Category Archives: NY

The ‘Goddess of Soul’ Chaka Khan Performs This Weekend!

Chaka Khan performs at the Paradise Theater Saturday, November 20

Chaka Khan

There are vocalists and there are singers. Chaka Khan is one of the greatest singers of all time hands down. That voice is soft, strong and powerful. Chaka was another one of my inspirations when I began to sing professionally. I have also been Blessed to have been able to hang with her, interview her. Chaka was the first singer to really bring doing your own backgrounds out in the fore front. The way she would harmonize with her own voice sounded so good.  I saw Chaka perform with Rufus when I was a kid. My brother and his girlfriend took me with them to a Rufus concert. It was outside and at night. I was put into a trance by this small woman with this BIG voice!!  She touched my soul. The things she could do with her voice, wow!! The band Rufus was kickin. That was real music. That music  you can still listen to today and not lose a beat!! I love the fact that she can just sing anything she wants to.  I found out that Chaka has Jazz roots and that was amazing to me also. Anyway, I could go on and on about this lady as she is an amazing person also. I can say that first hand. 

Chaka is performing this Saturday at the Paradise Theater located at 2403 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, NY. Now this is great as the Bronx is moving up with its new economic development empowerment zone.  This is all good for business and entertainment. So you can come on out to the Bronx and check out the Goddess of Soul.

For more information and to buy tickets go to  or call the box office at 718-220-1952.

Chaka Khan


Born 23rd March, Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Illinois, U.S.A., Chaka Khan was raised on Chicago’s South Side, and at the age of 11 formed her first group, the Crystalettes. While still in high school, she joined the Afro-Arts Theater, a group which toured with Motown great Mary Wells; a few years later, she adopted the African name Chaka Khan while working on the Black Panthers’ breakfast program. After quitting high school in 1969, Khan joined the group Lyfe, soon exiting to join another dance band, the Babysitters; neither was on the fast track to success, but her fortunes changed when she teamed with ex-American Breed member Kevin Murphy and Andre Fisher to form Rufus.
Debuting in 1973 with a self-titled effort on the ABC label, Rufus was among the preeminent funk groups of the decade; distinguished by Khan’s dynamic vocals, the group earned half a dozen gold or platinum albums before she went solo in 1978.
Chaka began her solo career with the hit, “I’m Every Woman,” a tune written especially for her by the songwriting team of Ashford & Simpson. Since then, Chaka has recorded nine albums and been honored with five Grammy Awards. Her solo hits include “What Cha Gonna Do For Me?” “Clouds,” “Papillion,” “I Feel For You,” and “Through The Fire.”
Sister of Yvonne Stevens Taka Boom




Dream It, Launch It, Live It!! The Global Conference for Women Entrepreneurs!!

I loved this title the first time I heard about it. So inspiring and right on target! Women Who Launch will be hosting, “Dream It, Launch It, Live It. This will be the biggest event of the year giving you the chance to connect and network with the largest worldwide community of women who are REINVENTING what it means to be a successful entrepreneur.

The conference is this November 8 and 9th here in New York City and in Seattle, Washington. The one here will be held at 82 Mercer in Soho. In addition to all of the networking and power dealing, featured will be celebrity speakers, national and regional entrepreneurial leaders. So ladies and guys-check this out. We all know that women are beginning to rise in the ranks of business and in all areas of industry. Now is the time!

For more info and to register for this great event go to

Peggy D

Big Eyed Blues Festival, Google TV Launch

Well  the big news the beginning of this week is the launch of Sony’s first Google Internet Television. It is going to definitely level the playing field and begin a new era of broadcasting distribution. It is about time!!!  The launch party is Tuesday October 12th and guess who is going to be there!!!  ME!! Am very excited to see and to witness the new internet television set. Will let you all know more after the event but you can check it out at the Sony website.

This weeks also is the 5th Annual Big Eyed Blues Festival in Brooklyn. It runs from October 13th to October 16th. Beareather Reddy, a Blues Vocalist is the founder.  Blues is an American Art Form, please support Live Music!! Check out the details below.

Keepin’ the Blues Alive

All Event Pass $50.


Big Eyed Productions presents

The 5th Annual Brooklyn BIG EYED BLUES Festival

Red Hot Blues

    Beareather Reddy

            Classic Blues Women

            Guy Davis Blues



            Rhythm & Blues

                        Floyd Lee Guitar

                        Blind Boy Paxton

                                    Passing it On

Check out What’s Happenin’ in Brooklyn!

From Wednesday, October 13 to Saturday, October 16, 2010 at the Brooklyn Historical Society, 966Jazz, Boys & Girls High School and the Beacon Center.

Beareather Reddy: “I am a champion for the blues,” she said. “I wanted to create a place for people who love the blues, so they don’t have to leave Brooklyn to hear it.” And, that’s exactly what she’s done. – The Brooklyn Paper

Beareather Reddy, Blues Vocalist

The Classic Blues Women – An Historical Tribute

Thursday, October 14th 6pm

The Brooklyn Historical Society

128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn

Tickets: $20. Student/Seniors $15.

Tonight features Beareather Reddy’s Classic Blues Women Tribute revitalizing “Crazy Blues,” the first Blues music recorded by Mamie Smith in 1920 that sold 2 million copies telling the tale of someone pining for a loss love. “See See Rider Blues” (1924) and “Prove It On Me Blues” (1928) that tells a similar tale of an unfaithful lover who would get his “up comings. “On “Gimme me a Pigfoot” she will depict Blues Shouter Bessie Smith’s dislike for “high brow” folks. The finale will be the way they started with the “sultry, soulful sounds.”

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton &

Floyd Lee Mississippi Blues Man

Friday, October 15th 8pm

Jazz966, 966 Fulton Street, Brooklyn

Tickets: $20.00, Seniors/Students $15.00

Event info:

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton

“Big-framed, blustery Blind Boy Paxton . . . dived right into the 1920s: dialects, racial caricatures . . . lineage to Blind Blake or Uncle Dave Macon.” – Ben Ratliff, New York Times 7/22/10

The Village Voice: “a sound like “broken glass smothered in molasses” – Richard Gehr, 7/13/10

Floyd Lee, Mississippi Electric Blues Guitar

Mississippi Floyd has represented New York City at Moscow’s first Blues Festival, performed  in North Korea, is one of the first musicians to start Art for Transit, now called Music Under New York, played for the inauguration of the mayor of New York City and is a cousin of John Lee Hooker.

Guy Davis, Guitar/Blues Harmonica


Beareather & The Brown Liquor Sounds

Saturday, October 16th 8pm

Boys and Girls High School

1700 Fulton Street, Brooklyn

Tickets: $20.00, Seniors/Students $15.00

A train to Utica Avenue

Guy Davis, Guitar/Blues Harmonica

Guy Davis is a bluesman. He will bring the tradition of acoustic blues of Blind Willie McTell, Fats Waller, Buddy Guy, patter like Garrison Keillor and some Taj Mahal to Brooklyn.

Guy won the W.C. Handy “Keeping the Blues Alive” Blues Foundation Award, is the son of Ossie Davis/Ruby Dee and the harmonica virtuoso in Finian’s Rainbow.

Guy Davis Poster/pix:

“Sweetheart Like You”

Beareather & The Brown Liquor Sounds

A Big Eyed Blues Classic Blues Women Show

See October 14th

Blues History and Harmonica Lessons

Big Eyed Blues Project for Children

Wednesday, October 13th Youth Workshop

Beacon Center CAMBA PS 269

1137 Herkimer Street, Brooklyn

Tickets: Sold Out

It’s an “Edutainment” Performance Art event to introduce children to Blues music and preserve Blues culture in Brooklyn.

Get ready for some sho’ nuff Blues.

See ya!


Beareather Reddy, Big Eyed Productions



The Brooklyn Big Eyed Blues Festival has received recent and support over the years from the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium,, T&R Locksmith & Construction, Medgar Evers College, The Brooklyn Historical Society, Boys & Girls High School, Complete Music Studios, Hohner, and Lee Oskar Harmonicas, Irene’s Dream and Foodtown.

Big Eyed Productions has combined education with entertainment and performance as an “Edutainment” Performance Arts Organization since 2001. BEP is dedicated to introducing community youths to Blues music and preserving Blues culture throughout the community.

Beareather Reddy received a BA in Performance Arts from the University of Massachusetts and performed in the Audelco nominated “Nzingha’s Children” and “Freedom Trail – The Life of Harriet Tubman.” Ms Reddy has appeared on “The David Letterman Show”, ABC’s World News Now and “Jazz Corner.” Her night club performances include Sweet Basil, Sweetwaters, The Duplex and Jazz966. Ms. Reddy has performed with musicians Archie Shepp, Max Roach, Abdullah Ibrahim, Sheila Jordan, Donald Smith, Michele Rosewoman, George Gee & the Jump Jivers, Jimmy Sigler and Gerry Eastman’s AllStars.

Big Eyed Productions has produced “Africa Arises – The Roles of Black Women from Slavery to Present,” a one act play about Dinah Washington written by Ms. Reddy.  A musical theater production, “The Gospel Truth About a Blues Singer“ and 4 annual Big Eyed Blues Festivals in Brooklyn.

Press Contact:

Daniel Kassell

Member, Jazz Journalist Association

Toll-Free: 866-411-JASS


New York is full of so many interesting things. If you are interested in Architecture and Design, the Architecture and Design Film Festival will be happening October 14th to October 17th at Tribeca Cinemas located at 54 Varick Street at Laight. There will be feature films, documentaries and shorts. I love architecture. I sometimes walk around in different neighborhoods and areas in New York and other cities to see the buildings and the creativity that was put into building and designing them. They don’t make them like that anymore. If you are interested go to



New York Television Festival

I am at the New York Television Festival this week among other things. It is a very busy time in the media capital of the world!!  Perfect place to meet, network and plan your next power moves!!  Yesterday was the Non Scripted Panels for the festival. Its the first time they have ever had these panels. We know how Reality Television has taken off, we either love them or hate them but we watch people at their best and worse times in their lives-on television!! It sounds so crazy sometimes. Anyway back to the panel, the first panel was hosted by N.S. Bienstock and the topic was How to make a hit reality show for both Female and Male Audiences.

The panelists were David McKillop-SVP Programming and Development for The History Channel, John Miller-SVP Original Productions and Development for WE TV, Lori York of N.S. Bienstock, Recbecca Toth Diefenbach- Producer of Real Housewives of New Jersey and Brent Montgomery-Creator and Producer of Pawn Starts. The panel was moderated by Dan Abrams-founder of Abrams Media and Chief Legal Analyst for NBC News. The panel was up beat and informational. They discussed the reason why networks do reality-mainly for its low cost but bugets are beginning to grow so they are now taking a look at that, in addition to bringing back more scripted television.  They discussed why networks make more programming for women versus men and it was determined that women are actually the main decision makers in the family and watch more television than men. The discussion the went to budget costs for pilots for networks versus cable and a range of other things. Lots of good info.

Another panel was presented by AETN Networks which included Bob DeBitetto President and GM of A&E and Bio networks, Michael Davies- President and CEO of Embassy Row Productions- responsible for the Millionaire Game Show; Padman Lakshmi- host of Top Chef and Mark Itkin of William Morris Endeavor. It was hosted by TV Personality Donny Deutsch.  This panel also focused on the Reality Show concept and how it comes down to telling good stories. They also stated that the top 4 shows right now are Reality Shows.

There were also screenings of independent televison pilots and primetime series premieres of new shows from all  of the networks happening in the evening. Lots of things to do.  Its going on until this Saturday. Come out and check it out. For more info checkout the festival at 

Peggy D

Stop the Urban Youth Violence Event

We all know about the rampant violence going on within our communities across America. It is out of control. How do we solve this problem? I think we must begin to have public forums that give eveyone  an opportunity to speak, debate, discuss and come up with SOLUTIONS!!  That is what my friend Cornelius Ricks is doing. He will be hosting a panel this weekend at the Harlem Book Fair on Long Island,  Saturday, September 18th from 12 noon ro 6pm. The location is the Freeport Recreational Center, 130 East Merrick Road in Freeport, Long Island. The person hosting the Book Fair is Blondell Davis and she can be reached at 516-379-5466 for more information. There will also be a panel on ‘What is the State of Black Men in America’. Well that is definitely a very hot topic and yours truly will be on that panel. I will have to let you know how it all turns out. I am a firm beliver that we must address the issues that face our community head on. No more side stepping. At this posting,  I do not have the names of the other panelists for the panels but will definitely do a follow up as this is an important topic. 

Also the New York Urban League will be hosting its annual Football Classic on September 25 at the new Meadowlands Stadium. There will be a battle of the bands, VIP parties and lots of activities that surround these wonderful games. I  love HBCU football and this will be good. For more info go to

Peace and Love

Peggy D

My Personal 9/11 Experience

I have held most of what I experienced inside all of these years. My own experience of the 9/11 attacks. There are so many stories, so many lives were changed forever. I think of it not just today, the day it happened but quite regularly for many reasons.  I think  I may do a documentary on it as there are so many stories still yet to be told, especially from people who were in different parts of the city. I remember going back a few days before that day, I was in the World Trade Center for a meeting with a major celebrity’s business team. We discussed the beginning of my company UBC and what it is going to do to help change the media world and how we all could benefit.  The conversation lead to how odd it felt being there. It was so weird for us all to come to the same conclusion that we felt ill at ease that day. I  said, ‘this place makes me nervous and I dont know why.’ Earlier in the year I had covered some of the musical events held outside.  KissFM did their Classic Soul concerts there. Even then, being outside of it made me nervous. Maybe because it was the largest building I have ever seen.  But getting back to that weekend, it was like we all felt something was about to happen but did not know what.

I went about my way and had planned a meeting with a couple of my business associates at the World Trade Center for that day, the meeting was scheduled for that morning around 9:30am. I had a late night the night before as I was doing a shoot or something re a show we were going to air, so I ended up to bed very late the night before the meeting.  I woke up late that morning, around 9:15am.  I jumped up from my sleep as I was late for the meeting. I turned on the radio first and was shocked to hear that a plane had hit one of the towers at the world trade center. I thought it was a horrible accident and thought about my business associates down there. I lived in Harlem at that time off of Lenox Avenue. I tried to call my associates but could not get through, and during that time, I heard about the second plane hitting another tower. I was shocked!!  The word was then that we were under attack. I didnt know what to do at that time. I have never been in a place where it was actually under attack and by whom? I had no idea. It was mind boggling for me. Too much to comprehend at the time. All I knew was that if we were under attack I had to get outside to find out what is going on. Oh, by the way,  the emergency alert system did not work. We heard nothing. That’s the system that says’ this is a test….’, lots of loud sounds. Well it didnt work that day for some odd reason. Anyway, I get myself together and run outside of my building into the street. It was chaotic. I began asking people what was happening and they said we were under attack by the enemy. A policeman told me to go back inside and lock the door. Of course I didnt do that. No one did. I told myself that I would go down fighting if I had too. Everyone was in the streets wandering around in a daze. All phone service was off, everything was cut off, baracades were put up, emergency vehicles running around, sirens blaring, people wondering what to do next.

I walked into the middle of Lenox Avenue and 130 street and looked down the road to downtown and saw the World Trade Towers smoking like crazy .Smoke towering into the air. It was so surreal. It was such a  bright sunny day and the towers were on fire, smoke filling the air. I was in shock. In a daze and afraid. At that time no one knew what would happen next. I was thinking, what if  there is a ground attackby the enemy?  but my mind said, ‘this is America, who the hell would even try some stupid shit like this?’ My thoughts then ran to my friends and associates but there was  no way to get to them, I heard on the radio about another plane headed to Washington. Then we heard about an attempt to blow up the George Washington Bridge. I went back up to my apartment, got my ID and a few other things and ran back out to go and find my business associates. I was walking, didnt care.  I came back out and began to walk down the middle of Lenox Avenue and saw the Towers go down right before my eyes. It was a nightmare. All I could do was stop in my tracks and cry and say ‘Oh My God’.  People around me did the same. We were broken in two. I was in a zombie state but began to make my way to Harlem Hospital to see if I couldfind out how to locate my associates. The wounded were taken to  hospitals and tramua units. Harlem Hospital is a level 10 tramua hospital so a lot of the injured were taken there. I started my journey there, looking, asking for the names of my people. Then I began to walk as far downtown as I could go before the police stopped me. Everything was blocked off. I think I saw some military trucks, cant really remember clearly as I was in shock.  It was just out of this world. I worried about my family as I knew they were trying to call me but could not get through. I can’t say I remember much else. It was like a dream.  A very bad one. I found out that my friend survived and was taken to the hospital in New Jersey. Some of my other friends were trapped in a building that had collapsed. They were rescued the next day.  Some of my friends and business associates I didnt even know were there a the time, did not make it.There were many people missing and unaccounted for for quite a while.  I was suppose to be there but by the grace of GOD overslept that morning. The scars still  run deep for many people I know. One of my close friends daughter lost seven of here very close friends all at once. She will never be the same. We all will never be the same.

Once the clean up started, subways started back running except where everything was broken up.During that time right after, I had to go downtown to a meeting on Wall Street and took the subway. It was so errie riding there, so quiet like a tomb. A lot of us on the train cried while riding past the World Trade Center area. We passed by the closed stops, very sad.   I was in mourning for all of the beautiful souls that were lost because of some twisted minds and dark hearts.  Such a waste.  After the clean up started, the wind would blow the smell  dead bodies all the way up to Harlem. It was the stench of death. It is something I will never forget.  People were very nervous. A car backfiredone day and people began to run in the streets. We were all very nervous, but we keep moving on,  No one can tell me New Yorkers are not the strongest people on this planet. Everyone can say what they want to about 9/11, use it as some political pawn, theaten to do stupid things, but New Yorkers know how real it was and still is today for all of us here.  We all have our own stories of that horrible day in that time in history. We have our broken hearts and the memories of the loved ones we lost that day. From the brave firefighters to the maintenance workers. We all remember and will never forget.

Peace and Love,


New York City Start Up and Brooklyn Book Fest

The new season has come in with a bang!!  Already so many things beginning to happen around the city.  This weekend is the Brooklyn Book Festival. Lots of authors speaking on panels, performances, vendors in different venues. Check out the website for more info.


Featured Writers from the African Diaspora


10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM

Readings and Panel Discussions

Colson Whitehead, Farai Chideya, Terrance Hayes, Tracy K. Smith, John Murillo, Martin Espada, Bernice McFadden, Cristina García, Donna Hill, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Nelson George, Marlon James, Elizabeth Nunez, Greg Tate, Sofia Quintero, Jabari Asim, Russell Banks, Torrey Maldonado, Esmeralda Santiago,  Martha Southgate, Melvin Van Peebles, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich & Jacqueline Woodson

Friday, September 10, 2010

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

ringShout: A Place for Black Literature kicks off its new reading series. Join us for an evening of readings by four acclaimed African American writers. Featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tayari Jones, Jeffery Renard Allen, and Danielle Evans.

DJ sounds by Rob Fields.
Location: Littlefield, 622 Degraw St. (between 3rd and 4th Aves.)
Price: $5 (suggested donation)

This weekend is also New York City Start-Up Weekend. Its a 54 hour event starting Friday at 6pm and ends Sunday September 12 at 5pm. Its about building projects out. Its where the new googles, mircosofts and the social media companies of the future are born. Its a great place to network with people in the tech world, find investors, alliances and partnerships.  I have never been to one but will be attending at some point over the weekend. Its  a bunch of folks getting together in one place and creating new software, programs and such. Sounds really exciting. This goes on in other cities around the same time, so its like the Big Bang Theory.  Check it out at . I will let you know what my experience was like.

Peggy D