While most music festivals are three-day affairs taking place across Friday through Sunday, many of these festivals use a Thursday-night pre-party to get things started a little early. Most of the time, a band or two kicks off the festivities the night before the festival proper starts, specifically targeting patrons who arrive early and are looking to get that extra night of music and camaraderie in. This year, the Thursday night LOCKN’ “Jamwich” line-up is the stuff of dreams, sporting an enviable and unmissable lineup unrivaled by many festivals’ Friday or Saturday lineups. Both The String Cheese Incident and Umphrey’s McGee will be on tap at LOCKN’ on Thursday to perform two “interlocking” sets followed by trance-fusion titans The Disco Biscuits who will play what is sure to be a most epic of late-night throwdowns. LOCKN’ takes place August 24th through 27th in Arrington, Virginia (purchase tickets here).Other acts slated to perform on Thursday include Grahame Lesh and Midnight North, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Nicole Atkins Band, Kendall Street Company, and more. That’s a pretty full Thursday bill, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves. In addition to the draw of its expansive Thursday lineup, the festival has made some site upgrades that will help to ensure an even better experience than past years. Upgrades include the relocation of the main stage area making for easier and efficient access in and out of the festival arena, additional shade and misting tents, and the expansion Garcia’s Forest with a replica of The Porch at Terrapin Station, which will host various sets and activities throughout the weekend.With the recent events that transpired this past weekend in nearby Charlottesville, festival co-producer Peter Shapiro elaborated on how the festival’s message of love, unity, and community can help spark the beginning stages of healing (read the entire interview here):“I’ve been thinking about that all day, and speaking with Dave Frey, my partner who lives down in the Charlottesville area, about the best way to do this right. It’s not easy. But one thing I know is that people need to heal right now, and music helps do that more than just about anything else. As does 20,000 people coming together to share in a one-of-a-kind experience. The reason that I think we all love going to shows — especially big shows with a lot of people, and improvisational bands — is that there’s an energy in the air, something you can feel and the musicians also are feeding off it. Its a self-perpetuating cycle, as Carlos Santana famously said back in the day, ‘the fans are like flowers and the musicians are like a hose.’ And hopefully this time, the audience will feed off it even more. There will be a lot of people in the audience who need healing, especially because a lot of them are Charlottesville and Virginia locals, and this is the next large-scale gathering in the area. If there was ever a time for a forest to be named after Jerry Garcia and to have his music playing in the trees all day and night, it’s now. Hopefully Jerry’s voice will help soothe things a bit too.”The rest of the festival lineup over the course of the weekend includes a special set from Phil Lesh with special guest Bob Weir and The Terrapin Family Band with Nicki Bluhm (performing Terrapin Station), Gov’t Mule with Ann Wilson of Heart, Widespread Panic, John Fogerty, phil.moe. (Phil Lesh & Friends with moe.), The Revivalists, Jim James (solo), John Butler Trio, Greensky Bluegrass, JJ Grey & Mofro, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, TAUK, The Marcus King Band, and more on the lineup that goes on and on.Tickets for LOCKN’ are still available and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information leading up to the festival, join the Facebook Event page.[Cover photo courtesy of Dave Vann]
When people ask Aaron Dworkin why he cares so much about bringing diversity to classical music, he answers, “I am basically a black, white, Jewish, Irish Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness who plays the violin. … I am the definition of diversity, and really had no choice but to do this work.”Dworkin is spreading African-American and Latino diversity as the founder and president of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, which focuses on youth development and diversity in performing and appreciating classical music.Soundbytes: Catalyst Quartet at HarvardThe son of an unwed, white, Irish Catholic mother and an African-American Jehovah’s Witness, he was given up for adoption by his parents two weeks after his birth to a white Jewish couple from New York, both professors in neural and behavioral science with a love of music.Inspired by his adoptive mother, an amateur violinist, Dworkin took up the instrument at age 5. Three years later, while attending a concert by the violin virtuoso Isaac Stern at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Dworkin said he was struck by the “sense of awe it built in me about music.” The feeling has remained with him ever since.But along with his love of the art form came an understanding of its lack of diversity, and a desire to make that change, leading to the Sphinx Organization.Dworkin was at Harvard on March 11 to receive the University’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award, which honors a nationally recognized educator and is administered by the Office for the Arts at Harvard.During a presentation in the Barker Center’s Thompson Room, Dworkin discussed some grim numbers, signifying what he called a “stark underrepresentation” of blacks and Hispanics in the nation’s classical music landscape.Blacks and Latinos represent only 4 percent of members in the nation’s 1,200 orchestras, according to a survey conducted by the League of American Orchestras. But the problem runs much deeper than just the diversity of the stage performers, said Dworkin. The survey also found similar statistics among top administrative positions. Only about 4 percent of music directors or orchestra conductors are black or Latino. The numbers are worse for executive director and artistic administrator positions. “Statistically,” said Dworkin, “zero percent are black or Latino.”Even education and community relations directors, those charged with connecting an orchestra to its surrounding community, are rarely men or women of color. In addition, repertoires reflect no black or Latino composers, and audiences are largely composed of older, white members.But with Dworkin’s help, the tide is slowly shifting. His group includes the Sphinx Performance Academy, a full-scholarship, intensive chamber music and solo performance program designed for aspiring black and Latino string players; a professional development program that helps prepare young artists for a career in classical music; the annual Sphinx Competition, open to all junior high, high school, and college-age black and Latino string players in the nation; the Catalyst Quartet, composed of top laureates and alumni; and the Sphinx Symphony, an all-black and Latino orchestra made up of top professionals from around the country.Dworkin said his group has played a significant role in doubling the number of black performers in the nation’s orchestras. When his organization was founded in 1998, only about 1.16 percent of orchestras were black. Today that number is up to 2.5 percent. According to Dworkin, every new African-American member of an orchestra since 1998 has some tie to the Sphinx Organization.“We need to look at diversity as something that is critical to the evolution and survival of our field and our art form,” said Dworkin. “We have a great deal of distance to go; we are not yet done by any means.”Quoting civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who met his wife while she was studying voice and violin at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Dworkin said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. … Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Fittingly, the Catalyst Quartet closed the discussion with a performance of Terry Riley’s “Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector.”
“They have come to the Lion’s den. They got us on the astro turf, now they are coming to the grass. We are grass Champions. So we have to take the home advantage and then, use it.”The former Everton and Fenerbahce forward also called on fans of the club to throw their weight behind the team, adding that the boys are equally optimistic of overturning the first leg deficit.“They (fans) should come in their numbers and we will not disappointment them,” the 42-year old promised.“The boys are in high spirit, they really believe that something went wrong when we conceded those goals (in the first leg) and we’ve gone back to the drawing board to put things in order. We know that scoring two (unreplied) goals at home won’t be difficult for us.“This is FA Cup (Aiteo Cup) for you and anything can happen. We just have to be ready for it,” he stated.The other 2nd leg of the semi final will be played on Sunday in Uyo between 2015 Champions, Akwa United and Sunshine Stars. The ‘Owena Waves’ hold a 1-0 advantage from the first leg over the ‘Promise Keepers’.Winners of that tie will face either FC IfeanyiUbah or Niger Tornadoes in the final on Sunday, 15th October, 2017 at the Agege Township Stadium (Soccer Temple) in Lagos. The champions will in addition to going home with a N25m prize-money, represent Nigeria in the CAF Confederation Cup next year.RelatedAUDIO: AITEO CUP: Our Performance Wasn’t Convincing – Yaw PrekoSeptember 21, 2017In “Nigeria”AITEO Cup Men’s Semis: Tornadoes, Sunshine Secure 1st Leg AdvantageSeptember 30, 2017In “Nigeria”AUDIO: We Are Not Scared Of Akwa United – Duke UdiSeptember 29, 2017In “Nigeria” Ahead of their second leg semi final fixture in the Aiteo Cup on Wednesday, Technical Adviser of FC IfeanyiUbah Yaw Preko has warned that the clash against Niger Tornadoes is far from over, stating that the defending Champions are poised to cancel the deficit they suffered in the first leg in Lokoja.Tornadoes came back from two goals down to record an impressive and surprise 4-2 win against the ‘Anambra Warriors’ in the first leg last Saturday, to take control of the two-legged tie which will be decided in Nnewi, home ground of the Cup Holders tomorrow.But the former Black Stars of Ghana striker who attributed the first leg collapse to an inexperienced backline he paraded on the day, stated his team will take full advantage of their familiarity with their home turf to overcome the Abubakar Bala-tutored side.Audio Playerhttps://www.busybuddiesng.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Preko-October-3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Audio Playerhttps://www.busybuddiesng.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/PREKO-2-October-3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“It’s going to be a cracker here (Nnewi), trust me, it’s going to be a cracker,” Preko promised. “Because if we managed to score two goals in their home ground, just imagine how many we are going to score here.“Football is not mathematics but I know what my team is capable of. This is our home ground; this is Nnewi. We know our field; we know how to attack opponents on our field. So we are hoping for a good game on Wednesday, it’s not done yet.