The Fela Kuti / James Brown Connection

The legendary Fela Kuti, along with his drummer Tony Allen, invented the Afrobeat sound by combining elements of Nigerian pop music, known as High-Life, with influences from American Jazz and Funk. James Brown, in particular, was a major inspiration for Fela.

When Brown toured Nigeria in 1970, his band went to Fela’s club, The Shrine, and told Brown it was the funkiest show they had ever seen. Brown even sent his arranger back to the club to take notes, particularly on Allen’s drumming. By the time Brown released his 1973 album “The Payback”, he was wearing Fela’s influence on his sleeve.

From Rachmaninoff to Your Home

The Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no 2 is one of the best known works of this great Russian composer. It was composed in late 1900 and early 1901, and first performed as a complete piece for piano and orchestra in November of 1901.

Though you may not have a full orchestra in your home, you can still experience the thrill of performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto no 2 in the privacy of your own home. Sheet music for the piano parts of this towering work is readily available. Take up the challenge of re-creating this three movement work, from its bell-like tolling beginning to the fast coda at the end – the foundation for many recognizable modern works, as well as a favorite piece for movie soundtracks. You can practice on your own, then amaze your friends when you deliver a polished performance on your home piano. Pick up this sheet music and start playing.

Discover “I Am Other” – Pharrell Williams

pharrell-williams2Super music producer and overall renaissance man Pharrell Williams took his limitless creativity from the unexpected origin of Virginia Beach with his 7th grade pal Chad Hugo, and exploded all over the world of music as the colorful collective – The Neptunes – creating hit records for the likes of: Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lenny Kravitz, Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, Mos Def, Cee-Lo Green and Madonna. Aside from designing clothing for his brand Billionaire Boys Club, performing live with his band N.E.R.D. and scoring movies like Despicable Me – Pharrell Williams launched a cool website:

The online oasis known as I Am Other consists of musicians, moviemakers, graphic designers and artisans that defy stereotypes, renew the creativity of their chosen field and do not fit directly into rigid old-fashioned categories. Four prominently featured “I Am Other” singers and rappers have already received production work and career guidance from Pharrell Williams himself – singer and musician Alyssa Bernal, California rapper Buddy, pop singer Leah LaBelle, and genre blending singer Maxine Ashley.

There are plenty of online shows and videos available under the I Am Other blanket. Issa Rae, a Stanford graduate, has the self-explanatory comedy series: Awkward Black Girl. The hilarious Vancouver music aficionado Nardwuar the Human Serviette interviews the most exciting musical performers on his show Nardwuar. The assumptions between music and race get shattered by filmmaker/artist RAE with his “what are you listening to” show called Stereotypes. Fashion designer Chrissie Miller has her creative do-it-yourself fashion series entitled Club Chrissie. Technology buffs can get their fix with Jonathan Geller’s The BGR Show. ZS Grant puts a documentary spin on art with Voice of Art, Others by Hypebeast covers the tastemakers of the creative world, and even Pharrell himself takes you into his own world with video clips covering his expansive life.

Overall, Pharrell Williams has branded his love of music, with his shared excitement for film, fashion, art and technology – all under one digital roof with dazzling pastel colors. His eclectic musical taste is literally spread out across the visually appealing site, totally capturing his broad and evolved taste and a hint of where he looks to remix it all in the future.

A nice piano piece by Liszt

My parents have always been the type of people who love to support me and my siblings with what we want to do. Plus they also suggest a lot of different things for us to try out. When we were still young they let us choose what sports we wanted to learn and what hobby each of us liked to have. I chose to learn how to play the piano as well as have singing lessons.

My brother of course had my dad teach him how to play various sports and my sister chose cooking. My mother called me out to the kitchen from time to time so that I can help out with preparing the food but I never really took interest in it. I was so happy with learning how to play the piano and singing along some tunes. But even if there were popular Hollywood songs that I was able to learn, I still preferred to play classic pieces such as Liszt’s Consolation. There were a lot of pianists that I greatly loved and Liszt was one of them. Hers is Lang Lang playin the piece:

Every day I tried to play a new piece and when I searched about him in the Internet once, I realized that I missed out on so many of his pieces. I tried to search them up online and there was only one website that truly impressed me with the collection that it had. I willingly paid the amount needed since music meant a whole lot to me.

How Rembrandts Were Stolen 81 Times

Shortly after midnight on December 31, 1966, thieves employing a drill and a brace to knock out a panel from a seldom-used oak door broke into the Dulwich Picture Gallery in south London. They stole Rembrandt’s painting Jacob de Gheyn III, two other Rembrandts, and works by Peter Paul Rubens, Gerard Dou, and Adam Elsheimer.

This was the first time Rembrandt’s portrait of the engraver Jacob de Gheyn III was stolen from Dulwich. It was eventually recovered, only to be stolen and recovered three more times—in 1973, 1981, and 1983. The painting, which measures 11.8 inches by 9.8 inches, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most frequently stolen artwork and has become known as the “Takeaway Rembrandt.” Read more at