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“Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story,” Makes its San Francisco Debut at the “Cry of Jazz” Film SeriesPublished on Thursday, 09 April 2015 05:43
Story and Photos by Shelah Moody
Who: Executive Producers N.C. Heikin, James Egan award winning mystery writer Michael Connelly and acclaimed jazz artist Ed Reed
What: “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story,” part of the “Cry of Jazz Film Series
When: 7: 30 p.m., Thursday April 9 and Saturday, April 11
Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Info: http://www.ybca.org/programs/upcoming/film-and-video, Tel: 415-978-2700
Acclaimed documentary “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story” makes its San Francisco debut at the “Cry of Jazz” Film series, presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Unsung hero, Frank Morgan, whose life and career were interrupted due to struggles with drug addiction and repeated incarceration (December 23, 1933 – December 14, 2007), is considered one of the most influential jazz saxophonists of his time.
Produced by James Egan and acclaimed mystery writer Michael Connelly (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) and scripted by director N.C. Heikin and Connelly, “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan” made its debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June, 2014. “Sound of Redemption” ((2014, 84 min, digital) features interviews, historical footage and stellar performances by jazz greats Ron Carter (bass) Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone), Grace Kelly (sax) and George Gables (piano). See trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKyfGi2MtIQ.
N.C. Heikin, Grace Kelly, Angela Morgan White, Michael Connelly and the cast of a Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story
Frank Morgan’s family members, including stepmother Florette Morgan and sister Angela Morgan White share their personal memories and provides rare personal insight into the life of the brilliant and troubled jazz icon, who spent much of his life in San Quentin prison in Northern California.
“The fact that someone could spend many years of their adult life incarcerated and still have the passion and the desire to play music at a high level, and the ability to articulate and the ability to execute the music at a high level into their sixties and their seventies was a remarkable feat,” said acclaimed producer and arranger Delfeayo Marsalis, who played with Frank Morgan and directed the tribute concert at San Quentin in 2012. “It’s one of those tragic stories that has redemption at the end.”
“Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story” Schedule:
Thu., Apr. 9, Post-Show Q&A
With executive producer Michael Connelly (author of the Harry Bosch novels), director N.C. Heikin, and jazz artist Ed Reed.
Sat. Apr. 11, Post-Show Q&A
With director N.C. Heikin, producer James Egan, and jazz artist Ed Reed.
IMQPublished on Monday, 23 March 2015 03:14
IMQ leads Streetwise Radio new spring playlist with his hot single "What Love Feels Like".
Movado, the Swiss watch company, in 2010 chose him as the winner of the Movado Bold contest and Future Legends award. His song Hot LiL Thang was featured in a national tv commercial for the Movado Bold watch. The spot ran for a whole year from 2010-2011 on cable and national stations. Born and raised in Long Beach CA. Real name Nana Owusu, which comes from his Ghanaian heritage, West Africa. I M Q started singing at 7 years old. His musical influences include James Brown, Michael Jackson, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Prince, Akon, and Ne-yo.
I M Q's was raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to support the two of them. Church had an important influence in his music. He was the main soloist for 4 years in his elementary school choir, at Light and Light Christian. He continued to sing in the choir at his local church and public schools he attended thereafter. Growing up with an absent father took its toll. After his father's passing in April 2014, he found refuge in writing as an outlet. At 16, he marked the blossoming of his music writing abilities. He moved to Atlanta, GA after high school to be close to family. In that time he honed his writing skills and worked with various producers, while attending college at GA Tech. I M Q recorded the first song he wrote “What Love feels Like,” when he relocated to San Francisco after college. He recently did a modeling ad campaign in which his face can be seen on muni buses and billboards around San Francisco, CA from July to September 2012. He continues to model in SF and LA. In the SF Bay Area he was lucky enough to find a network of talented writers and producers such as Breed Music (who he collaborated with on Hot LiL Thang/When She's Around), Steve Milne and David R (who he worked with on What Love Feels Like). I M Q can be found performing regularly at the Red Devil Lounge and Karibbean City. The stage is where I M Q feels the most comfortable. I M Q's quote: "The stage is where I leave my heart."
My song "When She's Around" is on ITunes for Purchase here:
My website: http://www.
International Women’s Month Salutes Tracie CollinsPublished on Saturday, 14 March 2015 03:07
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf presents Tracie Collins with a city proclamation declaring March 14 Tracie Collins Day
International Women’s Month Salutes Tracie Collins
Oakland-Based Writer, Producer and Director Sheds Light on Sex Trafficking in the Bay Area in Her New Play “Cold Piece of Werk”
By Shelah Moody
Photos by Emilio Vigil and Shelah Moody
On March 12, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf presented acclaimed writer, director and producer Tracie Collins with a city proclamation, declaring March 14, 2015, Tracie Collins Day.
Collins, who grew up in Daly City, CA was honored for her artistic contributions to the Bay Area, her community activism and her latest original play, “Cold Piece of Werk,” which deals with the sex trafficking epidemic in Oakland.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf with author Tracie Collins and the cast of Cold Piece of Work
“Cold Piece of Werk” is a shocking and provocative play that centers around a teenage sex worker called Midnight, brilliantly played by Majesty Scott. J’Sun Jasper delivers a frightening Morrison-esque portrayal as Midnight’s malevolent pimp, Cash. Soul singer Ashling Cole of Graham Central Station co-stars as a corrupt cop caught up in the madness. “Cold Piece of Werk” challenges everything you thought you knew about sex trafficking and prostitution industry.
“Cold Piece of Werk,” an original play by Tracie Collins, runs Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15 at the Kaiser Center Lakeside Theatre, 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA, Ticket Info: http://bit.ly/1J4lIIF .
I caught up with the multi-talented and photogenic playwright and mother of three before the opening of “Cold Piece of Werk.”
Shelah Moody: What sparked your interest in theater and playwriting?
Tracie Collins: Well, I’ve always been involved in the arts; it dates back to early childhood and my formative years. My roots are in the theater. I began producing projects in 2009 and I just gravitated toward writing. It just became a natural flow.
S.M.: Where did you study theater arts?
T.C.: I studied at American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. I remember being a little girl and my dad taking me to acting classes. I was always in stage plays; I was always in theater. From acting, I went into producing, from producing, I went into writing and from writing, and I went into directing.
S.M.: Tell us about some of the plays that you’ve written and produced.
T.C. There was “The V Monologues: A Black Woman’s Interpretation,” which had several successful runs here in the Bay Area. Then, it transitioned into “Knocking at Love’s Door,” about a single mother and her issues and struggles and how love finds her; and the it went into “Girlfriend Chronicles,” the story of four girlfriends and their trials and tribulations. And now, we are moving into “Cold Piece of Werk,” which is about the sex traffic industry in Oakland.
S.M.: Tell us about “Cold Piece of Werk.”
T.C.: I wanted to give a voice to the voiceless. I wanted to speak on something that everybody in the Bay Area could relate to. Many have seen (sex trafficking) for themselves when driving down International Boulevard in Oakland. It could be your mother, your sister, your nice, you aunt. It’s right in our own backyard.
S.M.: How did you go about researching “Cold Piece of Werk?” Did you interview women who have been exploited?
T.C.: Well, it’s hard to interview people who’ve been in the industry or in that situation, simply because they don’t want to talk out of fear of being caught. My play came from a lot of ongoing research.
S.M.: Tell us about the characters in “Cold Piece of Werk.”
Majesty Scott portrays the heroine, Midnight, in Tracie Collins illuminating play "Cold Piece of Werk"
T.C.: The storyline is based around a girl named Midnight, her background and where she came from and why she does what she does. There are different levels to the girls—there are some who are the toughest and have been there the longest and there are some who are brand spanking new and have no idea what they’ve gotten into. Then, there is Cash, who is Midnight’s notorious pimp, who has another form of business, too. Cash really considers himself a businessman. “Cold Piece of Werk”
also touches on the churches here in Oakland. I’ve always wanted to bring some light into the African American community terms of how involved in the church we are. The church plays a role in Midnight’s home life. The play also features Midnight’s parents—her mother and her father, who’s a bishop in the church. This is the first of my plays that I’m not acting in. It’s kind of nice to be in the background producing, writing and directing this time.
S.M.: I heard that the Oakland Police Department has a role in “Cold Piece of Werk.”
T.C.: They do. That’s all I can say.
S.M.: In terms of playwriting, who are some of your artistic influences?
Publicist Lisa Bautista, Tracie Collins and manager Khalif Pleasants
T.C.: That’s a good question. I look at myself as someone who has her unique niche. I can always say, (TV and film) producers like Shonda Rhimes and Tyler Perry, but even still, I feel like I’m bringing something new to the table. I love Ryan Murphy. He just tests boundaries, from “Glee” to “American Horror Story.” I appreciate how different the two shows are.
S.M.: What is your main goal with the production of “Cold Piece of Werk?”
T.C.: To bring awareness to sex trafficking and make it known that it’s not just an international issue; it hits right here at home for us.
S.M.: Do you see “Cold Piece of Werk” becoming a major motion picture?
T.C.: I am turning it into a film, and I am behind that as well. That part is in development right now.
S.M.: What do you like, artistically, about living in Oakland?
T.C.: The culture that Oakland brings, and the diversity that we have here in Oakland. I have a love-hate relationship with Oakland, but what I love about the city is where it is going. I really want to be on the forefront when it comes to arts and entertainment and leading Oakland in that direction.
S.M: What’s next for Tracie Collins after “Cold Piece of Werk?”
T.C.: Well, I have a play called “Divorce: A Black Woman’s Style” coming out towards the end of the year. I will be casting for it in June. I am also writing treatments for television. One will be based on “Girlfriend Chronicles,” and we are looking to turn it into a web series, so it has to be pitched to major outlets such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix. My piece, “The Midwife” is also in development as a scripted series for television. It’s about a sinister midwife in the community.
A Cold Piece of Werk,an original play by Tracie Collins, runs Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15 at the Kaiser Center Lakeside Theatre, 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA, Ticket Info: http://bit.ly/1J4lIIF
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