ESSAY: American Studies

ESSAY: American Studies

By Tom Robotham Thirty-five years ago—10 years after I graduated from college—I decided to go back to school to pursue a master’s degree in American Studies. At the time I had no plans to become a teacher. My decision was motivated purely by a desire to gain a deeper...

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ESSAY: American Studies

ESSAY: The Sins of Our Fathers

By Tom Robotham I know a lot of people who’ve ordered ancestry test kits like 23andMe, but I’ve never felt compelled to do so, since I already know a great deal about my family history. My mother, especially, was interested in genealogy, and when I was still very...

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VA Arts Fest Readies 25th Anniversary

VA Arts Fest Readies 25th Anniversary

(American Ballet Theatre opens the 25th anniversary season of the Virginia Arts Festival) By Jeff Maisey For its silver anniversary season, the Virginia Arts Festival (VAF) has unveiled some returning fan favorites, first-time performers, and an impressive roster of...

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ESSAY: American Studies

ESSAY: My Life in Nine Songs

  By Tom Robotham Music…is not simply a distraction or a pastime, but a core element of our identity. – Daniel Levitin, The World in Six Songs The other day, I pulled from one of my bookshelves a volume that I’ve revisited often over the last few years: Daniel...

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ESSAY: Achieving the Dream

ESSAY: Achieving the Dream

By John L. Horton The most dangerous person in the world is a person who is sincerely ignorant and conscientiously stupid. You have a moral obligation to be intelligent. — Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.   If Dr. King were alive, he would have been 93 years old on...

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ESSAY: American Studies

ESSAY: A Christmas Meditation

  By Tom Robotham So this is Christmas, and what have you done? – John Lennon When I was a kid, the Christmas season was the most exciting time of the year. Ushering it in, shortly after Thanksgiving, was the arrival of the Sears Christmas catalogue—or “Wish...

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BREAKING: NRHA Settles St. Paul’s Lawsuit

BREAKING: NRHA Settles St. Paul’s Lawsuit

(A copy of the agreement) BY JIM MORRISON, Correspondent  The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the city have settled a lawsuit brought by residents of three public housing projects in the St. Paul's area near downtown who said demolishing their homes...

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That Latin Jazz Groove Lives On

That Latin Jazz Groove Lives On

By Jerome Langston “Besides being influenced by his artistry, the thing I inherited from my father, and what I think my sons have inherited from me, is dissatisfaction,” says Arturo O’Farrill, acclaimed leader of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, about his father, the...

An Album of Covers from Cowboys Junkies

An Album of Covers from Cowboys Junkies

By Jeff Maisey Cowboy Junkies have long been appreciated by fans for their version of cover songs they bring to the live concert stage.  This spring, the alt-country band delivered a studio album of some of their and fans’ favorites. The record is titled “Songs of the...

CLASSICAL: Sterling Elliott Takes Center Stage

CLASSICAL: Sterling Elliott Takes Center Stage

(Cellist Sterling Elliott is from Newport News) By Montague Gammon III Hampton Roads natives who have gone on to excellence in some of the greatest musical venues of the world bring the achievements of two and a half centuries of musical innovators, rendered by the...

JAZZ: Stepping Out with Diana Krall

JAZZ: Stepping Out with Diana Krall

By Jim Morrison Diana Krall may be a marquee jazz singer today, but she grew up as a piano player, listening to her father's collection of 78s, never imagining more.  “Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander, and Bill Evans were the really important artists for me as a young...

Lucy Negro Redux: A Groundbreaking Ballet

Lucy Negro Redux: A Groundbreaking Ballet

   By Jerome Langston The February 2019 world premiere at TPAC’s Polk Theater of Nashville Ballet’s Lucy Negro Redux, a provocative and illuminating work of contemporary ballet that embraces spoken word poetry, narration and a range of acoustic music, garnered...

ART REVIEW: Four Friends Shine Soul Finger Project

ART REVIEW: Four Friends Shine Soul Finger Project

(“Sade,” Anthony Burks, Sr) By Betsy DiJulio Delayed for two years due to the global pandemic, Soul Finger Project was worth the wait. Conceived by Ramel Jasir, (FL) the show brings together for the first time his work and that of three friends: Anthony Burks, Sr....

A Different Type Of Richmond Ballet

A Different Type Of Richmond Ballet

  By Jim Roberts Jennifer Chapman lives in Virginia Beach but works for Richmond Ballet. Her job—even before the rest of the world embraced telecommuting—is to help the dance company build an audience beyond Richmond and specifically in Hampton Roads. In the...

Jack White Supplies the Rock

Jack White Supplies the Rock

By Jim Morrison Jack White recently released one album, "Fear of the Dawn," with another, "Entering Heaven Alive," arriving July 22. He's also rehearsing about 100 songs for his Supply Chain Issues Tour that stops in Portsmouth on April 23. What's the secret to the...

Fountain Flows into 757

Fountain Flows into 757

By Jeff Maisey There’s a new hard seltzer in town — Fountain. Made in New York City, this new, upstart brand is fun — from the well-carbonated bubbles, zesty citrus and berry flavors to the eye-catching packaging — screams fun. After enjoying a few cans over a recent...

RESTAURANTS: Local Brands Expand

RESTAURANTS: Local Brands Expand

(Owner Bob Roberts has Redwood Smoke Shack expanding with a new Virginia Beach location. Photo courtesy of Redwood Smoke Shack.) By Marisa Marsey Some of our favorite homegrown eateries are expanding – opening a new location, introducing a new concept – making us...

A Coterie of Charcuterie

A Coterie of Charcuterie

(Katie Huger, owner of Long Board Charcuterie, curates exquisite, customized boards to celebrate special events as well as every day.) By Marisa Marsey There’s a joke circulating at fromageries: “How do you irritate a cheesemonger? Ask for a charcuterie board with no...

NATO Festival Beer Brings People Together

NATO Festival Beer Brings People Together

(Brew Day at The Bold Mariner Brewing Company in Norfolk) By Jeff Maisey In what has now become a Norfolk NATO Festival tradition — born five years ago — a collaboration beer pairing The Bold Mariner Brewing Company and NATO Headquarters will be featured at the...

COASTAL FERMENTORY: New Brews in the ‘News

COASTAL FERMENTORY: New Brews in the ‘News

(L-R) Coastal Fermentory’s Mike Reppert and Brandon Samuels. Photo by Diane Catanzaro.    By Diane Catanzaro and Chris Jones “I’m goin’ to Newport News, mama, gonna catch a battleship across the doggone sea.” The Memphis Jug Band immortalized the ‘News in their...

Celebrating Irish Beer

Celebrating Irish Beer

  By Jeff Maisey Once upon a time in America — think 2010 and before — there were basically two choices of beer to consume in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at local restaurants and bars: Guinness Extra Stout (draft or bottle) and mass produced lagers infused...

The Baker’s Wife Bistro + Bar: A Cinderella Story

The Baker’s Wife Bistro + Bar: A Cinderella Story

(Phillip and Dana Epstein opened The Baker's Wife, a casually-upscale, French-inspired bistro and bar in Phoebus, in January. Photo courtesy of The Baker's Wife) By Marisa Marsey Once upon a time there were two chefs... Ugh! Sorry for that saccharine start. But in my...