Dwight Casimere

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Wine of the Week: Chateau Cambon La Pelouse 2012 – Haut – Medoc $17

Imagine a Bordeaux from the Haut Medoc on Bordeaux's coveted Left Bank for under $20 that reflects all of the skill and laborious work in the vineyards and much of the complexity, roundness and fruity aromas and the allure of wines costing far more and you have the essential components and drawing cards to Chateau Cambon La Pelouse Haut Medoc 2012. A steal at a mere $17.99, this is a wine worthy of your best dry aged Porterhouse, cooked over hot coals, laced with chunks of hickory or, even better, apple or cherry wood and a few branches of fresh thyme or rosemary thrown on for aromatic good measure. Add a touch of crushed garlic, a dab of butter or a slab of fresh Gorgonzola to melt down into the sizzling meat as it rests off the grill. Grill a couple of spears of romaine brushed with garlic and lemon infused olive oil or pair it with a nice arugula and walnut salad drizzled with balsamic and you have a match made in heaven.

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Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV - $49.95

Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier ($49.95) is a shining example of why people who love French Champagne, do so because of its distinct flavor, power and elegance. Roederer Brut Premier has all three qualities in abundance. Family owned since 1776, The sparkling wine is proof positive of the family motto that 'good wine takes time." This Pinot-dominated wine is a perfect example of how 'terrtor', that elusive term that refers to the specific time and place of a wine's production, influences the final outcome. According to Champagne Louis Roederer Group President and CEO Frederic Rouzaud, the story of the champagne starts in the vineyards. "It starts in the vineyards," he told a Wine Spectator Seminar at the recent South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami Beach. "The wine is the product of a specific terroir, composed of chalk soil, a specific climate with a continental influence. It starts with a specific history and a sophistication of the grapes. This is an example of a winery that is coming back to its roots. There are no chemicals used in the making of Champagne Roederer.

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New York Philharmonic Celebrates Composer John Adam's 70th Birthday

NEW YORK--Composer John Adams gave a virtual Master Class at the New York Philharmonic's recent regular subscription program of his Absolute Jest for String Quartet and Orchestra, which featured the New York Philharmonic String Quartet, comprised of four Principal musicians from the Orchestra, in their orchestra debut as a solo ensemble. He opened the concert by taking center stage to make remarks before Music Director Alan Gilbert conducted the performance, which marked the work's Philharmonic premiere. "This is coming full circle for me," the composer began. "I can recall playing clarinet in a concert marking the 70th birthday of my favorite composer, Aaron Copland. Now its my own turn to have my compositions presented by this great orchestra which is celebrating my 70th birthday this season." The composer went on to explain how the work, Absolute Jest. is a takeoff on the later string quartets composed by Beethoven. He then had the New York Philharmonic String Quartet play excerpts from the Beethoven, and spoke of the parallels between the two. "What we hear in the Beethoven is the element of emphasis, which was new at the time. I took that emphasis and filtered it through the 'black box' of my own modernist, minimalist compositional style and arrived at Absolute Jest. I'll let you rock out on the New York Philharmonic playing it," he joked to the audience.

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Met Live HD Verdi's La Traviata in Movie Theaters Saturday, March 11, 12:55PM


One of the world's most popular operas will be transmitted live in select movie theaters around the globe. Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata will be transmitted live from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House on Saturday, March 11 at 12:55pm with an Encore Performance in theaters Wednesday, March 15 at 6:30pm local time. The opera is sung in Italian with English subtitles. Visit metopera.org or fathomevents.com for theater locations and tickets. Starring Met soprana Sonya Yoncheva, reprising her hit role as Violetta, the doomed heroine of Verdi's most treasured masterpiece. Popular Met tenor Michael Fabiano is her frustrated lover Alfredo and ever-popular veteran Met baritone Thomas Hampson is his disapproving father. Nicola Luisotti conducts the sterling Metropolitan Opera orchestra from the pit in an eye-popping minimalist production by Willy Decker. which created a sensation at Salzburg in 2005. The story of La Traviata is based on a French play adapted from the novel Camille by the great Alexandre Dumas. It tells of the famous courtesan Violetta Valery, who, in the opening scene, gives a party to celebrate her recovery from an illness. Gaston, a viscount, brings to the party a good friend, Alfredo Germont (Michael Faviano), who as long admired her from afar. Violetta's current lover, Baron Douphol, is asked to give a toast, but declines. The crowd turns to Alfredo, who agrees to sing a brindisi – a drinking song (Alfredo, Violetta, chorus: Libiamo ne' lieti calici – "Drink from the joyful cup"). Before the first plaintive strains of music are heard in Verdi's "La Traviata," a gentleman with long white hair and beard to match takes his seat next to a giant clock at the side of the Metropolitan Opera stage. This is the character, Doctor Grenvil, performed by veteran Met bass-baritone James Courtney. The character sits silently throughout the opera, as if an ominous precursor for the tragedy to come. His character, and the giant clock, loom over Violetta as her story of feigned gaiety devolves into tragedy. Doctor Grenvil is the specter of fate.

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WeNdy Whelan/Brian Brooks/Brookly Rider Some of A Thousand Words

NEW YORK-- The Joyce Theater in Chelsea was the setting for a landmark performance of an orginal work, Some of A Thousand Words, a collaborative project of veteran dancers Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks with the musical accompaniment of the astonishing Brooklyn Rider string quartet. The work is a co-commission of The Joyce Theater Foundation's Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New York, along with The Knetucky Center for the Arts, the Modern Centr for the Arts at University of Richmond and The International Festival of Arts and Ideas New Haven. Featuring music by Philip Glass, John Luther Adams, Colin Jacobsen, Tyondal Braxton and Jacob Cooper, Some of A Thousand Words clearly shows the power of dance to communicate deep emotions and complex human inter-relationships. Both Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks bring a wealth of dance experience to the table in their performnce. She, a veteran principal dancer with New York City Ballet in a career that spanned 30 years, 23 as principal dancer. Her resume includes work With Jerome Robbins and performances of virtually every major Balanchine role. A Dance Magazine Award winner in 2007, she has received both the Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance. Brian Brooks has an equally laudable career as Choreographer, Director and Performer. Recently appointed as the Inaugural Choreographer in Residence at Chicago's prestigious Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Brooks is also the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. Brooklyn Rider is a contemporary string quartet which toured with composer,/singer and multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Kahane last season with music from their 2016 collaborative album The Fiction Issue. This season, Brooklun Rider releases their new CD So Many Things with mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, an album of contemporary music featuring pieces composed by John Adams, Colin Jacobsen and Elvis Costello, among others. Easily, the group could have presented their own concert and received the rapt attention of the audience.

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South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2017 Grandest Food Festival in the World

BEACH--The 2017 edition of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival was the grandest ever. Featuring the stars of The Food Network and The Cooking Channel in live demonstrations and the largest spread of gourmet food, great wines and superior spirits anywhere, the festival is now the largest of its kind in the world.

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Wine of the Week – Dry Creek Chenin Blanc 2016 Clarksburg - $13.99

It’s beginning to look like Spring! It’s also a terrific time to start thinking about dining al fresco, garden parties and sun-drenched afternoons lounging around the pool. Those are all the places where you might find Dry Creek 2016 Chenin Blanc-Clarksburg ($13.99), a perfect companion for fruit, salads, sushi and grilled chicken or seafood.

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Oscar nominees for Best Documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” and Ava Duverny’s 13th highlights injustice against blacks

Two films that lay bare the raw roots of racism are nominated in the category of Best Documentary (Feature) by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences at this year's Oscar Awards. Ava DuVernay's 13th exposes the history of mass incarceration and criminalization of blacks in America, which has its roots in the 13th Amendment of the Constitution, which abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. The amendment sparked mass incarcerations of freed slaves. The former slaves were then assigned to road gangs, which were used as construction crews to rebuild the defeated South. The situation was exacerbated in 1994 with passage of the bi-partisan "three strikes" crime bill, signed by President Bill Clinton, which sent thousands of black men to prison for excessively long sentences for relatively minor crimes.

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Chicago Auto Show 2017 Now through Feb. 20-President's Day

Monday, February 20th is not only President's Day, but its Family Day at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. The Final Weekend of the nation's largest auto show kicked off with Telemundo Hispanic Heritage Day, Friday, Feb. 17. Also, show patrons who bring three cans of food to support the Chicago Auto Show Food Drive will receive a coupon for $7 adult admission. All donations go to the Safe Haven Foundation. More than a thousand vehicles are on display, with opportunities to see concept cars, antiques and collectibles and experience the thrill of the automotive experience in special 'fast tracks' set up in McCormick Place South. For tickets and show information visit ChicagoAutoShow.com.

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Jazz at Lincoln Center: Dianne Reeves, Freddy Cole Sing for Valentine's Lovers

Incredible vocal prowess and deep introspective emotion marked a Valentine's Weekend set at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was one of the most moving jazz performances in memory, perhaps equal to latter-day performances of her muse and musical mentor, Sarah Vaughan. Reeves along with her stellar quintet, featuring Peter Martin, Music Director on piano,  Romero Lubambo on acoustic an electric guitars, Gregoire maret on harmonic, Reginald Veal on electric and acoustic bass, and Terreon Gully on drums, creating a magical evening of jazz improvisation that eschewed pyrotechnics and showiness for real honest music- making that reached to the depths of the soul. Music director Peter Martin provided some excellent moments of inspired improvisation. At times, his playing exhibited the explosive panism that reflected both percussive soul and echoes of Cuban strike piano of the ''50s and'60s. Reeves was seated on a high stool during parts of her performance. If this was prompted by any physical limitations, it wasn't obvious. Instead, it lended an air of relaxed intimacy that reduced the cavernous Rose theater to the scale of an intimate cabaret, thus heightening the emotional power of her delivery. 

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