Nicolas Bearde performs special December Holiday Show at Piedmont Piano Company

Nicolas Bearde & Friends
Celebrating the Season

Now celebrating his 11th anniversary, this special concert is a “must see” show for all fans of contemporary Jazz and Blues. With holiday classics and carols getting the signature Nicolas Bearde high-energy makeover, it’s a show you won’t want to miss. Joining him on stage are some of the Bay Area’s best: John R Burr (piano), Ron Belcher (bass), and Lorca Hart (drums).

Give the gift of music this Holiday season to family and friends. Make your reservations early. This “one night only concert” always sells out.

Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 8pm
at Piedmont Piano Company
1728 San Pablo Ave. (at 18th), Oakland, CA

$25 in advance / $30 at the door. Meet & Greet and reception to follow.
To reserve tickets with your credit card, please call (510) 547-8188.


Recording artist, Nicolas Bearde, a seasoned and highly respected showman, has established himself as a powerful presence in the contemporary jazz vocal milieu over this past decade. His silky baritone sound invites comparisons to Johnny Hartman, Lou Rawls, and Joe Williams, and his wit and engaging rapport captures and draws the audience into his live performances. Nicolas has 5 CD’s out on his own label, Right Groove Records, and his most recent album release, Invitation in January 2016, rose quickly to the Top 20 on the Jazz Week Charts, garnering rave reviews at home and abroad. nicolasbearde.com

John R Burr (keys)- John R. Burr is that rare pianist who combines jazz technique with a genuine love for folk music. The Philadelphia Weekly said, “Pianist extraordinaire John R. Burr has the most sparkling style since former Allman Brother-turned-Rolling Stone hired hand Chuck Leavell.” Discology wrote, “John R. Burr ranks with the best of the elegant jazzers.”

Ron Belcher (bass)– Bassist Ron Belcher travels the world from France to Japan and throughout the US bringing his rhythmically buoyant, emotionally uplifting style to the stage for a wide diversity of jazz artists. Performing or recording with such international stars such as Branford Marsalis, Regina Carter, Rodney Franklin, as well as a literal “who’s who” of the San Francisco jazz scene, Ron has garnered a reputation as one of northern California’s first-call jazz bassists.

Lorca Hart (drummer) – Drummer Lorca Hart grew up in Taos, New Mexico in a musical family. He was exposed to a variety of instruments and musical styles as a child but early on it became clear that the drumset was his passion. He has performed with many of the West Coast’s (and beyond) finest artists including : Carmen Lundy, Freddie Hubbard, Calvin Keys, Stanley Jordan, and others and can be heard on recordings by Hugh Masekela, John Heard, Justo Almario, Ronald Muldrow, Dave Pike, Phil Ranelin, and the Cross Hart Jazz Experience.

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Bautista performs at the 2nd Annual Marin Music Festival in San Rafael this Saturday, 4:45 pm

Hello Bautista Fans,

To help bring cheer back BAUTISTA band members and I invite you to a wonderful event in my hometown of San Rafael his Saturday, October 14th on the Marin side of the   San Rafael / Richmond Bridge for the 2nd Annual Marin Music Festival at the Marin Rod and Gun Club 2675 East Francisco Blvd. San Rafael, CA 94901.

Bautista, leader of Bautista Band
Bautista, leader of Bautista Band

You know my brother Frank is hurting right now after losing every valuable possession he has to the Santa Rosa fire last Monday night from his Mobile Home, 3 vehicles, and his beloved work shed that all burned down to the ground. My family is in the midst of developing a plan to help get him and his wonderful Lady Linda back on their feet. Like my brother, I hope those who have had any level of loss has a very close circle of family and friends to be there for mental and financial support.

Hopefully by this coming weekend the dust, or more like the ashes and particles, will settle and life will begin to come back better and stronger than before for all of those who have suffered any degree of loss, sad or emptiness. Although fires are devastating, the charred remains somehow turn into a means of refresh.
Join Bautista Band at 5pm this Saturday
Join Bautista Band at 5pm this Saturday, cheer up families who lost everything in Fire.
Come join us to bring cheer back BAUTISTA band members and I invite you to a wonderful event in my hometown of San Rafael his Saturday, October 14th on the Marin side of the SanRafael-Richmond Bridge for the 2nd Annual Marin Music Festival at the Marin Rod and Gun Club 2675 East Francisco Blvd. San Rafael, CA 94901. This is an all day event with BAUTISTA closing this water side festival starting at 4:45pm. Weather looks like a sunny 75 degrees so come be in the sun with BAUTISTA!
See you soon!
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Rolando Morales at Barone’s, The Vine at Bridges, Seahorse, and C’era Una Volta,

October 10, 2017

¡Hola, Mi Gente!

Is everyone gagging on the thick, toxic fumes?  Feeling a little sick?  And the fires are bad, too, huh?

It’s been hard keeping up with the the daily barrage of events.  The floods, the hurricanes, the earthquakes, the saber rattling, more sexual oppression, insults launched from the White House and Congress…  And now the fires in our back yard.  Everyone’s on overload.

My private gigs have slowed down a bit which affords a moment to breathe, even if it was smoky this morning…

If you need an escape from the madness this weekend, join me at Barone’s Restaurant in Pleasanton this Friday Oct 13 and leave your superstitions at the door.  We don’t have time for that nonsense.  DO bring your appetite, as the menu here is amazing.  And I’ll be there in the intimate bar on solo guitar and voice.  Details below.

Then on Saturday night October 14, I’ll host the long-awaited return of my dear, talented friend Janice Maxie-Reid to The Vine at Bridges in Danville.  She is the superb keyboardist-vocalist with the 4-octave range who has performed with none other than Stevie Wonder.  We always light it up when we play here together.  The last time was about 3 or 4 months ago, so don’t miss it!  Details below.

And remember that next week Saturday October 21st, my band returns to The Sausalito Seahorse.  Not only will we have a stellar band including the great Carlos Reyes on violin and Paraguayan harp, Danilo Paíz on percussion and vocals, Dave Flores on drums, and Yours Truly on guitar and guitar synth and vocals; We’ll also feature a very, very special surprise guest on bass.  We can’t really advertise him due to contractual restrictions.  Let’s just say we’re all so excited to be able to play with him again and look forward to seeing him on stage again with Tower of Power.  So his picture in the poster is a big Question Marc.  I wonder if he’s arriving in a VW?  Make your reservations at the Seahorse at (415) 331-2899.

Check out below what’s also happening with my return to Havana in Walnut Creek, Maria, Maria in Danville, and Alameda’s own C’era Una Volta.  Details and dates are below.

Come out and say hi and let me know you’re okay.

Ciao,

Rolando

PUBLIC PERFORMANCES FOR OCTOBER 2017 

Friday Oct 13, Barone’s Restaurant, 475 St. John St., Pleasanton CA, approx 7:30-10:30pm.  After two months away, Rolando returns to one of Pleasanton’s premier dining establishments.  Enjoy exquisite meals and service, libations and Rolando’s vast repertoire in the Cocktail Lounge for a great night out.   See www.baronespleasanton.com(925) 426-0987.

Saturday Oct 14, Vine at Bridges, 480 Hartz Avenue, Danville, approx 8-11pmThe Rolando Morales Duet returns to this cool winery and nightspot.  Enjoy a wonderful selection of wines, superb dinners and tapas while grooving to this powerful duet.  Tonight Rolando welcomes the enchanting keyboardist-vocalist Janice Maxie-Reid.  She has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder and Sting, so you know she’s doing something right!  And on guitar, voice and his pedal board of magic, the passionate Rolando Morales.  There’ll be lots of soul and classic R&B mixed into this Latin caldo, so don’t miss it!  www.thevineatbridges.com(925) 820-7210.

Friday Oct 20Havana Cuban Cuisine, 1516 Bonanza St., Walnut Creek, approx 8:30-11pmRolando returns after his hit debut last month to this fine Cuban restaurant and live music venue.  Great Cuban cuisine, ceiling fans swirling lazily and Rolando’s vast Latin repertoire and beyond on solo guitar and voice.   www.havanarestaurant.net,   (925) 939-4555.

Saturday Oct 21“An Evening with Rolando Morales and Carlos Reyes,” Sausalito Seahorse, 305 Harbor Drive, Sausalito, approx 8:30-11:30pm.  After two months away, these two passionate musicians finally return to The Seahorse to put on their unique show at this fun waterfront restaurant and club.  The great Paraguayanviolinist/harpist Carlos Reyes and passionate guitarist / vocalist Rolando Morales will play a short set in duet to close out the dinner hour, followed by a concert and dancing to the World Class Rolando Morales Group featuring a very special surprise guest bassist from Tower of Power to be announced at the show;  from Lauryn Hill, the exciting drummer Dave Flores; from Dizzy Gillespie and Ruben Blades, the powerful Nicaraguan Latin percussionist/vocalist Danilo Paíz; from Paraguay, the thrilling violinist and harpist from Arturo Sandoval and Steve Miller, Carlos Reyes; and the powerful Rolando Morales leading the journey on guitar, guitar synthesizer and vocals.   Don’t miss it!   $15.  Make your  reservations at (415) 331-2899, www.sausalitoseahorse.com.

Friday Oct 27Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx 6-9pm.  After a month away, Rolando returns for a Friday night show at Carlos Santana’s Danville restaurant.  Enjoy Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  See if he has any special guests sitting in…  (925) 820-2366,  www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

Saturday Oct 28C’era Una Volta, 1332 Park Street, Alameda, CA 945017-9:30 pm.  After a month away, Rolando returns to this fine Tuscan-style restaurant that welcomes you like family to embrace the spirit of Italy.  Rolando will take you on a musical tour of the Americas and beyond on solo guitar and voice in this intimate room. This is a great match and a rare opportunity to catch Rolando in Alameda!  www.ceraunavolta.us/ (510) 769-4828.

And don’t miss this exciting November 2017 Quintet performance: 

Thursday Nov 2,2017YOSHI’S PRESENTS “CARLOS REYES and the ELECTRICK SYMPHONY” at Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West in Oakland.  Featuring an All-Star band including Santana’s lead vocalist Tony Lindsay, Rolando Morales, Janice Maxie-Reid and more.  Reservations at (510) 238-9200www.Yoshis.com.

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Now Laura Ashley is brilliantly marketed…

Rosie on Fire, business attire
Rosie on Fire, business attire

Laura Ashley is brilliantly marketed.  It reminds Baby Boomer ladies of the days, back when they were young, confident and beautiful, during the late 1980s.  It meets their current wish to tend to their wonderful gardens with stylish garden clothing, hats, and garden tools.  Lovely.

In 1925 baby Laura Ashley was born in Dowley, Wales.  She was an enterprising woman and started designing home furnishings. Later on in life, in the 1960s she also expanded her business into clothing.

Laura Ashley RIP September 17, 1985
Laura Ashley RIP September 17, 1985

She was inspired by the Roman Holiday.  Audrey Hepburn looked so pretty and her clothes were feminine and romantic, unlike the psychedelic fashion that took over the UK at that time. Think the Mike Myers movie “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”

The fashion brand was a huge success and in the 1980s it expanded into the US.  After Laura Ashley’s death in September 1985 the company had been taken public.

Today the company is owned by Malayan United Industries Berhad (MUI) which is listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad. The corporate philosophy of the Group  for over 50 years is guided by three key attributes – strength, efficiency and trustworthiness.   In their advertisements here in the US, in which older ladies are sold gardening tools and chic outfits by one of the top retailers in the US, Orchard Hardware Supplies, this sentiment certainly comes across.  But few people realize that the company merely sells to the US consumer, than transports the earnings to Malaysia, where undoubted lot of very young people are employed.

One of their important non-executive directors has been educated in the US. Tan Sri Dato’ Paduka Dr. bin Ahmad attended Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School, Executive Development Program at Philippines Executive Academy and holds Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History from University of Malaya, Master of Public Administration from University of Pittsburgh and PhD in Public Administration from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.

The trading company, one of the most successful company’s in Malaysia, is managed by Khoo Kay Peng.  In his personal life Mr. Khoo Kay Peng does not espouse the values he sells to the women in the US.  He is divorced from the former Ms. Malaysia Pauline Chai who now lives in the UK.  Their daughter Angeline Francis Khoo revealed in  2014  that domestic violence was the cause of their parents divorce.  Bravo to Ms. Pauline Chai for no longer putting up with maltreatment.  The UK courts awarded her $112 Million in their divorce settlement, clearly a very tiny fraction of the overall personal value their 40 years marriage has produced.  However, the price for freedom of maltreatment is worth it. It is always a very brave step to leave your abuser.

Khoo Kay Peng’s daughter, also a Ms. Malaysia, met a young Caribbean Scientist at Oxford and in order to be permitted to marry him, she chose to be disowned by her imperialistic father. She was slated to run the Laura Ashley empire and had spent every University Holiday learning about the business. After the split with her father, she decided that she could not be stopped by his controlling behavior and she started “Rosie on Fire.” Lovely fashion indeed.

Malaysia has joined the United Nations, which is disconcerting since their influence on the world seems to be quite horrible.  Here are some details of recent human rights offenses within Malaysia.

Now back to Orchard Hardware Supplies.   Orchard Hardware Supplies initially benefitted greatly from the real estate boom in Northern California.  Despite the fact that their loyal customers left the individual retail outlets with solid sales, the debt piled on by Sears turned out to be unbearable. Sears spun out the company as an empty shell and unloaded it to Lowe’s after it had filed for Chapter 11 for $205 Million dollars.  More

Now Laura Ashley is brilliantly marketed.  It reminds Baby Boomer ladies of the days, back when they were young, confident and beautiful.  It meets their current wish to tend to their wonderful gardens with stylish garden clothing, hats, and garden tools.  Lovely.

It is marketed truly in line with the corporate manifesto of their Malaysian owners.  It is undoubtedly very profitable, which will please the owners of Lowe’s primarily illustrious institutional investors.  76% of all shares are held by Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street, Wellington Management Group, and Price T. Rowe Associates, according to the Nasdaq.

Personally I genuinely believe that we influence the way the world works each and every day.  You can spend your hard earned money on lovely phantasies created by brilliant marketers.  Enjoyable and practical.  Or, you can buy from small business owners, thereby actually changing and improving women’s lives.   www.fikuros.com is now available on Etsy.   Amazing Bespoke Accessories created one at a time by Niina Karlsson in Finland. Or the many fabulous designers well-known and brand new, available on www.dreslyn.com a company recently started by three millennials, a couple and the lady founder’s brother and her husband’s best friend.  They are genuinely lovely and very smart.  Or, you can check out up and coming designers on Nineteenth Amendment

Fortunately, since we live in a genuine democracy the choice is genuinely yours.  We each get to choose everyday where and with whom we will spend our money.

PS:  If you feel that you or someone you know may be abused, know that there are a lot of people who care.  You can get legal assistance.  You can get physical protection. There is a lot of help. Accepting help from good people is the first step out of domestic violence misery. Elderly who are abused by “care takers” also can get help through the same links.

 

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Is Facebook and Twitter becoming a bit more conscious and aware? Maybe!

Facebook in their media relations page claimed this:

“Over the past few months, we have taken action against fake accounts in France, Germany, and other countries, and we recently stated that we will no longer allow Pages that repeatedly share false news to advertise on Facebook.”

I rejoice since I think at last the manipulations of nefarious activities manipulating the public, whether it is Russians getting conservatives hyped up into a mob mentality against the LGBT community, or having an unqualified real estate maven,  who seemed surprised  that he was chosen to be president, or providing a platform for hate speech for German Nazi’s, which happened to be against the law.

I followed the development of the extreme right groups who are often sponsored and supported by Russia – take hold in Western Europe and I was surprised since it used to be against the law to even whisper the word “Nazi”  in Germany.   The punishment in the 1980s was severe – over $1000 in fines or 2 weeks in prison.

How the world has changed since the Reagan era when we become “one world.”  Germans seem to have forgotten their history and now Neo Nazis are running around demonstrating and promoting their hate freely in public, protected by the free speech laws.  Erdogan’s dictator supporting Turkish soldiers are running around Germany turning in ex-soldiers, if they practice German free speech, and Erdogan tried to shut up a, perhaps a bit tasteless, German comedian.  He launched lawsuits in Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerlands.  Only in Germany he received an audience by politicians who pushed for silencing their own citizens in support of the dictator.

Facebook and Twitter helped these trends, there is no doubt about it.  No matter how much they wanted to deny it or ignore it initially.  They forbade pictures of classic Greek statues and paintings from the Renaissance if they offended some religious desire – but hate speech,  even illegal hate speech was entirely ok to them.  We now know that it was because they made good money with it.  The bot factories paid precious advertising dollars.  Art lovers who shared a beautiful Botticelli painting could not compete with the foreign dictators’ budgets. People who portrayed rape scenes were okay, women’s nipples were not.  When questioned in Germany, they arrogantly proclaimed that the Facebook police were run out of India, thus not subject to German law. Only when Merkel got so frustrated by the public furor that she promised to shut the site down altogether,  was she able to get Zuckerberg’s attention.

Now in Germany they are working on a “Facebook-Gesetz” – a law that is targeting social media companies. the law is meant to stop social media companies from spreading illegal hate speech.  The German press is concerned that while there is an attempt to create such a law, it is far from certain that there will be such a law. Political infighting points that in Germany freedom of speech and the fight against hate speech vs. mob rule attitudes are literally at odds.

While politicians are discussing the pros and cons of the formulation it is up to Facebook to keep order “voluntarily.”  In German fashion, they don’t seem to care if they tacitly allow hate speech free reign while they fight about the way the law is worded.

Thankfully, there definitely have been some improvements as the top management of Facebook finally is starting to become aware that they may be destroying Western Civilization by allowing “free speech” to extremists, while being responsive to complaints by extremists whose goal is quite literally to abolish the Freedoms of  Western Culture as we know it.

Facebook informs us:  “We are also experimenting with changes to help us more efficiently detect and stop inauthentic accounts at the time they are being created.”  

Hopefully this is a priority and completed before the next elections.  Trump fans are right that Western Civilization is under attack, mostly by ourselves.  Business leaders will ultimately decide whether democracy will survive. Business leaders are pro democracy and those who are against democracy will decide our future as they deploy artificial intelligence who write programs which determine how we will be able perceive our world now and in the future.

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Joyce Gordon Gallery presents Art by Chukes and music by Miguel Y Los Buenos Ensemble

Join art and music lovers on Friday, September 29th 6-9pm for the Closing Reception of “Identity Theft” featuring live music by Miguel Y Los Buenos Ensemble.

“IDENTITY THEFT” 
featuring new works by Chukes
August 4 – September 30, 2017
Closing Reception: Friday, September 29th 
6-9pm

Joyce Gordon Gallery is a commercial fine art gallery located in the downtown district of Oakland, California. It exhibits art that reflects the social and cultural diversity of the Bay Area and international artists. The aim of the gallery is to respect the creative pursuits of the individual and seeks to make such work accessible to a broad audience.


 Gallery Hours:
Wed – Fri: 11-6pm | Sat:  1-5pm Sun: by appointment
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Artist Highlight – Uriel Dana

Birds of a Feather Oil on Canvas, 18″ x 14″, 2015, by Uriél Dana. © 2015 Uriél Dana. Featured painting at the Carousel de Louvre Exhibition, Paris, November 2015.
Birds of a Feather
Oil on Canvas, 18″ x 14″, 2015, by Uriél Dana. © 2015 Uriél Dana.
Featured painting at the Carousel de Louvre Exhibition, Paris, November 2015.

She is a member of the Portrait Painters of America and her current work is inspired by San Francisco’s nouveau cirque culture.


The Chinese have a saying that we are a house with four rooms (Mental, Spiritual, Physical and Creative) but most people spend their time in only one. I spend time every day in each of those rooms. I learn something new every day, I meditate every day, I paint or write every day, and I exercise every day.
——————————————————————– Uriel Dana


She was married to the world renowned painter Gage Taylor under whom she initially studied.  They collaborated for 17 years until Mr. Taylor’s untimely passing.    She is a painter, an art restorer, public speaker, and a USA Ambassador for the Arts.

Her oil paintings and drawings are part of dozens of private, corporate, and celebrity art collections. Her oils, gouache, and lost wax bronze work have been shown in 12 countries on 4 continents. On her journey she has visited 44 countries and even lived on 3 continents.  She writes articles, edits books, and has been published as a poet. She also directed a film or two.  

In October 2015, two of her paintings were selected for the Carousel de Louvre exhibition in Paris.  Uriel Dana’s artist profile was  presented in the catalogue Modern Art Masters in Complex Musée du Louvre.   

She is an avid supporter of amazing artists from all around the world.   Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.  Your life will be enriched. For more about Uriel Dana and how to buy her paintings or prints, visit:

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Rolando Morales Update for September 2017

¡Hola, Mi Gente!

I’ve been working day and night putting tech and everything else together for some big private and public shows throughout the Bay Area and beyond.  Thursday we’re doing a big private show up in St. Helena.  Then a couple days up near Lake Tahoe for more private shows.  Then all the way down again to Woodside for yet another private event.  It’s good to be in demand!  I put on four new tires on my car to ensure a safer week.

I broke up the intense prep work with a couple short but majestic hikes through the Oakland Hills near my house.  It’s nice to see Oakland continue to reveal her surprises.  Redwoods, eucalyptus, lakes…  Am I in the Sierras?  Naw, it’s just Oakland.

The public shows won’t begin until next week when I do my first Friday night Danville show at Maria, Maria in almost half a year on September 8.

But the noteworthy show is a great little festival happening on September 92-6pm.  My friends at the Women Entrepreneurs of Los Altos invited my band to play for the WE Vibe Block Party on the 100 Block of First Street in Los Altos.  I’ll be there with my All-Star Quintet putting on two shows.  We’ll also have my favorite flamenco troop “Caminos Flamencos” putting on a passionate show.  Details.

Other highlights this month include my duet on Mexican Independence Day, 16 de Septiembre with my Latin percussionist-vocalist and Sista-From-Anotha-Mista, Estaire Godinez at the Pairings Cellars in Pleasanton.  This will be the first time I do a duet at this venue and you know we’ll light it up.

I’ll also be doing a special duet on Saturday September 23 at The Vine at Bridges with the great violinist Carlos Reyes.  This will be the first time we’re able to do this together here in 2 years, so don’t miss it!  Details below.

Last, be informed that I’m debuting on Fridays September 22 AND 29 at Havana in Walnut Creek, a fine Cuban restaurant, bar and now, Live Music venue.  I’ve only done private off-site work for them in the past, and this will mark the first public in-house appearances in our history.  Swing by!  Details below.

And speaking of Walnut CreekMaria, Maria has abruptly ended their Sunday afternoon shows about 5 weeks earlier than usual.  This year’s strange weather, alternating between unusually cold and windy to intolerably hot has kept patrons off the patio, hurting their sales, so I’ll just do occasional weekends at both their restaurants depending on our schedules.  No more Sundays this season.  So now you know.

See you at the show!

Ciao,

Rolando

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Mark your calendar! This Friday Rolando Morales will perform in Brentwood’s CoCo County Winebar

Coco's Winebar presents Rolando Morales on Friday, August 11, 2017 between 7 - 10pm
Coco’s Winebar presents Rolando Morales on Friday, August 11, 2017 between 7 – 10pm

Friday Aug 11CoCo County Wine Bar, 633 First Street, Brentwood CA, 7-10pm.  Rolando makes his public debut at Brentwood’s Premier Wine Tasting Bar in the downtown retail district.   Rolando never gets out in this area publicly, so you far-east Bay fans, don’t miss this rare opportunity!  www.cocowineco.com,   (925) 634-9463.

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Rolando Morales performs at Maria Maria in Danville tomorrow Tuesday August 8, 2017

Rolando Morales performs at Maria, Maria in Danville Tuesday July 11
Rolando Morales performs at Maria, Maria in Danville Tuesday – August 8, 2017

Tuesday Aug 8Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx. 6-9pm.  After a month away, Rolando finally returns to Carlos Santana’s Danville 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 (925) 820-2366.

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Time to think? Universities are starting to self reflect on their contribution to our culture.

Widener Library on Harvard Campus
Widener Library on Harvard Campus
Is the time-honored tradition of Fraternities and Sororities coming to an end?

A committee announced on Wednesday, July 13, 2017, that they recommend that  Harvard completely forbid students from joining “fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations.” They feel so strongly about it that they wish to replace existing penalties for members of the social groups that are set to go into place in the fall.

Harvard is not the first University who is grappling with the problems caused by these “private” clubs.  Amherst College, Bowdoin College, and Williams College all prohibited undergraduate participation in fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations in recent years.

Undergraduate Council Vice President Cameron K. Khansarinia, class of 2018 said the proposed policy completely “takes away personal responsibility and choice” from College students—and that it is unlikely to be effective.  “It’s simply going to either force [the clubs] underground or literally dry out any semblance of social life on campus,” Khansarinia said. “It’s really not the right way to go about this.”

The faculty needs to guide Harvard into the present-day realities and prepare students for life in a gender neutral world.  This is an issue that needs to be addressed in most traditional colleges and society at large.

Department of Labor Statistic about workforce participation by sex.
Department of Labor Statistic about workforce participation by sex.

Several of the social clubs, for instance the “Fly Club”  are seeking legal council on how they can fight the effort.

Statistics about rape point in a direction that something really needs to be done.
Rainn provides data that shows that sexual violence on campus is pervasive.

    • 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).2
    • Among graduate and professional students, 8.8% of females and 2.2% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.2
    • Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.2
    • 4.2% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.

Student or not, college-age adults are at high risk for sexual violence.

    • Male college-aged students (18-24) are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.1
    • Female college-aged students (18-24) are 20% less likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.
University culture have a profound impact on overall culture around the world.

In June the Harvard Crimson reported:

Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to at least ten prospective members of the Class of 2021 after the students traded sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups in a private Facebook group chat.

A handful of admitted students formed the messaging group—titled, at one point, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens”—on Facebook in late December, according to two incoming freshmen.

In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. Some of the messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines directed at specific ethnic or racial groups. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child “piñata time.”

No one would dispute that people who engage in threatening deaths and child abuse and find it humorous or in anyway acceptable should not be let loose on society, much less on a top notch educational institution.

Is it time to think yet?

The “Fly Club” an all male institution retained an attorney who made some interesting points in an op-ed in 2016.   Silvergate:

"The report acknowledged the correlation between alcohol-fueled partying and sexual assault, which we believe implies that forcing independent organizations to go co-ed would only lead to an increase in the high-risk encounters that lead to assaults. Their proposed alternative is to create a blacklist of non-complying organizations, thereby abridging the freedom of association—a bedrock principle of our nation’s constitution—for its very own students.

This latter course of action is particularly galling: Harvard appears to be moving towards a policy that would expel students simply for membership in a club, while it simultaneously fails to properly adjudicate sexual assault cases. The University is blaming an entire class of students for the condemnable and illegal conduct of a small minority—a clearly backwards approach to community safety."

He later goes on to state:

"We are witnessing a return to the College operating in loco parentis, as it attempts to both dictate social-sexual norms and limit students’ independence. Harvard bureaucrats continue to expand their numbers while also attempting to bring independent single-sex organizations, including the Final Clubs and the growing number of Greek letter organizations, under their control, if not to eliminate them entirely.

Unlike past debates about sexual mores and student liberty at the College, undergraduate students appear unperturbed by, if not supportive of, this assertion of administrative control over their private lives, while the Faculty of Arts and Sciences seems to have little influence with regards to the issue. The administration is leveraging the current political climate to achieve policy goals that will unfortunately do little to prevent sexual assault, but will certainly make Harvard more illiberal."

In my opinion there is much to think about and the trend to have “Big Brother” forbid you to get drunk and rape people instead of encouraging public debates that allow a culture of inclusion, respect and with humanistic values to thrive voluntarily, is a debate that does and should go on and on until we all live in a free society in which everyone is safe from assault, and free to excel at their own personal highest level.

Equality in a society where women make up more than 1/2 of the work force is a must have.  Being able to feel safe is a need that both women and men should be able to enjoy.  How to accomplish that reality should really become part of the public debate.  Forbidding public gatherings of like minded people may just drive the activity underground and it may be unconstitutional. Eliminating “wanna be” and actual racists and rapists should be a must for every educational institution.  Racists and Rapists need therapy not more easy access to victims.  However driving racist and misogynist attitudes underground may not be a long term solution for our society either.

When studying Victor Frankl someone who has experienced the worst of human kind in person while he was incarcerated by Nazis during the Holocaust, we may learn that we have to raise our expectations of each other and teach our young future leaders to thrive and foster their wish and their ability to create “Lives with Meaning”, people who are happy and content while working on making life better for everyone. This is what moves people to feel content.  Busy and content leaders don’t have time to be jerks.  Most jerks are either unhappy and insecure or are pathologically damaged. As we know from some of our current public leaders being a jerk does not make you popular and the ill manners actually make people more lonely and give them a craving for attention and love that will stay unfulfilled. Nobody likes these lonely jerk or brute. We have to aim higher for our students. We need to encourage them to be the better.

Maybe it is time to bring back the education that is deeply rooted in the Humanities that sets the aim high and encourages students to create a better world.

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Rolando Morales and Estaire Godinez perform at The Vine at Bridges in Danville, Saturday July 15, 2017

Enjoy your inner rhythm and share it with your friends.

Saturday July 15, Vine at Bridges, 480 Hartz Avenue, Danville, approx 8-11pmThe Rolando Morales Duet returns to this cool winery and nightspot.  Enjoy a wonderful selection of wines, superb dinners and tapas while grooving to this powerful duet.  Tonight Rolando welcomes the exciting Latin percussionist-vocalist Estaire Godinez, who played with George Benson and Prince; and on guitar, voice and his pedal board of magic, the passionate Rolando Morales.  It’s been close to half a year since they’ve done this.  Don’t miss it!  www.thevineatbridges.com(925) 820-7210.

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Staying calm when times of stress. Techniques that work.

Enjoy your inner rhythm and share it with your friends.
Enjoy your inner rhythm and share it with your friends.

Neuro-plasticity is the reason why we are able to learn and modify our responses to life’s events.  Over the past few decades many forms of therapy have been developed and practiced.  Over the past decade through new technology, gene therapy, and applied nano-technology we now know in no uncertain terms that the mind and body are linked.  The body is able to influence the mind and the mind is able to influence the body.

Dr. van der Kolk suggests that all effective treatments involve some way for people to learn to recognize when they change their arousal system. When a person learns how to become aware if they get upset, learns to take 60 breaths, focuses on the out breaths, they are able to calm both their brain right down.  We are able to choose to engage in soothing techniques like pressing on acupressure points. A most effective methods to calm frayed nerves are walks in nature.  The earlier in life children learn how to recognize that they are upset, that their heart is beating hard or irregularly, that their breath is short, the sooner they can be taught to engage in effective self soothing behavior.  It is wonderful that our children learn early in life how to calm down, practice yoga, go for soothing walks in nature.

Now that we are certain about the human mind’s ability to learn at every age everyone is able to learn and to engage in healthy self-moderating behaviors with positive effect.  After learning how to recognize that we are growing upset, and how to calm ourselves down when we get upset we can progress to the next step.

Learning how to avoid getting upset

The core idea of Dr. van der Kolk’s teaching is that we recognize that we are not a victim of what happens. We are able to do things to change our own thoughts. The new applied sciences in medicine overturn the mistaken belief that if we can’t stand something, we should just take a pill and make it go away.  The best treatment is to realize that when something is happening to we it is our own choice how we wish to   interpret the situation.  We can be frightened or we can change the sensations by moving, breathing, tapping, and touching or by avoiding touch. We are in charge of how we feel and we can influence the way we feel physically.  Dr. van der Kolk has devoted his life to creating tools that will provide us with the emotional management tools. Healthy body habits have positive effects on our emotional habits. With practice we become ever more in charge of our own physiological system.  We now know that we can calm ourselves down by talking or through one of the many other processes.  We greatly benefit from programs that provide us with empowerment.  Physical impact, like model mugging (a form of self-defense training), martial arts or kickboxing, or an activity that requires a range of physical effort teaches us to actually defend ourselves, stand up for ourselves, and to literally feel the power in our bodies are very effective. We can retrain our emotions to realize that we have power and we are not victims or our fate.

Dr. van der Kolk, M.D., teaches that to realize that we are not victims of circumstance. We are capable to focus our attentions on learning how to express ourselves better.  When we learn how to effectively communicate our feelings, we are impacted by other people’s behavior we engage in a positive way with others.  One way to learn is to share our feelings and  to seek out therapy to find the proper language for our internal experience. As we become more adept to share our inner life effectively and to learn how to communicate with others, the quality of our lives improves.

Dr. van der Kolk and communications experts teach that most of our communication takes place on the physical plan. We communicate by nodding our heads, we smile, we frown, move, shift our weight and stance. Kids and adults, who were victims of physical abuse and neglect, lose those interpersonal rhythms. As we engage in self soothing behavior and learn to express ourselves we are ready for the last and most fun step. Dancing, listening to music, play music, practice QiGong and find our own rhythm.  Soon our life energy will flow and we will enjoy life.

Dr. van der Kolk, M.D. has been active as a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. His work integrates developmental, biological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment. His book Psychological Trauma was the first integrative text on the subject, painting the far ranging impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues which need to be addressed for recovery.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has been involved in creating tools for stress reduction. Learn more by  Publications and Products

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Friday July 14, 2017 Rolando Morales performs at Pairings Cellars, Pleasanton.

Rolando Morales performs at Pairings Cellars on July 14
Rolando Morales performs at Pairings Cellars on July 14

Friday July 14Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Pleasanton CA 94566 at  8pm to 11pm.  Rolando returns to this exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton.  This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and now dinners, as well as Rolando Morales performing his broad repertoire on solo guitar and voice.  Free!  www.pairingscellars.com(925) 398-8846.

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Maria Maria in Danville will enjoy Rolando Morales tomorrow, July 11, 2017

Rolando Morales performs at Maria, Maria in Danville Tuesday July 11
Rolando Morales performs at Maria, Maria in Danville Tuesday July 11

Tuesday July 11, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx. 6-9pm.  After about nine months(!), Rolando finally returns to Carlos Santana’s Danville 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. Reservations:  (925) 820-2366.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

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