Photo courtesy of Chief Tamba Taylor 

“US-Based Fashion Designer Carrying On The ‘Blueprint’ of Liberia`s Traditional Chief Donates Precious Gifts To The National Museum”

Reprinted by permission: Originally by Liberian Reporter, Mark B. Newa
Photos courtesy of Smart News Liberia & Chief Tamba Taylor

A young spectacular dancer presents a small-sized drum to Chief Tamba Taylor as the audience looks on.

A US-based fashion designer has identified with the people of Liberia sharing his dream with Lofa County traditional chief, a title that was conferred onto him years ago.

Making a statement at the Blueprint, a souvenir program marking the celebration of the legacy of Chief Tamba Taylor in Monrovia, Chief Dr. Quinton ‘Tamba Taylor’ de`Alexander disclosed that his organization seeks to address some of the challenges facing youth in Liberia. He said his organization, We Dream in Color Foundation, is empowering young Liberians to become entrepreneurs and employers for themselves and others. “The focus of our foundation is empowering the youth to become entrepreneurs. Never dream small, when you dream big, you`ll overcome,” the traditional chief said.

The name Tamba Taylor was conferred onto him in December 2020 on the Providence Island by Liberian Culture Ambassador Julie Endee, Executive Director of the Crusaders for Peace.

During the occasion, that marked the rebirth of Liberia, Dr. de`Alexander chose to give the traditional costume, a short male gown draped in Liberia`s three national colors, back to the country in remembrance of the legacy paid to him, which he referred to as the ‘2020 Blueprint’.

With 30 years of working in the fabric industry, Dr. Quinton Chief Tamba Taylor de`Alexander`s collection, using crystal jewels, has designed clothing for different celebrities in the United States of America and others around the world.

In a comment, Fahn Lepolu, clan chief of Woryan clan in Margibi County encouraged Liberians to work with the people of Margibi to make the clan color stand. “Tradition is very powerful. When you are educated, do not forget about your tradition. Do not be afraid of your home. Nowhere is like home,” the clan chief cautioned.

Chief Tamba Taylor (center in blue apparel) flanked by a cross section of chiefs and elders Zoebanjay drummers.

During the Blueprint, a colorful occasion backed by cultural display from the group Ballet Zoebanjay, Chief Tamba Taylor de`Alexander returned the traditional gown given him by the Crusaders for Peace with a well crystal designed dress for celebrity, to be displayed as relics in the Liberia National Museum.

Ballet Zoebanjay posed with spectacular kid dancers after displaying different dancing styles before the audience as Chief Taylor displayed high in the sky the small Liberian drum. In a few lines from his social media account, Quinton said one early Saturday morning. “I find myself thinking of ways to empower the less fortunate, not in Liberia, but the less fortunate throughout the world. I also find myself thinking of ways to unify all black people to understand the power of unity and support. If we learned to join forces to work together effectively, without jealousy, hate and disrespect within our own race and communities.”

Also commenting, Diamond George Kamu, disclosed that the Blueprint program was intended to display the legacy of this very great man to share in celebrating the life`s achievement of a multi-award-winning self-taught philanthropist, humanitarian and executive producer. “He has over 50 years of experience as a designer and is famously known for drama dresses, dresses designed to display and say so much that every head must turn to admire the incredible work of art,” Mr. Kamu recalled.

Kamu added that among other achievements, Dr. de`Alexander has received numerous local and national awards, including the Fred Hampton Image Award, and the 2011 Mahogany Foundation Image Award for Excellence in costume design.

 

Ballet Zoebanjay posed with spectacular kid dancers after displaying different dancing styles before the audience as Chief Taylor displayed high in the sky the small Liberian drum. 

Mr. Kamu told the audience that Dr. de`Alexander has devoted his entire professional life to service, serving the needy and poor beyond borders. “We`ve come to celebrate the legacy of an extraordinary man, a fighter, a statesman, a patriot who embodied so much that is best for Liberia.”

 

Traditional overspread shirt colored red, white and blue, and a crystallized dress for celebrities designed by Chief Tamba Taylor were added to the antiques in the museum.

 

Back in 2020, the ‘We Dream in Color Foundation’ bestowed the Nelson Mandela Freedom Award to Bill Rogers. This award is given to individuals who have immensely contributed to the positive growth of their communities, societies, and the global community despite all of the difficulties and challenges.

“Chief Taylor had vowed,” George Kamu said, “To change the perception of the image and reputation plastered throughout social media platforms.’ He added that upon his return to the USA, Quinton went straight to work. “Not only enriched with Liberia`s history and becoming one with Paramount Chief Tamba Taylor`s legacy, he began gathering various educational and personal profiles to initiate the upliftment and empowerment of the most overlooked, less fortunate children, and families.”

In the last two years, the Chief delivered more that 50 barrels of food items, school and educational supplies, new clothing, farm supplies, and established a playground in memory of Chief Tamba Taylor. Including supplies to fight COVID, the Chief has also provided school fees and sponsored trips for several less fortunate students to visit the Liberia National Museum.

Following that, Quinton established the Chief Tamba Taylor support group for athletes feeling unheard and seen. Beneficiaries were Belenie Christian Foundation School System, Bill Rogers Youth Foundation, the People of Woryan Town, Women for Positive Actions, Quality Foundation Daycare and Educational Center, Jazhet School and Foundation, the School for Orphans and Deaf Ministry, Wubu Foundation for Deaf Children Development International, Liberia Crusaders for Peace, Armah and Lydia Lansannah Foundation, Dorcas Circle Effort Baptist Church, New Life in Christ Interdenominational Church, and the Liberia National Museum.

Diamond recalled, “When you dream big in colors, nothing can stop you from reaching the unreachable.” “I realize how profound and amazing it was that a man of his status could had accepted a challenge to brace the heat of the COVID, the financial implications that the trip had on him, and the negatives that the internet portrayed about Africa, especially Liberia,” Mr. Kamu said.

The program was attended by town folks from Woryan Town in Margibi County and representatives from beneficiary organizations, officials of the Liberian National Museum, local media, and the traditional ballet group.

The Legacy of Chief Tamba Taylor. The Boy Who Wasn’t Afraid To Dream BIG and DREAM IN COLOR!

 

Chief Dr. Quinton Tamba Taylor de’ Alexander Contact Information

Website: www.wedreamincolor.org

Facebook: @Quinton de’ Alexander

Instagram: @quinton_dealexander

Twitter: @AlexanderQuinton

 

 

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Story and photos courtesy of: Obama.org and The Obama Foundation

CLICK VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikbWbQylWNc&t=250s

PHOTOS LINK:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/160187588@N03/sets/72177720302973317/?utm_source=crm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Chicago%20wkly_102122&sfmc_s=0033600001gweZFAAY

Hi Pierre,

This week, Michelle and I traveled home to Chicago to meet with students on the South and West Sides and see the impact the Obama Foundation is already having on the ground there.

The two-day trip was an inspiring one! At 167 Green Street, President Obama surprised over 60 Chicago high school students for a day of activities and conversation. In collaboration with local businesses and support from Nike, students had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities – from yoga and meditation to art therapy and even a hair product creation tutorial.

As part of our My Brother’s Keeper Alliance initiative, Freedom Summer 2022, the President participated in a panel conversation with Chicago Bulls player, Ayo Dosunmo, Chicago Bulls Creative Strategy and Design Advisor, Don C., and Chicago high school students about their experiences, as well as the importance of utilizing community resources and organizations, like the Obama Foundation, to find their purpose.

President Obama also moderated a panel discussion with leaders from McDonald’s and Prudential, for an audience of small business owners and Chicago business leaders to discuss how small businesses and large corporations can work together to invest in economic growth for the South and West sides.

On the South Side, Mrs. Obama surprised students at Hyde Park Academy High School to formally kick off the Obama Foundation Futures Series for the 2022-23 school year. The Futures Series brings in speakers to expose students to the stories, experiences, and insights of leaders across a wide range of industries and paths in an effort to deepen their understanding of the various career pathways they could take upon graduation.

Mrs. Obama spent most of the hour-long conversation answering questions submitted by students around hardships, success, and finding one’s purpose. She also sat down with 10 girls from the Working on Womanhood (WOW) program, a year-long group counseling and clinical mentoring program for middle and high school girls, for an intimate discussion centered around their well being and developing a healthy sense of self.


“It’s been incredible to see the impact our programming has started to make on the lives of our young people – from the work with the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and the Girls Opportunity Alliance to the Futures Series,” said Obama Foundation CEO Valerie Jarrett. “A part of our work at the Obama Foundation is to empower young people in underserved communities and increase their access to opportunities. It’s the kind of programming we will bring to the Obama Presidential Center when it opens in 2025.”

CLICK VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikbWbQylWNc&t=250s

PHOTOS LINK:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/160187588@N03/sets/72177720302973317/?utm_source=crm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Chicago%20wkly_102122&sfmc_s=0033600001gweZFAAY

Photo Credit: Jake Bacon/AP

 

U.S. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October, on October 10 this year, to honor the cultures and histories of the Native American people. The day is centered around reflecting on their tribal roots and the tragic stories that hurt but strengthened their communities.

The second Monday of October has been a national holiday for close to a century, but this will be only the second year that Indigenous Peoples Day has held that designation.

The celebrating of an Indigenous Peoples Day took root in 1977 at an international conference on discrimination sponsored by the United Nations. It’s grown as a day to honor Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures.

Last year when Biden issued the proclamation for Indigenous Peoples Day, he also issued a proclamation of Columbus Day, established by Congress and first recognized as a national holiday in 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In his 2021 speech, Biden praised the role of Italian Americans in U.S. society, but also referenced the violence and harm Columbus and other explorers of the age brought about on the Americas.

“We also acknowledge the painful history of wrongs and atrocities that many European explorers inflicted on tribal nations and Indigenous communities,” Biden said. “It is a measure of our greatness as a nation that we do not seek to bury these shameful episodes of our past – that we face them honestly, we bring them to the light, and we do all we can to address them.”

Photo courtesy of: PBS.ORG

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, died Thursday, September 8. She was 96 years old.

Queen Elizabeth II’s life was full of notable achievements, even before she became the Queen. During World War II (which ended when she was 19) Queen Elizabeth — princess Elizabeth at the time — didn’t sail to Canada as advised. Instead, she stayed in England and joined the army.

Click here to go to PBS.ORG for more coverage

Photo courtesy of: OBAMA.ORG

 

Hi Pierre,

Today, Michelle and I returned to the White House together for the first time since leaving office, to join President and Dr. Biden in unveiling our official portraits.

These portraits have a special significance, because they will hang in the White House alongside portraits of other presidents and first ladies dating back to George and Martha Washington. So it was important to find the right people to paint them.

I’m so pleased with the work that Sharon Sprung did to capture everything I love about Michelle, while Robert McCurdy took on a more difficult subject and did a fantastic job with mine.

Learn more about their work. (Click here)

Presidents often get airbrushed, even take on a mythical status—especially after you’re gone and people forget all the stuff they didn’t like about you. But what you realize sitting behind that desk, and what I want people to remember about Michelle and me, is that presidents and first ladies are human beings, just like everyone else.

I’ve always described the presidency as a relay race. You take the baton from someone, run your leg as hard as you can, then hand it off to someone else. The portraits hanging in the White House chronicle the runners in that race—each of us tasked with trying to bring the country we love closer to its highest aspirations.

When future generations walk through the White House and look at these portraits, I hope they get a better, honest sense of who Michelle and I were. And I hope they leave with a deeper understanding that if we could make it here, they can do remarkable things too.

–Barack

YouTube video courtesy of: @wipeout2649

CLICK VIDEO LINK ABOVE 

 

 

#BlackHistoryMonth

Stevie Wonder’s “Black Man” resonates even more in 2022, just as it did in 1976!

Check out this revised video that really gives LIFE to the original monumental song.



LYRICS:

First man to die
For the flag we now hold high
Was a Black Man
(Crispus Attucks)
The ground where we stand
With the flag held in our hand
Was first the redman (Samoset)
Guide of a ship
On the first columbus trip
Was a brown man
(Pedro Alonso Nino)
The railroads for trains
Came on tracking that was laid
By the yellow man (Chinese Laborers)

We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It’s time we learned
This world was made for all men

Heart surgery
Was first done successfully
By a Black Man (Dr Daniel Hale Williams)
Friendly man who died
But helped the pilgrims to survive
Was a redman
(Squanto)
Farm workers rights
Were lifted to new heights
By a brown man
(Cesar Chavez)
Incandescent light
Was invented to give sight
By the white man
(Thomas Edison)

We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It’s time we learned
This world was made for all men

Here me out…
Now I know the birthday of a nation
Is a time when a country celebrates
But as your hand touches your heart
Remember we all played a part in america
To help that banner wave
First clock to be made
In america was created
By a Black Man (Benjamin Banneker)
Scout who used no chart
Helped lead lewis and clark
Was a redman (Sacagawea)
Use of martial arts
In our country got its start
By a yellow man (Yamashita Yoshitsuga)
And the leader with a pen
Signed his name to free all men
Was a white man (Abraham Lincoln)

We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It’s time we learned
This world was made for all men
This world was made for all men
This world was made for all men
This world was made for all men
God saved his world for all men
All people
All babies
All children
All colors
All races
This worlds for you
And me
This world
My world
Your world
Everybody’s world
This world
Their world
Our world
This world was made for all men

Here me out…
Who was the first man to set foot on the north pole?
Mattew Henson – a Black Man
Who was the first american to show the pilgrims at plymouth the secrets
Of survival in the new world?
Squanto – a redman
Who was the soldier of company g who won high honors for his courage
And heroism in world war 1?
Lau Sing Kee – a yellow man
Who was the leader of united farm workers and helped farm workers
Maintain dignity and respect?
Cesar Chavez – a brown man
Who was the founder of blood plasma and the director of the red cross
Blood bank?
Dr. Charles Drew – a Black Man
Who was the first american heroine who aided the lewis and clark
Expedition?
Sacagawea – a red woman
Who was the famous educator and semanticist who made outstanding
Contributions to education in america?
S. I. Hayakawa – a yellow man
Who invented the world’s first stop light and the gas mask?
Garrett Morgan – A Black Man
Who was the american surgeon who was one of the founders of
Neurosurgery?
Harvey William Cushing – a white man
Who was the man who helped design the nation’s capital, made the first
Clock to give time in america and wrote the first almanac?
Benjamin Banneker – a Black Man
Who was the legendary hero who helped establish the league of iroquois?
Hiawatha – a redman
Who was the leader of the first macrobiotic center in america?
Michio Kushi- A yellow man
Who was the founder of the city of chicago in 1772?
Jean Baptiste – a Black Man
Who was one of the organizers of the american indian movement?
Denis Banks – a redman
Who was the jewish financier who raised funds to sponsor christopher
Columbus’ voyage to america?
Luis de Santangel – a white man
Who was the woman who led countless slaves to freedom on the
Underground railroad?
Harriet Tubman – a black woman



 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

 

THE BELL TOLLS FOR YOU Video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwiShOzKJ-o&t=2s

Tyrone Corbett is a songwriter, producer, engineer, videographer and owner of The Corbett Music Group.

Corbett is not new to the entertainment industry and has worn many hats over the years. He started as a background singer and has worked with some of the industries finest artists in the Smooth Jazz genre. Corbett has worked with:

Gerald Albright, Norman Brown, Will Downing, Lalah Hathaway and many others.

While Corbett has worked as a background singer with many Smooth Jazz giants, he is also known for working as a songwriter/producer and has a catalog of songs which cover all genres. He’s worked in Pop, R&B, Gospel and Country. Corbett has also worked with artists signed to major and independent labels, including Clive Davis’s coveted, J Records.

Corbett’s work has drawn the attention of industry luminaries, Babyface, Daryl Simmons, Carole Bayer Sager, as well as David Foster. Carole Bayer Sager said, “Tyrone’s work shows massive talent”.

Additionally, Corbett has worked with artists from American Idol, The Voice, and Diddy & DJ Khaled’s TV show, The Four”.

Some of Corbett’s diverse work includes awards for a Grammy winning album as a background singer and a Billboard #1 record as a recording engineer.

Corbett’s latest release, “The Bell Tolls for You” is a poignant and profound social justice song written by Tyrone Corbett, Clarence Penn and Joseph Guida. Penn and Guida have both been long time collaborators with Corbett. The vocals are provided by dynamic singer, J.D. Wesley who’s impressive vocal abilities are not only powerful, but impassioned and earnest as well.

THE BELL TOLLS FOR YOU Video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwiShOzKJ-o&t=2s

Lyrically speaking, “The Bell Tolls for You” speaks to the socioeconomic injustices and marginalization of people of color. It also shines a spotlight on those “We’ve Lost Along The Way” and ends with the important issue of voting because “The Bell Tolls for You” says Corbett.

Corbett’s release of “The Bell Tolls for You” includes his visionary work as a burgeoning filmmaker as well. Corbett said:

“Making this video was inspirational, but also emotionally draining due to the subject matter. From the moment I wrote the lyrics, I felt the song could be special, but one of the most affirming moments happened when we were filming in NYC at Union Station and a crowd gathered. People were applauding, cheering and crying. These people were young, old, Black, White and Hispanic. That’s when I knew how impactful it was for others as it was to me.”

“The Bell Tolls for You” is available in all major online stores and streaming platforms and can purchased at:

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1598058724?ls=1&app=itunes

 

THE BELL TOLLS FOR YOU Video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwiShOzKJ-o&t=2s

Credits
Directed, Filmed and Edited by: Tyrone Corbett
Writers: Tyrone Corbett, Clarence Penn and Joseph Guida
Producers: Clarence Penn & Tyrone Corbett
Lyrics: Tyrone Corbett
All Intsrument Programming: Clarence Penn
Bass: Robert Kubiszyn
Guitar: Joseph Guida
Lead Vocals: J.D. Wesley 
Background Vocals: Ha-San Smith
Vocal Production: Tyrone Corbett 
Recording & Mixing: Tyrone Corbett
Mastering: James Cage
 
 
Tyrone CorbettThe Corbett Music Group
www.TCMG.biz
(973) 736-5400

COMMENT in the comment section below and on the YouTube link!!

 House music is the third largest music genre in the world!!!!

Here is the trailer.

https://vimeo.com/633808501

 

Black Harvest Film Festival will virtually stream The Woodstock of House November 13- December 2, 2021.

Streaming Ticket Info: 

https://watch.eventive.org/gsfc/play/6168922c7c7500030b0cfe7a

The documentary “The Woodstock of House”, a film that explores the origins of Chicago House music and its’ enduring worldwide appeal, featuring Chicago’s own The Chosen Few DJs, was selected for Chicago’s prestigious 2021 Black Harvest Film Festival and will screen in person on Thursday, November 11th @8pm and Friday, November 12th @8pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center, located in downtown Chicago!

On debut night, Thursday, November 11th, the audience will be blessed with live appearances by Writer/Director/Executive Producer/Producer Rodrick F. Wimberly, who will be joined by Tressa Epps, Executive Producer/Producer, Vonda Paige, Executive Producer/Producer, Steve Toles, Executive Producer/Producer and Senuwell Smith, Director

GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER WEBSITE: https://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/

164 N. State Street

312-846-2800 

 

MOVIE WEBSITEhttps://www.woodstockofhouse.com

 

TICKETS:  

https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

 

Here is the trailer.

  


This documentary details the triumph of a music genre that was attacked and nearly destroyed by mainstream America in the late 1970s for being too black, too Latin, and too gay.

It explores the music’s mutation, development, and re-birth by African American teenagers on the southside of Chicago in an underground culture of marginalized, largely homosexual nightclub constituents.

It is the untold story of the role of Chicago’s Chosen Few DJs in the creation of House music. It celebrates the enduring legacy of the annual Chosen Few Music Festival, dubbed the “Woodstock of House” that brings together more than 50,000 people of different races, ages, sexual orientations, and class together in an environment of unity, peace, and love.


TICKETS:https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

 

GO BANG! Magazine had the opportunity to meet the creative and production team behind THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE, as well as a few members of the cast. As a fellow lover of House music, it was an honor for me to be granted the opportunity to interview the creators and producers of this long-overdue documentary on the origins of House music.


Now, let’s get to know “THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE” posse…


RODRICK F. WIMBERLY
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/WRITER
A veteran of the film and television industry, Rodrick’s love for the film industry is enhanced by his knowledge of the law regarding the business of film, including contract negotiations, corporate formations and business entities. He is an executive producer, producer, writer and a director for the documentary, “The Woodstock of House” (2020) and produced the short film, “UH-OH” (2018).

 


SENUWELL SMITH
DIRECTOR
An actor, screenwriter, editor and director, he appeared in the Blind Faith Theatre Company’s production of “Streamers,” for which he was nominated for a Black Theater Alliance Award. He appeared in “Pullman Porter Blues” at the Goodman Theater in 2013. He has directed and edited several music videos. He wrote and directed the short film, “UH-OH” which was screened at the Pan-African Film Festival and the Roxbury International Film Festival in 2018. He is a director for the documentary, “The Woodstock of House” (2020).

 


VONDA PAIGE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
She has more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management, marketing, social media and public relations. She is an award-winning journalist and the founder of The First Black Woman, a digital media project recognizing the historic contributions of Black women. She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Vice President of the Virginia Tech Black Alumni Society. She is the executive producer of the independent short film, “UH-OH” (2018) which was selected by the Pan African Film Festival.

 


TRESSA EPPS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
A sought-after independent filmmaker, Tressa has worked on a number of award-winning independent film projects, ranging from independent short films to feature films in a variety of roles as an executive producer, producer, and production designer. Her projects were released in theaters and aired on BET, BET HER, TVOne, Urban Movie Channel (UMC), Bounce TV and Netflix. She is honored to serve on the prestigious Black Perspectives Committee at the Chicago International Film Festival.

 


STEVE TOLES
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
After graduating from The Ohio State University, Steve moved to Houston and resumed a lifelong passion for film production, acting, directing and producing various projects from short films, to experimental music videos to documentaries and features. Eventually he returned to Cleveland where he has produced video content for his school and his first independent film was accepted to several film festivals. Steve is an executive producer and producer on The Woodstock of House.

 


WAYNE WILLIAMS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
As founder of the Chosen Few DJs and longtime music industry professional, Wayne has helped shape popular music and dance culture. His music career includes work as a DJ, producer, and A&R executive with Trax Records, Jive Records, and RCA Records. Wayne is a recipient of an NAACP Image Award for his work with Aretha Franklin and was nominated for a GRAMMY award in 2014 for his work with Jennifer Hudson. He continues to produce music and perform at event and clubs across the globe.

 


JESSE SAUNDERS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jesse is a founding member of the Chosen Few DJs who is recognized as the producer and performer of the first Chicago House Music record, “On & On”, in 1984. His production credits include “Love Can’t Turn Around”, one of the biggest-selling House Music records of all time, and “Higher”, which reached the top of the Billboard dance chart in 2019. In 2020, his book, “In Their Own Words”, which features interviews with House Music DJs, producers, dancers, club owners, and promoters, debuted at #1 on Amazon’s dance music book chart.



Knowing many of those involved in the film was the icing on the cake. I am so proud of them. Many of them are also my high school brothers and sisters, who attended “Thee” Kenwood Academy high school, located on Chicago’s south side, in the eclectic neighborhood of Hyde Park.


GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK) For our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you please explain how you are connected to House music culture and what inspired you to Write, Direct, Produce and Executive Produce The Woodstock of House?

Rodrick:  I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago (SOUTHSIDE!!!)  When I was around 12 years old, I first remembered hearing “Mickey Oliver” Hot Mixes on 102.7 WBMX (the radio station that every young person in Chicago listened to at the time-reportedly 2 million Chicago land residents used to listen to the Friday and Saturday mix shows).  The frenetic energy, pulsing rhythms  and driving bass captured me and I said that I had to become a DJ!  I bought my first turntables (Technics SLB-100 belt driven) from Loop Electronics from downtown and became the best unknown DJ in my area. LOL!  After I went to college at Boston University, I took my equipment up there and DJ’d there for two years introducing them to Chicago-style house music and deep disco (which they were not used to).  In addition to DJing, I LOVE to dance.  In fact, some people used to call me the “dancing DJ” because no one dance more to my music than I would! 

My inspiration for “The Woodstock of House” was the manifestation of the themes that House Music promoted: love, unity and sharing being manifested every year at The Chosen Few Music Festival (“The Picnic”).  To see mostly black and brown people in a crowd of 40,000 house music lovers come together in a communal celebration of everything that is good about humanity without ANY violence in 30 years was worthy of a film.  I gathered my production team, created a treatment for the documentary, met with the Chosen Few and they were in!  We wanted to share this human story of young black teens from the Southside of Chicago creating a musical genre that is the 3rd largest musical genre in the world! 

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (SENUWELL)   Being one of the directors of the film, alongside Rodrick Wimberly, can you please explain what is the purpose or mission of The Woodstock of House?

Senuwell:  My purpose is to create a new movement in music that will unite everyone of all races, ages and genders, like the influence of Rap and Hip Hop.  Eventually going global and creating a voice to bring peace and love back into a world of violence and hate.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA, TRESSA, STEVE,)    As executive producers and producers of The Woodstock of House, what was it about the film that inspired or motivated you to become involved?

Vonda: As a filmmaker, not only can you entertain, but you have an opportunity to inform or educate, depending on the subject. I didn’t grow up knowing anything about House music – I can tell you about Go-Go, living outside of Washington, DC – but not House!

When we were thinking about debut projects for our company, and Rodrick and Senuwell shared
stories about and their love for House music, I was genuinely curious about what draws tens of
thousands of people to a music festival featuring something I had never heard of. Early on, while  doing some research for the project, I thought wow… we have a chance to tell an untold story and that was truly exciting!

One thing about making a documentary is that you may start with an idea of what you think the story is about, but if you are true and authentic to the craft – you let the story give you the direction.  While the story may have initially centered around the annual House music festival, I am so proud that we were able to tell an inspiring history story about young Black teenagers from Chicago who created a special sound and form of music that sustains some 30 years later. Black creators across all spectrums don’t always get their credit in the history books. Remember the late Little Richard, who famously said “They didn’t give me nothing!” Well, we produced a film that documents these genius black creators and the love that has come their way from a grateful fan base in Chicago and worldwide. This film is one for the history books.

Tressa: Woodstock of House” was the well-written treatment written by Rodrick Wimberly and Ayanna Wimberly. The treatment provided the blueprint of promoting a conversation about celebrating young Black teens who created a music genre and created “The Annual Chosen Few House Picnic” every 4th of July. I was particularly fascinated with the historical similarities House music had with disco music. In addition, House music is empowering and created a dance movement. The Chosen Few created an event about love, peace, and unity without any violence. 

Steve:  Well, as far as what inspired me, I remember Rod asking me to come to the picnic for a few years.  He had introduced me to the music and how to DJ, so he knew I would love the picnic.  Finally, he convinced me and I came out…not to mention that it was the 25th Anniversary picnic.  WOW!!!! I had recently directed/produced my first short film, so I looked at Rod and said “Rod we have to make this documentary.  It would be amazing”.  From there, we started on the long journey that eventually became The Woodstock of House.   

So, the idea that inspired me to bring this film to life was the music and the life it has given me.  Now, this is my opportunity to give something back to House.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: (WAYNE)  What influence or effect do you think the film will have on society as a whole?

Wayne:  I hope the impact of the film is how the type of music we chose to impact our life, that grew to reach people all over the world, roots came from love, unity and freedom of art. Our music put smiles on people’s face and takes your stress away for that time when you are in House music. The world has been traumatized in the last  three years and has become meaner. Our music, House music, is the kryptonite of stress and depression and we have to get back to love, which is what House music is about.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: (JESSE) Being the first person to have a House music song pressed on vinyl (“On and On”), as well as being a member of The Chosen Few DJs, which are featured in The Woodstock of House, how does it feel to be a member of a DJ crew that is considered to be part of the
foundation and continuation of the House music genre?

Jesse:  I’ve grown up originating and pioneering a culture that was new and different than anything prior to it. That means that my perspective is different than most peoples.  It all happened around me. I didn’t get the privilege of being able to look at something grow, because I was too busy trying to move and build the movement.. It turned out to be bigger than I could have ever
imagined.

My legacy with the Chosen Few is as dear to me as apple pie is to America. The walls that we
have been able to break down as a crew, that have bridged the gap between racism, sexism and
sexual orientation, have been immense. We’ve been able to bring everyone together to show that
we can love, dance and assemble as one – anywhere, anytime.

Personally, I’m proud to have started a revolution that allowed young, urban Black kids to DJ,
produce and release their musical expressions to the world…thus creating a world-wide culture
we now know as House music!

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK). As a Chicago native, who was there when House music was born and participated in its growth and evolution, I am proud that this film has been written and produced to show the international community how House all started.  Then, to have The Woodstock of House to be selected for Chicago’s prestigious Black Harvest Film Festival, as well as recently winning Best Documentary in Gary Indiana’s Black Film Festival must have made you feel some type of way.  Please explain to our readers how gaining all of this attention, support and accolades make you feel.

Rodrick:   It has truly been a blessing!  It is exhilarating to play the film for house music and documentary lovers after taking six (6) years to complete.  We were rejected by so many film festivals early on so we just were overwhelmed by the love that we received from the audience and programmers at the Gary Black International Film Festival and the exposure that we are now receiving from film festivals all over the country (we have even had programmers from Europe approach us and request to exhibit the film).  It has almost been unbelievable but we had faith in each other, our project and God and He always has the last say.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA, TRESSA) I am so proud to see two Black women being a part of The Woodstock of House production, especially serving as members of the executive producer AND producer team.  You both have an impressive, professional background and years of experience.  Can you explain why it is important to you to have minority, female representation in the film industry?

Vonda: It’s an incredibly exciting time for Black women filmmakers. There have always been Black women creating amazing film projects, in front of and behind the camera.  I think in the last decade – more media attention has elevated their work. I’m thinking of my personal shero, Ava Duvernay, who after becoming the first Black woman to the win the directing award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film “Middle of Nowhere”, has blazed a trail with development deals that allow her to hire other women producers, writers and directors in film and television. That is how you ensure representation. American cinema can reflect everyday life, culture, politics, music, education, etc. – and Black women contribute to all of those things. We have a unique prospective and imprint and our voices, experiences and stories should be told by us.

Tressa:  Thank you for your acknowledgment. Black filmmakers are underrepresented in executive decision-making roles throughout the industry. The film industry in particular remains disproportionately white. This underrepresentation extends to the buying side, where Black distributors make up a small fraction of the total. Most of the productions I’m part of are lead by directors and producers who intentionally choose female department heads. Having females in these positions are important so our voices are represented. 

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK, WAYNE, JESSE)   House is more than a genre of music.  It is a mentality of peacefulness, freedom of expression, love and acceptance.  If the founding generation of House music, which are us, does not pass the music and the DJ skills to the next generation, House could be lost.  How do you feel about the future of House music and what is its’ legacy?

Rodrick:  That was a major theme that was part of the initial treatment from the film and is a serious issue within the House Music community.  We, as House Music cultivators and curators, must introduce more young people to the Chicago and soulful style of house music that advances these altruistic societal values.  While some subgenres of House have captured the imagination of younger fans by advancing the driving energy of mostly instrumental music, like EDM, we must make it a point to elevate our sound as a cultural musical expression that has sociological implications to break down barriers between peoples and even nations.  That is truly worth educating young people about.  

Wayne:  House music started in 1984 and has been going ever since.  It has never been in jeopardy of not continuing  because there are too many people of talent  who are constantly discovering House music who are producers, DJs, songwriters and artists.

Jesse:  The future for the culture of House is as broad and diverse as has been for the last 45+ years. The culture of love, understanding and freedom has been a part of our American heritage since the American Revolution 350 years ago. We ALL want freedom to be who we want to be, love who and how we want to and dance the night away. House music breeds that and is the flag that we carry throughout our time on this earth. So the future of House is bright and shiny and will forever live in the hearts of generations to come.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA)   Please introduce our readers to 2CHI Entertainment and explain what’s its mission.

Vonda:  2CHi Entertainment was founded in 2013 with the mission to produce movie and television projects that tell stories of the Black experience. Black production companies are vastly underrepresented within the film industry. We want to close that gap with stories that reflect the contributions of African-Americans to society on film in all genres: drama, science fiction, suspense, comedy, biography.

Our first project was a suspense thriller short film, called Uh-Oh, that was screened at the Pan-African Film Festival and the Roxbury Film Festival in 2018. We have projects in development including one about the historical contribution of Blacks in the military, a faith-based inspirational drama, and a family film that gives a slice-of-life view of a Chicago family.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (STEVE, TRESSA)   In your opinion, what do you hope the “take away” is for the audience, after viewing The Woodstock of House?

Steve:  What I would hope the audience, especially the Chicago audience, “take away” is, is what this music is.  What we as a people can do over and over and over.   (We can) take bits and pieces of this and that and create something that will move the entire globe.  We do it under the most trying of circumstances, almost as a survival mechanism.  That ……and the music……is about LOVE.

Tressa: I hope the take away for the viewer is a reflection of the importance of unity, peace, and love.
Music is an universal language! Smiling and laughter creates great vibes! We can always add to our own personal happy! “House Music All Night Long!” 

GO BANG! Magazine would like to congratulate and thank you and the entire production team of The Woodstock of House, for writing and producing this informative, entertaining, powerful and much-needed documentary about another style of music that was born in Chicago, IL, USA….. HOUSE MUSIC!  What would you like to say “Mr. Writer” to leave with our international audience about the film, House culture, the future of House or anything else?

Rodrick:  Thanks so much for your kind words and for allowing us to share our story in such a great publication.  I just want to thank my amazing production team for their skill, excellence, character and patience in bringing this love project to life.  We became a family during this project and I love every one of them!

GO BANG! Magazine:  You are more than welcome Rod…thank you for bringing the truth about House, from the home of House, to the world!  

HOUSE MUSIC IS MY LIFE….ALL NIGHT LONG!

GO BANG!!!

Here is the trailer.

 

Black Harvest Film Festival will virtually stream The Woodstock of House November 13- December 2, 2021.

Streaming Ticket Info:

https://watch.eventive.org/gsfc/play/6168922c7c7500030b0cfe7a

 

THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE

Thursday, November 11th @8pm & Friday, November 12th @8pm

On debut night, Thursday, November 11th, the audience will be blessed with a live appearances by Writer/Director/Executive Producer/Producer Rodrick F. Wimberly, who will be joined by Tressa Epps, Executive Producer/Producer, Vonda Paige, Executive Producer/Producer, Steve Toles, Executive Producer/Producer and Senuwell Smith, Director

TICKETS:  

https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

You can find out more information about THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE on all social media platforms:

 

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/woodstockofhouse

@woodstockofhouse

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/thewoodstockofhouse

@thewoodstockofhouse

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WoodstockHouse2

@woodstockHouse2

 

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

SONG VIDEO LINK:  (courtesy of YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGOAXdva_LE

Visit http://vote.org to find your local polling place.

KEKE PALMER in “Actually Vote”
brought to you by GENERATOR COLLECTIVE + STARRPIX

directed by JAKE WILSON
written by FINNEAS, BENJ PASEK, JUSTIN PAUL, KALEENA ZANDERS
produced by FINNEAS

featuring ILANA GLAZER, JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, JULIANNE MOORE, BELLA THORNE

video produced by KARL FRANKENFIELD, ILANA GLAZER, KELSIE KILEY, GLENNIS MEAGHER, ELENA RIDKER

cinematography by MATTHEW TOMPKINS
edited by CAL LAIRD
color by DAN EDWARDS
visual effects by TDH MEDIA
assistant camera COLIN SCHOSTAK

opening titles by GRACE HWANG
end titles by FELIPE MOLLICA

music supervisor JORDAN CARROLL
backup vocals KALEENA ZANDERS
vocal producer JOSH WOOD

hair ANN JONES
makeup JEREMY DELL
executive assistant to Ms. Palmer CHANCE DAVIS
additional spoken material by KEKE PALMER