What should I be doing instead of this?

Sisters in Striptease

From silly to sexy, the women of Cin City Burlesque entertain in a truly unique fasion

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The art of the peel. The striptease. The shimmy-and-shake. Whatever you want to call it, burlesque has played a role in American culture since the late 19th century.    
by mbreen 05.07.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Music Tonight: Burlesque-A-Pades with Brian Newman

CCM-trained former local musician brings fiance home to meet the Blue Wisp

Local Jazz fans who keep an eye on the clubs for young players coming out of University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music no doubt remember trumpeter Brian Newman in the late ’90s/early ’00s. A Cleveland native, Newman ultimately landed in New York City after graduation and started working. He’s been there over a decade now. Newman hit the NYC scene hard, earned a steady stream of gigs and met some key contacts. Putting together a band with some fellow CCM grads (including Alex Smith on organ, Paul Francis on drums, bassist Scott Ritchie and Steve Kortyka on tenor sax), Newman scored a sweet residency at the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room. His shows have been a big draw, as Newman and crew do the “hip lounge lizard” thing with a healthy dose of humor thrown in. Turns out Newman is a pretty solid singer as well, lending his hearty vocals to standards like “It Had to Be You” and “That’s Life.” Along with a slew of other performing gigs, Newman also holds a residency at Duane Park, where one of those “contacts” — Newman’s girlfriend (now fiancé) Angie Pontani — came into play.One of the biggest names in modern burlesque, Pontani (of The World Famous Pontani Sisters, pictured) and many of her dancer friends appear at the shows (and no doubt do wonders for the draw). Newman’s friendship with Lady Gaga’s boyfriend also led to a friendship and professional relationship with Gaga herself. He’s Gaga’s go-to Jazz guy, performing with the Pop star and his CCM pals, notably, on her network TV special, A Very Gaga Thanksgiving (where Newman got to perform with Tony Bennett, as well), the Today Show and the MTV Video Music Awards. Gaga has performed on Newman’s turf also — her guest appearances during Newman’s Jazz gigs often make music news headlines. Recently featured on the soundtrack to the movie Friends With Kids, Newman has also just issued a live document of his Oak Room shows, Live from New York City. Newman and Pontani are doing a trio of Ohio shows this week as “Burlesque-a-Pades,” featuring Jazz from Newman and his quintet and dancing from Pontani and friends. Tonight, they'll shake things up at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club. Showtime is 7 p.m. and this event is open to those 21 and up only.Here's a clip from the Gaga TV special. That's Newman introducing the festivities (and rockin' the trumpet).And here are the Pontanis doing their thang with longtime collaborators Los Straitjackets last year.And here is Newman and Co. from earlier this year.
by Mike Breen 04.12.2012
Posted In: Music History, Music Video at 09:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

This Date in Music History: April 12

Legend Josephine Baker passes away and Vince Gill is born

On this day in 1975, pioneering singer/actress/dancer/civil rights activist/spy Josephine Baker passed away at the age of 68. She died just a few days after a retrospective performance at the Bobino in Paris celebrating her 50 years in show biz. Jackie O, Princess Grace and Prince Rainier funded the show and opening night featured a celebrity-studded audience that included everyone from Mick Jagger to Sophia Loren. Baker's body was discovered four days later, reportedly surrounded by newspapers featuring glowing reviews of her performance. At her funeral, she became the first American woman to garner full French military honors, one of many "firsts" involving Baker. She was the first black woman to star in a major film, the first to demand (and get) integrated audiences at her concerts and the first to become a global superstar. She fought for civil rights in America (offered a chance to lead it after MLK's assassination, she declined for fear of also being killed) and, before that, helped France (her adopted homeland) in World War II, for which she received numerous honors. Baker was also reportedly a bi-sexual who had serious relationships with both men and women in her lifetime, adding some spicy mystique to her life story. She got her start as a vaudeville dancer at 15 and eventually became one of the highest paid chorus girls on the planet. In the mid ’20s she did burlesque shows in Paris and around Europe, well-known for her trademark banana-skirt and, later, her pet cheetah Chiquita, who would join her on stage (and, reportedly, terrorize the orchestra). Baker was considered a "muse" for artists from Pablo Picasso and Christian Dior to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, who once said she was "the most sensational woman anyone ever saw."Baker's life has been the source of several films, musicals, plays and books. On screen and stage, she's been portrayed by the likes of Lynn Whitfield, Diana Ross, Keri Hilson and Beyonce, who sported Baker's banana costume during a 2006 performance (see below) and, in her "Naughty Girl" video, she again paid tribute by dancing in a giant champagne glass. Baker released several albums in the early ’50s for Columbia and Mercury. Here she is performing her biggest hit (in France), "J'ai Deux Amours." Click on for Born This Day featuring Hound Dog Taylor, Tiny Tim, Nick Hexum and Vince Gill.

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