Bringing ’88 Back: Tony! Toni! Tone! – “Little Walter”

Had to go with the visual on this one for a number of reasons. First a definite shout out to Sinbad as (Big)”Little Walter”. You must understand Sinbad’s place in the culture during that time period: a mad funny dude on a real rise. I had not thought about this in context until this very moment but Sinbad really laid a serious template for a lot of successful comedians who follow. His hustle at the time between A Different World and being poised to take over the permanent host duties on “Showtime At The Apollo” within a year and of course movie roles that followed in short order should be duly noted. Sinbad’s casting was, in fact, a co-sign for Tony! Toni! Tone! in the best way possible.

So that was one level of visual importance. The other level? The shots that let you know Tony! Toni! Tone! was a band. Not a spacesuit-wearing band from a galaxy far away but a band of cats that were relatable in terms of age and fashion. “Little Walter” produced by Foster/McElroy(who were making their mark in the production world after success with Club Nouveau)didn’t really give an indication of the soul that was the shape of things to come from Tony! Toni! Tone! but it was a great and engaging introduction to the group. Something I always appreciated about the Tony’s is that even though the core was D’Wayne Wiggins, Timothy Christian Riley, and Raphael Saadiq they always presented as a band with collaborators like Elijah Baker, Carl Wheeler, Randall Wiggins and Antron Haile in the fold both on video and their live performances(one day we’re going to discuss the importance of their later appearances on Arsenio).

Today we’re going to bask in the glow of this great introduction to a new friend that became a longtime friend. Feel good music <---- See what I did there kinda?

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.

#Editorial “When Social Media Is Actually Social”

Friday night into Saturday morning I was so inspired by listening to the WTF Podcast episode that featured Sinbad as the guest that I had to write about it. You can read that post here.

My point here is not that I have an expectation that when I write and then tweet someone that about said writing that they are obliged to tweet me back or re-tweet. Nothing could be further from my mind when I do that, I am someone who shares and so I share and for the most part that’s the end of it. Sinbad was very gracious to reach out. I appreciate and applaud that but I also understand that Sinbad knows how to navigate this space, he’s a self-professed techie from way back. So Sinbad had the media part down from way back and I’m inferring here, but based on his output over his career he seems like a very cool and social person. So we salute you Sinbad! We salute you on behalf of all the thought pieces, tributes, reviews, etc., that go out into the vast expanse never to be acknowledged.

Many thanks!!!

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.

#Interviews – Sinbad “The WTF Podcast” w/ Marc Maron

sinbad-wtf-podcast

#Growns this would be a perfect day to take a little time out and check this interview with Sinbad from a recent episode of Marc Maron’s fantastic podcast WTF. Always great to hear creatives chop it up about their craft. This episode is that and so much more, we as an audience are allowed to glimpse layers and depth that just doesn’t happen in traditional media.

I will give a caveat… I’m a big man but I’m not too proud or ashamed to admit that I was moved to tears several times during the course of this interview because this is a story of someone who was determined to make it and he did: his way! So incredibly inspiring and truth be told my level of respect for Sinbad was already incredibly high(Sinbad was one of the few comics/actors that my father would seek out and we’d watch together and share many laughs. I miss that as much as I miss him.) and he managed to take that to an even higher level as he discusses “Hollywood” amongst other topics.

Enough of my babbling. Press play.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.

Chaka Khan to Pay Tribute to Whitney Houston at Apollo Legends Hall of Fame Ceremony

Chaka Khan (2 of 4)
Chaka Khan at Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta, GA

The Apollo Theater, one of the nation’s greatest cultural treasures, announced the lineup for its seventh annual Spring Gala Benefit Concert, at which they will induct Lionel Richie and the late Etta James into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. Proceeds from the gala benefit, to be held on Monday, June 4, 2012, will go toward the non-profit Theater’s education and community engagement programs.

In addition to performances honoring Richie and James, this year’s program will include tributes to three musical icons that have passed this year. Ten-time GRAMMY® Winner Chaka Khan will perform a tribute to the late superstar Whitney Houston; Eddie Levert, in honor of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius; and Valerie Simpson for her husband and legendary songwriting partner Nick Ashford. The evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian and former host of Showtime at the Apollo, Sinbad, with American Idol’s Ray Chew serving as musical director.

Tickets for the 2012 Spring Gala and after-party are now on sale. To purchase benefit tickets to the event or to make a donation to the Apollo Theater, call 212-531-5347. To purchase show-only tickets, visit www.apollotheater.org.

Hope is a music enthusiast and continual student of photography. Also known to rock out a quiet church or elevator with her current ringtone, Tom & Jerry’s Uncle Paco, “Crambone”.