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Half of Beijing’s private cars have been ordered off the streets, while construction sites, factories and schools are closed as authorities in the smog-shrouded Chinese capital respond to public criticism over air pollution. The alert – the most serious warning on a four-tier system adopted in 2013 – is in effect through Thursday, meaning authorities have… Read MorePost Views: 221
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Sierra Black has been gambling since she was 6 years old.
Now she’s gambling on a future as a country music recording star, which looks bright after recording her debut album in Nashville.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Black is now on the road promoting her debut single, “Heart On Ice”, to radio stations.
“I immediately fell in love with it when I heard the first verse,” Black said of “Heart On Ice”, a song written back in 2002.
On the up-tempo country song, she sings: “Flying 90 miles an hour down a dusty road, pushing this thing to just see how fast this thing will go; engine hot enough to burn up the fuzzy dice; I better put my Heart On Ice.”
Black finds herself on her debut single preaching to the choir about “having to step back and cool off” when hot in love.
Black, who is 22, fondly remembers how her father sparked her love of country music at age 6 when he used to play guitar and sing Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash songs to her.
Sierra’s love of music didn’t just originate with her father though. Her grandmother was Babette DeCastro, one of the members in the trio, DeCastro Sisters, who were famous for their 1954 top Billboard hit “Teach me Tonight.”
Unfortunately, her grandmother never got the chance to hear Sierra sing because she passed away before Sierra was born in 1992.
WATCH: Sierra Black’s “Heart On Ice”
Sierra proudly wears her grandma’s necklace to keep her close to her. Interestingly enough, her grandmother provided the voices to the animals, including the butterflies, in Disney’s animated film Song of the South.
Sierra has been playing around with music ever since she can remember.
As a young girl, she would put on her own stage shows, alone, in her bedroom.
Fluent in Spanish, she could sing “El Paso” by heart by age 7.
She wrote her first song at the age of 12.
Her first break came when Keith Urban handpicked her out of 14,000 contestants to sing alongside him at a music festival.
“I wasn’t nervous meeting him or singing with him but the experience was surreal,” Black said of singing with Urban.
Chalking up her lack of nerves and comfort singing on stage to being an “old soul”, Black is determined to take the country scene like a dust storm.
And unlike many other young stars, Black actually has some chops in writing songs as well.
“I start with the title first and then the lyrics come to me,” Black said of her songwriting process that eventually leads to a melody.
With a bit of luck, Black eventually found herself in Nashville working with Grammy award winning producers Michael Omartian (who has worked with Donna Summer and Trisha Yearwood) and Tom Hemby (who has worked with Faith Hill and Bebe & Cece Winans).
She was recruited from Vegas after someone at one of her live shows caught wind of her voice. One thing led to another, and she was flown out to Nashville for back-to-back meetings with the producers.
“It’s been a bit of talent and luck and being in the right place at the right time,” Black said of the events that’s led to her rise.
Black’s promotional single, “Casino”, was her first release to iTunes and will also be featured on her debut album.
Lyrically, the song is a metaphor for love where Black says, “Sometimes you win in the game of love and sometimes you lose.”
On this ballad, she sings: “Like a coin I was tossed into a wishing fountain. I was only one of a 1,000 looking for a little fortune,” and further laments that her heart is like money a lover blows with “I was a card you were using and a trick that you were good at playing. Luck didn’t build up the Monte Carlo just like love never promised tomorrow.”
WATCH: Sierra Black sings “Casino”
Black describes her sound as “twang with a slap of gospel.“ Like a true Vegas Show Queen, she laughs, “you can never have enough rhinestones.” Hoping to have a show like Shania Twain in distant future, she is now hoping for a duet with Jason Aldean in the near future. She has already opened up for Joe Nichols and Uncle Kracker to name a few.
She is not hoping to hit the jackpot with slot machines but instead with her music. What is truly special about both of her songs, “Heart on Ice” and “Casino”, is that they do something that most songs in the music business fail to do. Both songs brilliantly forfeit a clunky bridge and offer a seamless melody to sing along to.
The music is already there. As long as she doesn’t forget her bedazzler at home, Sierra Black will surely be able to forge her own luck and have a long career in the business.
Sierra Black is on a radio tour promoting “Heart On Ice”. You can find it along with her promotional single, “Casino”, on iTunes. Look out for her self-titled debut album in the Spring. And don’t forget to request “Heart On Ice” on your local radio stations.
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By Lissette Calveiro
While others across the country are indulging in chilly weather and hues of red and green, Miami is getting ready to kick off one of the most exciting times of the year: Art Basel Miami Beach. More than 70,000 visitors, 267 galleries and 32 countries flock to sunny South Florida to celebrate creativity, innovation and the contemporary art.
If this is your first time in the city for this festival of expression, it may be a little overwhelming. Our advice is to grab tickets to the main show and sprinkle in a couple of off-site shows and local events. Grab a pen and your calendar and get started by exploring our picks below.
The Main Event
Art Basel Miami Beach is the sister fair to the original Art Basel, founded in Basel Switzerland in 1970. In Miami Beach, it capitalizes on the unique geographic and cultural conversion of both North America and Latin America. In 2013, an Art Basel stop was added in Hong Kong as the city is known as a gateway between East and West Cultures.
This year’s Miami Beach sioree is lead by Noah Horowitz, former head of NYC’s Armory Show. The 500,000 sq. ft. exhibition space is divided into nine sectors: Galleries, Nova, Positions, Edition, Kabinett, Survey, Public, Film and Magazines. Each sector allows visitors to navigate the fair and experience the many dimensions of modern and contemporary art.
To fully grasp the experience, make a day out of Art Basel alone. The Miami Beach Convention Center is equipped with two self-serve restaurants, five cafes, and an outdoor café across the street at the Botanical Gardens. Plus, there’s flowing Champagne to help you appreciate it that much more.
Art Basel Miami Beach takes place from December 3rd through the 6th in the Miami Beach Convention Center at 1901 Convention Center Drive, and various other locations. One-day tickets cost $47; permanent tickets cost $100. Buy them here.
Some of Art Basel’s best festivals and galleries are held off-site, so it’s best to attach a few of these to your schedule. These satellite shows orbit the main event and are hosted by locals and visitors alike. Explore our favorites below.
SCOPE returns to South Beach from December 2nd through the 6th with 120 exhibitors from 22 countries, plus several special sections. For a fourth year, the fair collabs with VH1 on a music series featuring up-and-coming artists. A special collaboration between Cricket Wireless and Carl Pascuzzi will feature a #SelfieVortex for those attending for the ‘gram. There’s also an invite-only party with recording artists Mack Wilds and Lil’ Dicky on Friday night at Nikki Beach, sponsored by SCOPE, VH1 and BMI.
Spectrum Miami is a contemporary art show conveniently located in the heart of Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District between Midtown and Downtown Miami. From December 2nd through the 6th, the celebration features an international slate of artists, galleries, music and entertainment. The 2015 theme explores the act of illumination and creativity emerging from the artist. Special programming includes Art Labs, Art Talks, Spotlight Artist and Launchpad Programs. Bonus: Thursday and Friday entrance is free.
PULSE Miami Beach returns to Indian Beach Park (4601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) starting with a big “Opening Celebration” at 4 p.m. on December 1st. The show features a panel discussion put together by Hyperallergic, an interactive piece by Kate Durbin called “Hello, Selfie!” and a live performance by Kalup Linzy. On December 5th, PULSE celebrates the City of Miami via a talk at 5 p.m. on “Future Visions of Miami” and a “Sunset Celebration” from 5 to 7 p.m. There’s a complimentary shuttle from the convention center, and the fair is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Saturday.
On the mainland, Wynwood Walls (2520 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami) has tons in store including “Walls of Change” with 14 new murals and installations and the debut of a new adjacent space called “The Wynwood Walls Garden.” The walls are by Case, Crash, Cryptik, el Seed, Erenest Zacharevic, Fafi, Hueman, INTI, The London Police, Logan Hicks and Ryan McGinness. Over in the “garden,” the Spanish art duo Pichi & Avo are doing a mural on stacked shipping containers and in the events space, Magnus Sodamin will be painting the floors and walls. The VIP opening is on December 1st in the early evening, but then it’s open to the public from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
INK Miami Art Fair celebrates their 10th anniversary and maintains their exclusive focus on printmaking and works on paper. They’re back in the Suites of Dorchester (1850 Collins Avenue, South Beach) from Wednesday, December 2nd, through Sunday. Highlights include a lithograph by Louis Lozowick called Subway Station, NYC (1936) at Susan Teller Gallery’s booth and A World in a Box (2015) by Mark Dion published by Graphicstudio/U.S.F.
Check out a full list of fairs and festivals at GMCVB.
You’ve heard it hundreds of times, Art Basel Miami Beach inspires a week of art galleries, exhibitions, design shows, music, entertainment, etc. That “etc.” represents the local restaurants and venues hosting celebratory soirees focused on art and what they already do best. For a first timer, these are a great way to enjoy the week of self-expression without the pressure of walking around art galleries trying to find the Picasso.
American Social Brickell (690 SW 1st Court) presents “The Art (Basel) of Craft Beer” all week featuring craft beer and food specials for the brew & foodie connoisseur. The Miami River celebration kicks off on Monday with $5 AmSo Burgers and $5 Local Florida Beers. Tuesday follows with $10 Chicken BLAT Sandwiches and $4 Craft Beers on tap. Wynwood Wednesday rolls in with $5 JWB 24th Brown, LaRubia and Concrete Beach Rica. The grand finale on Thursday offers $4 local craft beers all day, ladies’ drink specials and a pop-up art installation by Ray Fernandez.
Sip & Shop in Art Basel style at Batch Gastropub (30 SW 12th Street) on December 2nd from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The night of drinking and shopping features Instagram boutique brands including Lovestrung, M & CO and Luna Miami. The Glam Station, courtesy of 212 Beauty, lets ladies enjoy mini-manicures, make-up touch ups and a braid bar. If you want to add a little bit of art to your own body, The Henna Touch will share their talents and provide gratis henna designs. Wine and Whiskey Specials take center stage all night, as well as $5 Jim beam, $6 Jameson and $20 Bottomless Sangria and Sparking Wine. An RSVP will get you a complimentary drink so you’re ready to trek through the rest of your evening programming.
YogArt returns for their 5th anniversary for a series of 3 yoga sessions taking place at Wynwood Walls during the hustle and bustle of Art Basel weekend. Presented by Cavicchioli and sponsored by The Sacred Space Miami and jugofresh, the sessions take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each session is an hour long, followed by healthy bites and sips. Led by Dawn B. Feinberg, the Friday evening and weekend morning classes will have live music by DJ Drez, The Mayapuris, and Marti Nikko. It’s the perfect way to experience Wynwood Walls’ newest installation, Walls of Change, which adds 14 new murals created by globally acclaimed street artists. Tickets for YogArt Basel at the Wynwood Walls are $35 per session and are available online in advance, as well as on-site the day of the event. Mats will be provided but are limited. A portion of the proceeds generated from YogArt ticket sales go to support local Design District Miami-Dade Magnet High School, DASH.
The stylish Viceroy Miami (485 Brickell Avenue) hotel invites Basel-goers to its signature restaurant, 15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar, for a special brunch showcasing masterpieces by Duaív, an accomplished painter and classically trained musician whose immigration to the United States was sponsored by Yo-Yo Ma. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday of Art Basel Weekend, visitors can admire the artist’s uplifting work presented on (4) floor-to-ceiling columns in 15th & Vine, while savoring à la carte brunch favorites including blueberry-lemon pancakes, black beans ranchero, grilled flatbreads, gulf shrimp tacos and other chef specialties. Guests also can pair brunch with $15 unlimited mimosas or Bloody Mary cocktails and bask in a view of Biscayne Bay. Their swanky rooftop nightclub, FIFTY Ultra Lounge, later hosts an Art Basel after-party offering panoramic views of the Magic City and a rotating roster of internationally renowned DJs.
Absolut’s handcrafted luxury vodka, Elyx, and non-profit organization Water For People, are celebrating their five year partnership on the opening night of Art Basel at the exclusive art-deco Delano Hotel in South Beach (1685 Collins Avenue) on Thursday, December 3rd. A cadre of leaders and influencers will co-host the event featuring bites, cocktails and special performances throughout the evening. During the event, guests will have the opportunity to view a sculpture created by artist Antony Gormley, which will be sold to raise funds for Water for People. The charity event is limited to VIPs, but we’ve scored a pair of tickets exclusive to Rise News readers. Open to public, Elyx’s new pop-up water truck and copper pineapple boutique will conclude its three city tour in Miami’s Collins Avenue during Art Basel.
For more pop-up parties and local events, read a guide by Racked Miami.
To help alleviate the likely traffic jams from Miami to Miami Beach, the two cities have joined forces to provide alternative travel options including a free Shuttle Service, new trolley routes, a water taxi and special Uber Yacht service. Verify prices and routes at MiamiHerald.com.
A stroll through South Beach, Midtown and Downtown through the week is enough to show that Art Basel Miami Beach brings the world of art, music, food, culture and innovation together for an unparalleled experience of surprise and delight. Let us know where you will go in the comments below.
Cover Photo Credit: Philipp Meier/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 541
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