Community Music Center of Houston
Music News &
Houston’s own Tweed Smith is currently the vocal coach at the Community Music Center of Houston. Tweed’s performances have included such shows as Jesus Christ Superstar, The Merve Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, Don Cornelius’ Soul Train, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and numerous variety shows. She has recorded with Ron Woods of the Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr of the Beatles, Jazz Great, Diane Reeves, Ronnie Laws and countless others. She also performed at President Clinton’s Presidential Election Victory.
Houston artist Catherine Martinez presents a two-part interview for Women’s history month with Tweed Smith on the origins of music via rhythm and melody from the dawn of time to the hip-hop of today.
13 Black conductors, past and present, who’ve inspired us from the podium.
Classical music wouldn’t be the same without these trailblazers. From Rudolph Dunbar to Anne ‘Georgianne’ Lundy, these are the late and living Black conductors you should know.
We salute just 13 of the many Black conductors, past and present, who have taken to the podium and changed the course of classical music in doing so.
We are going to have to start a whole category dedicated to Tik Tok for the blog. For those who may not know, Tik Tok is an app where people can post videos, mostly dance videos to music, mostly rap and R&B. One Zoomer (a member of Gen Z) described it as “the digital clubhouse of her generation”. The app is hugely popular with more than Gen Z’ers as people of all ages are getting in on the dance trends, having fun, and making entertaining videos. For me, the appeal is the discovery of new music and so one day while scrolling through my FYP (For You Page), which acts like a talent discovery page, I came across Keon Gooding’s video for the dance challenge to Chris Brown’s Go Crazy song. But, instead of dancing Keon busted out his horn.
Willow Smith (daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Tyler Cole are music’s enfants terribles. Together known as The Anxiety, they are expressing more than angst with their latest Black Lives Matter inspired protest song. The Anxiety translates into song the pain, rage, and anomie of the Black community that has simmered for decades as dreams deferred to the nightmares of racial inequality, exaggerated rates of incarceration, state sanctioned killings of Black men, women, and children in a post-civil rights and post-racial America.
And then the grisly murder of Houstonian George Floyd at the knee of Minneapolis PD officer Derek Chauvin happened.
Captured on an iPhone, we watched as Mr. Floyd begged for his life and called out to his Mama before his life slipped away before our eyes. It was the boiling point. The African-American community was jolted awake from their collective fevered dream and all hell broke loose.
As an explosion of marches and riots ensued, Willow and Tyler went into the studio and quickly emerged with THE protest anthem of this generation, “The System”. It is a rallying cry. A visceral ode to this Black Lives Matter moment. A flash-point that has fueled demonstrations throughout the country and the world. The video for the song compiled of newsreel is equally as forceful. Check it!!!