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Singer/songwriter Kristen Toedtman currently splits her time between Baltimore and Los Angeles. Out on the West Coast, she keeps busy as a session singer and a choir leader. But she frequently heads back East to perform with the local super-group she helped to found, The Baltimore Afrobeat Society.
A trip to the pharmacy is, let’s be honest, kind of a drag. You wait in line. You give your name. You watch them rifle through the bags. If you’re lucky, they have your prescription ready. You pay, and you’re done. On a good day, you might get a half-smile and a muttered, ‘hello,’ from your pharmacist. It wasn’t always this way.
The banjo has been on a long, strange musical trip since its first appearance in America. The instrument was first fashioned by enslaved Africans during Colonial times, a musical descendent of their native kora. From there, the banjo rang out through the hills and hollers of Appalachia, a mournful accompaniment to mountain balladeers. Meanwhile, the strumming of the plectrum banjo found its way onto early jazz recordings.
“It’s what you didn’t learn in high school history.” That’s how Bernard Kinsey describes the world-class collection that he and his wife, Shirley Kinsey, have amassed over the years.
Many of us have heard of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but did you know that Baltimore has a fringe festival, too? Charm City Fringe is a new theater festival that aims to highlight and expand the thriving “fringe” arts community in Baltimore. By creating a venue in which a variety of artists and theater companies can come together, the hope is that some cross-pollination will occur, leading to new ideas and expanding audiences.
Signal contributor Jeff Trueman recently had a surprising and rewarding experience sharing his love of classical music with a couple of wide-eyed, adolescent kids at a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert.
The Tuvan throat-singing ensemble Alash is currently touring the US and on its way to Baltimore for a concert at Towson University’s Stephens Hall Theatre. Aaron Henkin talks with the band’s interpreter, Sean Quirk, about the human voice’s ability to act as a sonic prism…
We begin this week’s special Halloween edition of The Signal with a story from Jeff Alphin. Jeff told this anecdote in front of a live audience at a Stoop Storytelling event titled, “The Twilight Zone: True Tales of the Bizarre and Unexpected.” Here’s Jeff…
The Stoop’s “Twilight Zone” storytelling event brought a seasoned raconteur to the microphone, a retired US Army medic who served stateside as a psychiatric tech in a number of military rehabilitation hospitals. Jim Karantonis shared this recollection…