Mohannad Ghawanmeh is a serious guy when it comes to film. Not only has he curated Mizna's Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, he teaches film, and is also the author of the eclectic Arab film blog Cinema Arabiata. He was also the star of "Triumph 67" a Minnesota made film which premiered in 2011.
However, Ghawanmeh also has a wicked sense of humor, which is evident from the promo he has put together for this years Arab Film Fest.
The dates for this year's events are March 13-17. Opening night will be at the Walker Art Center, and then the rest of the event will roll out at the historic Heights Theater in Columbia Heights.(0 Comments)
From David Cazares:
Guitarist Todd Clouser would be comfortable in a variety of musical settings, from folk and rock to modern jazz. But anyone who expects him to sound a certain way in any particular setting might be surprised.
Drawing heavily on improvisation, Clouser defies musical categories no matter what he plays. In his hands, a rock ballad might strike some as jazz, while tunes seem to be modern jazz are infused with a rock number's electricity.
"I really struggle with genres or labels," Clouser said. "Not based on principal, but because I don't feel comfortable incapsulating anything. Or I don't know how. It's obviously reflected in my music. I don't know how to say, 'this is what we are' or fit in to any scene. That's afforded us a lot of opportunities. It also has its detractors in terms of marketability."
That kind of approach has served Clouser well in the last year, helping his A Love Electric band deliver three distinctly different albums: "20thCentury Folk Selections," "Selections in Garage Jazz" and "The Naked Beat."
The band will perform numbers from the new CD Saturday in a show at the Icehouse restaurant in Minneapolis, a performance that will be hard to pin to any style. That's just how the guitarist wants it.
"The most important thing to me, and maybe this sounds trite, is really to create art, honest art, and to continually dig at truth," Clouser said. "I mean, that's what we're going for. Finding a voice or developing a voice and committing to it. Playing with intention. Writing with intention. And that, I think, transcends genre, art, transcends everything."0 Comments)
Mu Performing Arts the nationally acclaimed Asian-American compant based in St PAul today named Randy Reyes to succeed founder Rick Shiomi as artistic director.
In a release this afternoon Shiomi praised Rayes' talents.
"Over the past six years, Randy has been deeply dedicated to Mu as an actor, director, administrator, and member of our Core Artistic Group. A critical player in Mu's success, he is blessed both with great artistic talent and organizational skills. It is my great pleasure to see him take Mu Performing Arts to the next level."
Reached by phone this afternoon Reyes (above) said he knows he has some big shoes to fill.
"Yeah, it's 20 years worth of shoes," he laughed.
Reyes is a well-known face on the Twin Cioties stages, most recently in "Servant of Two Masters" at the Guthrie. He has also directed at many local theaters, including the Mu and the Gurthrie.
Reyes says he's learned a great deal from Shiomi who founded the group in 1993. Since then it's grown to be one of the largest Asian-American arts organizations in the nation, and is known for its groundbreaking theatrical work, and its drumming ensemble Mu Daiko.
But Reyes knows there is a lot of work still to be done.
"We need to continue to nurture more playwrights and more ways of telling our story and producing, and educating the community about Asian American theater, and continue to tell our story, because our stories haven't been told nearly as much as other stories," he said
Shiomi will remain Mu's artistic director through August 31st. The company will pay tribute to his work at the Mu Gala on April 27th.
(MPR file image of Randy Reyes)(0 Comments)