Sandra and Tim Rand to be honored at Muntu’s concert gala

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The coveted 2010 Alyo Award goes to Sandra and Tim Rand on Dec. 3 at Muntu Dance Theatre’s Annual Gala (dinner, silent auction and concert) at Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S. Ingleside.

The coveted 2010 Alyo Award goes to Sandra and Tim Rand on Dec. 3 at Muntu Dance Theatre’s Annual Gala (dinner, silent auction and concert) at Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S. Ingleside (free parking). The popular and charitable Kenwood duo is being cited for their generous ongoing financial support of the dance theatre. The gala is the second night of “Dancing in the Spirit,” a four-night concert series (Dec. 2-5) which features a new work, Gye Nyame, choreographed by Ronald K Brown, artistic director of Evidence: A Dance Company. Gye Nyame is the West African Adinkra symbol meaning "Omnipotence of God," an exploration of how “we aim to live God-like, with the understanding that He/She is everywhere and works in the world, thru us, as us.” Traditional music is employed to create the physical journey beginning with prayer and leading to celebration and liberation that can be found in a faithful walk.

Other works include Pearl, two historical and dynamic works by legendary dancer, Dr. Pearl Primus; A Negro Speaks of Rivers, an interpretation of Langston Hughes’ poem and Hard Time Blues, performed to the music of Josh White. The original choreography was created in 1943 by Dr. Primus and remounted this year by Kim Bears-Bailey. Pearl costumes were designed by award winning Vaune Blalock. Musical presentations include Sounds of Sabar arranged by Muntu’s master drummer Aly M’Baye and a Djembe Drum Talk, Djalli Wasso Tam-Tam. The concert also includes selections from Muntu’s repertoire of dance, music and song.

Friday’s Gala VIP ticket prices are $75; concert only, $35. For opening night, Saturday and Sunday group and senior discounts and showtimes, call Lynn Stevenson, (773) 241-6083, for more info. Sponsors; Kraft Foods, PNC Bank, WBEZ 91.5, Chicago Defender, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ill., National Endowment for the Arts/American Masterpiece, Ill. Arts Council, City of Chicago’s Dept. of Cultural Affairs, City Arts III and Gary Comer Youth Center.

Toy Drive! – The 100 Black Men of Chicago, chaired by Atty. John Kendall, has joioned with an all-star line-up of celebrity media gals – Bonnie DeShong (WVON-AM/1690), Bionce Foxx (formerly of WGCI-FM/107.5), Randi Knight (106.3) and Emilie McKendall ¡(WVON) – known collectively as “It’s Ladies Night” – for the 10th Annual Holiday Party & Toy Drive on Dec. 1, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., at Excalibur Night Club, 632 N. Dearborn, with music by Tracey Dion. Some of the 100 Black Men who immediately come to mind are Macy’s David Day, the Hyatt Regency’s Roosevelt Moncure, State Farm’s Craig Gilmore, Leak Funeral Home’s Spencer Leak Jr., and media guy Darryl Dennard.

Each year, this event raises thousands of dollars in toys and donations which are used to buy additional toys and personal necessities for women and children in homeless shelters and medical centers. Recipients have included women’s shelters, community outreach centers, and community health centers, i.e. Clara’s House, Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Boys and Girls Clubs and Komed Health Center. Bring a new unwrapped toy for a child 6-18 years old, minimum value $20; $25 at the door. Single moms admitted for half-price ‘til 7 p.m. Sponsor: State Farm.

Radio Talk ¡– While in Hyde Park on Saturday, I ran into Cecil Hale, a WVON legendary fixture and “good guy” from back in the 80s. After earning master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard Univ. and Union Institute., he’s now Dr. Hale, a professor and full-time faculty member in the City College of San Francisco’s Broadcast Electronic Media Arts Dept. He also is a by-courtesy professor in the Dept. of African-American Studies. Previously Hale was an active member of Hollywood’s entertainment industry where he was vice president and A & R and general manager of the Urban Music Division of Capitol Records.

His many executive producer credits include projects with Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson, Maze, Minnie Ripperton, Angela Winbush, Taste of Honey, George Duke and Nancy Wilson. He also was national director of promotion, publicity and urban music for Phonogram-Mercury Records of Polygram Group. Hale‘s broadcast media experience includes years as performer and programmer for several major market radio stations and of being a fixture in Chicago radio for a decade at WVON. His TV experience includes productions of many local educational projects and media advisor of network tv to the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the early ’80s. The much-sought-after speaker on media, race, new media and public policy was in Chicago for the HistoryMakers’ 10th anniversary gala that night at the Art Institute.

Newsy Names ¡ Congrats to school marm, Covette J. Hamilton! In book stores: her new children’s book, Begethie Wenferd Meets Blackbeard (Friesen Press) with colorful illustrations by Derrell Spicy. It’s the first in a series about a nine-year-old girl who falls asleep in the attic of her home and travels back in time to find herself aboard a pirate ship. The book’s available at Amazon.com and from your local bookstore

Ooops! My Bad! Apologies to Andrea L. Zopp, new president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. In last week’s Chicago Defender on the Seen on the Scene photo page, I mistakenly identified her as Angela instead of Andrea. Sooooo very sorry ‘bout that. It’s not as if I didn’t know better …

Sherri D. Weathersby (a.k.a. “Lady Bass”) a multi-talented musician whose true love is the bass guitar, can be seen on CAN-TV/Ch. 26’s Down to the Ground this Wednesday- Thursday at various times. (Check local listings.) Sherri comes from a family of musicians and over the years has played for all genres of audiences … Happy b’day to Jackie Todd, a fave cuz; Claudia Walker, Lauren Williams Gore, Archie Listenbee, Kevin Neilson Givens, Beverly Letcher, Bryan Johnson, Runako Jahi, Clarence Waldren, Marv Dyson, Peggy Austin, Edna Lucille Brown, Roz Varon, Henri Bryson (“Obie”), Sheila Henley, Marta Bailey, Doris Lowry, Johnetta Towns, Mattie Ree Smith-Eiland, Tricie Allen, Ebony Tillman and Woody Bolar Dr. Robert Weems, Univ. of Missouri history prof, lectures on Anthony Overton: Chicago Titan Ruling America’s First Black Conglomerate on Saturday, 1:30 p.m., at George Cleveland Hall Branch Library, 4801 S. Michigan, hosted by the Chicago Black History Forum and the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Committee. Dr. Weems is author of Black Business in the Black Metropolis: The Chicago Metropolitan Assurance Co., 1925-1985; Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the 20th Century; Business in Black and White: American Presidents and Black Entrepreneurship in the 20th Century.

Happy Thanksgiving! – I’m truly thankful for you and your ongoing loyalty and support of this scribe and of “Teesee’s Town.” May God continue to bless you this week with the love of family and friends.

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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