Thursday, June 14, 2018

Delores Fisher: Photo Flashbacks of a Blogger June 2018

                                      Delores Fisher during semester office hours

It's almost summer. From time to time, I do a brief summary of the previous year and what I plan for the coming year. This summer, I decided to do a photo flashback, a review of images--many of which I chose  not to include in a post. So, summer blogging hours are now open, welcome to a small part of my world!

I still like to "take strolls" as much as possible, although I am not able to walk as fast or as far.

From time to time, I post about disability and coping in a world that is at times...surprisingly fascinating. Many of you have read about my recent change from one cane to two. As I am known to say, "it works. I'm still walking."  I just have to be more aware of where and how I'm walking.
    Bobby Hearns and Delores Fisher (I was a guest pianist 2017)

             Delores Fisher at Comic Fest 2018 (with two cane/crutches)

Events and people still hold focus. Most people are willing to share a photo op and usually during various events, I take photos often Here are a few to review summer 2017 until now).
           Host of 2nd Tuesday poetry readings poet Jim Moreno 

 Internationals Poet Olga Garcia and Megan Webster and me at February 2018
 2nd Tuesday feature three of the 4nth poets back together again for a special
 night to join me onstage 

                           Lady Shadow (Ms Senior San Diego 2018)

Dr. Charles Tombs Africana Studies Depart.Chair SDSU and Community Actors Theater Director Jennie Hamilton(after her guest lecture for students in my Afras 140 class)

SDSU Phi Kappa Phi 2018

                                        Phi Kappa Phi President  Dr Norah P. Shultz, Ph.D.

             Executive Board Members onstage chairs pre-ceremony

    At Phi Kappa Phi Induction 2018 ( with student inductee)

 Comic Fest 2018 Talking to the artists . . . . .
The graphic artists from Accidental Alien (at Comic Fest 2018)

                                        Keithan Jones Founder of Kid Comics

I stroll down Little Italy's Farmer's Market to enjoy the ambience and the fresh produce.

     Little Italy Busker 2018 with his hand crafted street organ.

                                                       Vocalist Cedrice Webber

Balboa Park Strolling..................

                                                      Dancers at the Harmony Fest

Women's March.............
                                        San Diego Women's March 2018

                             San Diego Women's March 2018

 Los Angeles . . . . . . .

                                                       LA Train Station

                                                            LA Train Station

Sea Port Village San Diego  2018 . . . . . ..
Seaport Village (Anthony's Fish House---demolition 2018)

                                            Ravi "The Rock Whisperer"

 The Center for World Music is presenting a wonderfully inspiring concert series from Africa, the Middle East, and from(Click onto the website for more information)

For the first concert with musicians from Africa, I Interviewed Matrida Umoja Band  and Revelation Gospel Band on stage as a "concert intermission."

This is the Matrida Umoja Gospel Band
                                                        Matrida Umoja Gospel Band

A surprise musical collaboration finale

       Matrida Umoja Band and Revelation Gospel Band

And of course I have been practicing for concerts and poetry readings. Shout out to Center For World Music outreach program headed by Stacey Barnett. I enjoyed sharing Afro Classical piano music with seniors last week. A few of the composers whose piano works I played: Afro-Canadian composer R. Nathaniel Dett,  Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor, African American composers Scott Joplin, and Harry T. Burleigh.

  Stacey, me and a resident after the concert

I took a few days off to rest before going back into preparations for several other appearances.

Oh yea . . .shout out to San Diego International Fringe Festival
Get your tickets now or at the door, if available. Some shows sell out early. Stroll by the bay, enjoy a meal in the Gaslamp Quarter or on the expanding restaurant scene on Market Street. Don't forget to stop at the Donut  Bar on B street in the AM. Their donuts are works of art that have a creamy cake softness that melts in your mouth. The Donut Bar opens at 7:00AM and usually sell out before 1:00PM; standing in line for at least fifteen minutes is becoming an early morning tradition for regular customers.

 Delores Fisher by the Embarcadero 2018

Oh yea, stop by the BIG Kitchen in Golden Hills while you're at the Fringe Festival. It's a San Diego institution! Fringe Festival even has a musical about Judy and the Big Kitchen:

You may get a glimpse of Judy the Beauty humming, dancing around the kitchen, or just hanging out with regulars, swapping stories about the sixties and seventies, and SHE DOES have recollections about a lot of folks back in the day . . .even me

Summer is only a few days away!
Delores Fisher

Monday, April 23, 2018

San Diego Comic Fest 2018 Grace Jones: Masquerade Anyone?

Grace Jones is an ongoing topic of conversation and research inquiry for me. On Saturday April 21st, I had the opportunity to talk about her various public stage, film, runway, and interview personas on a panel with performance artist Lady Shadow and international scholar Dr. Anta Merritt at San Diego Comic Fest's 6th annual romp.

Delores Fisher, Dr. Anta Merritt, and Lady Shadow Vampyre Fashionista

Here's my discussion focus:
A multi-genre performance artist whose intriguing visual representations span from late twentieth century to present, Grace Jones continues to embrace innovative "full body masks" as she inhabits spaces with “graphic novel edgy camp” to "alien futuristic cyborg" evoking an essence of Jamaican Junkanoo Festival. We will explore several of Grace Jone’s "Junkanooesque" embodiments.

Dr. Merritt is a colleague from the academic world, a faculty member of the San Diego State Africana Studies Department . Lady Shadow is an artist I have know for many years whose work is at times controversial, at times ribald, at time poignant yet hilarious.   Lady Shadow, Mari Williams, is also Ms Senior San Diego 2018.

We, Lady Shadow, Dr. Merritt, and I, joined together to present a fun assemblage of ideas and images that speak to the artistry of Grace Jones. We decided to blend a scholarly, experiential, web base, and fan based "just folks" approach as a way to talk about Ms. Jones, a favorite global pop culture personality.

Her most impressionable images for me are sometimes not the ones that most people pick out as classic Grace Jones. I have researched blog posts, printed and videos interviews, some of her record label issues, her  autobiography, and latest festival appearances. This summer I hope to  examine her song lyrics, live musical choices and  stage personas.

As for our San Diego Comic Fest 2018 panel, I am hoping to keep "the band"  together to go on a mini- speaking tour this summer. Dr. Merritt is an African Diaspora scholar who presents the history of Junkanoo and island beliefs. Lady Shadow, a Jones impersonator from time to time, speaks to the demands of a productive and ongoing show business career. I'm sort of in the middle. As a performer and a scholar I talk about early Jones influences on my life, as well as her space in my present scholarly projects.

 One early Grace Jones influence on my life is the movie "Vamp". It was so camp!!!  That's a really funky script. I kept thinking, I want to do that. I want to have fun acting. What a cool character Katrina is. (Of course when she went full-on vampire, I almost ran out the room to get away!)

Through the pool gate and into the alley to the Fest, I soaked in the ambiance. Cosplayers, directors, writers, story board artists,  comic book vendors, scholars, fans interacting. To be honest with you . . .I'm not sure how I got into a conversation with a very Mrs Von Sholly, a sweet soft voiced woman. All I remember is that we talked about the film "Vamp" and its influence on my life as an aspiring young performance artist. But I'm glad I did. Her husband Peter Von Sholly created the story boards for the film. She told me to find her husband, that he had unique stories to tell about  "Vamp" and Grace Jones' impact on its production.

                                The Pool Gate

Dr. Merritt, Lady Shadow and I presented on Saturday at 4:00PM in the Garden Salon II.


Our panel talked for a while before we joined other friends or went home.  I attended another panel after which I went searching for Peter Von Sholly . . .didn't find him. However, since I planned to attend a few discussions on Sunday, I made up my mind to arrive early and locate him on Sunday to talk about Grace Jones. I went up to the cafe to get a cup of coffee and to see this year's decor. The cafe is always filled with fun theme decorations. This year was no exception. Frankenstein!!!!

                                                   Frankenstein's Bride

Early Sunday morning,  I revisited the 9th floor cafe, got a cup of coffee and an orange juice, then set out for the first panel. Gender, sex, and sexuality: the queer comix collaborations of Kathy Acker and David Wojnarowicz and the work of Roberta Gregory and Donna Barr  provided lively information on underground and "isolationist" female comic books. Kinda mind teasing for 10:00AM. The panel was moderated by Dr. Yetta Howard who also talked about her newest work in the field.

               Yetta Howard,  Roberta Gregory, and Donna Barr

I was definitely awake, after that stimulating talk, for the 11:00 AM informative film critic analysis of Ajani Brown on the "Black Panther" film recently released in the U.S. It should be picked up by global distributors soon if it hasn't already been distributed for global movie screenings at the writing of this post.  A full room of fans and Fest goers enjoyed Brown's presentation: the Black Panther as Afrofuturism . The popular and much in demand speaker Ajani Brown will present at WAKANDACON in Chicago during the summer.

                 Photo op Delores Fisher and author, lecturer Ajani Brown

Oh yea, a quick fact: San Diego Comic Fest was back at the Mission Valley Convention Center. Although a medium sized venue, it has multiple conference rooms and retains much of the intimacy that evades larger conventions. The main Exhibit Hall is surprisingly spacious, full of memorabilia  comic book vendors, and fans looking for that special action figure or comic book.
                                                     The Exhibit Hall
In the exhibit hall, I met Sara Karloff daughter of actor Boris Karloff. Frankenstein film portrayal of Shelly's gentle monster  is unmatchable. In the exhibit hall, I met Sara Karloff.
                                               Sara Karloff

I enjoyed talking to Sara Karloff, Boris Karloff's daughter. At one point, she looked up and the resemblance was startling. Those eyes . . . . .

It took several minutes more to find Peter Von Sholly.

 Here's an exclusive interview short about Grace Jones and the film "Vamp".

This was definitely an interesting and fun San Diego Comic Fest 2018. Look for the event next year. If you're in San Diego, come on over to the Fest , , , San Diego Comic Fest!

Delores Fisher, Lady Shadow, Dr. Anta Merritt  Photo by Yetta Howard

 Delores Fisher
Thinking of Grace . . . .

Friday, April 6, 2018

Delores Fisher's April 2018 Update

Hello everyone. Especially to you new readers in Indonesia. Welcome!

                                    Delores Fisher pianist/blogger/lecturer

I have several summer music engagements  in the works and that means more time at the keyboard when not teaching,  grading papers, lecturing, appearing on panel discussions.

Ah yes . . . It's April already. So much is going on here in the USA that I wanted to write about a few music events.

The Center for World Music is sponsoring several world music concerts. Musicians from all over the world share their artistry with San Diegans and tourists each year as guest performers and as artists in residence.
One major concert is by South African singer Nomsa Burkhardt.  She performed for the Africana Studies Department at SDSU during our Nelson Mandela Memorial.

This January 2018, she also performed during our  annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Luncheon at San Diego State University. She joins the list of performers who have graciously shared their talents with the campus and community audience ( including international vocalist Coral MacFarland -Thuet see video from last year's luncheon    )

 Norma Burkhardt ons stage at Montezuma Hall at SDSU

           Norma Burkhardt and Center for World Music's Monica Emery

 In addition to professional performance concerts, she also teaches local students in the Center For World Music's classroom artist in residence program.

For those of you who enjoy Gospel music, the San Diego based Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir, comprised of diverse vocalists under the direction of Kenneth Anderson, has published their concert schedule.      Anderson also teaches, directs, and often accompanies (on keyboard) the UCSD Gospel Choir.

The San Diego Martin Luther King Jr Community Choir performed at their annual scholarship drive. The funds provide scholarships for young musicians

And, of course one of my favorite spoken word/musical groups is busy recording. Lyrical Groove is on the move. Here's the link that shares the back story behind their newest "hot drop."
The group might be touring in the summer, see them on stage if you can.

Take a listen:

And, that's a wrap--sort of.

Oh yes . . .as the Spring semester ends, I want to give a shout out to students in the Africana Studies 466 Afrofuturism class/community . . .You Rock.  I am composing again and am working on a set of variations for piano and voice,  piano and flue, and solo piano. Thank you for the inspiration!

              Delores Fisher pianist/composer

PS.  Besides preparing for concerts and recitals, planning is going on behind the scenes for a rousingly informative appearance on a panel whose discussion focus is the amazingly always variable Grace Jones at Comic Fest in San Diego this month

Will fill you in later!
Delores Fisher