Friday, August 12, 2016

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's this week's wrap-up of assorted links and short news items of local interest:

* A new effort aimed at restoring Miles Davis' childhood home in East St. Louis for use as a museum was the subject of feature stories on St. Louis Public Radio and in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch/

The restoration is the work of the not-for-profit organization House of Miles East St. Louis (HOME), which also plans to use the building (pictured, in a recent photo and in an artist's rendering of the finished project) for music education activities and as an event space for rent. They've started a crowd-funding campaign with a goal of raising $50,000 toward the costs of the renovations; as of this writing, 21 days in, they've collected $255 in pledges.

* Speaking of Miles Davis, the trumpeter's version of "My Funny Valentine" was among the tracks included on President Barack Obama's personal summer playlist, as released this week by the White House.

* And speaking of fundraising efforts, the Belleville News-Democrat has a feature story about the latest attempts to raise the $150,000 needed to make radio station WSIE self-sustaining within the next 18 months. The station, which broadcasts a mix of jazz, blues and R&B plus university news and sports from the campus of SIU Edwardsville, will lose funding from the state of Illinois after 2017 due to budget cuts.

* Drummer and songwriter Kevin Bowers' new album Nova was the subject of a brief feature story by Christian Schaeffer of the Riverfront Times.

* King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era, a newly revised biography of the famed pianist and composer, was reviewed by the journal The American Interest..

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