This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 29, 2011 - After an opening miscue led to a struggle for equality, Grandmaster Yury Shulman conceded a draw to Grandmaster Gata Kamsky and with it the title of 2011 U.S. Chess Champion. Kamsky was the defending champion, and he won the title last year in another final-round game with Shulman. This year Kamsky took home $40,000 for first place, plus $2,000 more for winning his preliminary group. In the U.S. Women's Championship, International Master Anna Zatonskih survived 19 matches to claim her fourth title. She was awarded $18,000 for first place.
SLPR Art and Culture
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 25, 2011 - Having competed in six prior U.S. Championships, including the past two here at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, it is certainly an unusual feeling to be a casual observer this year. Over the past few months, I have raised my rating to number eight in the world, and I elected to not play in this year's event to focus my energy on preparing for the world elite and the next World Championship cycle.
This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” at noon Tuesday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . For 27 years, Karen Foss was a familiar face for many people in the St. Louis region. She worked as a TV anchorwoman for KSDK (Channel 5) from 1979 until her retirement in 2006. Foss has since moved away from the city where she played such a significant role in news coverage. But she’ll be back in town this week and will join Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air for a conversation with host Don Marsh. She’ll be making another trip to St. Louis later this spring as the honorary chair and emcee of Craft Alliance’s Makers Ball set for May 3.
This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Tuesday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh will discuss St. Louis Public Library ’s new show, “ Print to Pixels ,” which is on display through early June at the Central Library branch located downtown. Joining the discussion will be Waller McGuire, CEO of St. Louis Public Library, and Eric Woods, owner of the Firecracker Press .
Jazz Unlimited for March 24, 2019 will be “Soul Jazz.” The ‘Soul Jazz” style of jazz grew out of hard bop as an alternative to the hard turn to the avant-garde that jazz was undergoing in the late 1950’s. We will hear music by Gene Harris, Akiko Tsuruga, Les McCann, Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff, Junior Mance, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Johnny O’Neal, Johnny Griffin and the Big Soul Band, Sonny Stitt, Eddie Harris, Oliver Nelson with Jimmy Smith, Horace Silver, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Ramsey Lewis, Jack McDuff and Cannonball Adderley. Please make your contribution to St. Louis Public Radio during out Spring Member Campaign. Keep jazz alive in St. Louis. The Slide Show contains my photographs of some of the artists heard on this show. The Archive of this show will be available until the morning of April 1, 2019. Here is a video of Dr. Lonnie Smith (organ & MIDI cane) Johnathan Kreisberg (g) and Johnathan Blake (d) at the 2015 Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.
St. Louis’ Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum will reopen this fall with a big artistic bang: an exhibition by celebrated Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei. The Kemper closed last April for a $12 million renovation, part of $280 million campus project. The work significantly increases the museum’s display space. The Sept. 28 opening will feature three dozen Ai Weiwei pieces, including some created for the exhibition and others never before seen in the United States.
Alongside contributions to the world such as beer and baseball, St. Louis also has a rich history of generating great music. The region is not only home to bands of various genres such as jazz, rock, Americana and hip-hop — but also to world-class institutions such as the St. Louis Symphony and the Fox Theatre. Many well-known — and not-so-known — performers are included in a brand-new pictorial history of St. Louis and its music titled “St. Louis Sound: An Illustrated Timeline.”
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 19, 2010 - One family, three cars, seven days, 14 people, ranging in age from 2 to 83. That could have been an unmitigated disaster, but for us, it all added up to an incredible vacation, with fleeting but memorable stops in some of the most breath-taking places in the world. Here's a whirlwind look at a whirlwind tour.
The college chess scene is booming, and it is easy to see why. The inclusion of so many strong chess programs and the explosion of rivalries between universities that give scholarships based on chess naturally lay the groundwork for more and more tournaments to be added into the circuit. Traditionally, it is clear that the two most important events of the year for collegiate chess are the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championships and the Final Four. However, there is plenty of room for growth, and last weekend, the inaugural U.S. Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championships was held on St. Louis University's campus.
Including Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, the Ozarks is a geographic region known for its mountainous topography, forests and tourism. The region also has a unique culinary history. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh was joined by St. Louis native and chef Rob Connoley. The James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Southwest is planning to open Bulrush, a restaurant rooted in Ozark cuisine, this April in Grand Center.
It’s been said that life is a cabaret. But what exactly is a cabaret? Ask storyteller and performer Beverly Buck Brennan, and she’ll list three key things: a singer, a piano and someone to play it. “Cabaret also, by definition, is about getting to know the performer personally,” the lifelong St. Louisan told host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air . “It’s not like you’re in a musical or you’re playing a character – you’re just you up there, which I had to learn about … I had to really pull back [from musical-theater training] … and try to mellow out and be really in a conversation with the audience.”
For the past 30 years, Keith Winstead has been tracing the many generations of his family history. “When I first started genealogy, I thought I’d be lucky to go and find a third great-grandparent. I got pictures now of 10 generations,” Winstead said. On a cold and windy day he was at Bellefontaine Cemetery with about 15 other family members who hail from different parts of the U.S., such as Louisville, Atlanta, New York and Cincinnati.
The name Terence Blanchard is well known in the worlds of jazz and opera. The Academy Award nominee and Grammy Award-winning composer/trumpeter scored a big hit a few years ago with “Champion”, a joint co-commission by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) and Jazz St. Louis about boxer Emile Griffith. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh talked with Blanchard about his latest OSTL commissioned production, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” as well as his work on the recent Spike Lee film, "BlacKkKlansman."
A Webster University chess coach will today become the youngest woman to be inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. Susan Polgár was the first woman to win the coveted grandmaster title through traditional tournament play in 1991. The Hungarian-born champion has broken gender barriers in the male-dominated chess world during a career that spans five decades. “There will be naysayers, and there will be men that don’t want to see women succeed, especially in a male-dominated field,” she said. “But don’t let that hold you back — just work harder and prove them wrong.”
Jazz Unlimited for March 17, 2019will be “The Career of Paul Chambers.” In his short career, bassist Paul Chambers was known for his accurate intonation, time keeping and imaginative and sometimes bowed bass solos. In addition to long stints with Miles Davis and Wynton Kelly Trio, Chambers was in great demand during his lifetime. This week’s show will also present him with Bill Evans, the Quincy Jones Orchestra, Sonny Clark, Hank Mobley, Wes Montgomery, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Abbey Lincoln, King Pleasure, the Gil Evans Orchestra and Joe Henderson. The Slide Show has my photos of some of the artists heard on this show. The Audio Archive of this show sill be available until the morning of March 25, 2019. This video has "On Green Dolphin Street" played by John Coltrane (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) and Jimmy Cobb (d) in 1961. Note Chambers' bowed bass solo.
Dogs are often regarded as “man’s best friend,” but to many, they can be so much more. “Superpower Dogs,” a new IMAX film which opens Friday and plays through July at the St. Louis Science Center, shows working dogs all over the world and the ways they are vital – from search and rescue missions to protecting endangered wildlife. Taran Davies, one of the film’s producers, joined host Don Marsh on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss the project. He explained that it was only during filming the dogs in action that he and the crew realized the extent of the dogs’ abilities.
Jazz flautist Nicole Mitchell was taking a break from college when she started volunteering at Third World Press , a Chicago bookstore and publishing house. That move sparked a lifelong mentorship with the press’s founder, poet and activist Haki R. Madhubuti . Twenty years later, the two collaborated on a collection of his poems set to music. They’ve performed the material only a few times, and never outside Chicago. That changes Saturday, when they play a New Music Circle concert at St. Louis University.
March 14 is celebrated nationally as Pi Day in honor of the mathematical constant π. But in St. Louis, the local community acknowledges another aspect of the 314 numerical value – the city itself. For years, locals – especially in the black community – have embraced showing pride for St. Louis through informal gatherings or St. Louis-themed parties in clubs and venues such as 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center.
It is that time of year again at the St. Louis Chess Club. The most coveted event in American chess is upon us: the 2019 U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Chess Championship. Every year, the best chess players this nation has to offer gather in the capital of chess, St. Louis, to compete in one of the strongest national championships on the planet. With new talent joining the mix, this year’s edition is going to have the highest rating average in the event’s history.
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 5, 2011 - The village of Plato, Mo., in Texas County, will be holding a celebration next Monday in honor of its selection as the "2010 Census Center of Population." According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Plato represents "the mean center of population ... the point at which an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all 308.7 million residents are counted where they live and all weigh exactly the same."