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Authors & Artists Magazine features a broad spectrum of news, profiles, information, calendar of events and interviews with authors, actors, visual and performance artists, art galleries and museums around the world.


Authors & Artists Magazine also features movie trailers, casting calls, directories of production companies, talent agencies and publicists for the entertainment industry. 

 

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ART PROFILE: Silas Onoja

Some of Artist Silas Onoja's paintings from his FREEDOM series. 
Oil on canvas paintings.


ABOUT SILAS ONOJA
Silas Onoja is a Nigerian contemporary artist born in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. He grew up as a kid who loves drawing and had so much passion for art. He studied fine art at the Benue State Polytechnic, Benue, Nigeria. He majors in painting and specifically more interested in realistic paintings. He likes creating realistic and lifelike paintings that pull on emotions and draws attention.


Onoja began creating works of art professionally in 2016. Since then he has created many exquisite pieces purchased by collectors around the world. He has participated in both joint and solo exhibitions. He uses his art as a medium of self-expression and a way of driving important cultural messages.


Learn more at https://silasonojaarts.com/
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Blood On Black Wall Street: The Legacy Of The Tulsa Race Massacre

Ahead of the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, Trymaine Lee travels to the neighborhood once known as Black Wall Street, where residents say the effects of the devastating violence endured for generations, and Black Tulsans are left asking, "What does justice look like after 100 years?"

Mindi Abair: WILD HEART

Mindi Abair: 

Wow, in one week I celebrated my birthday, my anniversary and the 7-year release of my Recording Academy / GRAMMYs-nominated CD WILD HEART. WILD HEART was released on this day seven years ago (May 27, 2014). It marked my fourth release on Concord Records, Heads Up International. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album chart, staying there for two weeks.

WILD HEART received a 2015 Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Instrumental Album category, my second Grammy nomination.

More songs from my new cd The Best of Mindi Abair are from Wild Heart than any other single album in my catalog.

WILD HEART was recorded in late 2013 and early 2014 at several studios including Manifest Music in Santa Monica, CA, Elevated Basement Studio in Savannah, GA, Morrisound in Tampa, FL and Skip Saylor Studios in Northridge, CA. The album features several of my good friends as guest musicians, including Max Weinberg, Gregg Allman, Booker T. Jones, Keb' Mo', Joe Perry and Trombone Shorty. They made me better and helped me show all of me on this recording. WILD HEART had me stepping away from my traditional smooth jazz style, for a more rock n roll-influenced sound.

Critics often commented on the different sound of the album:

James Woods of axs said "WILD HEART's roots actually go back to when Abair found herself 'moonlighting' - performing a lot of rock and roll, blues and organic music. So it should come as no surprise that sharing the stage with the likes of Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Duran Duran would eventually be absorbed into her musical psyche. And it was those experiences that inspired Abair to want to capture the mojo she's been holding in for so long."

Jazz Weekly said, "Abair's sax growls, grunts and grinds like it's a smoky joint in Lafayette, Louisiana, with more gristle than a T-Bone steak at The Pantry."

And AllMusic said of the album; "Though it pays unapologetic tribute to retro inspirations, it does so with 21st-century sophistication, a gritty, raucous spirit, and exceptional creative imagination."

TRACKS

1. Amazing Game (featuring Trombone Shorty, co-written with Jim Peterik)

2. I Can't Lose

3. Wild Heart

4. Haute Sauce

5. Train (co-written with Jim Peterik)

6. Game On (featuring Joe Perry)

7. I'll Be Your Home (featuring Keb' Mo')

8. The Shakedown (featuring Max Weinberg and Waddy Wachtel)

9. Kiddo's Revenge

10. Addicted to You (featuring Booker T. Jones)

11. Just Say When (featuring Gregg Allman)

You can also find "I'll be Your Home", "Wild Heart", "Haute Sauce" and "Just Say When" on my just-released "Best of Mindi Abair" album.

PERFORMERS

Mindi - vocals, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, hand claps

Adam Berg - piano, organ, tambourine, synthesizers, hand claps

Lance Abair - organ

Dave Yaden - piano, composer

Booker T Jones - Hammond b3

Gregg Allman - Hammond b3, vocals, guitar

Itai Shapira - guitar, bass, tambourine, hand claps

Dave Burris - guitar

Joe Perry - guitar

Waddy Wachtel - guitar, composer

Kevin Scott - bass

Elizabeth Lea - trombone

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews & Orleans Avenue - trombone

Todd Simon - trumpet

Dave Colie - drums

Jake Najor - drums

James Gadson- drums

Max Weinberg - drums

Bud Harner - crash cymbal

Jim Peterik - percussion, composer

Album Package Design – Patty Palazzo

Engineers – Adam Berg, David Burris, Itai Shapira, Jim Morris, John Wydrycs, Shane Baldwin

Assistant Engineers – Allen Franco. John Silverman, Kevin Coen

Executive Producers – Bud Harner, John Burk

Management – Bud Harner

Mastered By – Paul Blakemore

Mixed By – Adam Berg

Photography By – Greg Allen

Producers – Adam Berg, Itai Shapira, Todd Simon, Mindi Abair

Horn Arrangements - Todd Simon

You can buy copies of my Wild Heart CD and signed copies of The Best of Mindi Abair CD on my website http://www.mindiabair.com/shop

Authors & Artists Magazine

Music 

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Gladys Knight & The Pips

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Steeped in the gospel tradition like so many early R&B groups, Gladys Knight & the Pips topped the Billboard R&B chart for the first time in 1961 with "Every Beat of My Heart" and later in the decade developed into one of Motown's most dependable acts, responsible for 11 Top Ten R&B hits from 1966 through 1972, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "The Nitty Gritty," "If I Were Your Woman," and the Grammy-winning "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)." The group doubled its quantity of Top Ten R&B hits with the Buddah label through 1978, with second Grammy winner "Midnight Train to Georgia," "I've Got to Use My Imagination," and "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" accounting for a streak of chart-toppers off the gold-selling album ImaginationKnight & the Pips remained together through the '80s, a period that entailed the additional R&B Top Ten entries "Landlord," "Save the Overtime (For Me)," and the Grammy-winning "Love Overboard," and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following decade. Having released her first two Pips-less albums during the late '70s, Knight began a full-time solo career during the early '90s. The singer's solitary discography includes an assortment of adult contemporary R&B, gospel, and jazz recordings, highlighted by the Grammy-winning 2001 album At Last and awarded collaborations with Saints Unified Voices and Ray Charles. Among Knight's later releases is the 2014 Top Ten gospel album Where My Heart Belongs. She remains an active performer.

Gladys Knight, her brother Merald "Bubba," sister Brenda, and cousins Eleanor Guest and William Guest formed their first vocal group in their native Atlanta, Georgia in 1952. Calling themselves the Pips, after their cousin James "Pips" Woods, the youngsters sang supper-club material from Monday through Saturday and gospel music on Sundays. They first recorded for Brunswick Records in 1958, releasing the single "Whistle My Love." Another cousin of the Knights, Edward Patten, along with Langston George, were brought into the group the following year when Brenda and Eleanor left to get married. Three years elapsed before the Pips' next sessions, which produced a version of Johnny Otis' "Every Beat of My Heart" for the small Huntom label. This song, which highlighted Knight's bluesy, compelling vocal style, was licensed to Vee Jay Records when it began attracting national attention, and went on to top the U.S. R&B chart and reach the pop Top Ten. By this time, the group, now credited as Gladys Knight & the Pips, had signed a long-term recording contract with Fury Records, where they issued a re-recording of "Every Beat of My Heart" that competed for sales with the original release. Subsequent singles such as "Letter Full of Tears" and "Operator" sealed the group's R&B credentials. A switch in 1964 to the Maxx label -- where they worked with producer Van McCoy -- generated minor hits with "Giving Up" and "Lovers Always Forgive." Langston George retired from the group in 1962, leaving the four-strong lineup that survived into the '80s.

In 1966, Gladys Knight & the Pips signed to Motown Records' Soul subsidiary, where they were teamed up with producer/songwriter Norman WhitfieldKnight's tough vocals distinguished them from Motown's pop-soul roster. Between 1967 and 1968, they had major R&B and minor pop hits in the U.S. with "Everybody Needs Love," "The End of the Road," "It Should Have Been Me," and "I Wish It Would Rain," but enjoyed most success with the original release of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," an uncompromisingly muscular performance of a song that in 1969 became a Motown standard in the hands of its author, Marvin GayeGladys Knight & the Pips' version topped the R&B chart for six weeks at the end of 1967 and also reached number two on the pop chart.

The group enjoyed further R&B and pop hits at the end of the decade with "Didn't You Know (You'd Have to Cry Sometime)," "The Nitty Gritty," "Friendship Train," and "You Need Love Like I Do (Don't You)," while the poignant "If I Were Your Woman" was one of the label's biggest-selling releases of 1970 and provided the group with its third R&B chart-topper. In the early '70s, Knight & the Pips slowly moved away from their original blues-influenced sound toward a more middle-of-the-road harmony blend. Their new approach brought them success in 1973 with the smash hit "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" (number one R&B, number two pop, and a Grammy winner for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals), while further hits during this period included "I Don't Want to Do Wrong," "Make Me the Woman That You Go Home To," "Help Me Make It Through the Night," and "Daddy Could Swear, I Declare."

In late 1973, Gladys Knight & the Pips elected to leave Motown for Buddah Records, unhappy with the former label's shift of operations from Detroit to Los Angeles. At Buddah, the group found immediate success with "Where Peaceful Waters Flow" and "Midnight Train to Georgia," an arresting soul ballad that topped the R&B and pop charts (and won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals). Major hits such as "I've Got to Use My Imagination" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" (R&B chart-toppers and pop Top Five hits) mined a similar vein. In 1974, the group performed Curtis Mayfield's soundtrack songs for the movie Claudine, spawning the major hit "On and On," and the following year the title track of I Feel a Song gave them another R&B number one. Their smoother approach was epitomized by the medley of "The Way We Were/Try to Remember," released in 1975, the same year that saw Knight and the group host their own U.S. television series.

Gladys Knight made her acting debut in Pipe Dreams in 1976, for which the group recorded a soundtrack album. Legal problems then dogged their career until the end of the decade, forcing Knight & the Pips to record separately until they could sign a new recording contract with CBS Records. Knight enjoyed minor R&B hits at the end of the decade with the solo singles "I'm Coming Home Again" and "Am I Too Late," and during this period released her first two solo albums, Miss Gladys Knight and Gladys KnightAbout Love in 1980 teamed the reunited group with the Ashford & Simpson writing/production partnership, and resulted in strident pieces of R&B social commentary in "Landlord" and "Bourgie Bourgie." Subsequent releases alternated between the group's R&B and MOR modes, generating hits such as the R&B chart-topper "Save the Overtime (For Me)" and "You're Number One in My Book" (both 1983). In 1985, Knight appeared on the chart-topping and Grammy-winning pop hit "That’s What Friends Are For," alongside Elton JohnDionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder. After a move to MCA Records in 1986, "Love Overboard" demonstrated that Gladys Knight & the Pips could work equally well in both R&B and pop genres, taking the group back to the top of the R&B chart and into the pop Top 20 at the end of 1987. The latter song earned them a Grammy Award for the Best R&B Performance in early 1989, the year the group enjoyed two final R&B hits with "Lovin' on Next to Nothin'" and "It's Gonna Take All Our Love."

In 1989, Gladys Knight & the Pips parted company following a tour. Merald remained with his sister when she achieved a U.K. Top Ten hit that year with the James Bond movie song "Licence to Kill" (her highest U.K. chart position since Gladys Knight & the Pips' 1977 Top Five hit "Baby Don't Change Your Mind"). Knight's third and fourth albums, Good Woman and Just for You, followed respectively in 1991 and 1994. The former topped the R&B chart and the latter peaked at number six and went gold. She scored her last Top Ten R&B hit in 1996 with "Missing You," a collaboration with Chaka KhanBrandy, and Tamia, recorded for the soundtrack of Set It Off. The same year, she and the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Eleanor Guest died of heart failure the following year. Released in 2001, Knight's sixth solo album, At Last, made her a solo Grammy winner when it won the award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album. In 2004, she won a Grammy in the category of Best Gospel Performance with the Ray Charles collaboration "Heaven Help Us All." One Voice, a collaboration with Saints Unified Voices, won the award the following year for Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album. Later that year, Edward Patten died from diabetic complications.

Knight's periodic subsequent recordings have alternated between contemporary gospel and adult contemporary R&B, and temporarily changed course in 2006 with Before Me, a set of jazz standards recorded for the Verve label. The next year, Langston George died of heart failure. Knight resumed performing, including a tour intended to be her U.K. farewell in 2009. She released Another Journey and the Top Ten gospel LP Where My Heart Belongs during the first half of the 2010s. William Guest died of heart failure in 2015. Knight has continued to perform, including extensive touring across the U.K.

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