2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Season With Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson

Sources: PBS.org | All Things Michael

BEVERLY HILLS, CA; August 1, 2015 — PBS President Paula Kerger announced today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour the full lineup and airdates of PBS’ annual arts programming showcase. The 2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival returns October 9, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. ET, celebrating its fifth season, with eight new weekly programs. The Festival will launch with the inventive, high-energy UNITYTHE LATIN TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON, hosted by the legendary and world-renowned percussionist Sheila E. and featuring Michael Jackson’s greatest hits interpreted by award-winning Latin artists.

Audiences will be put in the Halloween spirit on October 30 when the previously unannounced LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER presents “Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton” (w.t.) airs featuring scores from blockbuster films such as Batman, Beetlejuice, Alice in Wonderland and more. Fresh off of her recent Tony-nominated Broadway run, GREAT PERFORMANCES brings  “Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do” on November 6. This year’s PBS Arts Fall Festival welcomes many more of Broadway and Hollywood’s biggest names, including Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis, Julian Ovendon from “Downton Abbey” on MASTERPIECE, Tony Shalhoub, Andrea Martin and Andrea Bocelli, among others.

The PBS Arts Fall Festival is an annual cornerstone of PBS’ Friday primetime lineup, reaching more than 15 million viewers last season and underscoring PBS’ ongoing commitment to give audiences the best of the arts on-air and online. This year, the Festival will be hosted by seven-time Grammy Award-winning international music superstar Gloria Estefan, whose own musical journey with her husband Emilio, is told in the new Broadway musical ON YOUR FEET!, premiering in October at the Marquis Theatre in New York City.

“The fifth annual PBS Arts Fall Festival is a celebration of performing arts and music from the stage and screen, from the pop charts, and more. Gloria Estefan serving as this year’s host and a Latin tribute to the music of Michael Jackson are among the many highlights of this year’s festival programming,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “The festival is an enduring testament to PBS’ longstanding commitment to the arts, which is reinforced with this fall’s lineup of our signature quality programming and exciting performances that will captivate audiences.”

“The Festival spans generations and genres with contemporary hits, Broadway legends and tributes to groundbreaking artists, with an additional spotlight this year on Latin music stars,” said PBS Vice President of Programming and festival curator, Donald Thoms. “This season promises to be spectacular for the arts on PBS, and reinforces our commitment to arts and diversity programming.”

UNITY – THE LATIN TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON   

Friday, October 9, 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET

World-class drummer and percussionist Sheila E. hosts a concert special that showcases award-winning Latin artists and a 37-piece orchestra performing Latin-infused arrangements of the songs on Tony Succar’s album Unity: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson. The album and concert feature 16 songs that inspired musicians from all over Latin America to come together to celebrate and reimagine hits such as “Smooth Criminal,” “I Want You Back” and “Billie Jean.” On its release in April 2015, the album topped the Amazon Latin World Music Charts, the iTunes World Music Charts and the Billboard Tropical Charts at #1. Produced by Unity Entertainment Corporation and Oregon Public Broadcasting in association with Universal Music Classics.

 

See more of the full PBS Arts Fall Festival lineup here

1986 Throwback Interview: Janet Jackson Speaks On Michael, Family Pets And More

Sources: The Guardian | Rock’s Backpages By Tom Hibbert | All Things Michael

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Excerpt from original article published August 27, 1986.

What did Janet do all day, hanging around the Encino, California, homestead when she was a wee girlie?

Ah, the animals. Animals are the one and only topic that Janet will chatter about happily and freely until the cows (haw haw) come home. But we’ll come back to them later. What did Janet do all day, hanging around the Encino, California, homestead when she was a wee girlie?

“I would talk to the animals.”

Oh.

“I would talk to my dogs. I felt that they understood me – everything that I was saying to them. They’re the greatest listeners because they sit there and look at you and listen.”

Anything else?

“Oh, our next door neighbour – we would play together all the time. There’s a brick fence that separates the two houses and we’d get on top of the fence and we’d play and we’d bring cookies and punch and we’d have a little party of our own up there and just play little games.

“And I would write songs. I was eight years old when I wrote my first song and it was called Fantasy. I sang it to my brother and my sister and my mother in the car when we went for a drive and they said they liked it. I hope they were telling me the truth.

“And I would watch TV: The Three Stooges and cartoons. Bugs Bunny, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Speed Racer – those were my favourites. I always tried to do an impression of Donald Duck but I could never get my voice to sound like that. The first impression I did was of Mae West but I can’t do it any more. And I loved to draw and colour and so my brothers would send back all types of crayons and felts and colouring books from Switzerland and London when they were out of town.”

Family

The brothers. The famous Jacksons. What were they like as children?

“With my friends, their older sisters and brothers would yell at them and tell them to get out and leave them alone and shut up, but my brothers and sisters never did that to me. They always wanted me around. I was a tomboy, actually, and they always told me I’d grow out of it but I told them that I never wanted to and I wouldn’t.

“We used to go horse-back riding and swim and play baseball and climb the fruit trees and pick the fruit off the trees and just get into trouble. Michael was the naughtiest – he was a real bad little kid and he was sassy and everyone would say ‘Oh, God, here comes Michael!’ What’s the worst thing he ever did? I think he looked up under a lady’s dress once. I think he did. I’d say that’s probably the worst that I know of. Me? I was good. I never got punished. I got hit a few times but that was all. One time I got hit for saying something I shouldn’t have said. A bad word. I shouldn’t have spoke it but I opened up my big mouth and my mother hit me for it.

“Another time I got hit was when I had an argument with my brother Randy. He would tease me and I’d get upset and start crying and I threw pool balls at him but not once did I ever really hit him. I’d always miss and my mother would hit me and hit him for that. There were other times when you couldn’t separate us, Randy and I. He’d hold my hand, when we walked across the street. We were just glued together. These days I’m very close to Randy and I’m close to Marlon and I’m very close to Michael.”

Animals

“Louis, our llama, he likes to chew gum. He loves gum. I think I’m the only one who gives him gum, so every time he sees me coming he tries to put his lips through the fence and I give him a piece of gum and he just sits there and chews.”

And on that useful zoological tip we…

“Jabar doesn’t chew gum. Jabar, that’s the giraffe – J-A-B-A-R – he’s so big and he’s still a baby. He’s so tall and he eats up my mother’s trees. All the leaves off my mother’s trees – she has a fit. He has big eyes and those beautiful, long eyelashes…”

Muscles, the Jackson’s late, lamented rainbow boa snake…

“There was something about Muscles that I just loved. He was very different from the rest of our snakes – the pythons – because the rainbow boas are known for squeezing, not for biting, and I would let him sleep on my headboard. I used to sleep with him and I’d wake up in the morning and he’d still be sleeping on the headboard or he’d sleep in the bed next to me and he’d rest his head on the pillow and he’d have his tail curled up on the bed and he’d still be there the next morning and I’d carry him around my neck a lot and he never tried to squeeze me. I just trusted him. I find more guys are afraid of snakes than girls and I just trusted him a great deal.

“The only time I got in trouble with the animals was with our parrot Ricky; he used to bite me all the time and I got bit by one of our pet rats and he was hanging from my finger and I was trying to shake him off and he wouldn’t let go and finally he let go and I had to go to the hospital and my whole hand got so fat and they put a cast on my whole arm and it was my first time wearing a cast and I was real proud of it because all my friends in school had all had casts and I’d always wanted to know what it sort of felt like to break your leg or your arm…”

“We used to bottle-feed the deer, Michael and I. We have two deer and we have a fawn because they had a baby…”

Bubbles

And she feeds Bubbles, the chimpanzee, too.

“He’s the sweetest thing. He’s so cute because he greets you. He goes ‘uuh uuh’. He greets you like that and he’ll walk in the room– ‘uuh uuh’ – and he’ll walk over to you – ‘uuh uuh’ – and he’ll give you a hug and rest his head on your chest and then he’ll start rocking and he’ll look up at you and you say, ‘Bubbles, give me a kiss’ and he puckers his lips and gives you a kiss.

“My mother treats Bubbles like one of the kids. One day Bubbles was crying because he didn’t want to have class that day and my mother was standing there watching Bubbles cry and she started crying too. It made her very sad because Bubbles was sitting there crying and screaming because he didn’t want to have class.”

And why, dare one ask, should a chimpanzee have “class”?

“Oh, it teaches him to hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil. It teaches him to shake his head no and to wave goodbye and to kneel down to beg and look up to the sky…”

Of course … but time is running out. Janet Jackson’s stomach is groaning in spectacularly embarrassing fashion and I decided to pose one last question – a predictable and orthodox “Do you have any burning, unfulfilled ambitions, Janet?” I suppose I should have known the answer …

“Yes. I’d like to own a king cobra.”

Janet, eyes off the ground for once, notices my ruffled brow.

“Ok, that might sound like a crazy ambition to you but I’ve always wanted to own a king cobra because they’re so dangerous and poisonous, and to make him my friend … that would be a serious achievement. And I think I could do it.”

 

Read the full article here

Toddler Meals That Look Just Like Olaf, Minions And Michael Jackson

 Sources: the Stir – By Judy Dutton| All Things Michael

Laleh Mohmedi’s 2-year-old son Jacob was always a good eater, but the mom wondered if she could inject more excitement into his meals. “I decided to cook and arrange Jacob’s pancakes so they looked like a lion,” she says. “He absolutely loved it!” And that’s how Jacob’s Food Diaries — a photo diary where Mohmedi turned toddler meals into an an art form — was born.

“Every night before bed, Jacob requests a character that he would like for me to make the next day,” says Mohmedi, who lives in Australia. “These characters are from books, toys, cartoons, or something that has caught his eye that day. He has even asked for Michael Jackson!”

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The King of Pop was made possible thanks to coconut chicken rice, nori (seaweed), peas and carrots for letters.

Mohmedi started posting photos of her dishes on Instagram, where they were met with rave reviews from friends, foodies, and (of course) moms looking for some mealtime inspiration themselves to convince their toddler to eat.

And while her creations have generally made mealtime easier, that’s not always the case: Sometimes her creations are such nice eye candy, Jacob misses them once they’re gone.

“One time after eating a Minion he started crying because he had felt so bad!” Mohmedi laughs.

Here are some of her most memorable mealtime creations, plus what they’re made of. Read more here

Image via jacobs_food_diaries/Instagram

 

Michael Jackson Shrine May Be Taken Down

Sources: The Telegraph |All Things Michael

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A famous shrine to Michael Jackson in Munich could face closure after violent fights over its appearance between rival fans.

Candles and flowers have stood at the unofficial shrine outside the city’s Bayerischer Hof hotel every day since the singer’s death in 2009.

But now the Bavarian state government says that unless the competing groups of fans who place photos and other memorabilia at the site can learn to get along, the shrine will have to go.

The government has stepped in after scuffles broke out between fans, with one claiming that a rival threw a glass candle-holder at her.

“If peaceful coexistence between the different groups of fans behind the Michael Jackson memorial is not possible, then sadly the memorial will have to be removed,” the Bavarian culture ministry warned in a letter to the fans.

The shrine first appeared the day after Jackson’s death from a prescription drug overdose in 2009.

Fans commandeered the base of a statue of Orlando di Lasso, a Renaissance composer, opposite the hotel where Jackson often stayed while in Munich.

Today, the pedestal of the statue is festooned with photos of Jackson, flowers and balloons.

Although it has never been officially sanctioned, the shrine has become a tourist sight, with national flags left by fans from around the world.

“This is an absolute final warning,” a spokesman for the culture ministry told reporters.

“We tolerated this memorial until now, but we’ve heard from the police about disputes between fans, and there have even been criminal complaints.”

The dispute appears to be between two rival groups of fans.

 

Read the full story here

Michael Jackson’s Glove Sells For $65,000

Contact News | All Things Michael

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A Rare, Sequinned White Glove Famously Worn By Michael Jackson Has Sold For Almost $65,000 (£41,000) At Auction.

The garment, one of several hand coverings the King of Pop sported onstage and in music promos, was given by the star to his personal artist Paul Bedard in 1984, and he later sold it to a private collector.

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It went up for auction via Nate D. Sanders in Los Angeles on Thursday (30Jul15) and fetched an impressive $64,850 (£40,531).

The sale also featured a prototype of the iconic jacket Jackson wore in the video for his 1987 hit Bad, which attracted a top bid of $12,500 (£7,812).

 

Read more here

He Is Here To Change the World (Again): Captain EO Returns to EPCOT

Sources: Disney Insider | All Things Michael

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In the fall of 1986 Michael Jackson came to EPCOT Center in Florida as part of “a small group, struggling to bring freedom to countless worlds of despair.” And now he’s back.

Captain EO, the breakthrough 3D science fiction adventure that starred Jackson, was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas, quietly returned to EPCOT earlier this month in all of its breakdancing, stargazing glory. The 17-minute-long attraction is right where it was when it first debuted back in 1986: the Imagination Pavilion in the Futureworld West section of the park.

It’s hard to imagine how huge Captain EO was when it first came to the parks in 1986. This was Michael Jackson at the height of his popularity, five years after Thriller broke every record there was and less than a year before his equally powerful Bad would be unleashed. It was also George Lucas’ first collaboration with the Disney theme parks, three years after Return of the Jedi closed out the original Star Wars trilogy and a year before Star Tours would be joyfully jostling Disneyland attendees. And by 1986 Coppola had cemented himself as a legendary filmmaker, having already helmed the first twoGodfather films, The Conversation, and (more recently) The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. It was almost too good.

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There were a number of technical innovations that also went along with Captain EO; it is largely thought of as the first “4D” film, with in-theater effects like smoke, lasers, and a glittery star field that was draped across the theater ceiling. (In both Florida and CaliforniaCaptain EO replaced Magic Journeys, a gentle 3D fantasy.) Captain EO featured two new songs from Jackson, including one (“Another Part of Me”) that would appear on Bad. (The other, “We Are Here to Change the World,” would only be released, in truncated form, in the 2004 Jackson box set The Ultimate Collection.) Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who lensed The Conformist and would later shoot Disney’s Dick Tracy, was responsible for the 3D photography. The late, great James Horner (whose Rocketeer score we absolutely adore) provided the score. An in-depth hour-long special called Captain EO Backstage, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, premiered on The Disney Sunday Movie on ABC and another hour-long special aired from the film’s Disneyland grand opening (it was hosted by Patrick Duffy and Justine Bateman along with musical guests Starship and Robert Palmer). This was it.

And it goes without saying that the film was (and still is) totally awesome. It features dancing and monsters and Anjelica Huston as a witchy, H.R. Giger-esque space princess (when Jackson compliments her appearance, she hisses, “You find meeee beautiful?”) At 17 minutes, it tells a complete story but never feels flabby or overlong; it zigs and zags and boogies with the best of them.

Back when the film opened, the Imagination Pavilion was a much different place. Journey Into Imagination, the flagship ride, was a sprawling ode to the unlimited capabilities of the human mind, and once you finished riding the attraction, you were funneled up to a play area called the Upstairs Image Works. This is where you got to interact with exhibits like a giant, colorful tunnel (that was a favorite of Jackson’s whenever he would visit the park) and a kind of color canon that would allow you to fire paintbrushes (and virtual paint) at blank canvases. When you would complete your play, you would get on an escalator that would bring you into the specially outfitted theater where Captain EO played. Walk around versions of several of the characters would mill around outside the pavilion. It was the kind of sprawling, synchronous experience that defined those heady early days of EPCOT Center.

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In 1994 Captain EO closed and a year later Honey, I Shrunk the Audience premiered. It was aired (once) on MTV in 1996 in a downscaled two-dimensional version. But after Jackson’s tragic passing in 2009, the film returned to the Imagination Pavilion theater (it also reappeared at several other parks, including Disneyland). This new version of the attraction premiered in the summer of 2010 at EPCOT and was labeled a “tribute.” It swapped some of the earlier effects for those installed for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, including a nifty gag where the floor bounces up and down as the villainess’ dark forces approach, and was digitally projected. When it returned, Captain EO was even more beautiful than when it first premiered. Audiences clapped and sung along and snapped up merchandise, including T-shirts modeled after Michael’s nifty rainbow model and plush versions of the characters.

Over the past few months, the theater has been used for a variety of purposes, mostly to exhibit upcoming Disney features like Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland and Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out. But now Captain EO is back and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s an attraction thatfeels so classically EPCOT, one that has one foot in fantasy and the other in science fiction; that is both futuristic and warmly nostalgic. It’s an attraction shares EPCOT’s view of the future as a place where anything is possible and everything is super fun. Captain EO is the story of “a ragtag band led by the infamous Captain EO,” and almost 30 years later, it’s enough to make you smile … and dance.

 

Read more here

 

Download Tori Kelly’s Cover Of “ABC” For A Good Cause

Sources:  Target | All Things Michael

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Listen up, Target guests: Singer-songwriter Tori Kelly’s rockin’ remake of “ABC” for Target now available to download for free on Target.com. Featured exclusively in our new back-to-school commercials, the fall anthem sends kids off with a skip in their step. But the fun doesn’t stop there; every time a guest downloads the song, we will donate $5 in school supplies to the Kids In Need Foundationand we won’t stop until we hit $3.5 million in donations* (that’s 700,000 downloads!), so we need your help to get us there.

If there’s anyone who knows just how powerful the connection between music and education can be, it’s Tori herself. The 22-year-old Californian, whose debut album Unbreakable Smile” is available at Target with two exclusive bonus tracks, tells us music impacted her early days as a student: “I remember my third grade teacher would play guitar and make up cute little songs about whatever subject we were learning. It made me like them a lot more.”

*For each download up to 700,000 downloads of artist Tori Kelly’s recording of the song “ABC” from SoundCloud from 7/19/2015 through 9/12/2015, Target will donate an average retail value of $5 of back-to-school item(s) to the Kids In Need Foundation; total maximum donation (retail value): $3.5 million. www.kinf.orgFor more information and to download song, visit target.com/backtoschool.

See commercial video below:

Take a behind-the-scenes look at Tori’s in-studio recording session, here

Argyle Fine Art Auctions Weird Al/MJ Marionette To Aid Youth Art Connection

Sources: Argyle Fine Art | All Things Michael

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We were very fortunate to have a wonderful and unexpected guest visit us on Friday afternoon. The musical and comedic genius, Grammy Award winning and overall amazing human being, known to the world as “Weird Al” Yankovic. He popped by to see some art and show his support for a new body of work by local artist Darren Moreash while visiting Halifax to play two sold out shows while on his extensive Mandatory  Fun  World Tour.

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One of the most iconic marionettes depicts “Weird Al” from his music video “Eat It” parodying  Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, is up for auction! We’re excited to offer this autographed one-of-a-kind artwork of a one-of-a-kind celebrity. Al told us that any charity would be great, so we thought the YOUTH ART CONNECTION would be the perfect choice!  It’s a small but mighty organization that works with youth and fosters confidence in the arts and business.Youth Art Connection (YAC) is a Nova Scotia based not-for-profit working with youth, professional artists and community to make positive change. Check them out at: www.youthartconnection.ca  

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Watch the latest TV spot on this exciting project by clicking HERE

This is a wonderful way for a fan of the quirky art by Darren Moreash and a fan of Weird Al Yankovic to own a one-of-a kind work of art that can also act as a reminder to play everyday give back when you can. Play your part!

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The eight marionettes by Moreash are hand carved and painted to pay homage to “Weird Al” and the characters he has played in his popular music videos and films. Al Yankovic was very generous with his time and genuinely enjoyed the works and hanging out with all of us for a little while. There was candy and music and of course, a puppet show. The works will be on display until the end of July at Argyle Fine Art and will be online for viewing and purchase by Tuesday, July 28th.  Two have already found homes with fans and one with Al Yankovic himself. We hope he enjoys playing with his marionette when he returns back home from his extensive world tour.

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Read more here