Arts & Culture

Sometimes all it takes for love to blossom is a chance encounter — or a murder and a mystery. This month, I've picked three books that prove love finds a way, no matter the circumstances of a first meeting or the reasons couples are stuck together. When sparks are flying and hearts and minds are open, there's no stopping these happily ever afters.

July Fourth is a day when America celebrates its independence.

But this July Fourth, I am reflecting on another part of the American experience — the enslavement of my fellow Africans. That's because I have just finished reading Barracoon, the book in which Zora Neale Hurston presents the story of Cudjo Lewis, who was on the last ship that brought slaves across the Atlantic. It took 60 years for her book to be published. Now it is a best-seller.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Thousands of fans gathered at the BB&T Center in Sunrise on Wednesday to mourn the loss of Broward-native rapper Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, known as XXXTentacion. 

Joe Jackson, patriarch of the legendary Jackson family, which included Michael and Janet Jackson, has died, the estate of Michael has confirmed in a statement. No cause of death was given, though he had reportedly been diagnosed with cancer.

Officially, Joe Jackson was a band manager, taking five of his sons from a locally celebrated pop vocal group in Gary, Ind., in the mid-1960s to international acclaim, acting as the launchpad to superstardom for his son Michael. Their paths, however, would be revealed through the decades as ones paved in checkers.

On Monday, June 18, rapper XXXTentacion was shot and killed in Florida. The fallout from his death has been complicated given the rapper's dark past. In 2016, he was charged with aggravated assault and battery and false imprisonment of a pregnant victim.

Donald Hall, a former poet laureate of the United States whose writing explored everything from nature to mortality to the toss of a baseball, has died at the age of 89.

Hall died on Saturday at his family farm, known as Eagle Pond, in the small town of Wilmot, N.H. His death was announced by his literary agent, Wendy Strothman.

Hall was a prolific author who began writing when he was just 12 years old. Over the course of a career that spanned more than seven decades, he wrote over 40 books, about half of which were works of poetry.

Courtesy of Kevin Kenner

University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and the U.S. Chopin Foundation are partnering to organize the first ever Frost Chopin Festival and Academy.

The Frost festival will give 20 pianists a chance to to immerse themselves in the work and legacy of composer Frederic Chopin. Most of the participants are from across the U.S. and some international.

Pianists were selected to  participate in masterclasses with Chopin experts and the week-long event will include public performances and lectures on Chopin's music and personal life.

A suspect in the murder of 20-year-old Jahseh Onfroy, better known as the controversial and chart-topping rapper XXXTentacion (pronounced "ex-ex-ex-ten-tah-see-ohn"), has been arrested, the Broward Sheriff's Office announced this morning. The police say that Dedrick Williams, 22 years old, was arrested for the the murder of Onfroy, who was shot outside of a high-end motor sports dealership in Deerfield Beach, Fla. on June 18.

Screenshot/MakeMusicDay.org

All of Miami will be dropping beats Thursday.

    

The city is marking the longest day of the year – officially the summer solstice – with a lineup of free musical performances. 

Make Music Miami is joining the worldwide celebration Make Music Day, which began in Paris in 1982 as Fête de la Musique. More than 800 cities in 120 countries carry on the spirit of the day – that all musicians can play in public spaces.

One of Attorney General Pam Bondi’s top priorities is cracking down on drugs. And, during a recent Florida Cabinet meeting, she invited a young rapper to spread a similar anti-drug message.

Andrew Pollack is a school safety activist, a founder of Americans for Children’s Lives and School Safety and father of Meadow Pollack, one of the 17 victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Dr. Sandra Calvert is the Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center and a child psychologist at Georgetown University. She was part of the American Psychological Association in 2015 where she explored the impact of violent video games on children’s brains.

When my brother, sister, and I were growing up, our dinner conversation would inevitably turn scatological at some point, the grosser the better: A kid puked on the teacher's desk, another tracked in dog poop. "Must we talk about this at dinner?" our mother would protest. To which we would answer, "When else are we supposed to talk about it?"

One of the oldest and most distinguished Spanish language theaters in the U.S. is housed in a converted Manhattan brownstone. "It started actually as a private house," explains Robert Federico, executive producer of Repertorio Español.

The space is tiny — rickety wooden stairs lead backstage and small props are stored in the hallway. The sets are designed to be stashed flush against walls behind black curtains.

Jaye Abbate is the CEO of ArtServe, a non-profit arts incubator that supports artists and cultural organizations in Broward County. Beth Clark is the CEO of Young Singers of the Palm Beaches.

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