Soloists Anita Baker & Ruben Studdard,
Let’s Touch the Sky, FOURPLAY's ’s new
recording on Heads Up International, a
division of Concord Music Group is the
first to feature guitarist Chuck Loeb, who
joined the group early 2010 after the
departure of Larry Carlton to pursue a
solo career.Guest vocalists Ruben
Studdard and Anita Baker appear on the soulful “Love TKO”
and the dreamlike “You’re My Thrill".  The four-man crew
includes keyboardist Bob James, bassist/vocalist Nathan
East and drummer/percussionist Harvey Mason.
Legendary CBS anchorman Dan
Rather joins Kansas City Public
Library Director Crosby Kemper III
for a public conversation about
his new memoir, Rather
Outspoken: My Life in the News
For nearly 60 years, Rather has witnessed, reported
on, and sometimes been a factor in some of the
biggest news stories of our time, including the
assassination of John F. Kennedy, Watergate, and the
Gulf War   For 24 years Rather anchored the CBS
Evening News.  Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Reception at 6 PM.
Show starts at  6:30pm
Central Library 14 W 10th St.
Kansas City, MO  64105
the film opens
September 28, 2012
A powerful story of family,
friendship, love, honor and
End Of Watch stars
Academy Award® nominee Jake
Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as
young Los Angeles police officers
Taylor and Zavala as they patrol
the city’s meanest streets of
south central Los Angeles.  Giving
the story a gripping, first-person
immediacy, the action unfolds
through footage from the
handheld HD cameras of the
police officers, gang members,
surveillance cameras, and
citizens caught in the line of fire to
create a riveting portrait of the city  
the cops who risk their lives and
the price they and their families
are forced to pay.
Actress S. Epatha Merkerson-best
known as Lt. Anita Van Buren on TV’s
Law and Order-adds director and executive
producer to her credits with her debut
film The Contradictions of Fair Hope
She directed the film with Rockell Metcalf. Whoopi Goldberg
narrates Contradictions, which portrays one of the last
remaining benevolent societies. After Emancipation, the Fair
Hope Benevolent Society in Alabama, a self-help group, was
formed by freed slaves to take care of the sick, feed the hungry
and bury the dead. The film follows the group’s annual
celebration, which has devolved into the notorious outdoor
festival called the “Foot Wash.” It’s really an eye-opener.

The Contradictions of Fair Hope heads to film festivals this
summer, including the 14th Roxbury International Film Festival
(Boston), American Black Film Festival (Miami), Newark Black
Film Festival (Newark, NJ) and Martha's Vineyard African
American Film Festival.  The film features the music of
celebrated composer
Christian McBride.  
visit the website at http://contradictionsoffairhope.com
Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones)
are a devoted couple but decades of marriage have
left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with
her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple's
specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great
Hope Springs she attempts to persuade her skeptical
husband, a steadfast man of routine to get on a plane
for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the
stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough -
the real challenge for both of them comes as they
shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to re-ignite the
spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first
 In theaters August 10th from SONY.
Sometimes to keep the magic
You need to learn a few tricks
Marcus Miller Attends
Unveiling of Miles Davis Stamp
The unveiling of the Miles Davis stamp by Eduardo H.
Ruiz Jr., left, L.A. District manager of the USPS, and
Marcus Miller, right, with musicians, members
and friends of the Davis family during the U.S. Postal
Service dedication before a concert at the Hollywood
Bowl on June 27.
 Miller, a two-time GRAMMY winner,
returns to composing and exploring new music of his
own on
“Renaissance” with a new band of curious and
like-minded young musicians, and a mission to travel
the world to take the message of his musical movement
straight to the people.
Set for
release August 7 on Concord
 with eight original inspired
interpretations in song by WAR,
Janelle Monáe, The Jackson 5
and Ivan Lins.
in theaters October 26th
Screenplay MARC MOSS
ALEX CROSS follows the young
homicide detective/psychologist
(Tyler Perry), character  from
the worldwide best-selling
novels by James Patterson, as
he meets his match in a serial
killer (Matthew Fox).

The two face off in a high-stakes
game of cat and mouse but
when the mission gets personal
Tyler Perry's character Cross is
pushed to the edge of moral
and psychological limits in this
taut and exciting action thriller.
WILLIAMSON  Starring   
Matthew Fox,
Edward Burns, Rachel
Nichols and Jean Reno
Gerald Albright and Norman Brown diligently worked  
overtime to produce
24/7, their first album together and on  
June 19, 2012 for Concord Jazz, a division of Concord
Music Group together they  released ten killer soul-jazz
tracks that took them to the top of the Billboard Charts.  

Norman Brown’s critically acclaimed 2002 album, Just
Chillin’  won a GRAMMY® in the prestigious Best Pop
Instrumental Category.  The innovative and original
guitarist has been front and center in the fast evolving
fusion of pop, R&B and jazz that has captured the
imagination of music lovers  across the country and
around the world.  

During the ’80s,
Gerald Albright became a highly
requested session musician, playing on albums by a wide
variety of artists  including
Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Lola
Atlantic Starr, Olivia Newton-John, the
Temptations and Maurice White.  He toured extensively
Les McCann, Jeff Lorber, Teena Marie, the Winans,
Marlena Shaw
, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, and
went on to record numerous successful solo albums for
Atlantic Records.  Two albums hit the number one slot on
Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Chart, and were
nominated for GRAMMY® Awards in 1989 and 1990.

24/7 includes smooth jazz elements with R&B influences,
strong melodies and a groove oriented approach.  
Standout tracks include a remake of
 “Tomorrow,” a
Brothers Johnson classic from 1976, and the title
cut.  Albright’s daughter, Selina, contributes her vocal skills
to the well-polished and soulful title track (and later to
“Champagne Life”).  Selina actually wrote the lyrics.  It was
Albright’s decision to include “Champagne Life,” from
singer Ne-Yo’s album Libra Scale.
Gerald Albright & Norman Brown’s
"24/7" Debuts at #1 on Billboard’s
Contemporary Jazz Chart AND #1
on the Top Current Jazz Albums
LOS ANGELES, CA  - Four of
the most successful
performers in gospel music
Kirk Franklin, Marvin
Sapp, Donnie McClurkin and
Israel Houghton, announce
today that they will share the
same stage for the very first
time when they embark on
The King's Men concert tour
this fall.

The historic U.S. tour will hit
major venues in 15 U.S.
cities beginning on Sunday,
September 16th at Comerica
Theatre in Phoenix, AZ, and
culminating in Brooklyn, NY
at Barclays Center on
Sunday, October 14th.For
complete presale details

Between these four gospel
music giants, The King's
Men have taken home over a
hundred GRAMMY®, Dove,
Stellar, BET, Soul Train,
NAACP and American Music
Awards. They have appeared
on countless mainstream
television shows and moved
millions of fans at their
sold-out live concerts
nationally and internationally
and now for the first time
ever they bring all of their
incredible and inspirational
talents together under the
same roof for gospel, R&B
and pop music fans across
the country.
Kirk Franklin commented:   "The
opportunity to partner with Live
Nation is a GREAT honor and
responsibility. The genre of
gospel music having this kind of
massive marketing support is
monumental, and the talent on
this tour makes it a must-see
event! I'm very proud of this
relationship and I expect it to be a
new groundbreaking platform for
inspirational entertainment."  
Exclusive artist meet & greet and
VIP ticket packages are available.
Please visit http://vipnation.com
for details.
Wed Sep 19      Los Angeles, CA     Gibson Amphitheatre     
Sat, Sep 22       Concord, CA             Sleep Train Amphitheatre   
Tue, Sep 25      Dallas, TX                  Verizon Theatre
Wed, Sep 26     Houston, TX              Reliant Arena    
Fri, Sep 28        Atlanta, GA                 Chastain Amphitheatre    
Sun, Sep 30      Miami, FL                   AmericanAirlines Arena   
Tue, Oct 02       Tampa, FL                  USF Sun Dome    
Sat, Oct 06       Washington DC          Verizon Center  
Sun, Oct 07       Philadelphia, PA        Liacouras Center
Tue, Oct 09       Cleveland, OH            Wolstein Center  
Wed, Oct 10      Chicago, IL                  United Center
Fri, Oct 12         Detroit, MI                     Fox Theatre  
Sun, Oct 14       Brooklyn, NY                Barclays Center  
Saturday MAY 16
Directed By Dee Rees, Screenplay By Dee Rees And
Christopher Cleveland Bettina Gilois; Story By Dee Rees
And Horton Foote  Cast Includes Michael Kenneth Williams,
Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps,Tory Kittles,Tika Sumpter,
Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, with
Charles S. Dutton, and
Charles S. Dutton as
Ma Rainey's husband
Queen Latifah is
Bessie Smith
Debuting SATURDAY, MAY 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on
HBO, BESSIE is executive produced by Richard D. Zanuck,
Lili Fini Zanuck,
Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby
Stone and Randi Michel. Ron Schmidt produces.
Other HBO playdates: May 16 (1:15 a.m.), 17 (7:00 p.m.), 20
(10:30 a.m., 8:00 p.m.), 24 (1:30 p.m., 4:00 a.m.), 26 (3:00 p.
m., 11:45 p.m.) and 30 (9:45 a.m., 4:00 p.m.), & June 1 (9:
30 p.m.), 5 (1:00 p.m.), 10 (5:00 p.m.) and 13 (3:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: May 18 (2:00 p.m., 12:45 a.m.), 22 (9:00
pm.), 23 (4:00 p.m.) (1:00 a.m.), 28 (4:30 p.m.) and 31 (9:00
a.m., 9:00 p.m.)

BESSIE offers an intimate look at the determined woman
whose immense talent and love for music took her from
anonymity in the rough-and-tumble world of vaudeville to
the 1920s blues scene and international fame. Capturing
Bessie’s professional highs and personal lows, the film
paints a portrait of a tenacious spirit who, despite her own
demons, became a celebrated legend.
Branford Marsalis Quartet to Reissue John Coltrane's "A  Love
Supreme:Live In Amsterdam" May 26, 2015
In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of John Coltrane's Masterpiece,
historic Marsalis Music CD/DVD, including a full performance by the
Branford Marsalis Quartet at Amsterdam's esteemed Bimhuis plus
bonus interviews and audio-only disc, will be re-released on May 26 to
celebrate"A Love Supreme" album, released in February 1965.  For
Coltrane's A Love Supreme: Live In Amsterdam, label founder Branford
Marsalis and his quartet have been captured in a complete performance
of John Coltrane's 1964 recorded masterpiece. This legendary suite,
which tenor saxophonist Marsalis included on his label's premier
release, Footsteps of Our Fathers, was performed at Amsterdam's
Bimhuis during a European tour in March 2003.
"We felt that we were pretty much done with A Love Supreme when we went to Europe, but my
manager wasn't done with it," Marsalis recalls wryly. "After hearing us perform the suite at the Bottom
Line, she insisted that we had to film it so she approached Pierre about the project and he agreed."
Pierre Lamoureux, a filmmaker known for his expertise in musical subjects, has co-directed with his
brother many award-winning live musical films for artists including Harry Connick, Jr., Pat Metheny,
Rush, and Judy Collins. "Pierre cares about how his films sound as well as how they look,"
emphasizes, "and the combination of Pierre and the Bimhuis was too good to pass up."

Marsalis' acclaimed quartet of that time - with pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and
drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts - was all about the music as well, as they delivered a performance both
musically and visually riveting. As a bonus to the live performance, all four members of the quartet,
together with Marsalis' fellow saxophonists the now
late Michael Brecker, Miguel Zenón, Ned Goold
and David Sánchez, discuss the inspiration and the challenges presented by Coltrane's
composition. In addition,
Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane's late widow and the pianist in his last band,
is seen in a historical 30-minute conversation with Marsalis. An audio-only disc of the Bimhuis
performance is also included in the package.

A Love Supreme is considered by many to be the ultimate expression of the classic
John Coltrane
Quartet, and remains Coltrane's most popular album. Where Coltrane only performed the suite live
on one occasion, Marsalis and his band had several opportunities to play individual sections of the
piece as well as A Love Supreme in its entirety before hooking up with Lamoureux for video
documentation. "We definitely grew into the piece as we played it, which is why I'm so pleased that
Pierre caught us when we really understood it," Marsalis reports. "One thing about A Love Supreme,
it takes tremendous concentration and focus from every member of the band. The first time we
played the whole thing live, all we could do afterward was sit in the dressing room for 20 minutes,
totally exhausted. You don't see this band in that shape too often. By the time we got to the Bimhuis,
though, we were up to the challenge." For more information visit
The fourth season
of Mannix
chronicles the
weekly adventures
of private detective
Mannix (Mike
Connors) in Los
Angeles and his
faithful assistant

Peggy Fair
Meryl Streep Takes On A Whole New Gig August 7, 2015 As
A Hard-rocking Singer/Guitarist For
Director Jonathan Demme and Academy Award®-Winning
Screenwriter Diablo Cody in "Ricki and the Flash" From
Sony Tri Star Pictures
In an original and electrifying film loaded with live
musical performances,
Streep stars as Ricki
Rendazzo, a guitar heroine who made a world of
mistakes as she followed her dreams of rock-and-roll
stardom.  Returning home, Ricki gets a shot at
redemption and a chance to make things right as she
faces the music with her family.  Streep stars
opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer; Rick
Springfield, portraying a Flash member in love with
Ricki; Kevin Kline as Ricki's ex-husband; and
McDonald as Kline's new wife.
May 19, 2015 - NEW YORK – The Jazz Journalists Association has announced winners of its 2015 JJA
Jazz Awards for musical excellence in calendar year 2014 http://www.jjajazzawards.org/p/2015.html,
and released details about its annual public Jazz Awards party, at the
Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 W. 3rd
St., NYC, on June 16, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm. Tickets are available at http

Major sponsors of the 19th annual JJA Jazz Awards include the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation, Brother
Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale, Mack Avenue, Motéma Music, ECM and Resonance Records,
BMI and Berklee College of Music.
CATHY ROCCO To Perform Wednesday  8 & 10 PM May 27th @
KITANO  66 Park Avenue, East 38th Street NYC  10016
Resonance Records Recording artist Cathy Rocco's song interpretations are
uniquely hers, A seamless blend that draws equally from a myriad of Jazz, Blues
and pop. She sings with deep conviction that embodies her beautiful spirit and
dedication to her artistic vision. Her most recent CD entitled "You're gonna hear
from me" has been received and played in all the Jazz markets across the country.
Hailing from Pittsburgh and now living in Brigantine, NJ, this classically trained
pianist/vocalist, finds herself enjoying all aspects of her musical journey and
anticipates a new CD release in 2015.  "Cathy Rocco is a gritty and bluesy yet
introspective singer whose influences include Dinah Washington, Jimmy Scott,
Nancy Wilson, Marlena Shaw and Carmen McRae", - Alex Henderson- All Music.
Hear Cathy Rocco Sing -
I Never Went Away