Beyoncé concert in Scotland, review


This video from Scotland says about itself:

7 July 2016

Beyoncé Dedicates “Freedom” Song & Sings Acapella at Formation Tour in Glasgow (VIDEO SNIPPETS).

The lyrics of the song are here.

By Zoe Streatfield in Scotland:

Queen Bey rules in breathtaking show of black power

Wednesday 13th July 2016

Beyonce
Hampden Park, Glasgow
5/5

FACE veiled, at the show’s opening Beyonce struts on stage accompanied by a troupe of dancers and unleashes a set of breathtakingly executed moves.

Such is her power that as she reveals her face during opener Formation, the mostly female audience scream at their first glimpse of Queen Bey.

It’s the first track to be released from her latest album, which effortlessly covers issues ranging from police shootings of black people in the US and the abandonment of the black working-class by the political elite to what it means to be a black woman.

Referencing the failure of the Bush administration to help the black community during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, over the PA black rapper and activist Messy Mya demands: “What happened at New Orleans?”

In the song Beyonce celebrates her own mixed-race heritage, challenges Eurocentric beauty standards and puts down the hate she has received over her decision not to submit to white standards of beauty when it comes to her toddler’s hair.

“I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros/I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils,” she declaims.

Later, in a direct tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement, she holds a minute’s silence for the latest victims Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as the huge four-screen cube onstage is emblazoned with the names of other black people killed by the police.

As she delivers the Black Lives Matter anthem Freedom, her dancers do the iconic black power salute which caused so much controversy during her US Super Bowl performance last year.

It’s courageous of Beyonce to tackle such weighty issues and her commitment is such that she and her rapper husband Jay Z have donated $1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and unobtrusively bailed out activists arrested during the Ferguson and Baltimore protests.

But money and fame as the main indicator of success has been always been a theme throughout Beyonce’s career and it undermines the issues she raises when she sings about race relations while also singing about paparazzi, her Givenchy dresses and flying around in her chopper.

Hers seems to be a life so far removed from the lives she seeks to give voice to and I wonder why, after celebrating the achievements of the Black Lives Matter movement, she delivers lyrics like: “I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making” and “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”

I’d like to think that she’s singing about the Morning Star but she’s probably singing about money.

Dutch painting in Beyoncé music video


This 2016 music video from the USA is called LEMONADE 2 DENIAL by Beyoncé.

The painting on the wall (at 0:44 min.) is “View on Dordrecht” by the Dutch painter Wim Jansen (1923-1992). It is normally in the Trinitatis chapel, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

It has now been brought to the Dordrechts Museum; for an exhibition, starting in late October, of paintings depicting Dordrecht.

The “View on Dordrecht” by Jansen is not a well-known painting. Only one depiction of it used to be on the Internet, and probably inspired the makers of the Beyoncé video.

Beyoncé writing, acting in film about Saartjie Baartman


This 3 January 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Beyoncé Will Reportedly Star in Her Own Movie, about Saartjie Baartman

From Vulture.com in the USA:

Beyoncé Is Writing and Starring in a Movie About Saartjie Baartman

By Greg Cwik …

Queen Béy, the biggest pop star of the still-young millennium, wants to be taken seriously as an actress. A decade ago (!) she appeared in the third Austin Powers film, Goldmember, in which she was quite fun, but her next film will be considerably more serious: She’s penning a script for a film about Saartjie Baartman (nicknamed the Hottentot Venus), a South African woman and one of two famous Khoikhoi women who were paraded and displayed in 19th-century London freak shows for their big buttocks and elongated labia. There’s no word yet as to when Beyoncé‘s film will shoot or be released, but you can rest assured that it will be a hit. Béy hive, assemble!

UPDATE: This was denied later.

Beyoncé’s jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller


This music video from the USA says about itself:

Beyoncé´s “Single Ladies” performed by her original all female band, and students from Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

As part of Berklee’s Signature Series, Beyoncé’s Original All-Female Band performed at the Berklee Performance Center for a 10-Year Anniversary Concert.

Tia Fuller, saxophonist for Beyoncé and faculty director at Berklee, led the Berklee Beyoncé Band for several months of preparation. The overall journey culminated in an intense week of rehearsals with the ladies from Beyoncé’s all-female band, with a sold-out concert as a grand celebration for these outstanding women.

Beyoncé’s Original All-Female Band includes Berklee alumni Nikki Glaspie ’04 (drums) and Rie Tsuji ‘02 (keyboard). Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumna, Ebony Williams ’05, was one of the featured dancers in the viral “Single Ladies” video with Beyoncé, and performed with dancers from her alma mater in this unforgettable show.

By Chris Searle in Britain:

Beyonce‘s saxophonist dazzles with her own jazz band

Tuesday 13th October 2015

Tia Fuller
Decisive Steps and Angelic Warrior

For the seething altosaxophonist Tia Fuller, who plays in the all-woman band which accompanies Beyoncé, as well as in regular jazz formations, “playing in front of 16,000 people or 60 people it’s the same, because it’s all about people, transferring energy, uplifting and encouraging spirits and sharing the love of music.”

Born in Aurora, Colorado in 1976, the daughter of teachers in the Denver school system who were also musicians, her girlhood was full of the sounds of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, as well as the piano of her sister, Shamie. Starting from the flute, she grew into the saxophone and by 1998 she had graduated in Music from Spelman College in Atlanta.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Tia Fuller – Touring with Beyoncé

30 November 2011

RockJazz caught Tia Fuller and her band recently in Chicago, where she discussed touring with Beyoncé, and the lessons she learned from the mega-shows Beyoncé stages.

The Chris Searle article continues:

In 2001 she moved into the jazz scene in New York, playing in stellar company with Jimmy Heath, Ralph Peterson, Don Byron and Jon Faddis, among many others, but it was in 2006 that another way beckoned when she became a featured horn in Beyoncé’s band, and thus began a strange coupling of jazz and superstar pop, while she also established a high reputation for teaching, both in Aurora state schools and at prestigious college level.

Her 201[0] album Decisive Steps has sister Shamie on piano and her drummate in Beyoncé’s band, Kim Thompson, with bassist Miriam Sullivan forming a central quartet, and male guests in Christian McBride (bass), Sean Jones (trumpet), vibesman Warren Wolf and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut.

Tia says that the fist altoist that she ever transcribed was Cannonball Adderley, and there is something of his fleeting brilliance in the album’s title tune opener, with Shamie’s pacy solo following her notes. These four women fly, their sonic union levitates, as it does on Windsoar, where Jones’s soft-toned trumpet joins the swooping, swallow-like sound.

Thompson’s emphatic drumbeat and McBride’s electric bass ground Tia’s dug-in notes in Ebb and Flow, where she sounds full of the earth before Jones’s soaring chorus. The old standard I Can’t Get Started gets a soulful unaccompanied intro by Tia before McBride’s acoustic bass throbs out into its heart and Wolf’s mallets put it into a new age. Kissed by the Sun has some groovy Shamie and a beautifully filigreeing soprano saxophone chorus from her sister, while Night Glow, written by Shamie’s husband Rudy Royston, gives Sullivan her moment, her bass sound ancestral but still palpitating.

Wolf’s lucid vibes match Tia’s luminous clarity and McBridge’s cavernous notes in Clear Mind, and in My Shining Hour it is the quartet pulsating out with a vibrant sisterly swing, Tia’s saxophone song full of verve.

In 2012 she released the album Angelic Warrior with Royston on drums. On the opener, Royston Rumble, Shamie and she set up a rapid pace before Tia’s alto comes leaping in and guest John Patitucci’s piccolo bass is also sprinting. The more sultry Ralphie’s Groove (dedicated to Peterson) features Tia’s lithe soprano and another virtuoso drummer, Terri Lyne Carrington, guests on the title tune, her complex drum patterns scattering under Tia’s melodic lead. The saxophone test-piece ballad, Body and Soul, is given a bass-emphatic performance in honour of Tia’s bass-playing father, while Dianne Reeves’s expressive vocal is a tribute to her singing mother. Tia’s horn bleeds with feeling, and in Descend to Barbados, a tribute to her bass player Mimi Jones and her Barbadian parents, her cadences fall like Caribbean rain.

Back to urban reality in Simpli-City, her horn, full of the streets, struts over Jones’s walking bass, and she ends with her salute to Beyonce, Ode to B, showing that her artistry finds no barriers between the very different genres that she plays within — “beyond category,” as Ellington used to say. And as Tia herself declares: “I think musicians are taking a step forward on both sides; we’re moving forward with combining all forms, and more people are accepting that concept, because it’s all interconnected. We, as people, are taking decisive steps.”

This music video from California in the USA says about itself:

12 January 2012

The Tia Fuller Quartet play the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre Cabaret at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on the UC Davis Campus.

Tia Fuller Quartet: Tia Fuller, Alto and Soprano Saxophones; Mimi Jones, Bass; Rudy Royston, Drum; Rachel Eckroth, Piano.

No equality for women yet, Beyoncé writes


This music video from the USA is called Beyoncé – XO.

From Mother Jones in the USA:

Read Beyoncé‘s New Essay: “Gender Equality Is a Myth!”

—By Asawin Suebsaeng

Mon Jan. 13, 2014 10:58 AM GMT

On Sunday, journalist Maria Shriver, in partnership with the Center for American Progress, released The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink. It examines the wage gap between men and women and focuses on the issues of the tens of millions of financially insecure women in America. The investigation also features celebrity essays, including ones from Eva Longoria and LeBron James. Grammy-winning singer and self-described “modern-day feministBeyoncé Knowles-Carter pitched in with a short essay titled, “Gender Equality Is a Myth!”

“We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality,” the piece reads. “It isn’t a reality yet…Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities.”

Read the full essay here.

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No freedom to travel for Beyonce, US Republicans say


 

Beyonce

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Republicans up in arms about artists’ Cuba trip

Tuesday 09 April 2013

Two Cuban-American Representatives wrote to the US Treasury Department today to moan about entertainers Beyonce and Jay-Z‘s trip to Cuba.

Their trip infuriated Florida Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart who demanded to know whether the couple’s visit to the socialist island had been licensed.

“The restrictions on tourism are commonsense measures meant to prevent US dollars from supporting a murderous regime that opposes US security interests at every turn and which ruthlessly suppresses the most basic liberties of speech, assembly and belief,” they claimed.

Beyonce (pictured) and Jay-Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week.

US citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba for tourism, though they can obtain licences for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips.

The licences were reinstated under the Obama administration and are supposedly designed to help promote civil society.

Meanwhile, it has become clear that Beyonce and Jay-Z going to Cuba was indeed licensed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States government.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is mainly known as an apologist for the Scientology cult. Talking about “murderous” and “ruthless suppression” …

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR GUILTY OF CORRUPTION “A federal jury on Thursday found former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of public corruption — sending an emphatic message that they believed the couple sold the office once occupied by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson to a free-spending Richmond businessman for golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in sweetheart loans.” McDonnell’s attorneys are vowing to appeal. Sentencing for the couple will take place January 6, and while “decades in prison and fines in the millions” are possible, many experts think it’s unlikely the couple will serve long terms. [WaPo]

Beyonce sings America the Beautiful


This is a video of singer Beyonce, singing “America the Beautiful” at the inauguration concert for Barack Obama, president-elect of the USA.

The song was written by Katharine Lee Bates.

Let me quote from an earlier entry of this blog:

It is a little-known fact that America¹s best loved song was written by a woman who was a feminist, a lesbian, a Christian socialist, and an ardent anti-imperialist [see on her anti-imperialist poems here].

Katherine Lee Bates was a pioneer, and a progressive advocate of social justice.

And she was a patriot in the best sense of the word.

She loved the land and the people of her birth, but she was critical of its weaknesses, and fought to make it a better, more just place.

America the Beautiful is a song that demands its listeners to open their eyes and ears to the injustices and corruption of capitalism.

It is a song of both love and criticism.

And it makes a distinction between the country we live in, and the wealthy and corrupt elite that rules it.

Also by Tim Yeager (scroll down):

Her [Bates’] disdain for capitalism in the age of the “robber barons” is reflected in verse 3:

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

Unfortunately, many people singing the song today, including Beyonce at that concert, do not sing that verse.