Classically trained cellist-turned jazz vocalist Shana Tucker has been leading a double life this year. She’s been traveling back and forth between Nevada and North Carolina. In Las Vegas, she’s a part of the musical cast of the Cirque du Soliel show “Ka,” but Durham is still home for Tucker and this weekend, she’s back for a special concert where she’ll film scenes for a new music video. Tucker joins host Frank Stasio to perform live and talk about the bi-coastal life plus her new music projects.
Writer Sam Greenlee’s controversial 1969 novel “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” told the story of Freeman, an African-American man with CIA training, a militant spirit and a seething anger at America’s racial and social injustices. The book became a cult favorite and later a film.
The origins of the universe are being uncovered in Chapel Hill, NC thanks to Laura Mersini-Houghton, a cosmologist and theoretical physicist at the University of North Carolina. Her work delves even deeper into how our world came to be than the Big Bang theory.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris has turned his lens on flaws in America’s justice system before. His 1988 documentary “The Thin Blue Line” was pivotal in getting a wrongly convicted Texas man out of prison. Now, Morris is the author of a new book called “A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald”
A new exhibit called “Girl Talk” at CAM, the contemporary art museum in Raleigh, explores the way women use language and communicate through the work of nine female artists. Women, specifically girls, are perhaps the most innovative users of speech and they are heavily influential on overall language trends.
Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, NC in 1933. She was musically gifted from a young age and her experience singing gospel in the church influenced her jazz performance style that would later make Simone an international superstar. Simone also lent her voice to the Civil Rights Movement with powerful, socially conscious songs like “Young, Gifted and Black” and “Mississippi Goddamn.” While she found success as a performer and activist, Simone also suffered from mental illness, which tore apart her personal relationships.
Legend has it that Baldemar Velasquez led his first fight for migrant farmworkers’ rights at the age of 12. He started working in the fields at 4 years old and soon became a self-taught scholar of social justice. Today, Velasquez is the founder and President of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), a labor union that has battled against unfair wages and mistreatment of migrant workers since 1967. FLOC has a headquarters in North Carolina where Velasquez regularly rallies for better conditions for local laborers.
Before he even released his debut solo CD, hip-hop artist Killer Mike scored a Grammy with OutKast for the song “The Whole World” in 2003. Mike’s new project, “R.A.P. Music” is his sixth studio effort and one that showcases the wisdom that has come with aging in the music business.
Charlotte, NC is the host city for this year’s Democratic National Convention. That means thousands of supporters, protesters, reporters and delegates have poured into the Queen City in anticipation of President Barack Obama accepting his second party nomination.
Legend has it that architect Harvey Gantt fell in love with Charlotte, NC the moment he laid eyes on the city he would come to lead. Gantt, a Democrat, served two terms as Charlotte’s first African-American mayor before running for U.S. Senate against Republican Jesse Helms.