Baltimore’s Own Ethel Ennis, Famous Jazz Singer, Passes at 86

Ethel Llewellyn Ennis was born November 28, 1932, in Sandtown-Winchester, a neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, where she spent most of her career. She performed from a young age, starting as a pianist in her local church. From there, she would go on to lead a solo career spanning several decades, eventually signing and producing albums with the likes of Atlantic Records and Capitol Records. She received national recognition for her debut album, Lullabies for Losers, and was even selected to tour Europe for six years with the famous Benny Goodman. It was not uncommon to her name on the bill at Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater, next to Cab Calloway’s.

Mrs. Ennis was the first ever singer recruited to perform the National Anthem at the re-inauguration of Former President Richard M. Nixon in 1973. This opened a pathway for her to perform her another former President in the White House, Jimmy Carter. Mrs. Ennis was able to act as a liaison for Baltimore, culturally, bringing parts of home as far away as Xianmen, China and Rotterdam, Germany.

By this time the seasoned veteran entertainer had returned home to Baltimore, where she would stay for most of the remainder of her singing career. Here, she shared the stage with the historic Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Count Basie Band. Her and her husband Earl Arnett founded their own music club, named Ethel’s Place during the 80’s, but sold it and continued pouring heart, soul, sweat, blood, and tears, into their various art pursuits.

Mrs. Ennis passed away from a stroke on February 17th, 2019, in her birthplace, and final resting place of Baltimore, Maryland. She was 86 years old.

Morgan Associate Professor, Coordinator Of Theatre Arts Nominated For Two Distinguished Awards

Dr. Shirley Basfield Dunlap of Morgan State University (MSU) was inducted into The National Theatre Conference at the historic Gramercy Park Mansion. The Players, a private social club founded in New York City by the noted 19th-century Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth, recently.

Associate Professor and Coordinator of Theatre Arts in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Morgan, Dr. Dunlap was nominated by Black Theatre pioneer Woodie King, Jr. and Baltimore’s Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director Ian Gallanar.

The New York Theatre Conference, a professional society founded in 1925, is made up of distinguished directors, playwrights and theatre scholars from the American Theatre community. Its purpose includes exploring ways of best serving the interests of the American Theatre, and to initiate, encourage and support projects of value and significance with a view to strengthening and broadening the influence of theatre as well as to connect, to support and to advocate for the American Theatre.

Dr. Dunlap also received a nomination for Best Director from this year’s Broadway World Regional Awards for the play “Red Velvet,” produced by the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. “Red Velvet” is a ‘bioplay’ based on the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American Shakespearean actor.

Broadway World is an online news service, based in New York City, which provides daily coverage of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional and international theatre productions.

Dr. Dunlap will direct the Spring 2019 Morgan State Fine and Performing Arts musical production of “Dream Girls.”

At the opening night of “Red Velvet” at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Director Basfield Dunlap (far right), poses with Kimberly Moffitt, Moffitt’s family, and Christian Gibbs (center), an actor performing the lead role of Ira Aldridge.

Courtesy Photo/UMBC

At the opening night of “Red Velvet” at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Director Basfield Dunlap (far right), poses with Kimberly Moffitt, Moffitt’s family, and Christian Gibbs (center), an actor performing the lead role of Ira Aldridge.

More Volunteers Needed As Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival Continues To Grow

On September 29, 2018, eclectic bands, energetic dancers, talented actors, skilled drummers, performers, conscious poets, vendors and community organizations gathered to celebrate the cultural heritage of the African diaspora in both traditional and new ways at he Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival at the City Dock in Annapolis.

The Annapolis Drum & Bugle Corps kicked off the festivities as a host of officials and stakeholders made a grand entrance behind them. When they reached Susan Campbell Park, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley helped to pass out rose petals to attendees who then threw them into the water to honor loved ones. A short time later, Terrell Freeman continued the tradition of ancestral remembrance through leading a libation ceremony and serving as the event’s emcee.

“We are in for a beautiful day of entertainment,” said Freeman during the official welcome. “Keeping this on line and in point, we are going to move right on into our libations to give praise and due to our ancestors and our creator, and make sure that we are grounded today, for a great celebration today of our heritage, of our city, of our people.”

Tour buses filled with people from N.J. and N.Y. returned to experience another cultural celebration in Annapolis. This year, approximately 8,000 festivalgoers showed up to enjoy festivities on a beautiful rain-free day.

Local kid rapper, “Young Dylan,” who has appeared numerous times on The Ellen Show; and Sim the Poet were headliners at this year’s event. Youth entrepreneurs showed up to sell jewelry, books, accessories, t-shirts and other items. Once again, The Clones of Funk placed a finishing touch on a busy day by delivering pulsating musical beats, which inspired hand clapping and dancing. The group is often known for officially ending fun and fellowship, during the annual festival.

The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival Chairperson Jan F. Lee pointed out that last year’s turnout was approximately 5,000 attendees; and this year’s turn out was approximately 8000— the primary goal of increasing attendance was indeed accomplished.

Longtime festival volunteer Danielle Young says that the presence of young entrepreneurs this year was very welcome and hopes that it will continue. She also pointed out that the increased community participation made the festival so much better.

“It felt like the old days. We had an amazing turnout,” Young said. “The support that we received from the community, the vendors and the festival committee was more than I could have ever imagined.”

While looking toward the future, Lee says she will continue her leadership role.

“For next year, we are looking to add some key roles to the team. We are gearing up for the 30th Annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival and we need more manpower! Positions available include Vice-Chair, Hospitality Committee Chair, and Sponsorship/Fundraiser Chair,” Lee said. “We are volunteer staff, so we are looking for passionate, motivated people who want to give back to their community and support this wonderful legacy.”

Music Review: Kay L.A. – Wave

When it comes to rating musical projects, one of the most important points that I hone in on, is the project’s fluidity. Yes, a few good songs here and there can be nice by themselves, but do they really fit the vibe and/or message that the artist is attempting to communicate? We may all have heard of the cliche, “a first impression is a lasting impression,” and for 21 year-old Baltimore native, Kay L.A., her opening track “Wave” speaks volumes about her debut project titled: Summer in LA.

Wave was my first encounter with Kay L.A. as an artist, just as it was for many others who gave this five-song project a listen. I was anxious to hit the play button, as I wondered what I would be getting myself into for the next three minutes and 20 seconds of my life.

When the piece began, I was instantly drawn in by a suspenseful aura being built through the instrumentation. As I expected, the aura quickly took a turn, and yes, it was a turn for the better. A female vocal sample is looped very cleanly over the equally smooth percussion/bass. Kay begins to adlib a bit, giving the listener a glimpse of how real this is becoming, No longer do we wait and wonder what is the sound of Kay L.A.— here it is.

Before I could dissect the musicality of Kay’s voice, what truly stood out to me was her sheer confidence. She was never rushed, never hesitant, never unsure. Kay truly owned the moment.

I’ve listened to songs from new artists, and sometimes their voice is great, and the track is nice as well, but they’ll be missing that command over the song, which makes every bit of a difference in the listening experience.

Kay’s voice slides in quite provocatively and enticing to say the least. There is an underlining tranquility and “matter of factness” to what she is telling to her lover throughout the piece. Kay expresses that she has been the best relationship partner that he has ever had, and along with that, she would do just about anything for him, even if it wasn’t in her best interest. Her partner on the song, Andre Flores compliments Kay’s style very nicely. His aggressive and straightforward approach smoothly juxtaposes Kay’s laid back feel. I thought it was an interesting decision to have a feature on her opening track, but it worked in her favor.

Among all of the creativity going on, from a technical standpoint, the engineering of the piece was superbly done. At times with new artists, one of the roadblocks that seems pop up on the road to a good sound, is the actual quality of the sound itself. Everything from the volume to the reverb to the equalization was superb. The engineering gives this song an extra boost and takes it from just a good song, to a professional sounding song.

This opening song was a great choice for the start of her project, and an even better choice for the start of her career. Kay’s project is currently available on Soundcloud, but will be available on other streaming platforms in the future.

I’m looking forward to Kay’s progression and growth as an artist. Keep on surfing!

Chickie & Co. Boutique’s 4th Thursdays’ Event Features Brandi Lewis Pop-Up Shop

— Chickie & Co., one of Baltimore’s newest fashion boutiques will host its second 4th Thursdays’ event on Thursday, September 27, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 801 N. Howard on Antique Row in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore City.

Brandi Lewis of the House of Seyko will be featured with a pop-up shop showcasing her dynamic embellished clothing designs at the event, as well as shopping discounts, complimentary light refreshments and other surprises.

Chickie & Co. was featured in the “Savvy Shopping” section of the September issue of Baltimore Style magazine. The fashion-forward boutique for women offers original, industry separates from local and national emerging designers offering sizes from small to curvy— up to 3X.

“I am thrilled to continue with the second event in my 4th Thursdays’ series. I’m enjoying the opportunity to showcase my boutique, as well as to provide a space for local fashion designers like Brandi Lewis,” said Tracy McCullom, Baltimore native and owner of Chickie & Co. Boutique.

The 2,000 square foot store features all things chic, hot, cool and sexy with an artistic design aesthetic offering a curated selection of apparel, jewelry and handbags for women from a wide range of labels. The store also showcases recognizable contemporary brands in apparel, denim and accessories at a reasonable price point.

Chickie & Co. offers a concise shopping experience for women who like to be distinguished and who enjoy a comfortable and unique shopping venue.

The next 4th Thursday is scheduled for October 25, 2018, where a “Halloween Celebration Party” with tricks and treats, light fare and drink is planned. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet local jewelry artisan Lobe Dangle Leather Accessories who will available to customize eclectic pieces for customers on demand.

For more information about the Chicke & Co. boutique or their 4th Thursdays events, visit: www.chickieandco.com.

Young Baltimore Girl Combats Bullying By Writing Popular Book

After a stint of summer fun and blazing hot weather, school is finally back in session in Maryland. Rianna Facey, a nine-year-old Baltimore native is among students who have settled back into a school routine just after Labor Day.

Rianna’s summer was full of memorable opportunities that could easily last a lifetime. She spent her time away from schoolbooks raising her voice as a young writer who appeared at Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Forest Park Branch in Baltimore City for an author talk. She also traveled to Chicago and Nashville to promote her book, “The Cat That Wouldn’t Go Away.”

Since becoming an author, Rianna has been circulating near and far to discuss and sell her book that is based on a cat that showed up out of nowhere and befriended her, during some rough times in her life. The fourth grader is headed to Toronto, Canada later this month. Her next local stop will be at the Baltimore Book Festival on Friday, September 28, 2018, at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore City.

“The most exciting thing that happened to me was the trip to Chicago,” Rianna said. “I wrote the “Cat That Wouldn’t Go Away” because a cat showed up on my porch one day. I faced bullying at school. Classmates and older students talked about my hair.”

Rianna’s mother Tywanna Gardner explained that Rianna began to experience bullying in the spring of 2017, a few months before she started writing the book. Gardner said that other girls who opted to wear hair weaves reportedly teased her daughter about her natural hairstyles. Boys would tell Rianna to get her hair done and her shoes and clothes were also additional topics of conversation.

When Rianna told adults at school about what was happening to her, the other students accused her of being a tattletale. Even though she knows that informing teachers was the right thing to do, episodes of bullying worsened.

“The most difficult part of Rianna’s journey was to overcome bullying in school. She felt like no one wanted to be her friend. Every day she would talk about how children at school would treat her. She complained that they didn’t want to talk to her or play with her.”

And then a cat showed up at their door — perfect timing—Rianna finally felt as though she had a friend. Although Rianna noticed that her classmates seemed to like her better when her hair was straightened, she decided not to resolve the situation by changing her hairstyle.

While experiencing bullying in school, Rianna Facey once felt like no one wanted to be her friend. When a cat showed up on her porch one day, the student from Baltimore was inspired to write The Cat That Wouldn’t Go Away. The nine-year-old Baltimorean spent the summer travelling to promote her book and will appear at The Baltimore Book Festival on September 28, 2018. So far, Rianna has sold approximately 700 books. In addition to Baltimore, “The Cat That Won’t Go Away has been selling in California, Portland, Oregon, New York, and the United Kingdom, just to name a few places.

Courtesy Photo

While experiencing bullying in school, Rianna Facey once felt like no one wanted to be her friend. When a cat showed up on her porch one day, the student from Baltimore was inspired to write The Cat That Wouldn’t Go Away. The nine-year-old Baltimorean spent the summer travelling to promote her book and will appear at The Baltimore Book Festival on September 28, 2018. So far, Rianna has sold approximately 700 books. In addition to Baltimore, “The Cat That Won’t Go Away has been selling in California, Portland, Oregon, New York, and the United Kingdom, just to name a few places.

Rianna began to write stories regularly and share them with her mother, who then encouraged her to pen a tale about the cat that would not go away. Rianna took action and went a step further. While doing a homework assignment, she stumbled upon a publisher online. After a while things were set in motion and Rianna became the author of The Cat that Wouldn’t Go Away and her mother became the co-author. It turns out that the cat and Rianna had much in common. The cat needed a friend because he had also experienced bullying by other cats who would fight him and eat his food.

“I have observed personal growth in Rianna since she became an author. She feels a lot more confident now that she knows that people are interested in what she has to say. She has grown into a confident young lady that no longer complains about children not wanting to be her friend. She loves to talk about her book and other experiences,” Garnder said. “What makes me most proud of my daughter is her confidence in life and attempts to reach her goals. She loves to communicate with people of all ages and help others.”

The industrious young lady has already written other books, among which is a handbook about bullying and is waiting to get them published. “I wrote a book about coping with bullying, because I want to help other kids that are [being] bullied,” Rianna said. “I want to remind other kids that they should be themselves and not change for bullies.”

To learn more about Rianna’s journey or to purchase a copy of her book, visit www.thecatthatwouldntgoaway.com.

Soundscapes Exhibit Currently ‘Playing’ at City Hall

This collection of musicians includes saxophonists, guitarists, and pianists. They include “Big D” who is blowing away on the saxophone. “Big D” and the others have been “composed” over a 20-year period by Larry Brown. Currently, they are ‘playing’ at City Hall. “Big D” and his counterparts comprise a group known as “Soundscape.” However, these are not people— they are paintings created by Brown.

Known as “Poncho,” Brown’s artwork is currently on exhibit in the Baltimore City Hall Courtyard Galleries. “Soundscapes” features 30 original works of musically themed paintings. The pieces are a musical retrospective of two decades of the works by the longtime artist. The exhibit runs until August 18, 2018.

“To be honored this way is real special,” said Poncho. “Often local artists are not recognized by the city they live in. From that perspective, I am honored to do a ‘One Man Show’ recognizing my work. It shows the collection of music works I have done.”

He added with a laugh. “All art for me is therapy. It stopped me from killing a whole lot of people. I would rather be at City Hall than on the news for hurting somebody.”

Poncho was invited by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh to house a solo exhibition of his work to commemorate Black Music Month, which is observed in June, as an annual celebration of African-American music in the United States.

On June 29, 2018, Mayor Pugh hosted a reception at City Hall in honor of the exhibit, which drew more than 200 people. During the event, Mayor Pugh presented him with the Mayor’s Medallion for Meritus Service and a Mayoral Proclamation.

“After 39 years of being an artist, I was grateful, but not surprised,” he said. “I have a good system of support in Baltimore. I really appreciate Mayor Pugh approaching it the way she did. It was a class act, and I am proud.”

Some of the paintings were commissions for music and jazz festivals all over the country. According to Poncho, the exhibit also includes a small collection of pieces on loan from Baltimore collectors Dr. Sheila D. Wright, and Anthony Ingram.

“The exhibition is being extended through August 18,” said Poncho. “When people walk through, they will see it’s a striking show. It exhibits the positive side of Baltimore, but all we hear about is the negative side of Baltimore.”

Poncho said the chance to display his artwork at City Hall “was music to his ears.” The Baltimore native talked about what led to the “Soundscapes” exhibit.

“I was donating a bust of Former President Barack Obama at Coppin State University,” said Poncho referring to an event held at the college in February to commemorate President’s Day and African American History Month. “The mayor was present, and asked if I wanted to do an exhibition at City Hall. I was elated.”

Poncho attended Mount Royal Elementary School, Eutaw Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Garrison Junior High School, Carver Vocational-Technical High school, and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He earned a BFA from MICA in 1984.

“The place I realized I wanted to be an artist was at Carver Vocational High School,” he recalled. “A teacher gave me the entrepreneurial spirit which helped me in the art business. Times are changing rapidly. Now, school programs are geared towards graphic arts, and computer labs are replacing music and art labs. Many kids are now computer literate, but culturally illiterate. Kids with art talent have nowhere to go with that talent but to the computer. A decade later, we are now seeing the effects.”

Poncho, 56, was among the artists who found national commercial success between 1985-2000, during a period known as “The Golden Age of African American Art.” The group of artists made their art accessible to the masses through direct participation in community art and cultural festivals, foregoing the traditional artist arrangement of artist representation, gallery representation, and art publisher distribution.

“You want to keep your work relevant to people,” he said. “That’s what keeps my career going. I am glad to see the city is getting back to the business of exposing arts to the community. Art is an important part of our culture.”

Poncho says he has presented events, including: Baltimore’s Unsung, and Baltimore MASTERS Art of the Ancestors, to expose the artwork of Baltimore artists. Baltimore’s Unsung was held at the Downtown Cultural Arts Center in February 2014, and featured 40 Baltimore artists. Baltimore MASTERS Art of the Ancestors was held at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum in February 2016 and featured the artwork of 15 artists who had passed away.

“I am an artist advocate first,” he said. “These events allow me to pull together artists who haven’t gotten recognition. Some of them are going undiscussed and undocumented. I want to bring homage to those artists.”

Poncho hopes to “play on” at City Hall.

“Plans are underway to present Baltimore’s Unsung 2 in February 2019,” he said. “City Hall is the proposed host location for the exhibit.”

Baltimore Bass Clarinetist Todd Marcus to perform at Center Stage

— Baltimore-based Todd Marcus is one of the most prominent, renowned bass clarinetists in the world. As one of only a few players who solely focuses on the instrument, Marcus has carved out a unique sound, which thrusts his bass clarinet virtuosity into the realm of modern, straight ahead jazz.

Marcus’s music abounds with an overwhelming reverence for lineage, while also having a thoroughly modern sensibility. Yet, music is only a part of what makes Marcus and his music so special.

For the past 20 years, Marcus has lived and worked in West Baltimore at the community based non-profit Intersection of Change alongside Reverend Elder C.W. and Amelia Harris. Together, they have transformed the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Presstman Street, converting abandoned buildings and 18 vacant lots from an open air drug market, to a place of hope and opportunity with programs offering supportive recovery housing for women overcoming substance abuse and homeless; arts classes and community beautification projects for children and adults; and employment to citizens returning from incarceration.

This work— along with the creation of community green spaces, over two dozen prominent murals and an urban farm— has resulted in real, tangible, positive change in a community otherwise neglected and overlooked.

The internationally renowned musician and community activist will perform for a hometown crowd on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at Baltimore Center Stage

located at 700 N. Calvert Street in the Mount Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore City as part of his tour to promote his new CD called “On These Streets, a Baltimore Story.”

The tracks on his CD poignantly reflect his challenges and push for social justice in his community, as well as to showcase his desire for hope and renewal. Marcus was joined by a crew of Baltimore’s finest musicians most of whom, live and work primarily in the city and surrounding areas.

“I’m honored to have these musicians on this record for their immense musicianship, but also their deep ties to Baltimore, which has a spirit and intensity that has shaped the playing of all of us and which helps give a greater depth and personal meaning to the music on this record,” said Marcus. “I’ve tried to capture both the challenges and strengths of our community in the music on this record and find beauty in each. It represents a merging of my two worlds of serving community and music and an effort to use each to foster dialogue. My hope is that this music can temporarily transcend our challenges, while we work on the harder discourse and partnerships needed to improve the conditions of our community and others like it in our country.”

The ongoing relevance of Marcus’ work at Intersection of Change was punctuated in 2015 in the midst of the unrest following the death of community member Freddie Gray. The unrest highlighted the anger and frustration over the community’s decades of poverty related struggles but also affirmed Marcus’ commitment to serving his neighborhood.

Reflecting on the turbulent time for his community spurred Marcus into compositional action as well, and the result was his latest record, “On These Streets.” Throughout the nine tracks, Marcus’ music channels all aspects of his experience living in Sandtown-Winchester; becoming deeply enmeshed within the fibre of the community through his nonprofit; the community itself; its resident’s various struggles, hopes, aspirations and much, much, more.

Marcus’s new CD, “On These Streets, a Baltimore Story,” is available for sale at www.toddmarcusjazz.com – under the “albums” tab, as well as CDBaby, Bandcamp, Amazon, and iTunes.

Banneker-Douglass Museum Celebrates ‘Year of Frederick Douglass’ with New Interactive Exhibit

— In celebration of the “Year of Frederick Douglass,” the Banneker-Douglass Museum hosts a new temporary exhibit, the Douglass Reading Room from June 5, 2018 until February 28, 2019.

This interactive exhibit, guest curated by Greg Morton of Baltimore, brings to life the writings and living quarters of Frederick Douglass while connecting historical themes with modern day discussions.

The exhibit will host several Douglass Reading Room public programs throughout the year, including: book readings, art exhibits and educational workshops.

“As the State of Maryland’s official museum of African American heritage, we are committed to promoting Maryland’s rich African American history and culture and connecting its relevance to modern day,” said Chanel Compton, director of Banneker-Douglass Museum and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. “Many of the themes Frederick Douglass explored are still relevant, and we are thrilled to bring his life and legacy alive through our new interactive exhibit, the Douglass Reading Room.”

The exhibit will feature books written by and about Frederick Douglass and other influential African American authors, as well as pieces by noted artists including Elizabeth Catlett and Romare Bearden providing visitors an interpretation of what Frederick Douglass’ living room would look like if he were alive today.

In February this year, Governor Larry Hogan issued a proclamation declaring 2018 as the “Year of Frederick Douglass.”

The exhibit is part of the yearlong celebration observing the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of this renowned abolitionist and Maryland native.

Additional Information about the “Year of Frederick Douglass” can be found at: http://bdmuseum.maryland.gov/fd-home/.

Guest Curator Greg Morton is the current owner of 524 S. Dallas Street in Baltimore, Maryland— one of the five homes that Frederick Douglass built as a rental property for African Americans in the 1890s.

Morton has restored and styled the home to feature African American and Baltimore art and history, re-imagining what the home would look like if Frederick Douglass owned the property today.

Banneker-Douglass Museum is the State of Maryland’s official museum of African American heritage and serves to document, interpret, and promote African American history and culture through exhibitions, programs and projects in order to improve the understanding and appreciation of America’s rich cultural diversity for all. Banneker-Douglass Museum is a component of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, which is a unit of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.

“Bangin’ With The Boomers”

Everyone had a bangin’ good time on Thursday, April, 12, 2018 at the Bangin’ with the Boomers “party for the young at heart” hosted by Times Community Services, Inc., the non-profit arm of The Baltimore Times. The mid-day luncheon was held at Forum Caterers. The guests were treated to a delightful afternoon of food, dancing and oldies but goodies music spun by DJ Chris. Many of the guests took home door prizes and participated in a raffle hoping to win tickets to two great events. Gale Eldridge, however, won both sets of raffle tickets. She and her husband will attend a Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes event on the weekend of April 28th at the Forum and then join Times Community Services, Inc. on May 18, 2018 at their Off to the Races Pre-Preakness Party at the Horseshoe Casino. (Above standing): Phyllis Brooks; Beula Brown; Donna Holley; Betty Eggleston; Louise Cole; Karen Richburg; Aurelia Bell; (Seated): Loretta Sitzer, “Birthday Girl,” Carrie Stokes, celebrated her 92nd birthday and Sheila Sims.

Rosa Pryor-Trusty, William “Shorty” Pryor, and Cynthia B. Easley, Rambling Rose is one of the coordinators of Bangin’ with the Boomers

Rosa Pryor-Trusty, William “Shorty” Pryor, and Cynthia B. Easley, Rambling Rose is one of the coordinators of Bangin’ with the Boomers

Shirley Duncan, founder of Charm City Dancers (left) and Teresa Kearney, one of the Charm City dancers. Shirley is one of the event’s coordinators.

Shirley Duncan, founder of Charm City Dancers (left) and Teresa Kearney, one of the Charm City dancers. Shirley is one of the event’s coordinators.

Gale Eldridge was a super lucky winner,! She won both raffle prizes,—two tickets to CH Productions’ Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes event next weekend at the Forum and two tickets to the “Off to the Races” Pre-Preakness Party on May 18, at the Horseshoe Casino held by Times Community Services, Inc.

Gale Eldridge was a super lucky winner,! She won both raffle prizes,—two tickets to CH Productions’ Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes event next weekend at the Forum and two tickets to the “Off to the Races” Pre-Preakness Party on May 18, at the Horseshoe Casino held by Times Community Services, Inc.

Cheryl Williams with “Birthday Girl” Crystal Brown

Cheryl Williams with “Birthday Girl” Crystal Brown

Gloria Miller, Ditra Johnson, and “Birthday Girl” Joyce Mack

Gloria Miller, Ditra Johnson, and “Birthday Girl” Joyce Mack

Daisy Nanton, 96 and daughter Carol Nanton

Daisy Nanton, 96 and daughter Carol Nanton

Frances E. Jeffries and Everett Fullwood

Frances E. Jeffries and Everett Fullwood

Brenda Curry, Gale Eldridge, Phyllis B. Watkins, Beatrice W. Williams

Brenda Curry, Gale Eldridge, Phyllis B. Watkins, Beatrice W. Williams

Tracie Brooks Gray and Mary Randall

Tracie Brooks Gray and Mary Randall