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Archive for April, 2014

HERB WONG (1926-2014), jazz educator, producer, promoter and commentator

Sunday, April 27th, 2014


Herb Wong by John Spragens 1998
Photo: © John Spragens

Dr. Herb Wong in 1998


Herb Wong: Visionary founder of BUSD’s jazz program

By Sarah Cline, Jazz Program Director at Berkeley High School

We at Berkeley High School and in BUSD Jazz lost our founding father this Easter. Dr. Herb Wong passed early in the morning Sunday April 20. He was 88.

Wong was the visionary principal of Washington Elementary School who was responsible for hiring Phil Hardymon, Dick Wittington and Bob Chaconas to teach jazz to little kids in the Berkeley Unified School District, way back in the late 1960s. At the time, Wong was one of a very few people in the nation who believed in jazz education at the elementary school level — as music education, as a part of the civil rights movement, and as a way of propagating a truly democratic and artistic spirit among those of us in the next generation.

Herb-Wong WA Elementary 1960s
© Sarah McCullough

||| Read Sarah Cline’s obituary in full at its Berkeleyside source.


Menlo Park: Herb Wong, jazz icon and educator, dies at 88

by Sandy Brundage / Almanac (Menlo Park, CA, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley)



L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling to girlfriend on tape: ‘Don’t bring blacks to my games’ (TMZ Sports)

Saturday, April 26th, 2014


L.A. magnifying_glass_icon Enlarge

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Donald Sterling & GF
Courtesy | The Root

38px-Speaker_Icon.svgClippers owner Donald Sterling caught on audio, telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring black people to his games, including Magic Johnson.

38px-Speaker_Icon.svg Extended 15-minute version of this audio (from Deadspin)

Live’ NBA Press Conference
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver under pressure
to confront Clippers owner Donald Sterling


Hate. Basketball and the NAACP
James Kenyon
April 27. 2014


THE BIG SMOKE | Poems by Adrian Matejka | Penguin (2013)

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014


“A chunky, chilling, fondly researched reminder of what life was like for one of the greatest boxers in the run-up to the American Century and its opening decades. In Jack Johnson’s imagined voices, Adrian Matejka retells the Big Smoke’s story straight, slant and sweet. A Velcro read.”
— Al Young

BIG SMOKE cvr Clickable

A finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in Poetry—a collection that examines the myth and history of the prizefighter Jack Johnson.
The legendary Jack Johnson (1878–1946) was a true American creation. The child of emancipated slaves, he overcame the violent segregationism of Jim Crow, challenging white boxers—and white America—to become the first African American heavyweight world champion. The Big Smoke, Adrian Matejka’s third work of poetry, follows the fighter’s journey from poverty to the most coveted title in sports through the multi-layered voices of Johnson and the white women he brazenly loved. Matejka’s book is part historic reclamation and part interrogation of Johnson’s complicated legacy, one that often misremembers the magnetic man behind the myth.


Button-Play-32x32 Watch and listen to Adrian Matejka read from The Big Smoke at the 2013 National Book Awards.

Poems by Adrian Matejka
[pronounced Ma-TEE-ka]


MOUTH & FRUIT | Poems by Chryss Yost | Gunpowder Press (2014)

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014


ISBN 978-0-9916651-1-2
80 pages
Gunpowder Press, Santa Barbara


Mouth & Fruit—what a hearty debut! If ever there lived a hands-on poet, her name is Chryss Yost. Wired with feeling and touch, reverie and thought, anger and hunger, these sleek poems dart, dive, sizzle, and sometimes sting. The subtle California sea the gifted poet swims and feeds upon (and feeds) feels as vast as her appetite for life. Birth, death, growth, horticulture, baking, dining, mothering, love, lust; the inseparable spiritual and sensual realms—Chryss Yost’s lush language and imagery ferry us to each destination for keeps, no been-there-done-that.
— Al Young,
California’s poet laureate emeritus

Chryss Yost’s poems are like the coastal light of California, so brightly made you almost miss the grief between the lines. “I sit on your patio, alone,” she writes. “My empty glass as heavy as a gun, / My satin straps and clasps not yet undone.” She admits the shadow self into the western glow, which makes it truer, more fully lived. There’s a classical clarity in lines like dry white wine: “We are renewed, to wonder which came first: / that flow of water or this endless thirst?” This is poetry of warm intelligence, sensuality and grace. A marvelous debut.
—David Mason

JCLaureate1-1 © J.C. Corliss

magnifying_glass_icon Chryss Yost, Santa Barbara Poet Laureate

Santa Barbara’s newest Poet Laureate, and former [Santa Barbara] City College student (2003-2005), Chryss Yost enjoys an apple and reads a few of her poems from her book entitled Mouth & Fruit on Sunday, April 20. Yost became the Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara in April of 2013, and will keep that title until 2015. | Courtesy of The Channels, Santa Barbara City College


Gabriel GarcĂ­a Márquez (March 6, 1927 – April 17, 2014) — in memoriam

Saturday, April 19th, 2014




Gabriel García Márquez: A giant in the literature of the Americas

By Rafael Azul
14 May 2014
© World Socialist Website

Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, best known for his widely acclaimed novels One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), died April 17 in Mexico City, his home since 1961, at the age of 87. García Márquez won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. In the course of a long career, the author left his mark not only as a novelist, but also as a journalist, scriptwriter, moviemaker and writer of short stories.

Read Rafael Azul’s whole tribute



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button ff “He Gave Us Back Our History”
Isabel Allende on Gabriel García Márquez in exclusive interview at Democracy Now

Gabriel Garcia Marquez with Book on Head
© Isabel Steva Hernández (Colita) / Corbis

Gabriel García Márquez with a copy of his book One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad) in 1975.
38px-Speaker_Icon.svgListen to Gabo in his own words talk about writing his masterwork.

Click to read the Spanish original

“Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Aureliano Buendía había de recordar aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo. Macondo era entonces una aldea de 20 casas de barro y cañabrava construidas a la orilla de un río de aguas diáfanas que se precipitaban por un lecho de piedras pulidas, blancas y enormes como huevos prehistóricos. El mundo era tan reciente, que muchas cosas carecían de nombre, y para mencionarlas había que señalarlas con el dedo ”

Mexico Garcia Marquez-1
© Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

In this March 6, 2014, file photo, Colombian Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel García Márquez greets fans and reporters outside his home on his birthday in Mexico City. The family said his health was “very fragile” after he left a Mexico City hospital on April 8. The world renowned Colombia-born writer is at his home in Mexico City after eight days in the hospital last week for treatment of pneumonia and related problems.


open quotesIt always amuses me that the biggest praise for my work comes for the imagination, while the truth is that there’s not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality. The problem is that Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination.
— Gabriel GarcĂ­a Márquez


Gabo Accepts Nobelplay button 2.png

Uploaded April 18, 2014 at YouTube

One of the greatest novelists and writers of the 20th century has died. Colombian author Gabriel GarcĂ­a Márquez passed away Thursday in Mexico at the age of 87. It has been reported that only the Bible has sold more copies in the Spanish language than the works of GarcĂ­a Márquez, who was affectionately known at “Gabo” throughout Latin America. His novel One Hundred Years of Solitude is considered one of the masterful examples of the literary genre known as magic realism, and it won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. The Swedish Academy described it as a book “in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.”


Gabriel García Márquez obituary | Telegraph, UK, 18 April 2014

Button-Play-32x32Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos declares three days of mourning after the death of Nobel prize winner Gabriel GarcĂ­a Márquez. Vigils are held throughout the country. Márquez, considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, died in Mexico City. He was 87.

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

 Gabriel García Márquez bibliography and checklist at


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