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Catching up with Kaash Paige

We were so excited to have Kaash Paige stop by our WGRL studios recently. In addition to having a hit single out, Kaash did radio as a teen as well so she made us totally comfortable behind the mic with some pro journalism tips.

Thanks Kaash for a great interview!

Halloween Exclusive! Behind the Scenes at Blood Manor!

 

Check out our Halloween video exclusive BTS at Blood Manor, New York’s scariest haunted house!

Special thanks to all the ghouls, goblins and ghosts who made this terrifying interview possible.
Tune in if you dare!

Wunmi! The Nigerian Fashion, Singing and Dance Sensation

It was an incredible treat to welcome Nigerian born artist Wunmi into the studio with us to elaborate on all the cool stuff she does – music, dance and incredible style and fashion.
Thank you Wunmi for sharing your culture, artistry and energy with us!

Breaking It Down with Bellevue Hospital Doctors

This Fall we had the unique opportunity to sit down with doctors at New York’s Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States!

It was a fascinating interview and a must-listen for anyone interested in the field!
We appreciated the honest and direct conversation about the field of medicine, and we learned some fascinating facts about the hospital itself.

Thanks to everyone at Bellevue for making this happen and helping to take some of the mystery out of the medical profession.

 

AJ Silver – Cowboy from the Bronx!

AJ Silver, trick rider and cowboy dropped by the studio to break up some Bronx stereotypes!
He even brought his lasso and bullwhips so we all got a chance to cowgirl a little at Girl’s Club.
Yippee Ya Yo Ka Ay!

Music Box Village – a Tiny Town of Musical Wonder!

Music Box Village in our sister city of New Orleans is truly an experience where art comes alive and vibrates with song!
We have had the honor of performing there in the past in a female musical history of New Orleans and are lucky to count Airlift, who run Music Box, as our NOLA family!
Enjoy this magical audio journey and the below video with performance highlights!

 

 

Sowing Seeds of Hope with Jackie Sumell

Jackie Sumell is an incredible artist, activist  and compassionate friend of the Girls Club.
Her work seeks to expose and change the abuses perpetrated by the criminal justice system in America.
We caught up with Jackie in her home town of New Orleans, at her Solitary Garden project. What resulted is more of a discussion than an interview, one that we hope more people will be having after The Solitary Garden tour this Fall.
To find out more about the project please visit the Solitary Gardens website. 

Singer Jamar Rogers on Music, Life and Inspiration

Extraordinarily talented Jamar Rogers has been volunteering with us for close to a year now, sharing his gifts for songwriting and performance.
We celebrate Jamar’s release of his first solo record “Lazurus” released on the  Tommy Boy  label by posting this interview from the very first time we met him in the WGRL studios!
We are so proud to call Jamar a member of the Girl’s Club family and can’t wait to release all the fantastic projects we have been working on with him.
Stay tuned for greatness!

A Gun is Not Fun

For low-income communities like the Lower East Side, gun violence is more than a simple tragic event. Guns impact us all- physically, economically and mentally. Guns kill people, but they also kill spirit…and murder communities. The aftermath of gun violence leaves everyone feeling helpless and diminished. At The Lower Eastside Girls Club we are building a strong anti-violence message throughout our organization.

This podcast episode highlights some of the members of our community fighting to make a change. We hope you will be inspired to join the fight against gun violence as well!

Last Fall, a group of mothers and young women from The Lower Eastside Girls Club’s (LESGC) Moms Speak Out campaign – women who have been affected by gun violence – joined with Council Members Laurie Cumbo and Jumaane Williams, and peace advocates from the Middle Project of Middle Collegiate Church, to launch the distribution of 3500 copies of William Electric Black’s (aka Ian James, Emmy Award winning former writer of Sesame Street) illustrated early reader: ‘A Gun Is Not Fun’.

For low-income communities like the Lower East Side, gun violence is more than a simple tragic event. Guns impact us all- physically, economically and mentally. Guns kill people, but they also kill spirit…and murder communities. The aftermath of gun violence leaves everyone feeling helpless and diminished. At The Lower Eastside Girls Club we are building a strong anti-violence message throughout our organization.

LESGC’s Moms Speak Out participants distributed the ‘A Gun Is Not Fun’ early reader books in front of every public school and day-care center with Pre-K through 2nd grade classes in the East Village / Lower East Side community. This community has been particularly plagued by youth gun violence over the past five years –  with LESGC girls’ family members killed, ‘stray’ bullets taking the life of a young child simply playing outside, and mothers wounded waiting at a bus stop to get to work.

“As mothers and community leaders, we are tired of raising our children in a climate of fear!  We believe that it is never too early to create a climate of peace! We’re starting now and we’re starting here- in our own Lower East Side community.” – Lyn Pentecost, Ph.D., Executive Director, LESGC

“It is unacceptable to us that our children are growing up in a culture where violence has become the norm on the streets and in the media.”  – Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Executive Director, The Middle Project

William Electric Black (aka Ian James) says, “I wrote this book because we are losing too many young people of color to gun violence. It is a plague facing our nation and something must be done so I decided to use the Sesame Street target audience and start educating them about this timely, and too often deadly, issue”.

We love our children and refuse to raise them in a violent world. The message of ‘A Gun Is Not Fun’ is self-explanatory. It is designed to be read aloud and shared with friends and siblings.

 

Hannah Bronfman talks Music and Wellness

Thanks so much to health and beauty guru, DJ and all around lovely person Hannah Bronfman  for stopping by our studios recently.
We chopped it up with the energetic entrepreneur covering everything from DJing to health to eating bugs! Yes bugs!
We had a blast and hope she can come back to WGRL soon to share her latest adventures!

Michelle Buteau – She’s Got Jokes!

We were tickled to have actress/writer/comedian Michelle Buteau at the WGRL studios recently. Born in New Jersey to Caribbean parents,  Michelle brings a cheeky swagger, unique perspective and big personality to stage and screen. As Michelle herself says “Put on a onesie and get ready to have some funsie” by tuning into this intimate interview with a very funny lady!

Talking Traditional Puerto Rican Music with Pepe Flores

WGRL had a great time chatting with Loisaida legend, musicologist, and resident dandy Pepe Flores about two forms of traditional Puerto Rican music: Bomba and Plena. It’s always a great pleasure to stumble upon Pepe in the neighborhood. If you’re not lucky enough to spend time with him in person (he travels quite extensively as an extension of his dance and musical interests) take a listen to our podcast and read to learn more about this fascinating scholar of Latin dance and music. Bio courtesy of The Loisaida Festival, where Pepe will be honored this year.

Pepe Flores was born in 1951 in Puerta de Tierra, near Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. When he was 4 years old, his family moved to the countryside. Pepe learned to read at an early age and became an avid and voracious reader, opening his mind to worlds beyond his humble roots.

Jíbaro music was the first type of music Pepe heard as an immediate part of his everyday life. Later, through the radio, he heard the music of cuartetos like Mayarí and Marcano, the music of Cortijo and his Combo with Ismael Rivera, etc. These forms of music became the foundation of Pepe’s musical journey, which led him to collect records and books since the early age of 12 years old. Besides listening various and diverse forms of Puerto Rican and Caribbean music, he read everything related to music and history he could get his hands on, from liner notes to magazine and newspaper articles, books and academic papers, etc, etc. As a teenager, Pepe began attending live performances and dances where groups like El Gran Combo, Tommy Olivencia y su Orquesta, La Sonora Ponceña and others played salsa music and dancing became an integral part of his life, character and persona.

At age 19, Pepe migrated from Puerto Rico and arrived in the Lower East Side of New York City, where he quickly became a community activist focused primarily, but not exclusively, in the areas of early childhood education, affordable housing, community gardens and public spaces. In NYC, Pepe expanded his interest in music to Cuban, Jazz, Brazilian, African, and more; significantly broadening his collection and knowledge. In the spirit of his mentors, René López, Andy González, Harry Sepúlveda and many others,Pepe consistently made these invaluable resources available to selected musicians and researchers. As his personal knowledge, music collection and library grew, so did his love for sharing music and his support and respect for musicians.