Monthly Archives: June 2016

Amber Riley Performs at the Pre-BET Experience Event on June 22, 2016

8b009bc0cfbda83128bf7a0e3ac4bfceOn Wednesday, June 22, 2016, B.O.E & Samurai presented “The MAJOR. Effect.” For the event, they presented singer Amber Riley and Grammy Award nominated mega-producer Harmony Samuel’s new artist MAJOR., as they performed exclusively at Hotel Café located at 1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

 Amber Riley as fans know, has appeared in shows such as Glee. She is also known for winning season 17 of Dancing with the Stars. MAJOR is the fresh new face and voice of soul-pop music, but he’s no stranger to the music industry having written for Ariana Grande, Nathan Sykes and EPIC Records’ “Think Like A Man Too” original motion picture soundtrack. Currently, MAJOR’s debut single “Why I Love You” is currently trending at #34 on the Urban AC Chart. There is a meaning behind his birth name MAJOR. (spelled with all caps and a period at the end) but even more purpose behind his music. The multi-faceted singer delivers a soulful-pop sound to the new age; while giving a mix between Bruno Mars meets John Legend with a hint of Maxwell on steroids. MAJOR.’s distinct voice and cool presence gives birth to a sexy aura that he exudes from the inside out.

This event is held just before the ground breaking BET Experience in LA. To listen to music by MAJOR, specifically, “Keep On” & “Why I Love You”, visit his page on Sound Cloud. For information on Amber, follow her on social media, via Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.
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Flix Premiere’s founder Martin Warner’s keynote at the 69th Festival de Cannes

Flix Premiere, CEO Martin Warner at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

 

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, CEO and Founder of Flix Premiere, Martin Warner addressed and discussed the future of online cinema during his keynote at the 69th Festival de Cannes and the Marché du Film’s NEXT program, the festival’s future of cinema forum. Warner was interviewed by Chief International Correspondent for Variety Magazine, John Hopewell.

During the discussion, Warner outlined new models for film distribution and online movie consumption. Warner also discussed how the new disruptive model of an online Cineplex will give movie audiences broader access to a greater variety of world-class movies and share updates on what Flix Premiere has achieved within the last year to democratize cinema.

This was Flix Premiere’s second event at the festival, following its debut at the 68th Festival de Cannes in 2015, when the company initially launched its mission to revolutionize the film industry by offering brand new movies anytime, anywhere.

Judith Davis in Cannes for the Flix Premiere launch

According to Warner, “Each year tens of thousands of movies are made worldwide, but only 5%of these movies find their audience or recover investment. The other 95%, albeit most of great movies, get lost in an archaic distribution system, without their audience knowing about them, Each great movie deserves a chance to be seen. Using an innovative movie curation system and marketing model that gives each of these films the spotlight they deserve, we can connect these movies to their audience worldwide and – at the same time – give online movie watchers broader access to the types of movies they crave to see.

In 2015, at the highly anticipated Flix Premiere pre-launch party, the company also announced their Democratize Cinema campaign. This campaign enables filmmakers, directors, producers, movie critics, and all movie-goers to become involved in a mission that aims to provide one true single point of discovery for great new movies. This campaign is truly driven to help all underappreciated and overlooked films finally realize their full potential. As of May 1, 2016, more than 105,000 people have signed the online petition, expressing their hunger for a single point to access a broad range of high quality films with a hotbed of emerging talent. “Great films should not be dependent on who is in the movie, which studio produced it, or how much it cost produce, but instead on the power of story, characters, resonance, relevance and much more,” stated Warner.

Flix Premiere is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur and film producer Martin Warner. The world’s first cineplex uses technology innovation to break traditional barriers and connect audiences with the work of talented filmmakers. Flix Premiere initiated its global roll-out with a soft launch in the UK, providing film viewers in the UK a new destination to discover movies across genres including drama, comedies, documentaries and animation. The platform is next set to launch in the US and other locations as well.

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Chef Michael Symon and Lipton team up for Lipton Bright Bites

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Photos used with permission by Michael Symon

With a hearty laugh and larger than life personally, Chef Michael Symon really does seem to cook with soul. Recently, Michael partnered with Lipton Tea for Chef Fest. This new partnership with Lipton consists of Michael hosting a series of experiential dining events at cities across the U.S.

With June being National Iced Tea Month and the Fourth of July festivities closely approaching, he has taken his own slant to tea-centric cooking. When asked about how he managed his busy career, he gave credit to his wife of 27 years and stated, “what a great partner she was to have in the restaurant business.”

As a result of Michael growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, he creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his restaurants in America’s heartland. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on Food Network and as a co-host on ABC’s The Chew. When he’s not working, Michael is riding his motorcycle, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard or spending time with his wife, Liz, and their Old English bulldog, Ozzy.

Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants;” in 2010, Michael was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints;” B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.”

When asked about one of his favored dishes, he quickly stated “The crispy chicken with honey and topped off with half and half ice tea.” He even included the recipe.

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Photos used with permission of Lipton and Michael Symon

Twice-Fried Chicken with Spicy Honey
By Chef Michael Symon
Serves 4-6
Ingredients
3 to 4 pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 cups Lipton Half and Half Iced Tea and Lemonade
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 bay leaves
6 thin slices lemon, seeds removed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 qt. lard or canola oil, for frying

Spicy Honey
1/2 cup Sriracha
1/2 cup honey
Whisk together and set aside for serving

Directions
Whisk together the Lipton Half and Half Iced Tea and Lemonade, honey, salt, bay leaves and lemon slices. Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate overnight. This can be done in a gallon-sized bag. The next day remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine.

This dish is perfect for backyard parties and other summer events. Fans of Michael Symon can check out his website. In addition, they can check out some his latest new via social media: Facebook,Twitter and Instagram. Also, fans of The Chew can see Michael and his co-hosts weekdays. And all summer long, people can enter to win a trip to one of the local Lipton Chef Fest events by visiting LiptonBrightBites.com.

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Amateur Night at Apollo: Nothin’ But Soul with special guest star Deborah Cox

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Singer Deborah Cox sings during Amateur Night at the Apollo.

On Wednesday, June 15th, in celebration of Black Music Month, the world famous Apollo Theater presented an especially “soulful” edition of its signature show with Amateur Night: Nothin’ But Soul. During this themed Amateur Night contestants payed homage to Soul and R&B legends who have graced the Apollo stage by giving performances that are based on the root of soul music. As a treat, GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Deborah Cox performed during this soulful night for the fans.

Deborah Cox is an award-winning singer/songwriter, Broadway star and philanthropist best known for her 1998 breakout smash hit “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” which set a record as the longest-running No. 1 R&B single in the United States, reigning the charts for 14 consecutive weeks. Deborah continued as a fixture on the top of the charts, with six Billboard Top 20 R&B singles in addition to an impressive 12 Billboard #1 U.S. Dance hits. Since then, the Grammy-nominated Canadian superstar has been pushing past boundaries, from her versatility as a vocalist to her activism work supporting charities for women in need and LGBTQ rights to starring in Broadway musicals Aida and Jekyll & Hyde. Her repertoire expands with her latest roles as two of her childhood heroes: the legendary Josephine Baker in the riveting Broadway-bound production Josephine and the Rachel Marron role in the upcoming live theatrical adaptation of The Bodyguard.

“Every year, during Black Music Month, we celebrate Amateur Night’s musical roots with our contestants all performing classic soul and R&B songs as a way of rekindling and preserving the rich musical history of soul music and its pioneers. We’re talking classics like James Brown, Chaka Khan, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and more,” said Amateur Night producer Marion J. Caffey. “And we are excited to welcome our special guest artist, Deborah Cox back to the Apollo stage. She’s a multi-talented artist and an incredible performer. It’s sure to be a soulful night!”
Comedian Capone hosts Amateur Night at the Apollo.

Comedian Capone hosts Amateur Night at the Apollo.

Since its inception in 1934, Amateur Night has been one of New York City’s most popular live entertainment experiences, launching the careers of thousands of performers and attracting audiences from all over the world. The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night has long been revered by artists as a transformative experience where up-and-coming talent feels the power of the legendary performers who have come before them, and where audience response can help make or break a career.

The show was hosted by comedian Capone. In addition, Amateur Night also featured staples like CP Lacey in the role of the “Executioner” (the character who sweeps “booed” contestants off the stage), Joe Gray the “Set It Off Man,” and the Apollo’s Amateur Night house band led by music director, Michael Mitchell.

While Amateur Night draws a large crowd each week, there are some night the Apollo grants guests an extra special night which is really mostly what the world famous Apollo Theater has always been know to do.

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The 2016 Spring Gala at The Apollo Theater

On Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7pm, The Apollo Theater held it’s annual Spring Gala. This year, the gala featured a star-studded line up for its 11th Annual Spring Gala—its biggest fundraising event of the year. The concert portion of the evening featured performances by legendary R&B group, The O’Jays, and rising star Leon Bridges and Andra Day and was hosted by LL COOL J.

8dba700a2f48429504d4daaf5ab302f2The Apollo Theater is a launching pad for up-and-coming artists through programs like Amateur Night, Apollo Music Café, and the new Apollo Comedy Club and, at this year’s Spring Gala; we’re excited not only to showcase the legends that have paved the way, but to also give a platform to the voices and talent of today. In addition to artistic programming and initiatives, our annual Spring Gala helps to support our educational programs that help nurture the creative spirit of music and culture in Harlem and across the world,” stated Jonelle Procope, president & CEO of The Apollo Theater.

Each year at the Spring Gala, the Apollo also recognizes a corporation for its outstanding philanthropy and community leadership. This year’s recipient of the Corporate Award is Viacom. Philippe Dauman, executive chairman, president and CEO of Viacom, will accept on behalf of the organization. The Award portion of the evening will be hosted by Jonelle Procope with the Corporate Award being presented by Charles Phillips.

Mr. Dauman said, “It is a great honor to accept the corporate award for community leadership from an institution as legendary as the Apollo Theater. Our organizations share a deep commitment to advancing creative voices in American culture and honoring African-American artists, and Viacom applauds their outstanding work.”

Apollo Theater CEO Jonelle Procope and Entertainment exec Richard Parsons.

Apollo Theater CEO Jonelle Procope and Entertainment exec Richard Parsons.

The Theater also announced that it will induct the one and only Prince into its Walk of Fame in honor of his incomparable contributions to music over the course of 40 years.

Prince joins previous Apollo Walk of Fame inductees—all legendary musicians, artists, and entertainers whose paths to fame included the Apollo, including: Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard and Ella Fitzgerald. Inductees are honored with a plaque on the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.

Procope states, “The Apollo family was of course, devastated to hear about the loss of Prince. He is, hands down, one of the greatest artists of all time – an absolute genius – and his relationship with the Apollo dates back to 1993. Over the years, we’ve been honored to host him, whether for a seminal New York performance or as a guest in our audience, so we are beyond thrilled to kick off this year’s Spring Gala by inducting him into the Apollo Walk of Fame.”

The Apollo Spring Gala began with a special ceremony to induct legendary recording artist Prince into the Apollo Walk of Fame which was held that afternoon, and continued with red carpet arrivals followed by an award ceremony and a concert with Musical Director Ray Chew (Dancing with the Stars) at the helm. The evening also included special tributes to the trailblazing artists that have been lost in 2016. The night culminated with a much buzzed about after party held in a stylish tent created by celebrity event planner and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck. This year’s after party featured a special Let’s Go Crazy Dance Tribute with DJ D-Nice spinning a dedicated set to the sounds of Prince’s diverse and extensive catalogue.

The 2016 Spring Gala event was a massive success with each year being as great as the next. For more information on the Apollo Theater, visit their website. You can also keep up with events via social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Investigation Discovery presents Detective Garry McFadden in I Am Homicide

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Photos used with permission for Investigation Discovery

On June 13, 2016, in NYC the professional yet charismatic detective Garry McFadden discussed the new series, “I Am Homicide.” During the interview, he talked about his experience and goals in solving crimes as well as helping the community as a whole.

When the streets talk, he listens. Where a crime scene has already been picked over, he can see things everyone else missed. Meet homicide detective Garry McFadden, the focus of Investigation Discovery’s all-new original series “I Am Homicide. After nearly three decades with the Charlotte Police Department, Det. McFadden has solved more than 700 homicide cases, resulting in a 90-percent success rate with the investigations he pursues. But his work doesn’t stop at protecting and serving the community of Charlotte. Chances are that when a call comes in, he knows the victim, the family, or even the perpetrator, because he has made it his mission to be one with the people of Charlotte, operating his investigations out of a local diner instead of the police precinct so he can truly get to know residents across the city and gain their confidence. Det. McFadden uses his street smarts to work the neighborhood networks and gather critical information for leads, at times risking his life by trusting the streets he calls home. I Am Homicide world premieres Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 10/9c only on Investigation Discovery.

Writer, Judith Davis and Detective Garry McFadden

Writer, Judith Davis and Detective Garry McFadden

During each one-hour episode, Det. McFadden opens his case files to reveal how his unorthodox investigation methods helped solve one of the most precarious cases of his career. Using recreations, archival footage and revisiting the scenes of his most renowned cases, McFadden will take you behind the curtain on the cases that not only defined his career but the community he lives in. He will go anywhere, talk to anyone, and follow any lead with or without backup assistance – all the while wearing the best suits in town. And, after thirty-five years on the force, retirement be damned, he shows no signs of slowing down.

Fans can also take a deeper dive each week when Investigation Discovery’s top-rated podcast, DETECTIVE, returns on June 7 for an all-new season featuring Det. McFadden. In each weekly installment of DETECTIVE, McFadden goes into detail about topics including his decorated career, cases that haunt him today, the legacy he wants to leave in Charlotte and his belief that community-based policing could diffuse contentious relations between law enforcement and the people they vow to protect.

For more information on this unconventionally detective, visit his website. Also, check him out on Twitter and Facebook. This shows seems to have the making of a hit with solutions for viewers and the families, they showcase.

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TV One Presents Love Under New Management, The Miki Howard Story

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Sylvia Rhone, Miki Howard, Teyonah Parris, Darrius McCrary for the Miki Howard Story movie.

On Tuesday, June 7th at the AMC Empire 25, located on 42nd Street, there was a reception, red carpet and advance screening of the TV One original movie of “Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story.”

This film is the first “Unsung” movie produced by TV One. Miki Howard has been one of the artists to have been a featured on the groundbreaking music docuseries. Now as a result of the high ratings and success of her particular story, the TV One series “Unsung decided to take a step further and make a movie.”

The Miki Howard Story follows the life and times of powerhouse R&B vocalist Miki Howard will see the light of day in June via a television biopic, tentatively titled ‘Unsung: The Miki Howard Story.” For the TV film, ‘Chi-Raq’ star Teyonah Parris stars as the tortured songstress and ‘Family Matters’ alum Darius McCrary plays her lover/musical collaborator Gerald LeVert.

The story follows rise and fall of this talented singer, dealing with her turbulent relationship with her mother as well as her love relationships throughout her career. Howard might be seen as brave to reveal such intimate details of her life. Not only does the movie showcase Howard’s experience with domestic violence, but it also chronicles her fall and descent into using drugs.

After the screening Miki Howard herself, and the stars of the movie were on hand for a Q&A panel. Howard even showed she still had superb vocal ability when she serenaded the audience which was definitely a treat.

The Miki Howard story is set to air on TV One on Sunday, June 12, 2016. For more information visit their website and for more information on Miki Howard, visit her website.

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OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network unveils trailer of new original series ‘Greenleaf’

08d9dc235611d33eaeb125f86a684017OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network recently revealed an extended trailer of its new, original drama series “Greenleaf.” The series comes from Lionsgate and Emmy-nominated writer/producer Craig Wright who worked on the hit shows, (“Lost,” “Six Feet Under,” “Brothers and Sisters”). The series follows the story of the Greenleaf family and their Memphis megachurch. The story is intense, very enthralling and set to lure audiences in for a thrilling ride each week.

On April, 20, 2016 in NYC, the cast of the Greenleaf held a press screening and panel at the Roxy Hotel. Also on the same date, the cast which includes (Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, Merle Dandridge, Lamman Rucker, Kim Hawthorne, and Tye White) were available for second panel as part of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival talk series lineup. Members of the production discussed their roles and were elated to share the first episode with the audience.

Photos used with permission from OWN TV Network

Photos used with permission from OWN TV Network

OWN will launch with a two-night premiere on Tuesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and Wednesday at June 22 at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET/PT on the OWN Network. Afterwards, the series will regularly air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The trailer can be viewed here.

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Singer Leigh West coming to you city soon in 2016

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Photo used with permission Leigh West.

Leigh West is truly a new breed of artist. She really is because she is a well-developed self-created rock star in the making. She has been playing the piano since she was 3 years old and has a four octave vocal range. In addition, she creates catchy melodies that float above unusual chord progressions with gritty baselines. Her music can only be defined as a hypnotic yet energetic sonic experience. As a classically trained pianist she was awarded 2nd place nationally for her original compositions. After years of classical songwriting Leigh West broke from music to pursue filmmaking. During that time, she encountered God who told her she was to be a rockstar. West began writing music again but this time on guitar instead of piano. In college at the University of Colorado Boulder she devoted herself to pop, teaching herself to record and engineer from her dorm room.

As a result, she released her 1st Demo “Free The Robot” under the artist name LiLi, inspired by K-pop sensation 2NE1. After college Leigh West moved to LA where she continued to develop as a songwriter-producer. She played local shows to extremely receptive crowds.Thinking back on her past performances West recalls “The audience always cheered for an encore …at every show. That really encouraged me.” In 2013, she moved back to Denver to form West Alan LLC., a licensing company to promote her own music and other local bands to her contacts back in LA. She also hosted and co-created a television series for Comcast Entertainment Television dedicated to promoting local artists.

Her debut single “Hello Estella” has received radio play on college radio across the nation as well as almost 40,000 views on YouTube. In 2016, she has decided to hit the road. Leigh West opened for AMZY, SF1 and Midnight Club on May 6, 2016 at The Gothic Theater.

For her first U.S. Tour in June 2016, she starts on the West Coast and soon will announcing dates for her East Coast leg of the tour. This original and groundbreaking young singer is talented with the vocals and the musical ability to continue to create memorable songs. Fan can check out Leigh West on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to discover when she plans to come to a city near you

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