Rolando Morales performing for Sionfonds for Haiti Party & Fund Raiser to Support Children & Their Families in Haiti on Sunday, September 25 at Venga Paella

Rolando Morales performing Sionfonds Fundraiser for Haiti Families at Paella Venga on Sunday, September 25, 2016
Rolando Morales performing Sionfonds Fundraiser for Haiti Families at Paella Venga on Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Sept 25, “Sionfonds for Haiti Presents: Party & Fund Raiser to Support Children & Their Families in Haiti,” Venga Paella, 229 Brush Street (at 3rd St.), Oakland 4 to 8pmRolando lends a hand to some dear friends in their mission to provide education, nutrition, job training, community improvements and health care to rural Haitian families.  Enjoy a great party at this cool Oakland spot that will serve up a splendid paella dinner and drinks.  Bring a friend and meet smart, fun, caring people while Rolando Morales provides live entertainment on solo guitar and voice.  Bid for unique local and Haitian crafts and amazing services you’ll want, such as Haitian crafts, catered dinners with live music with Rolando Morales and more!  $45 includes dinner. http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/pk8a76g22yq3zbkhp

Enjoy fundraiser to assist kids like this cute little girl.
Enjoy fundraiser to assist kids like this cute little girl.

Sionfonds supports Haitian Families, through education, opportunity and healthcare. All of our programs are conceived and implemented by Haitian families, teachers, doctors, farmers, social workers and community leaders. When appropriate we bring visitors from outside Haiti to share their skills and expertise in order to further the cause of Haitian autonomy. Learn more by visiting Sionfonds.org.

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Celebrate Mexican Independence Day with Rolando Morales at Don Pico’s on Friday September 16, 2016

Rolando Morales at Don Pico's Bistro on Friday September 16, 2016
Rolando Morales at Don Pico’s Bistro on Friday September 16, 2016

Friday Sept 16, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.   Celebrate Mexican Independence Day with Rolando  as he returns on solo guitar and voice in the intimate Restaurant Room.  (650) 589-1163 and see www.donpicosbistro.com.

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9/11 experience; Rolando’s in Danville Tues; San Bruno Fri; Pleasanton Sat; Walnut Creek Sunday

Tonight Rolando Morales with Bob Harrison at Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA,
Tonight Rolando Morales with Bob Harrison at Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA,

Sept 13, 2016

Hola, Mi Gente!

I wrapped up another jam-packed week with an intimate patio performance on Sunday September 11 at Maria, Maria in Walnut Creek. The full, attentive patio (and even those inside) were receptive to an impromptu musical tribute to the significance of the day. I allowed the gentle wind to select the songs from my book for my 9-11 segment and shared them with the audience. From Stevie Wonder to John Lennon to Djavan and beyond, the wind chose songs I hadn’t done before and the lyrics, mood and passion were perfect for the moment. Very special.
One never knows what’s going to happen from gig to gig. Every day is different. I enjoyed a great private concert up in Oakville on Friday with my talented friends Carlos Reyes, Janice Maxie-Reid, Estaire Godinez, Gary Brown and myself. We created stirring and entertaining moments.
And on Saturday, at Pairings Cellars, a unique version of my Trio — drummer Celso Alberti, bassist Dewayne Pate and myself— surprised and excited the Pleasanton audience with forms of music they weren’t used to seeing there! Hell, I even surprised the band with some of the tunes I called out. Several we had never done before, but I wanted to take advantage of the talent. We hit them strong.
This week I have some big private weeknight events with my band in store, alongside solo public appearances Tuesday at Maria, Maria in Danville, at Don Pico’s Friday, Barone’s Restaurant on Saturday Sept 17 and Maria, Maria in Walnut Creek on Sunday. Details below.
Remember, too, to make your reservations for the annual fund raiser put on by my beautiful friends at Sionfonds to benefit the children and their families in Haiti. It happens next week on Sunday Sept 25 from 4-8pm at Venga Paella in Oakland. These people really do exceptional work, have big hearts and kick it all off from right here in Oaktown. It’s a great night out with authentic paella dinners, sangria and other libations, Haitian crafts, and I’ll be providing the musical sound track. I urge you to click on their site to learn more and make your reservations. www.sionfonds.org.

You can also reserve here: http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/pk8a76g22yq3zbkhp.
See you at the show!
Ciao,
Rolando

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Norah Jones will release her new CD, Day Breaks, on October 7th, 2016.

Norah Jones will release her new CD on October 7th, 2016
Norah Jones will release her new CD on October 7th, 2016

Norah Jones has announced the October 7 global release of Day Breaks (Blue Note Records), her stunning sixth solo album which is a kindred spirit to the singer’s breakout debut Come Away With Me and finds the 9-time GRAMMY-winner returning to the piano and her roots. The album features jazz luminaries including her Blue Note label mates saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade on a 12-song set that presents 9 new originals alongside covers of songs by Horace Silver, Duke Ellington and Neil Young.

“This new album, Day Breaks, feels full circle because I’m going back to my early influences,” says Norah. “After the first record, I drifted away from the piano a little bit. I still played it, but was more inspired to write on guitar. I really loved playing piano on this record.”

Born March 30, 1979, in New York City, Norah Jones, the daughter of Ravi Shankar quietly grew up in Texas with her mother. While she always found the music of Billie Holiday and Bill Evans both intriguing and comforting, she didn’t really explore jazz until attending Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. During high school, Jones won the Down Beat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist and Best Original Composition in 1996, and earned a second Best Jazz Vocalist award in 1997.

Learn more about Norah Jones at Blue Note.

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Rolando Morales September 2016 Calendar

Rolando Morales Trio at Pairings Cellars
Rolando Morales Trio at Pairings Cellars

Hola, Mi Gente!

The year is flying by like a ghost.  Are we already entering the last quarter?  Did we really lose so many?  Are these events really happening?

Throughout it all, I continue to perform my private and public shows throughout La Bahia and beyond, endeavoring to create good, positive feelings by sharing my music and passion.  I feel grateful to still be doing so as frequently as I do.  

September brings more of these blended opportunities, so please join me when you can!  I’m looking forward to some great private wine country events and playing for a repeat client that should bring in around 1,500 people.  

Publicly, I’m looking forward to Saturday Sept 10 from 8-11pm, when a new version of my Trio performs at Pairings Cellars, the brand new Pleasanton night spot.  We’ll have the great Brazilian drummer Celso Alberti; the deeply grooving bassist Dewayne Pate; and I’ll lead the way on guitar, guitar synth and voice.  Free!  Details below.

For those of you keeping score, after months away, I’m also returning to Barone’s Restaurant on Saturday Sept 17,also in Pleasanton.  Details below.

I’m also very happy to be contributing to the annual fund raiser put on by my beautiful friends at Sionfonds to benefit the children and their families in Haiti.  These people really do exceptional work, have big hearts and start it all from right here in Oakland.  The party happens on Sunday Sept 25 from 4-8pm at Venga Paella in Oakland.  It’s a great night out with authentic paella dinners, sangria and other libations, Haitian crafts, and I’ll be providing the musical sound track.  I urge you to click on their site to learn more and make your reservations. www.sionfonds.org.  You can also reserve here:  http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/pk8a76g22yq3zbkhp.   

There’s much more happening in your new Calendar, so check it out and say “Hola!”  See you at the show!

Ciao,

Rolando 

LAST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE FOR SEPTEMBER 2016

Friday Sept 2, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.  After almost a month away, Rolando returns to the place The Examiner and Independent have proclaimed has the “Best Seafood and Best Mexican Food” anywhere, on solo guitar and voice in the Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163www.donpicosbistro.com.

Sunday Sept 4, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Rolando returns for the Maria, Maria Tardeada series.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch outdoors and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  He may be joined by flautist Bob Harrison.  www.mariamariarestaurants.com(925) 946-1010.

Saturday Sept 10, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Pleasanton CA 94566, 8-11pm.  Rolando returns to this new, exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton.  This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and the Rolando Morales Trio, this time featuring from Brazil, the superb drummer from Steve Winwood and Airto, the great Celso Alberti; bassist from Arturo Sandoval, Robben Ford and so many more, the great Dewayne Pate; and Rolando Morales leading the way on guitar, guitar synth and voice.  Free! www.pairingscellars.com(925) 398-8846.

Sunday Sept 11, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  If it’s too hot, it will be indoors.   He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Tuesday Sept 13, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s most elegant restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  (925) 820-2366.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

Friday Sept 16, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.   Celebrate 16 de Septiembre, Mexican Independence Day with Rolando  as returns on solo guitar and voice in the intimate Restaurant Room.  (650) 589-1163 and see www.donpicosbistro.com.

Saturday Sept 17, Barone’s Restaurant, 475 St. John St., Pleasanton CA, approx 7:30-10:30pm.   Rolando returns to one of Pleasanton’s premier dining establishments.  Enjoy exquisite meals, libations and Rolando’s vast repertoire in the Cocktail Lounge for a great night out.  See www.baronespleasanton.com(925) 426-0987.

Sunday Sept 18, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch at Carlos Santana’s lively cantina and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek. He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Friday Sept 23, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6-9 pm.  Rolando  returns on solo guitar and voice, now in the intimate Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163 and www.donpicosbistro.com.

Sunday Sept 25, “Sionfonds for Haiti Presents: Party & Fund Raiser to Support Children & Their Families in Haiti,” Venga Paella, 229 Brush Street (at 3rd St.), Oakland 4 to 8pm.  Rolando lends a hand to some dear friends in their mission to provide education, nutrition, job training, community improvements and health care to rural Haitian families.  Enjoy a great party at this cool Oakland spot that will serve up a splendid paella dinner and drinks.  Bring a friend and meet smart, fun, caring people while Rolando Morales provides live entertainment on solo guitar and voice.  Bid for unique local and Haitian crafts and amazing services you’ll want, such as Haitian crafts, catered dinners with live music (by me!) and more!  $45 includes dinner.  www.sionfonds.org.  Reserve here: http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/pk8a76g22yq3zbkhp

Tuesday Sept 27, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx. 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s Walnut Creek restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  Enjoy Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his huge repertoire and big sound out on the front patio.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com, or call (925) 946-1010.

Friday Sept 30, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6-9 pm.   Rolando  returns on solo guitar and voice, now in the intimate Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163 and www.donpicosbistro.com.

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Beverly Reiser creates new art collection: Contemplative Reflections

Beverly Reiser - On and On the tears must fall
Beverly Reiser – On and On the tears must fall

Beverly Reiser has been a prolific artist who has been exhibited all around the world.  For the past year she has started in a a new medium, pastels. We hope you enjoy her latest collection.

interactive multimedia installations using sound, video, and computer graphics:

ARTIST / CO-DEVELOPER

Vital Journey / Virtual Heart: a walk-in interactive multimedia installation for Exploration Place, a children’s science museum in Kansas, which takes children on a virtual journey through the human circulatory system, lungs and brain. Visitors complete the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange using life-size video capture and interactive game technology. In collaboration with Gyroscope, Inc., and Vivid Group opened in April, 2000

 

ARTIST

private_loves/public_opera: A walk-in video “garden” with website which collects love stories, allows you to add your own love story. The web site is athttp://www.ylem.org/private_loves/public_opera/, San Francisco, Art Institute, Walter McBean Gallery, San Francisco, CA Dec.- Jan. 1996-1997, a collaboration with Barbara Lee

ARTIST

Que Viva Tu Recuerdo: Altars And Offerings for the Days of the Dead

An altar/ installation dedicated to the memory of Remedios Varo, Oakland Museum, CA, Oct. -Nov 1995, a collaboration with Lucia Grossburger Morales

 

Under the name of LIFE ON A SLICE:

( These are collaborations with Hans Reiser, Bill Fleming and Kimberley Edwards.)

ARTIST / CO-DEVELOPER:

VOICE GARDEN: LABYRINTH OF LOVE, LABYRINTH OF DESIRE, an interactive multimedia CD-ROM

 

Come, Human, spin in my Web! – A ride thru an A.I.’s persona

An A.I. sends an invitation out to Humans to visit the “web”. If they take up the invite, they adventure into either the “Cerebral Cathedral” or the ” Feral Forest”. Eventually they arrive at one of four possible endings having altered their own “data structure” or the environment.

 

Temple of the Goddesses – A virtual sacred space.

As the visitor moves thru the shrine complex they are engaged in various episodes (depending on the visitors response ) by goddesses Venus, Nemesis, the Psychedelic Cyber Pagan, etc. There are four possible endings with numerous episodes along the way.

 

The Phosphorescent Samurai and the Geisha Snail A surrealistic fable

Two inter-species mutants start on their ‘hero’s journey’ and, depending on choices made by the viewer along the way, are transformed accordingly. There is a final revelation unique to each of the eight possible endings.

HEART THEATER, Exploration Place, Wichita, Kansas opens April, 2000

PRIVATE_LOVES / PUBLIC_OPERA, San Francisco Art Institute, Walter McBean Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Dec.- Jan. 1996-1997

2DO FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE VIDEO Y ARTES ELECTRONICAS, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1996

INTEGRATED HEMISPERES: Woman/Art /Technology, Blasthaus, San Francisco, CA, May – June 1996

BURNING MAN FESTIVAL, South of Market Arts Center, San Francisco, Aug. 1995, 1996, 1998

INTERACTIVE COMMUNITIES, SIGGRAPH 95 Conference , Los Angeles, 1995

JUPITER AND THE COMETS, a program/event produced by the

Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astophysics, 1994

THE UBIQUITOUS ART ZONE, the ACM’s Multimedia ’94 Conference, San Francisco, Ca, USA, Oct. 1994

PLEASE TOUCH ! , VIDEO SCULPTURE, Regional Center for the Arts,

Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA, Jan, 1994

THE INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE, INTERACT ’93, conference of ACM’s SIG Computer Human Interface and INTERACT ( European ), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1993

LIFE ON A SLICE, tour of German University Art galleries, Feb.-May, 1992

SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ’92, Chicago, July, 1992

IMAGES DU FUTUR ’92, LA CITE DES ARTS ET NOUVELLES TECHNOLOGIES DU MONTREAL, Canada

TOMMOROW’S REALITIES: HYPERMEDIA, SIGGRAPH, Las Vegas, 1991

INTERACTIVE ART, Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics, NASA, U.C. Berkeley

AMERICAN LIGHT ART, Takashimaya, Tokyo, Japan, 1989-90

NEO-NEON, One Market Plaza, Art Programs Inc., San Francisco, 1987

EXPANDED VISION: NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN ART, Jack Gallery, New York City, 1985

interviews, articles, & books:

Art & Technology at the Mining Co. web site, featured artist in Mindscapes on 11/06/97

LEONARDO, ( the cover of) Journal of the International Society for Arts Sciences and Technology, MIT Press, Vol. 29 #1, 1996

Microsoft’s magazine, feature: Art on the Internet: Rare Birds in Cyberspace, by Dominic Gates, http://home.microsoft.com/reading/features.asp, Feb. 26,1997

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM OF ELECTRONIC ARTS ’96, CD ROM produced & distributed by MultiArtDisc, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1996

ARTWEEK, article on art & technology by Barbara Fisher, Jan., 1996

 SIGGRAPH ’95 MULTIMEDIA CD-ROM, a publication of the ACM ‘s SIGGRAPH, 1995

COMPUTERS & GRAPHICS , Pergamom Press , and the IEEE’s COMPUTER GRAPHICS ,Special supplement joint issue edited by Carl Machover, “Aesthetic Considerations Unique to Interactive Multimedia” , May,1995

NEW SCIENTIST, “Netropolis”, “An Elephant Dancing” by Claire Neesham, April,1994

ARTISTS DATABASE CD-ROM , Project Intercommunication Center, Tokyo, 1993,1994,

ART IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE, by Frank Popper, pub. by Harry N. Abrams,1992, Paris, France

LEONARDO, Journal of the International Society for Arts Sciences and Technology,

San Francisco, CA, Jan, 1994

TECH-NATION, interview by Dr. Moira Gunn , National Public Radio, Aug, 1993

GD3D, GRAPHIC DESIGN IN THE THIRD DIMENSION, Ken & Leigh Cato, published by Graphic Sha, Tokyo, 1992

VERBUM, JOURNAL OF COMPUTER AESTHETICS, San Diego, CA, Dec. 1991

LET THERE BE NEON !, Vol. II, by Rudi Stern, NY,NY, 1991

CONTEMPORARY NEON, by Rudi Stern, NY, NY, 1992

NEW YORK TIMES, Business Section 3, The New Hollywood, Sept. 1991

COMPUTER GRAPHICS, Magazine of the I.E.E.E., Art in Virtual Reality, May, 1992

CYBER ARTS, published by Harper- Freeman, ed. by Linda Jacobson, Summer ,1992

offices & awards:

President of Ylem/ Artists Using Science And Technology , PO box 749, Orinda, CA, 94563, 1985-1999

Advisory Board, International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, San Francisco, CA, 1989-2000

Currently Chair of the Advisory Board

MicroTimes Magazine on it’s “MicroTimes 100”, their list of 100 people who’ve had a significant influence

on the computer industry, Dec., 1995

designer / co-founder / director (until 1999)

Ylem’s Art on the Edge, an art gallery on the world wide web: http://www.ylem.org/

External Advisory Panel member to Xerox PARC Artist-in Residence Program, 1993

Honorary Distinction in Interactive Art, PRIX ARS ELECTRONICA, Linz, Austria, 1992

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Epictetus, still the best 2000 year old wisdoms to live by

Epictetus - Stoic Philosophies to live by
Epictetus – Stoic Philosophies to live by

Epictetus was one of the most revered Stoic Philosophers.  He lived 55AD and was born a slave.  It is said that his owner/master liked him very much and enjoyed his intelligence.  He allowed him to be educated alongside his own children and eventually set him free.  Epictetus started his own school in a part of Greece that today belongs to Turkey.  Even though he is known as one of the top Stoic Philosophers, he actually was exclusively interested in ethics. The most renowned books, Discourses and the Handbook concentrate almost exclusively on ethics. His philosophy is as true today as it was then.  Happiness can be increased if we expect less and look at reality for what it is.  Then we can frame it in a way that is neutral, rather than taking everything so personally.  For the most part life’s situations are rather happenstance instead of created and directed to disturb us. Dealing with it in a calm and joyful way, that is our choice.

Sharon Lebell wrote a contemporary version of his teachings in “The Art of Living.”   Check our her book.  If your keenly interested in Philosophy you may enjoy learning about him here.    Here is a quick taste of his teaching.  Enjoy.

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Fikorus Magic Moment

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Artist Highlight: Laurent Mercier

Laurent Mercier and John Lee Hooker, Jr.
Laurent Mercier and John Lee Hooker, Jr.

Laurent Mercier was born in France in 1967. He spends a good part of his childhood on the road with his parents who are working in the music industry. Later he studies at the « école nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts » in Paris. He started his career as an independent multimedia artist, organizing collective exhibitions. He also worked with the publishing firm, Association for the Development of Multimedia Literature.

He exhibits regularly at the Galerie Donguy, 57 rue de la Roquette, in Paris. He organizes collective exhibitions from the artist action group created by Michel Journiac. He takes part in events on the subject of the artist condition and status in the society, in institutions like Unesco.

He joins Jacques Donguy in his publishing structure “Association for the Development of Multimedia Literature.”

He eventually created his own school “Studio Mercier” where he trains CG Artists, who are working currently in international production studios. He created his own production studio Callicore which allows him to provide services to musicians without any of the restraints often found in major media conglomerates.  Laurent Mercier, in short, has devoted his life to break through boundaries and to bring genuine, true art and freedom to his creations counter-balancing the boredom of what he calls “the cultural dictatorship of corporate media”.

Now with his own company, Callicore, he is in charge of all aspects of its projects, from pre-production to post-production, and retains a relatively independent and free nature. It is working out well for Laurent Mercier and his artist clients.  They won a Webby Award with John Lee Hooker, Jr. with the animated music video ”Blues ain’t Nothin’ but a Pimp” and expanded Callicore’s service offer with music production and music publishing.  More than a collaboration, John Lee Hooker Jr and Laurent Mercier developed the strong bond of a real brotherhood. Among the many illustrious artists co-produced by Laurent Mercier are a variety of projects with John Lee Hooker jr, Arrested Development, Carbon Silicon,The buzzcocks, The Meteors, The Washington Dead Cats, Marky Ramones Blitzkrieg, We Are The Fury, CAKE, Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, Clinic Rodéo, Dr Feelgood and recently Iggy Pop.

Iggy Pop’s rendition of the classic “La Vie en Rose.”

At Callicore Studios, Laurent Mercier is the producer, director, CG artist, who collaborates with Marius Legrand, producer, lead animator, and are supported by their production assistant Anaelle Majidate.

Washington Dead Cats fun video of a groovy nightmare blues song.

One of the first collaborations between Mercier and Xavier Semens, who joined Callicore in 2006, was the animated video for Phantom Rider, a song from the 2007 album, Hymn for the Hellbound, by the British psychobilly group The Meteors. That same year, Callicore produced an animated video for Sound of a Gun, by the British punk band The Buzzcocks (the initial video was considered too violent for broadcast television, and a second, less violent version was released).

Callicore created the animated video for Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp, a song from John Lee Hooker, Jr.’s Grammy Award-winning album, All Odds Against Me. The video portrays Hooker as a comic book character, “Bluesman”, who plays in clubs at night and cleans up the streets during the day. The video was a Webby Award honoree in the Special FX/Motion Graphics category in 2009. An image from the video was featured on the album’s cover.

In 2008, Callicore produced its first video for Carbon/Silicon, a band founded by Mick Jones, the former guitarist for The Clash, and bass player Tony James. In 2010, the studio produced the video for hip-hop group Arrested Development’s Bloody, as well as for When We Were Angels by Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, a project of former Ramones drummer, Marky Ramone.[2]

In 2011, Callicore created the video for Cake’s Long Time, a track from the band’s comeback album, Showroom of Compassion. In an interview with Cake singer John McCrea, Mercier said the gloomy mood of the video, which follows the plight of a man and his monkey imprisoned in a dystopian world, was inspired directly by Cake’s music, which reminds him of “melancholy things.” McCrea was impressed by the video’s general movement and choreography, which he suggested are often lacking in music videos, and appreciated how Mercier perceived the non-humorous side of Cake’s music.

Callicore produced and directed videos for artists such as Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, Eagle-Eye Cherry and Dr. Feelgood, from 2011 to 2013. The studio has continued its collaboration with John Lee Hooker, Jr., with several videos featuring the “Bluesman” character created for Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp.

You can learn more about Laurent Mercier via his website, wiki, and facebook page.

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Good Guy Billionaire: Who is Marc Benioff?

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce - a values-based leader
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce – values-based leader

Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of Salesforce, in a $106 Billion dollar industry, as businesses are expected to spend $106 billion on SaaS in 2016. He became a millionaire at age 25 and his ideas and followthrough have turned him into a billionaire.

Benioff created the 1-1-1 model of philanthropy, which leverages the resources of Salesforce to improve communities around the world: donating 1% of Salesforce’s product, 1% of its equity and 1% of employees’ time to help nonprofits achieve their missions. Today, more than 700 companies have adopted the 1-1-1 model through the Pledge 1% movement. Benioff and his wife, Lynne, have focused their personal philanthropy on children’s health, including building UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, as well as on public education, homelessness and other social issues. Marc and Lynne Benioff have made an extraordinary $100 million gift to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, which is officially renamed the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. See full press release and on Philanthropies.

In his book “Behind the Cloud,” Marc Benioff explains that every company needs to integrate the Hawaiian Spirit of Mahalo.  The spirit of gratitude and praise.  He remembered that when he used to work for Apple, as a programmer on the MacIntosh, what made him happiest were the fact that he could have fresh fruit smoothies.  So when he started Salesforce he provide fresh and healthy foods in the kitchen, a fully paid gym membership and after every product release he ordered massages for all his technical team as a big thank you, free yoga lessons with a renowned teacher and discount tickets on Hawaiian Airlines.

In order to inspire the team and create the all important team spirt, he created a peer reward system.  People could nominate their peers and the winners would receive $500 bonus checks for various recognition categories.  The most unusual award system were life size posters of distinguished employees for everyone so see and recognize.  One thing that always bothered him that in most industries sales people were “coin-operated.” They were rewarded exclusively with money.  At Salesforce everyone who met their sales quota would receive a 3 day fun filled experience in Hawaii with a friend or their partner.  It surely worked as between 45 to 65% of the sales people met the quota and received their trips.  In most sales organizations only the top 20% of the sales team is rewarded. By setting the bar within reach, the morale in the company soared creating a positive experience for the Salesforce team and their customers.

A pioneer of cloud computing, Benioff founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create a new kind of enterprise software company, with a new technology model based in the cloud, a new pay-as-you-go business model and a new integrated corporate philanthropy model.  Salesforce has been named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies five years in a row by Forbes Magazine, one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies in the software industry and a Fortune Best Company to Work For. 

Benioff has been widely recognized for his visionary leadership and pioneering innovations. He has been named one of the 50 World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune, Businessperson of the Year by Fortune readers, one of the Best CEOs in the World by Barron’s and received The Economist’s Innovation Award. Benioff is also a member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees.

Benioff believes that businesses are the greatest platforms for change in the world. He has embraced World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab’s multi stakeholder approach to leadership, serving not only shareholders but all stakeholders–including customers, employees, partners, communities and the environment–to make the world a better place. Benioff is also inspiring fellow business leaders to do the same. He led a group of CEOs and business leaders in opposing state legislation that discriminated against LGBTQ communities, and instituted a company-wide salary assessment at Salesforce to ensure men and women were being paid equally for comparable work.

Benioff is a 35-year veteran of the software industry. Prior to launching Salesforce, he spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation. He founded his first company, Liberty Software, which created video games, at the age of 15. He also worked as an assembly language programmer in Apple Computer’s Macintosh Division. Benioff received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1986 and an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2014 from the University of Southern California.

He is the author of three books, including the national best seller, Behind the Cloud.

He runs a most transparent company.  Enjoy his Keynote speech to his employees at the DX conference. Watch Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO of Salesforce kick off the TrailheaDX 2016 Keynote. He interviews special guest Corinne Warnshuis, Executive Director, GDI about the organization’s partnership with Salesforce. Recorded live on June 7, 2016.

Learn more on www.salesforce.com 

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Shrekli-style Greed: Who is Heather Bresch, Mylan CEO

Heather-Bresch-CEO-of-Mylan-speaks-to-Fortune-Most-Powerful-Women-summit-in-2015-410x220
Mylan Stock in free fall again.. Fortune Magazine (2015 Article)

Who is Heather Bresch? Did she not learn from the Shrekli affair? Did she not realize that the Pharma Industry is in dire need of an overhaul and governmental oversight?  If she did, she just doesn’t care.  Who is she? Where does such an awful misguided corporate CEO come from?

Heather Bresch grew up in Framington, West Virginia.  She graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations, from West Virginia University.  She is the daughter of a Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin. After her under graduate degree she taught aerobics in San Diego before moving back to her home state as a 22-year-old newlywed in need of a job. Her father met the CEO of Mylan during a baseball game and urged him to hire his daughter in 1992.  She started with the company as a low level quality control clerk, where her job required her to type labels.  Mylan’s executive offices back then were located in a double-wide trailer in Morgantown.

She surely can be admired for having come a long way since then. So how did it happen?  Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Perhaps she loves making money at any cost? Her father a long time Senator for West Virginia has been accused of using his office to enrich himself.  Perhaps she is just “daddy’s little lady.” She seems to have very similar values as her father and her second husband.

Caught up in needless lies as nobody cares about the MBA

The Post-Gazette reported in 2007 only 8 years after Heather Bresch started her clerical position at Mylan that Ms. Bresch mysteriously ended up with an MBA, which initially was reported by Business Insider Singapore which listed 29 executives who had steep careers despite their “soft” MBAs. The University explained that she had completely only half of her course work. Apparently WVU initially told the Post-Gazette that the 38-year-old Ms. Bresch did not have an MBA, but reversed itself days later after she insisted she earned the degree in December 1998.  The article stated: “An Oct. 22 letter advising the admissions and records office to award Ms. Bresch the degree retroactively was signed by R. Stephen Sears, the Milan Puskar Dean of WVU’s business school.”

Ah, we are getting warmer. Why would the University decide to give our a “Free” MBA from the Milan Puskar Business School to the Senator’s daughter despite the fact she didn’t earn it?  Apparently is must have been a “private” matter.  The University kept insisting that they could not explain anything citing privacy laws.  Well, family matters must not be aired in public.  It kind of makes sense that her boss, Mylan’s Chairman Milan Puskar, who gave Heather the her initial job while he was still CEO upon the Senator’s urging is reportedly, a “longtime friend of the Manchin family”.  Mike Garrison served on the governor Bob Wise’ transition team with other members of WVU’s board of governors, when Heather Bresch’s classmate Mike Garrison was appointed as the University President. As former Gov. Bob Wise’s chief of staff, he was involved in selecting five members of WVU’s Board of Governors, including Chairman Stephen Goodwin, the Charleston attorney who headed the search committee for WVU’s new president.  It was convenient since Heather Bresch, graduated from Fairmont, W.Va., West High School in 1987 in the same class as West Virginia University President Mike Garrison and attended WVU with Mr. Garrison, earning an undergraduate degree in 1991.  She joined Mylan in 1992 as a data entry clerk, and was quickly promoted to served in several posts, including as a lobbyist, but her fortunes at the world’s third-largest generic drug maker rose dramatically after she was Mylan’s spokesperson during the 2004-05 proxy fight waged against the company by hedge fund operator Carl Icahn. At the time of the article she received a $500,000 salary as COO.  So Mike and Heather are pals and each has government connections. Additionally, Mylan donated $20 Million to the University, so the all around friendly attitude toward Heather’s mysterious and hence-forth unexplained matter of the MBA is understandable, right?  Poor Mike Garrison had to resign from his post following this unnecessary scandal. Full Article

Show me who you love and I tell you who you are! Let’s check out Heather Manchin’s second husband Jeff Bresch

Apparently she got married to first Douglas Kirby and soon divorced.  He is the CEO of a tech company that provides facial recognition software that can search videos. Bloomberg reports: “MXSERVER is used by law enforcement to monitor large-scale events, process live surveillance feeds identifying potential threats and conduct investigative analysis following a terrorist attack or criminal act. MXSERVER v2.7 is a significant upgrade to prior versions, improving back-end video/photo processing and face search speed and reliability. Numerous functional enhancements have been made which simplify and expedite video/photo analysis and biometric enrollment.”  Very cool and much needed technology.  That marriage didn’t last very long.

Heather Kirby married her true love with whom she has four children, Jeff Bresch.  Jeff is a litigation lawyer at Jones Day.  This law firm protects their clients against attacks. His corporate resume shows that he represented Education Management Corporation against “false claims.”  The company was sued for defrauding the public.  While Jones Day still claims the allegations were false the negotiated a successful settlement agreement with the Obama Administration and various US states. In an article by TribLive it was reported: “The company’s CEO, Mark McEachen, said prosecutors were flexible in negotiating the settlement and the agreement with attorneys general in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The state prosecutors agreed to end their investigations into EDMC in exchange for the company implementing more transparent recruiting practices and improving staff monitoring. ” They also agreed to a $95.5 Million fine without admitting any wrong doing.  Full Article  Jeff Bresch’s resume also shows that prior to working with Jones Day he gained experience. “As lead trial lawyer, successfully defended several exploration and production companies in connection with OSHA investigations and citations arising out of alleged work safety violations, including a fatality and environmental losses from drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale.”  Heather’s husband is clearly an effective attorney fighting successfully for his clients.  Full resume

Jeff Bresch’s value system is similar to the one Heather’s father Joe Manchin espouses.  Here is a report about Joe Manchin’s first speech in Congress:  “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is making millions from a private coal company even as he fights public health efforts that would raise costs for the coal industry, Senate financial disclosure records reveal. Manchin’s first speech in Congress was an attack on the Environmental Protection Agency for trying to fight the crime of mountaintop removal mining. Manchin opposes EPA regulation of greenhouse pollution, produced disproportionately from burning coal. Last week, Manchin lashed out at Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the billionaire’s contribution to a campaign to shut down toxic coal-fired power plants.”  Full Article

Heather Bresch’s questionable Value System is Nothing New

As early as 2015 Fortune reported:  As CEO, Bresch has been eclipsed by Robert Coury, her predecessor and mentor, now Mylan’s executive chairman—a brash fountain of expletives who many observers believe still pulls Mylan’s strings. Institutional investors have long accused Coury and Bresch of putting their interests ahead of those of shareholders—a suspicion that Mylan’s rebuff of Teva only deepened. “They’re kind of in the penalty box,” says Marty Sass, a money manager of $7.5 billion who sold half his Mylan stake in July. “Everybody hates them.”

Bresch helped write and rally support behind the 2012 Generic Drug User Fee Act, a law that funded more FDA inspections of generic-drug factories overseas.

In 1989 the NYT reported: “When a drug comes off patent, enormous profits can be gained by the company that gets its generic version approved first. When Mylan Laboratories Inc. of Pittsburgh felt its applications were being deliberately held up in the F.D.A. approval process, it hired private detectives who discovered an F.D.A. official had accepted bribes from a competitor. So much money is at stake that falsification and bribery are constant dangers. The generic drug industry needs also to take the lead in policing its own members. The industry has been a potent force in keeping down the high price of drugs, and medical costs will rocket if the industry fails to overcome the doubts that may now be raised about its products.”

The FDA itself: “The generic drug industry has grown from modest beginnings into a major force in health care. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, generic drugs now account for 88% of prescriptions dispensed in the United States, and saved the U.S. health system $1.68 trillion from 2005 to 2014.”   Mylan is the world leader in this industry and young Bresch is the CEO of the leading company.  As the Puskar and later on Coury appointed government liaison she assisted in creating this industry.   So why do the changes in law Bresch has pushed through Congress have such a profound impact on the Pharma Industry’s pricing structure? Why instead of saving money are the prices sky-rocketing?

Forbes reported in 2005 that generic drugs are going up by sometimes thousands of percent due to Drug Shortages related to Manufacturing Issues

“But post-industry consolidation, fewer generic manufacturers are applying to the FDA for permission to produce those drugs. With substantially fewer manufacturers producing a particular generic drug (in some cases only 2 or 3 makers), generic prices have crept up with time. However, there are more influential factors than this. When one or more of the manufacturers making a particular drug run short of inventory, demand overtakes supply and results in a price rise. Quality and manufacturing issues are a major reason for drug shortages, according to the FDA. The FDA monitors every facility that is used for production and should any issue arise, the manufacturing company will be issued a notice accordingly.”

Bresch started her carrier in the manufacturing control department. Mylan has an outstanding record.  The law she helped write and get approved, is cutting out manufacturers, creating a free reign in price-gouging for Mylan.  That children and human beings are adversely affected doesn’t seem to bother her one bit.  To her and her husband it is all about money and power.  Only about that.  In her way of looking at the world she is brilliantly successful, while kids die needless from bee stings.

Now would be a good time to genuinely study the proposal of how to get the pricing back down to a reasonable level.  The public and the legislators need to want it and vote for it.  Full Proposal.

 

 

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Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is one of the world most wonderful books.

Marcus Aurelius, author of Meditations.
Marcus Aurelius, author of Meditations.

Marcus Aurelius was considered the last good emperor of Rome.  He ascended to rule in 161 CE succeeding his uncle and adoptive father, Emperor Hadrian. Marcus chose him to co-reign his adoptive half-brother Lucius Aurelius Verus as co-emperors until Lucius’ death in 169 CE.

Marcus Aurelius was educated by the esteemed orator Marcus Cornelius Fronto before turning wholly to philosophy.  He ruled according to the precepts of Stoicism. Unfortunately his rule was interrupted by constant warfare by Nazarenes and Christians. Despite his persecution of Christians who tried to over through the order and the laws in Rome he is considered the last good emperor.  He consistently placed the needs of the people before his own desires or visions of glory.

During the last twelve years of his life, Marcus Aurelius fought the Germans successfully as one of the top generals of Rome, despite the fact that he was never trained in warfare.

He had 10 children nearly all of whom died.  Unfortunately Commodus the only surviving child was deranged and one of the worst rulers in history. Commodus had his only surviving sister Anna killed after she and her husband tried to plot against him.  Marcus Aurelius is considered the last of the good emperors as he did not succeed in passing on his stoic wisdoms.

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We miss you Toots Thieleman

We miss Toots  Thieleman, by Rolando Morales
We miss Toots Thieleman, by Rolando Morales

Hola, Mi Gente!

Today we lost yet another musical icon, this time in the world of jazz.  The diminutive Belgian Toots Thielemans, a jazz harmonica player, guitarist and whistler, was indeed a musical giant.  He lived to the age of 94 and played almost as long.  “Why would I retire?” he once said.  “I do what I love.” 

His sweet, unique sound came from a  place he described as somewhere “between a smile and a tear.”  What an amazing life lead by an amazing gentleman!  We’re most fortunate that he shared his unique gift with the world for so many decades. I spoke with him and saw him perform several times over the years . He was kind, humble, honest and funny. He was Quincey Jones’ favorite musician and one of the world’s musical treasures. We’ll continue to enjoy his passionate legacy. We love you, Toots.

I just completed six days in a row of private and public gigs all over La Bahia, from San Jose to Walnut Creek.  They included some beautiful locales, sensuous Russian girls who wouldn’t stop dancing and even a good amount of tears from appreciative listeners.  It was a really good week that left me totally spent by the time late Sunday night rolled around.  

I’m wrapping up my active August with some more lovely private events and four public shows.  This Friday Aug 26 from 8-11pm, I do my very first solo performance at the Pairings Cellars, the brand new Pleasanton night spot.  I’m looking forward to unveiling my diverse repertoire to that new audience.  

Rolando Morales Performs Pairings Cellars Solo
Rolando Morales Performs Pairings Cellars Solo

I also have another fun duet show coming up this Saturday August 27 at The Vine at Bridges from 8-11pm with the charismatic Estaire Godinez, the Latin percussionist-vocalist who played with George Benson and Prince.  She lights it up!  

The beautiful Estaire Godinez joins Rolando Morales at The Vine at Bridges
The beautiful Estaire Godinez joins Rolando Morales at The Vine at Bridges, August 27, 2016 from 8-11pm.

I’ll also have Maria, Maria in Walnut Creek on Sunday Aug 28 from 2-5pm on the patio, and also next Tuesday Aug 30 at Maria, Maria, this time in Danville, 6-9pm.  A great way to wrap up the month.  See you at the show!

Ciao,

Rolando 

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Join us on Thursday, August 18th from 6-10pm for Jim Dennis’ Birthday Celebration and Extended exhibit “50 Years In A Flash”.

Jim Dennis' Birthday Celebration - Joyce Gordon Gallery
Jim Dennis’ Birthday Celebration – Joyce Gordon Gallery
50 Years In A Flash | Photography by Jim Dennis
August 5 – August 27, 2016 
Jim Dennis’ Birthday Celebration 
Thursday, August 18th 6 – 10pm 
Joyce Gordon Gallery Tour 6-7pm  
 
Celebration at Geoffrey’s InnerCircle (410 14th St, Oakland) 
7-10pm feat an extended music collection 
($5 Door Entry include live music and extended exhibit). 


Get an amazing discount on your photo session by world renown photographer Jim Dennis
Get an amazing discount on your photo session by world renown photographer Jim Dennis

Sign up to have your portrait taken by renown Bay Area photographer, Jim Dennis here at Joyce Gordon Gallery along with celebrity makeup artist Meko White | .www.mekowhite.com

 Portrait Session $150 per person | Each Sessions are approximately 20mins to 30mins
 

Joyce Gordon Gallery presents “50 Years In A Flash,” a retrospective of photography including portraits, nudes, music, flowers and landscapes by renowned Bay Area photographer Jim Dennis. 

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Rolando Morales will perform at Maria Maria, Walnut Creek on Sunday August 21, 2016

RolandoMoralesBobHarrison2015

Sunday Aug 21, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  If it’s too hot, it will be indoors.   He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

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Book Summary: Getting to Yes

Getting to Yes was written by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton.

This book was published originally in 1981 and since has been translated into 18 languages. It has been taught on several Universities including Harvard and Colorado University. Roger Fisher, a Williston Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard University died at 90 years of age in Hanover on August 25th, 2012. For over 40 years, he served as a professor at Harvard, where he established conflict resolution and negotiation as single field deserving academic study. Fisher joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1958 and became a full professor of law in 1960. In 1976, he became the Samuel Williston Professor of Law. In 1992, he was named a professor emeritus. He also taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the London School of Economics, the Naval War College, Air War College, and the NATO Defense College.

The Harvard Gazette reported that Fisher told Ury that he liked his (Ury’s) paper so much he sent it to the assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, and wanted Ury to work with him.

“I was stunned. Never had I expected a professor to call me up, let alone invite me to collaborate, or see one of my ideas offered up for practical application,” said Ury. “Roger introduced me to the field of negotiation, taught and mentored me, and shaped my career more than anyone. It would be impossible for me to imagine my work without the inspiration and influence of Roger Fisher.“ Full article

The New York Times reported in his obituary: “In 1979, Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance went to Professor Fisher’s house on Martha’s Vineyard before the meeting at Camp David that would lead to a peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. Professor Fisher suggested to Mr. Vance the “single negotiating text” method that was used to bring the parties together, said Bruce M. Patton, who wrote “Getting to Yes” with Professor Fisher and worked on many diplomatic projects with him. The strategy involved having President Jimmy Carter alone be responsible for writing solutions and letting the other leaders shape the treaty through a back-and-forth critiquing process.” Full article

The was the son of Katharine Dummer Fisher and William T. Fisher who each are descendants of prominent families in the legal profession. The ancestors of his mother were in the circle of Abraham Lincoln and his grandfather William T. Fisher advised Tuft as his secretary of the interior.

It is said that Roger Fisher’s passion for conflict resolution derived of the fact that four out of his eight college friends passed away during the World War II. Early on he decided to devote his life to find a way to prevent conflict and wars.

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Artist Highlight – Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett Happy Birthday
Tony Bennett Happy Birthday

“We aren’t likely to see a recording career like this again.”
— The New York Times

“…his voice is still a technical marvel, and no one else on Earth can make a lyric written eight decades ago sound as natural as a conversation at a coffee shop.”
— New York Magazine

Happy Birthday Tony Bennett

No one else in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence as Tony Bennett. In the last ten years alone he has sold ten million records. The essence of his longevity and high artistic achievement was imbued in him in his loving childhood home in the Astoria section of Queens where he was born on August 3, 1926. His father died when Tony was 10 and his mother, Anna, raised Tony and his older brother and sister, John and Mary, in a home surrounded by loving relatives who were Tony’s first fans filling him with encouragement and optimism. He attended the High School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan, where he continued nurturing his two passions, singing and painting. From the radio he developed a love of music, hearing Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and James Durante.

As a teenager Tony sang while waiting on tables, and then enlisted in the Army during World War II. While in Europe he performed with military bands. He later had vocal studies at the American Theatre Wing School. The first time Bennett sang in a nightclub was in 1946 when he sat in with trombonist Tyree Glenn at the Shangri-La in Astoria. Bennett’s big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village in New York City. As Bennett recalls, “Bob Hope came down to check out my act. He liked my singing so much that after the show he came back to see me in my dressing room and said, ‘Come on kid, you’re going to come to the Paramount and sing with me.’ But first he told me he didn’t care for my stage name (Joe Bari) and asked me what my real name was. I told him, ‘My name is Anthony Dominick Benedetto’ and he said, ‘We’ll call you Tony Bennett.’ And that’s how it happened. A new Americanized name—the start of a wonderful career and a glorious adventure that has continued for over 60 years.”

With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received seventeen Grammy Awards—including a 1995 Grammy for Record of the Year for his “MTV Unplugged” CD, which introduced this American master to a whole new generation—and the Grammy Lifetime Award. His 2007 prime-time special, “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” won seven Emmy Awards. His initial successes came via a string of Columbia singles in the early 1950’s, including such chart-toppers as “Because of You,” “Rags to Riches,” and a remake of Hank Williams “Cold, Cold Heart.” He had 24 songs in the Top 40, including “I Wanna Be Around,” “The Good Life,” “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” and his signature song, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” which garnered him two Grammy Awards.

Tony Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has introduced a multitude of songs into the Great American Songbook that have since become standards for pop music. He has toured the world to sold out audiences with rave reviews whenever he performs. Bennett re-signed with Columbia Records in 1986 and released the critically acclaimed The Art of Excellence. Since his 1991 show-stopping performance at the Grammy Awards of “When Do The Bells Ring For Me,” from his Astoria album, he has received a string of Grammy Awards for releases including Stepping Out, Perfectly Frank, and MTV Unplugged.

In the new millennium, Bennett’s artistry and popularity was higher than ever. In 2006, the year of his 80th birthday, his Duets: An American Classic was released. The album—which included performances with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Bono, and others—won three Grammy Awards and went on to be one of the best selling CDs of the year and Tony’s career. Bennett’s first Duets album also inspired the Rob Marshall-directed television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic which won seven Emmys making it the most honored program at the 2007 Emmy Awards.

In celebration of his 85th birthday in 2011, the release of Bennett’s highly anticipated Duets II featured Tony performing with a new roster of celebrated artists including the late Amy Winehouse (her last recording was their duet of “Body and Soul”), Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, and many others. Duets II debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album charts, making Tony the only artist at the age of 85 to achieve this in the history of recorded music. Bennett won two Grammys for Duets II in the 2012 Grammy ceremony and this year marked the 50th Anniversary of the recording and release of his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” A documentary entitled THE ZEN OF BENNETT, which was created and conceived by Danny Bennett, Tony’s son and manager, was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. At the end of 2012, Bennett also authored his fourth book, the New York Times bestseller, LIFE IS A GIFT, which highlights his personal philosophies learned throughout his life and career.

Tony Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005, was named an NEA Jazz Master in January of 2006, a Citizen of the World award from the United Nations and a Billboard Magazine Century Award in honor of his outstanding contributions to music. Tony Bennett is a dedicated painter whose interest in art began as a child. He continues to paint every day, even as he tours internationally. He has exhibited his work in galleries around the world. The United Nations has commissioned him for two paintings, including one for their 50th anniversary. His original painting, “Homage to Hockney,” is on permanent display at the Butler Institute of American Art and the landmark National Arts Club in New York is home to Tony’s painting “Boy on Sailboat, Sydney Bay.” Three of his paintings are part of the Smithsonian Museums permanent collections including his portrait of his friend Duke Ellington that became part of the National Portrait Gallery’s collection in 2009.

Throughout his career, Tony Bennett has always put his heart and time into humanitarian concerns. He has raised millions of dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which established a research fund in his name. His original paintings each year grace the cover of the American Cancer Society’s annual holiday greeting card, proceeds from which are earmarked for cancer research. He is active in environmental concerns and social justice. He marched with Dr. King in the historical Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights movement and the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta bestowed upon him their “Salute to Greatness Award” for his efforts in fighting racial discrimination.

In 1999, Tony Bennett, with his wife Susan Benedetto, a former public school teacher, founded Exploring the Arts (ETA) to strengthen the role of the arts in public high school education. ETA connects private funders, individual artists, and cultural institutions to Partner Schools to achieve greater equality of resources and opportunity for youth of all means and backgrounds. ETA programs are designed to help school principals and teachers sustain the arts in the face of budget cuts and better leverage the arts to strengthen student learning and engagement. ETA’s first endeavor was the establishment of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), a public high school founded in 2001 by Tony and Susan in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. FSSA is housed in a newly constructed building in Tony’s hometown of Astoria, Queens. Its state of the art facilities include visual art studios and a gallery, black box theatres and a stagecraft workshop, dance studios, choral and orchestral classrooms, an 800-seat concert hall, a multi-media technology lab, and a rooftop performance garden. All students major in Dance, Theatre, Film, Fine Art, Vocal or Instrumental Music. FSSA also offers a rigorous academic curriculum and holds one of the highest graduation and college enrollment rates for NYC public high schools. ETA continued beyond its commitment to FSSA to expand their support and to date, ETA currently partners with 17 public high schools—14 in all five boroughs of New York City and 3 schools located in East Los Angeles.

Today Tony Bennett’s artistry and accomplishments are applauded here at home and all over the world from people from 12 to 90 years old. Recently former President Bill Clinton observed, “Now in his seventh decade of singing, Tony Bennett has somehow kept his unique voice, with its beauty and range, its strength and style, and still in perfect pitch. But as talented as he is, Tony’s most impressive quality is his giving spirit!”

zenofbennett.com

Help Tony Bennett, on his birthday to keep giving he gift of Art. exploringthearts.org

Enjoy this amazing show of this incredible life.  It is long and so, so rich.

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TTIP want to put GMO based food ahead of local populations’ preference for health

TTIP is negotiated by officials who were not voted for and who wish to oppress local populations for big business. It provides permission for big multi national companies to sue local populations if they are against these poisons. Big business at its most offensive level since the Oligarch era of days past.

These offensive practices are already happening on a wide scale with big business oppressing third world countries. Now these offensive companies want to oppress all European countries.

Tobacco companies were limited from advertising in the US lowering he rate of smokers to 18% of the US populations, down from a high of 48%.
So they moved their business to third world countries. They started to sue small countries insisting by removing warning labels. This is what the TTIP and the TTP is all about. Giving corporations free reign pretending that they are fighting China has nothing to do with free trade. World populations need to step up and get informed.

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