Showing posts from 2024

How Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" Changed My Life

  As we celebrate one hundred years of the Rhapsody in Blue , I am inspired to reflect on the impact of George Gershwin's composition on my life. I first discovered the Rhapsody in Blue when my father had assigned the piece to one of his graduate students at Fisk University. Carol Elligan was a former Fisk Jubilee Singer and Piano Pedagogy major. I already considered her to be my best friend (even though I was eleven years old at the time, and Carol was in her early twenties). Before she started working on the Rhapsody in Blue , I was struggling with my piano studies, and had even reached the point where I was ready to quit piano. My parents went on about how expensive my piano lessons were, so I figured they'd be pleased with saving that little bit of money. But my quitting was not an option. They insisted that I continue with the lessons, whether I liked it or not. Enid Katahn, my piano teacher at the Blair School of Music in Nashville was struggling to assign repertoire tha

What People are Saying about Nina Kennedy's Review of "Maestro"

The provocative title of my last blog ( Bradley Cooper's " Maestro" : Ho-Hum! Another Movie About White People )   brought lots of comments, re-posts, and controversy. Interestingly, all positive comments came from black people (American and otherwise), and several whites as well. All negative comments came from whites. It was shocking to me how blissfully unaware some of the non-melanated people are when it comes to the history of racism in Hollywood. They have no idea of the degree to which African Americans have been discriminated against, excluded, relegated to servant status, or portrayed as criminals. When a film about Leonard Bernstein completely ignored his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, I could not keep silent. Here are some of the comments: Mark Bailey: "Brilliant review -- I agree with every word. Thanks for posting it. I was deeply bothered by the homophobia and gay-shaming in the film, especially by Felicia. The lack of inclusivity is yet an