Friday Feb 12, 2016

Watch the first trailer for Cameron Crowe's ‘Roadies'

The film director and former music journalist has turned his attention to the small screen and to his past life for his first TV series, set to premiere in June"Roadies" is about a group of music technicians and much of what is expected to unfold on screen is going to have more than a hint of...
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TV

Watch the first trailer for Cameron Crowe's ‘Roadies'
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Watch the first trailer for Cameron Crowe's ‘Roadies'

The film director and former music journalist has turned his attention to the small screen and to his past life for his first TV series, set to premiere in June"Roadies" is about a group of music technicians and much of what is expected to unfold on screen is going to have more than a hint of reality about it. Many of the stories and the characters that will occupy the "Roadies" world are drawn from rock n roll legend or from Crowe's own experiences as an up-and-coming music writer in the 70s. The show is written and directed by Crowe and stars Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino and Imogen Poots. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Flipagram to offer extra privacy for Valentine's Day
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Flipagram to offer extra privacy for Valentine's Day

Popular app for video storytelling, Flipagram is adding a direct messaging feature.The app started out as a video-editing tool and grew organically into a social network for visual storytelling so it seems only fitting that some stories need to be captured but only shared with a select few. "While public sharing and social media continue to be powerful uses for Flipagram, increasingly we find people sharing more personal Flips with hand-selected audiences through private sharing options such as messenger, SMS or email," said Farhad Mohit co-founder and CEO of Flipagram. "By building Direct Messaging into Flipagram we've made it much simpler for private Flips to be shared with just the right audience, while keeping the conversations around these Flips on Flipagram where they are most immersively experienced." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Britain's Independent daily drops print edition: owner
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Britain's Independent daily drops print edition: owner

British newspaper The Independent will become digital only, and its last print edition will come out on March 26, owners ESI Media said in a statement on Friday.ESI Media said it was also selling off the "i" -- a cut-price sister title -- to fund the website of The Independent. "The newspaper industry is changing and that change is being driven by readers. They're showing us that the future is digital," said Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian-born British owner of The Independent, which was established in 1986. "This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high-quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers on our online platforms," he said. Like many newspapers, The Independent has struggled with falling readership numbers. It has a total circulation of around 60,000, according to the latest figures, making it Britain's least-read national paper. ESI Media, which also owns TV station London Live and the British capital's Evening Standard daily, said it would be "the first national newspaper to embrace a global, digital-only future". The company said it would launch a subscription mobile app and open new bureaux in Europe, the Middle East and Asia as well as expanding in the United States. "The Independent's last paper edition is expected to be on Saturday March 26 and the last Independent on Sunday is expected to be on March 20," it said. It added that "i" would be sold to publishers Johnston Press, subject to shareholder approval. "A significant number of employees are expected to move across to Johnston Press," it said, warning that there would be "some redundancies". Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Obama recites love poem to wife on national television
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Obama recites love poem to wife on national television

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Someone call the fire department. It's about to get hot at the White House. President Barack Obama, who is spending another Valentine's Day apart from his wife, Michelle, did the next best thing short of celebrating the lovers' holiday with her: On Friday's broadcast of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the president recited a love poem he says he had planned to deliver to the first lady in person. "Somebody call the Situation Room because things are about to get hot," said Obama as he stood in front of a red curtain and amid bouquets of red roses and white lilies as Barry White-style music played in the background. "Michelle, this Valentine's Day I'm going to treat you right. I'm going to make you some zucchini bread. Then I'll spread out some veggies on a plate just the way you like them," he said. "Then I'll give you a massage while you watch 'Ellen's Design Challenge' on HGTV. Because I love you so much, I Obamacare about you more than you even know." Turning serious, Obama said: "Michelle, I've made a lot of great decisions as president. The best decision I ever made was choosing you. Thanks for putting up with me. I love you." Obama taped the appearance on Thursday. Mrs. Obama surprised her husband earlier in the broadcast by popping up on tape to recite her own poem. Sunday is their final Valentine's Day as president and first lady. "Roses are red, violets are blue, you are the president and I am your boo," she said, joking about writing the ode while doing 100 pushups to help get her "creative juices" flowing. Obama also revealed that he has considered going out in disguise and talked about how hard it will be to send daughter Malia off to college in the fall. "She's one of my best friends. It's going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time, but she's ready to go," Obama said of his 17-year-old daughter, a senior at the exclusive Sidwell Friends School in Washington. "She's just a really smart, capable person and she's ready to make her own way." He said he declined an invitation to speak at her upcoming graduation. "I said 'absolutely not,' because I'm going to be sitting there with dark glasses, sobbing," Obama said. Obama, who for a long time has lamented the loss of anonymity that comes with the presidency, said he has thought about leaving the White House in disguise. But his good sense prevailed and he realized it wouldn't be a good idea. He says the Secret Service agents who protect him readily agreed. "This friend of mine who's a producer on Broadway, she sent me this this fake mustache and I thought this is probably a bad idea," Obama said. "I'd have to pin my ears back." When DeGeneres tells the president he's too recognizable to try to hide behind a mustache, Obama says: "That's a problem." Obama is in the midst of a weeklong visit to California. He spent Thursday raising money for Democrats and was likely to spend the weekend playing golf before welcoming Southeast Asian leaders to a summit beginning Monday at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, California. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Darlene Superville from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Queen: A Night in Bohemia' to get special cinema screening
Thursday Feb 11, 2016
'Queen: A Night in Bohemia' to get special cinema screening

On March 8, a never-before-seen documentary about British rock group Queen, plus footage of their legendary 1975 concert at the Hammersmith Oden in London, will be coming to over 200 cinemas around America."We are excited to bring a very special, one-of-a-kind concert experience to music fans across the nation. Cinema audiences will now have a front row seat to rock out at one of the most legendary concerts of all time, as we celebrate Queen and one of their most beloved songs," said John Rubey, CEO of Fathom Events, one of the organisation behind the screening. The concert in question has gone down in history as one of Queen's defining moments. Among the set list is the very first live performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody". However, alongside restored and remixed footage of the gig, fans will be treated to a new documentary on the group, which contains never-before-seen footage. Tickets for the event go on sale on Friday February 12. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

Next 'Star Wars' to be filmed in Croatia's Dubrovnik
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Next 'Star Wars' to be filmed in Croatia's Dubrovnik

The next "Star Wars" movie will follow in the footsteps of "Game of Thrones" with some scenes due to be filmed in Croatia's Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik next month, city officials said Friday.Shooting will take place in the medieval town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from March 9 to 16, a statement said, adding that the choice of the city would create a huge "marketing potential". The statement came as Dubrovnik mayor Andro Vlahusic visited Lucasfilm, the film production company that created the Star Wars franchise, in San Francisco on Thursday. From 2011, three seasons of the series "Game of Thrones" were filmed in Dubrovnik -- dubbed the "Pearl of Adriatic". The seventh Star Wars episode -- "The Force Awakens" -- quickly surpassed the $760.5 million (675.5 euros) record set in 2009 by "Avatar" to become the top-grossing film ever in the North American market. In mid-January the film had grossed more than $2.19 billion worldwide. The eighth instalment is to premiere in December 2017, according to Disney and Lucasfilm. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Autopsy reports found from 1929 Valentine's Day massacre
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Autopsy reports found from 1929 Valentine's Day massacre

CHICAGO (AP) — Written by hand, the autopsies on the seven bullet-riddled bodies vividly describe why the Valentine's Day massacre of 1929 is still considered Chicago's most infamous gangland killing. The reports were recently unearthed with inquest transcripts from a warehouse after eight decades, and the Cook County medical examiner's office is now considering how best to preserve and display them. Executive officer James Sledge, a local history fan and a Chicago native, said he felt a chill down his back when he first read the documents outlining the attack at a Lincoln Park garage that left seven men dead and more than 160 machine gun casings littering the scene. The attack, carried out by men dressed as city police officers, is widely believed to have been ordered by famed Prohibition-era gangster Al Capone. The crime was never solved. Shortly after Sledge joined the medical examiner's office in 2014, he asked for permission to look at the autopsy records. His staff took multiple trips to a Cook County government warehouse to find the reports, which were tucked away in a metal file cabinet. Sledge is weighing where the documents should be stored and how accessible they should be, he told the Chicago Sun-Times (http://bit.ly/1XnGk5E ) in a story published Thursday. "On the one hand, we want to have them readily available," Sledge said. "But we don't want them so accessible that we in some way anger some part of the population who feel we are not paying proper respect to the deceased." The victims of the Feb. 14, 1929 massacre were five men who were known gangsters working for Capone rival George "Bugs" Moran, an optometrist who was friends with Moran's crew and a mechanic at the garage that served as Moran's headquarters. They were gunned down by four men, two of whom were wearing police uniforms. Since there was no evidence of a struggle, it's believed that Moran's men thought it was a police raid. The documents that are now in Sledge's possession offer insight into the 87-year-old investigation of the unsolved crime. "The reports are very graphic about what happened," Sledge said. "You read about history, you talk about it, but to have something in your hands — it gives you an odd feeling." Those documents include an inquest interview with the optometrist's mother in which the coroner prepares her for the grisly state of her son's body. Other documents also outline the difficulties investigators faced while attempting to solve the crime, including witnesses who were too afraid to testify, the limits of forensic science and photographers who were eager to document the event. Sledge wasn't immediately available for comment Friday. Becky Schlikerman, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office, said the office is still considering what to do with the documents. The documents have to remain the property of the Medical Examiner's office because they are autopsy reports, she said. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Marvel superhero 'Deadpool' breaking international records
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Marvel superhero 'Deadpool' breaking international records

Ryan Reynolds' new movie "Deadpool" is off to a strong start at the international box office reports The Wrap, breaking opening records on the first day of its release abroad.The film is based on Marvel comic book superhero Deadpool, played by Reynolds, who recovers from surgery to find he has woken up with some bad side effects, and also superhero powers.  On just its first day of release outside of North America its has already taken in $14 million, and is looking to continue to dominate over the Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day weekend, with experts saying it could take in $70 million in North America over the long weekend.  "Deadpool" opened in numerous international territories, including the UK, Singapore, the Phillippines, Australia and Hong Kong on February 10 and 11, with US domestic previews starting February 11. Its general release commences on February 12. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

First Arab contender in 20 years opens Berlin film fest race
Friday Feb 12, 2016
First Arab contender in 20 years opens Berlin film fest race

A love story set against the aftermath of Tunisia's watershed revolution will kick off the competition at the Berlin film festival Friday as the first Arab contender in two decades.Hailing from the North African country that triggered the Arab Spring, "Hedi" is the debut feature-length film of Tunisian filmmaker Mohamed Ben Attia. It is the first film in Arabic and set in the Arab world since 1996 to vie for prizes at Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year. "It's not that I'm not ambitious, but I never imagined going to Berlin! All of us are surprised," Ben Attia told AFP. It is a rare achievement for any first-time filmmaker to be invited to the Berlinale competition. The only other debut feature in the race this year -- British theatre director Michael Grandage's "Genius" -- has an all-star cast including Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. "Hedi" will have its world premiere as one of 18 films from around the world vying for the festival's Golden Bear top prize, with three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep heading up the jury. Its tale of "emotional upheaval" echoes Tunisia's recent history, said Ben Attia, who turns 40 this year. But rather than impart a political "message", his movie describes a kind of personal revolution. - Wake-up call - The film's main character Hedi -- whose name means "serene" in Arabic -- "isn't unemployed, his family doesn't have any money problems... but he feels out of place in society", Ben Attia said. When he meets a tour guide called Rim and love strikes, Hedi (played by Majd Mastoura) begins to ask serious questions about the man he wants to be and his role in society. Ben Attia said he himself used to be a "conformist", selling cars for a living before launching into filmmaking. The wake-up call came on January 14, 2011 standing in the crowd outside the interior ministry demanding the removal of longtime dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. It was the end of an era "under censorship that we thought was only political, but in fact was (also) sedating everybody", he said. Protests swept Tunisia in late 2010 after the death of a street vendor who set himself on fire in protest at unemployment and police harassment, leading Ben Ali to flee the country. In his own "emotional upheaval" alongside the tumult wrought by the revolution, Hedi "discovers himself through a love story" and "detaches himself from conventions". He realises "he has another choice -- but then, after the euphoria, he discovers it's not all that easy", Ben Attia said. - 'Bit of a hangover' - Tunisia is hailed as a rare success story of the Arab Spring, although authorities have failed to improve the economy or do much to ease social exclusion. Authorities last month imposed a nationwide curfew to curb some of the worst social unrest since the revolution. "It's true we have a bit of a hangover," Ben Attia said. "We thought he (Ben Ali) just needed to leave for it all to get better. "We truly believed in this radical change, just as Hedi wants to believe in his love story." Political instability and jihadist attacks have taken their toll on Tunisia's vital tourism sector. In the film, after Rim (played by Rim Ben Messaoud) loses her job, the lovers start thinking about quitting the country. But the director said he has never contemplated leaving, especially as Tunisian films make waves abroad. "Tunisian cinema has been on the move. We've seen films that stand out, that are well received abroad and at home," he said. Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid's film "As I Open My Eyes" won the top award for fiction feature at the Dubai Film Festival in December. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Make them an offer they can't refuse: Puzo archive for sale
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Make them an offer they can't refuse: Puzo archive for sale

BOSTON (AP) — Make them an offer they can't refuse and a massive collection of "The Godfather" author Mario Puzo's papers can be yours. The 45-box archive, which includes multiple drafts with handwritten revisions to both the novel and the screenplay, is being sold by Boston-based RR Auction on Feb. 18. The collection covering Puzo's entire career includes manuscripts of his early books and late-career screenplays, and even his old typewriter. But there's no doubt that its thousands of pages of "Godfather" documents are the highlight. They shed light on the creative process, including the back and forth between Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola as they collaborated on the screenplay. "This is one of the neatest things I have ever seen in my job," said Tricia Eaton, RR's director of specialty catalogs. The scripts include some of Puzo's own scribbles and thoughts on what the American Film Institute called the second most famous movie quote of all-time, Marlon Brando, as Don Vito Corleone, saying: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." (The most famous movie quote is, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," from "Gone with the Wind.") In one manuscript, Puzo makes a change to the line: "He's a businessman. I'll make him an offer he can't refuse," scratching out the phrase "He's a businessman" and scrawling in: "I'll reason with him." In another, Puzo intensifies the famous line's ominous finality by crossing out a line of dialogue immediately following it. "It seems that Puzo and Coppola together simplified a lot of the dialogue from the book for the screen," Eaton said. "The way it came out in the movie makes it a little more like everyday gangster slang." Another fascinating piece of the collection is a letter from Puzo to Brando dated March 1970. Puzo envisioned Brando playing Corleone in the 1972 movie, but it almost never happened. Apparently thinking that Brando was out of the project, Puzo wrote the letter expressing his disappointment. "I'm sorry I wasted your time," Puzo wrote. "I still think it was a good idea. And thanks for taking the trouble to call and talk to me." RR executive vice president Robert Livingston said the collection is expected to sell for at least $400,000 at auction. The archive is being offered by Puzo's five children. Anthony Puzo, who was in his late teens when his father was writing "The Godfather," says the collection is full of memories, but he and his siblings are selling so it can be properly cared for. "Dad loved to live the high life, even when he couldn't afford it, and he was often in debt. He always used to say he'd be all right once he wrote his best-seller," Anthony Puzo said. ___ This story has been corrected to show the last name of the RR executive vice president is Livingston, not Livingstone. ___ Online: Mario Puzo collection, http://www.rrauction.com/bidtracker_detail.cfm?IN=4093 Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by MARK PRATT from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Q&A: Shatner boldly goes into Nimoy friendship in new memoir
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Q&A: Shatner boldly goes into Nimoy friendship in new memoir

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The walls and shelves inside William Shatner's office are covered with the kinds of memorabilia you'd expect from someone who's served for over 50 years as a pop-culture icon. There are framed awards, art pieces, posters for Montreal sports teams and covers of his past books. Shatner's latest memoir, "Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man," is out Tuesday. In the book, Shatner details his relationship with "Star Trek" comrade Leonard Nimoy, who died a year ago. When he's asked about one image in particular — a picture of Shatner, Nimoy and their late "Star Trek" co-star DeForest Kelley — he doesn't remember where or when the picture was taken. However, he's struck by their body language. In the photo, Shatner and Nimoy are smiling together off to one side, while the Dr. McCoy actor appears more serious away from the duo. "I suppose Leonard and I were closer than we were letting on even there," Shatner says with his eyes gleaming like he'd just discovered a new alien world. The 84-year-old actor-writer spoke with The Associated Press last week about his on-again, off-again relationship with Nimoy from behind the desk in his office. ___ AP: Why did you want to write a book about your relationship with Leonard? Shatner: It marks the period at end of this long paragraph of our lives together. I thought I needed to say this for myself, but it may be of interest to other people. AP: Why do you think you and Leonard were close? Shatner: We were so much alike and had so much in common — both in our personal and professional history — that we were able to speak on terms that we both understood. I never had that before. (He was) a brother I never had. That's how he and I referred to each other. AP: How difficult was it to revisit your relationship? There were highs but also lows. Shatner: It was very difficult to be entirely honest with myself. I think sugarcoating was a possibility, and I didn't want to do that. This is the truth, as I see it. I'm not going to be around for a great deal more time, and (the book) will hopefully define, if someone is interested, what these two actors felt. AP: Eventually, Leonard and you weren't on speaking terms with each other. How do you feel about not having any closure with him before his death? Shatner: I feel a great deal of sadness. Here was this great friend who had a problem with me, and I don't know what the problem is — no matter what I tried to do. Leonard had done that more than once with other people. It was his means of protecting himself, in some manner. I don't know what it was. It'll remain a mystery. AP: How do you feel about criticisms from people that this book capitalizes on his death and you shouldn't have written it? Shatner: I don't understand that. Why not? It happened to me. It didn't happen to them. I have made many stories, anecdotes and dramatic readings of things that have happened to me. AP: You're not in the next "Star Trek" movie, right? Shatner: No. AP: Have you seen the previews for it? It looks like Chris Pine's Captain Kirk is engaging in motorcycle stunts on an alien planet. Did your Kirk ever ride motorcycle? Shatner: I'm a motorcyclist. I have been for a good part of my life. Kirk has not been on a motorcycle. Kirk has been weightless and far exceeded being on a motorcycle. ___ Online: http://www.williamshatner.com Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Derrik J. Lang from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Jidenna talks snagging a Grammy nod and finishing his album
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Jidenna talks snagging a Grammy nod and finishing his album

NEW YORK (AP) — If ever you've laid eyes on Jidenna - the nattily dressed singer and emcee behind the Grammy-nominated anthem "Classic Man" - then certainly you remember him: He's straight out of a time machine with his fiery red hair, slicked into a dapper 1930s style, slim suits and a gold watch chain dangling from his pocket. His look is as distinct as his background. Born in Wisconsin to a "white hippie" mom and Nigerian father, Jidenna has also spent time in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. But he grew up in his father's Nigeria, the place where he first started turning heads as a young man. It's something Jidenna's mom reminded him of during a recent trip to South Africa, where he kept bumping into fans who recognized him. "My mom, she was saying (to my friends), 'It was kind of like this for Jidenna as a kid - and it wasn't because he was a celebrity. It was just because he looked different from everybody in his neighborhood,'" Jidenna said. "'Whether it was in Nigeria, whether it was in America. If he was in a predominantly white neighborhood, or predominantly black neighborhood, he would just stand out.'" Jidenna continues to stand out, and not just because of his unique style. There is also his head-turning and head-nod-inducing music: "Classic Man," which features Roman GianArthur, is nominated for best rap/sung collaboration at Monday's Grammy Awards. "Regardless of whether we win or not, that nod is a nod that inspires you to keep doing what you're doing," Jidenna said. The platinum song, which samples Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" and has a remix co-starring Kendrick Lamar, peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart; it reached No. 22 on the Hot 100. It was released last year on "The Eephus," an EP from by Janelle Monae and her Wondaland Arts Society crew, which includes Jidenna. The singer says he's busy working on his full-length debut album with input from Monae. "I feel good about where it's at right now," Jidenna said. "I'll show it to everybody else, and we'll see what the finishing touches are, and put it out sooner than later." As for whether fans can expect a guest feature from Monae, Jidenna said that is likely. Monae has been spending every day working on a project of her own, Jidenna said, and "I've been part of the process of her album . so I'm sure that some of our collaborations will end up either on my album or hers." Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by MELANIE J. SIMS from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

O'Farrill's Grammy-nominated CD expands US-Cuba dialogue
Friday Feb 12, 2016
O'Farrill's Grammy-nominated CD expands US-Cuba dialogue

NEW YORK (AP) — Arturo O'Farrill's Grammy-nominated "Cuba: The Conversation Continues" just happened to be made in Havana by American and Cuban musicians at a dramatic turning point in relations between the two countries. The pianist and composer had brought his New York-based Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to record for the first time in Cuba in December 2014 when during a rehearsal they heard Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announce plans to normalize relations. "We were just stunned, none of us expected this," said O'Farrill, interviewed by telephone from his Brooklyn home. "Every musician in the room was electrified by their presence in such an historic moment and moved emotionally. I think there were a lot of inspired performances." The 55-year-old O'Farrill returned to Havana in December, arriving just days after his double-album received two Grammy nominations. O'Farrill's orchestra had previously won two Grammys for Best Latin Jazz Album, but he felt particularly gratified to see his orchestra nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album at Monday's awards ceremony in Los Angeles. His nomination for Best Instrumental Composition — for "The Afro Latin Jazz Suite" — has a more personal meaning. He calls the album's centerpiece "a loving tribute" to his father, Chico O'Farrill, a bandleader, composer and arranger who played a key role in the emergence of Latin Jazz in New York in the late 1940s and early 1950s. His masterpiece, "The Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite" was recorded in 1950 by Machito's orchestra with bebop pioneer Charlie "Bird" Parker on alto sax. O'Farrill says his composition, commissioned by Harlem's Apollo Theater, was inspired by his father's suite, sharing its experimental spirit. Chico O'Farrill left Cuba for New York in 1948. After Fidel Castro took power in 1959, he never returned to his homeland "which was very heartbreaking for him" and died in 2001, O'Farrill said. O'Farrill began traveling to Cuba in 2002 to perform, sometimes bringing his two sons, Adam, a trumpeter, and Zack, a drummer, who both play on the new CD. O'Farrill believes that normalizing relations offers hope of a better life for ordinary Cubans. He wants the U.S. to lift its economic embargo imposed in 1962, calling it "one of the great injustices in the world" because it has "only hurt the little people" while the communist government remains in place. But a prominent Cuban musician, saxophonist-clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, says the normalization only serves to legitimize "a failed and cruel regime" that continues to oppress the Cuban people. His marriage was destroyed after he sought asylum during a 1980 European tour and his wife and son were barred for years from leaving Cuba. D'Rivera sees little benefit to the "jazz diplomacy" practiced by American "Cuba lover" musicians. "It is indeed undeniable that young Cuban musicians ... might be very happy to be close to the Americans," he wrote in an email. "But what President Obama and his 'normalizing' supporters don't want to understand is that the goal in Cuba should never be just to improve the quality of life on Castro's ruined, unproductive plantation, but to free the slaves at once!" O'Farrill says he doesn't endorse the Castro regime, but opposes isolating Cuba because he cares about Cuban people. "You're going to tell me that things aren't right in Cuba and so we shouldn't engage. It's lunacy," said O'Farrill. "Look outside your door and see the inhumanity of Americans ... that we perpetrate on a daily basis in our lives ...and then tell me that you're going to isolate Cuba as an example. I'm sorry that's unacceptable." O'Farrill says his album was intended to continue a cultural conversation that began in 1947 when Cuban conga player Chano Pozo joined bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's band, bringing together Afro-Cuban music and American jazz. For his album, O'Farrill brought in composers from Cuba (Alexis Bosch, Michel Herrera and Bobby Carcasses) and the U.S. (Michele Rosewoman, Dafnis Prieto and Bobby McIntyre), whose pieces covered a wide stylistic range from Cuba's traditional guajira music to progressive jazz. "I went to Cuba with open arms to learn from Cubans, thank them and really truly collaborate with huge amounts of respect for my Cuban counterparts," said O'Farrill. "If anything, that's the message this album carries." ___ Online: www.arturoofarrill.com ____ Follow Charles J. Gans at www.twitter.com/chjgans. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Charles J. Gans from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Mick Jagger on Grammy nod for James Brown doc, Amy Winehouse
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Mick Jagger on Grammy nod for James Brown doc, Amy Winehouse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mick Jagger is getting Grammy love this year, but it's not for his music — it's for his film producing. The icon is nominated for best music film for producing the documentary "Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown," directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and aired on HBO in 2014. "Well, it's great. Actually, I didn't even know they gave Grammys (for this)," a laughing Jagger told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. "I kind of missed that category." Monday's Grammy Awards air a day after the Jagger-produced series about the music industry in the 1970s, "Vinyl," debuts on HBO. The rock veteran has earned two Grammys in his career, both with The Rolling Stones in 1995. This year, his competition for best music film includes critically acclaimed documentaries on Nina Simone ("What Happened, Miss Simone?") and Amy Winehouse ("Amy."), both of which also are nominated for best documentary Oscars. "Yeah, I thought the Amy one was really good. I imagine that's going to win because everybody loved that so much," Jagger said. "I haven't seen Nina Simone and I love Nina Simone and I met her quite a few times. She was an interesting character," he added. "But I must check it out." Jagger shares his Grammy nomination with Gibney and co-producers Victoria Pearman, Peter Afterman and Blair Foster. "From a musical point of view, that documentary is really interesting 'cause all the musicians talk about what it was like working with him — good and bad," Jagger said of the Godfather of Soul, who died in 2006 at 73 (Jagger also produced the 2014 biopic on Brown called "Get On Up.") "Musicians say to me, 'I found it really fascinating,' so ... I'm really pleased with that film. I think it's really good." Roger Waters' "The Wall" and Foo Fighters' "Sonic Highways" are also up for best music film at the Grammys, to be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Jagger won't attend the show since the Stones are on a tour in Latin America. "It's a good category and there's really good films in that category, so let the best man or woman win," he said. The Grammys air at 8 p.m. EST on CBS. ____ Online: http://www.rollingstones.com/ http://www.grammy.com/ Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mesfin Fekadu from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Gwen Stefani unveils new single 'Make Me Like You'
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Gwen Stefani unveils new single 'Make Me Like You'

Gwen Stefani has revealed the first single from her new solo album."Make Me Like You" will be the first single to be released from "This Is What The Truth Feels Like", the singer's first album in since "The Sweet Escape" back in 2006. Stefani revealed on Instagram this week that she will make history by being the first artist to shoot a live music video for the single at next week's Grammy Awards.  The full tracklist of the album, out March 18, can be found below: "Misery""You're My Favorite""Where Would I Be?""Make Me Like U""Truth""Used to Love You""Send Me a Picture""Red Flag""Asking 4 It""Naughty""Me With Out You""Rare"The tweet in which Stefani announced her album can be seen here: https://twitter.com/gwenstefani/status/697208572984238080 You can listen to the new single now here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sopv7a_kkF0 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.