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By Parijat Didolkar | April 10, 2001
Just a few years ago, Pearlie Homicile was a pre-law, English major at Montgomery College. This past weekend, she graduated to a whole new stage in a very different discipline when she won Baltimore's 12th annual Mayor's Billie Holiday Vocal Competition. Homicile, 22, of Westbury, N.Y., beat out 12 other semi-finalists at Center Stage Saturday to win the competition, a $1,500 cash prize, a gardenia (Billie Holiday's signature flower) and the opportunity to perform at Artscape in July, the city's summer celebration of the arts.
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By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | November 30, 2012
Here's a big look for a local artist: Current b cover star Dunson said he had a lot of collaborations in the pipeline, and the first one, along with a stylized video, dropped today. R&B singer Chrisette Michele (an underrated talent perhaps best known for her breathy hook on Rick Ross' "Aston Martin Music") debuted "Can the Cool Be Loved?" today, a collaboration that includes neo-soul singer Bilal and the Columbia native Dunson. The song is from Michele's "Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation" project, scheduled to be released online Dec. 8. Dunson, happily playing off the Sammy Davis Jr. imagery in the video, spits an unadorned guest verse that sits comfortably in his wheelhouse (the "Would you take Billie Holiday to Holiday Inn?"
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By BRENT JONES and BRENT JONES,SUN REPORTER | April 8, 2006
City officials pledged yesterday to raise the Billie Holiday Monument by six feet as part of a larger plan to bolster the intersection of Lafayette Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. Celebrating what would have been the 91st birthday of the jazz great, city planning director Otis Rolley III, along with leaders from the recreation and parks department, unveiled the new Billie Holiday Plaza in a 20-minute ceremony in the Upton neighborhood. Much of the development will take place on the northeast corner of the intersection, where a wall mural of Holiday will be painted and song lyrics will be paved into a new sidewalk in the park.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2010
A recent addition to the arts scene has a back story as appealing as the items on the walls. The Mark Cottman Gallery in Federal Hill bears the name of a self-taught, Baltimore-born artist who walked away from a career as an architectural engineer in 1999 to concentrate on his passion. Cottman, 52, opened his gallery three months ago and is already into his third show — "I have enough work to change the gallery every six weeks," he says. The latest offering, "The Feeling of Jazz," gives off a great vibe.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | March 28, 2008
A film portrait of Billie Holiday, including most of the movie and TV footage of the singer known to exist, will be shown Wednesday at An die Musik Live, 409 N. Charles St. The clips date from 1935 through 1957 and include a jam session with Duke Ellington. There is also an audio interview with a young Mike Wallace and a performance of the legendary "Strange Fruit." Showtime is 7 p.m., and tickets are $8. Information: 410-385-2638 or andiemusik live.com. Self-help onscreen You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie, a film centering on the life and philosophy of self-help advocate Louise L. Hay, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 7 p.m. Sunday at Your Prescription for Health's Learning Center, 10210 S. Dolfield Blvd.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella | May 25, 1991
Her autobiography says she was born in Baltimore. A friend recalls her pointing out a place in Baltimore and saying that's where she was born. Her obituary called her a Baltimore native.So an upcoming book claiming that Billie Holiday actually was born in Philadelphia has been met with more than a little skepticism in Baltimore."That's news to me," said Earl Arnett, a writer, teacher and judge of the Annual Billie Holiday Vocal Competition that Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke began last year as a "living memorial" to the nearly legendary local daughter.
NEWS
By WILEY A. HALL | April 8, 1993
Jazz singer Billie Holiday abused drugs and alcohol. Sh entered into self-destructive relationships with men. She died lonely and unhappy at 44.Can such a woman be a role model for today's youth?"
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By Peter Krask and Peter Krask,Special to The Evening Sun | April 8, 1991
FROM THE LOOKS of things, the audience could have been placing bets on horses instead of singers. Checking off names, writing down numbers and sneaking stray glances at other programs, everyone had picks on who would win the Second Annual Billie Holiday Vocal Competition. As the 19th, out of 20 singers, sang, it became quite clear who would win -- Staff Sgt. Delores King Williams.Ask Carolyn Brown and Janice Brown, two friends who came to hear the five-hour contest yesterday afternoon at the Walters Art Gallery.
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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | April 9, 1994
A lot has changed in the music world since Billie Holiday's time.Jazz, which was her bread and butter, has moved from the forefront of popular music to the sidelines; in its place are sounds and styles unimagined when Lady Day (as Lester Young called her) was singing. In her day, radio ruled the roost; today, it's music video. Even the way music is sold is different, as records -- the medium Holiday knew -- have long since been replaced by cassettes and CDs.Yet her music endures.In 1958, a year before she died, Frank Sinatra said that Holiday was "unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last 20 years."
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By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,Evening Sun Staff | November 6, 1991
"Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday," by Robert O'Meally, 207 pages, Arcade Publishing, New York, N.Y., $29.95.IN THE very first sentence of his book, "Lady Day," Robert O'Meally declares Billie Holiday "the greatest jazz singer in history," which may well be true, but O'Meally's declaration will surely irritate partisans of, say, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald.O'Meally's anointment of Holiday as the greatest, in the style of Muhammad Ali, one supposes unhappily, is typical of this book.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | July 17, 2009
When Baltimore sculptor James Earl Reid created the city's first memorial to the stunningly gifted jazz singer Billie Holiday in 1985, something was missing. Gone were the panels containing references to the Jim Crow era and the lynching that Holiday so chillingly recounted in the ballad "Strange Fruit." Now Reid has a chance to remedy what he calls censorship by city officials, by adding the bronze panels for today's rededication of the statue on the 50th anniversary of her death. The striking, 8-foot-6-inch-high, 1,200-pound likeness of the Baltimore-born Holiday, wearing a strapless gown, with her trademark gardenias in her hair and her mouth open in song, will now rest on a 20,000-pound base of solid granite, as Reid had intended all along.
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By Diane Scharper and Diane Scharper,Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 19, 2009
Becoming Billie Holiday Poems by Carol Boston Weatherford, art by Floyd Cooper Wordsong / 117 pages / $19.95 These brief, first-person poems tell the story of Eleanora Fagan, who grew up impoverished on Durham Street in a rough East Baltimore neighborhood, yet became a world-renowned jazz singer. With little education and no vocal training, Billie Holiday (she changed her name when she began singing) had an obsessive love for jazz, an excellent ear for rhythm and a voice that was almost able to float.
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By SAM SESSA | April 10, 2008
Hometown -- Bowie Current members --Wayna Wondwossen, vocals Founded in --2005 Style --R&B/soul Influenced by --Minnie Riperton, Donny Hathaway, Billie Holiday Notable --A native Ethiopian, Wayna worked as a writer in the White House Office of Presidential Letters and Messages before becoming a full-time musician. She just released her sophomore album, Higher Ground. Quotable --"I'd gotten used to the identity of being a writer," she said. "It was scary at the beginning, but once I got used to calling myself an artist, the rest was pretty simple."
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,Sun reporter | March 31, 2008
A 49-year-old Baltimore historian who taught schoolchildren about Billie Holiday and Thurgood Marshall was working on a rowhouse on the city's west side yesterday when he apparently triggered a building collapse that killed him. Alvin Brunson, who in 2005 was named "Best Community Historian" by the Baltimore City Paper, ran the nonprofit Center for Cultural Education at 541 Wilson St., just around the corner from Pennsylvania Avenue, the one-time cultural...
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | March 28, 2008
A film portrait of Billie Holiday, including most of the movie and TV footage of the singer known to exist, will be shown Wednesday at An die Musik Live, 409 N. Charles St. The clips date from 1935 through 1957 and include a jam session with Duke Ellington. There is also an audio interview with a young Mike Wallace and a performance of the legendary "Strange Fruit." Showtime is 7 p.m., and tickets are $8. Information: 410-385-2638 or andiemusik live.com. Self-help onscreen You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie, a film centering on the life and philosophy of self-help advocate Louise L. Hay, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 7 p.m. Sunday at Your Prescription for Health's Learning Center, 10210 S. Dolfield Blvd.
FEATURES
By Stephanie Shapiro and Stephanie Shapiro,Sun Reporter | October 22, 2007
Vocalist Ruby Glover, a vibrant link to Baltimore's rich jazz heritage, died Saturday, a day after collapsing onstage during a performance at the Creative Alliance in East Baltimore. On Friday night, Ms. Glover was thrilled to see a full house gathered for a House of Ruth benefit where she was among the performers. With her silver cropped hair, Ms. Glover, 77, appeared as radiant and polished as ever on stage, recalled friend Megan Hamilton. Emcee Stan Stovall from WBAL-TV introduced Ms.
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By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | April 4, 2005
We all know the lady sang the blues. And by numerous accounts, Billie Holiday lived them, too: raped as a girl, a prostitute by age 14, an addict most of her adult life. If we are to believe her many biographers, the artist, to paraphrase author Zora Neale Hurston, seemed to believe that nature had given her a "lowdown dirty deal" and her "feelings were all hurt about it." So all of that pain, all of that bitterness and sorrow dammed up in Holiday's soul came through whenever she stepped before a microphone to sing.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | March 28, 1993
The legend of Billie Holiday has touched the life of director George Faison on three occasions.The first was during his boyhood in Washington, when he was helping his father with his awning business."
NEWS
By Madison Park and Madison Park,Sun Reporter | July 23, 2007
Sharon Clark was no longer a bespectacled 45-year-old receptionist yesterday. Dressed in a shimmering black-and-gold striped top, Clark stood onstage of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall channeling Billie Holiday. With eyes shut and hips swinging, she sang "Just Friends" in a rich, deep voice, sprinkling in scat phrases and electrifying the audience, which rose in a standing ovation. "Just friends, lovers no more. Just friends, but not like before," crooned Clark, the winner of the annual Billie Holiday Vocal Competition, who was accompanied by a pianist.
NEWS
By Sumathi Reddy and Sumathi Reddy,Sun reporter | June 21, 2007
A newly formed Baltimore nonprofit received city authorization yesterday to spend $100,000 from a state grant to buy and rehabilitate one of the former homes of legendary blues singer Billie Holiday. The city Board of Estimates gave Billie Holiday House Inc. the required sign-on to use the grant from Maryland's Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program. The money will be used to purchase a house on the 200 block of S. Durham St., said Robert Goetz, president of the nonprofit and a Baltimore resident.
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