Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Tribal Rock
. . . .

Tribal Rock

Robert Downes - July 21st, 2008
Africa moves a little closer to Northern Michigan this month in a musical event that will unite performers drawn from thousands of miles apart.
Dominic Akena, the national xylophone champion of Uganda, whose story was told in the documentary film, War Dance, will perform with his friend John Okello and the afro-pop band Aphrodesia in a high-powered, horn-driven, foot-stomping, singing & dancing concert that is likely to be the high point of the teenagers’ month-long visit to America.
Those who saw War Dance at last year’s Traverse City Film Festival are familiar with Dominic’s story: the film was made in the aftermath of Uganda’s 20-year civil war in which more than 30,000 children were abducted to fight in a rebel army. The Academy Award-nominated film focused on the struggle of refugee Dominic and his friends Rose and Nancy to compete in Uganda’s national music and dance festival as representatives of their school in the Patongo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Kim Gribi, who heads-up the human resources department at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, was so moved by the film that she staged a number of fundraisers last year to bring Dominic and his friend John to the States.
“Kim contacted Sean Fine, the director of the film, and asked if there was something she could do to help the children,” says Joey Callahan, who is organizing the upcoming concerts. “Sean said that she was the first person who had contacted them. It says a lot about her generosity and that of the people of Traverse City, because this film was shown all over Europe and in New York and L.A., and Kim was the only person who came forward to help.”

FUNDRAISERS
Last winter, Gribi hosted a number of fundraising screenings of War Dance at the Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay, the Elk Rapids Cinema, and at local schools to raise funds to bring the musicians of Uganda to Northern Michigan. A generous donation also came from a private donor. She was able to raise enough funds to bring Dominic and John here, with the assistance of the African Medical Research Foundation.
Over the past few weeks, Dominic and John have been living with a number of families in the region, playing soccer, tennis, fishing, and visiting Mackinac Island. “We just love them -- they’re so sweet. I wish they could stay forever,” Gribi says.
The teens are also sharing their musical knowledge and learning marimba and Western styles of drumming from music instructor Dave Warne at Sun Radius Music, located at Logan’s Landing at the south end of Lake Boardman. The music center is filled with drums and exotic instruments from around the world.
“It’s really beautiful what’s happening here,” Callahan says. “When Dominic got here, he walked in and saw all the instruments and said: ‘I want to learn to play everything!’ and gave me a big hug.”

THE SHOW
Callahan, a veteran of the recording, web design and rock music industries, has a special interest in worldbeat and African music. In recent weeks, he’s been recording live concerts at his Radius Recording center for local bands, including Soul Patch, Rootstand and Graveyard Tan.
“I thought it would be great to put on a concert that Dominic could play in, and saw on the Internet that Aphrodesia were playing a Taste of Kalamazoo and would be close enough to come to Traverse City,” Callahan says.
Aphrodesia is a 12-piece dance band from San Francisco which has been getting high-fives from the music press across the country for their blend of afro-pop, funk, dub, Zimbabwean trance, hip-hop and worldbeat. They put on a high-energy show and have opened for Steel Pulse and the String Cheese Incident in addition to performing at many festivals. In 2006, they traveled to Lagos, Nigeria to perform at the country’s legendary Shrine nightclub. They also did a cross-country voter registration tour in 2004 in a bus powered by vegetable oil diesel.
“I was worried about being able to cover the charges of a 12-piece band, but then I realized that the Dunegrass was happening at the same time that Dominic was going to be here,” Callahan recalls. Working together with the Dunegrass, we were able to bring the band to Northern Michigan.”
Dominic and John perform with Aphrodesia on Thursday, July 31 at 9:30 p.m. at Radius Recording, the pyramid-shaped building at Logan’s Landing in TC, 2074 S. Airport Road. The suggested donation is $10 for the concert. Aphrodesia will also host a dance and drum workshop at 10 a.m. that day with a donation of $20. The band performs at the Dunegrass Festival on Friday, Aug. 1. For details, contact Radius Recording at 231-354-7453, or see www.radiusrecording.com


 
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