Mary Nelson’s Youth Day Barbecue

This year, Elks Marching Band receive special donation Mary Nelson made a small change Saturday to her 13th annual Youth Day Barbecue. While the event had been completely free in the past, this year she asked each family to donate $1. Since it began, the event has provided South Side students with free backpacks and school supplies. Her event this ... Read More »

Beyond The Dream

Q&A with Mary Nelson on Her Annual Event The Stand: Is there any additional information about the event that you would like readers to know?   Mary Nelson: It is a community event that is family oriented. I encourage all families to come. I am creating an environment where everyone is paying it forward and getting it back. We are ... Read More »

Red Ribbon Week

National contest targets 10 regions across the U.S. The National Family Partnership (NFP) announces the national contest for its 27th annual Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31. Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. In 1985 after the murder of a DEA agent, parents, youth and teachers in communities across the country began wearing ... Read More »

Soul Mine

At First Sight: How does an average-looking band pull people of all ages to dance to ’60s through ’80s tunes in puddles of water? Play it loud. Sing it out. Dance on stage as if the decade’s greatest hits were being sung for the very first time. The Sound: Well, if fun was a sound, it would definitely be Soul ... Read More »

One Nation

At First Glance: The mic, in a sonic wail, gave out feedback. The band’s front man is not intimidated. He looks out at the patchy-filled seats and laughs. After about two songs, he makes an announcement, “Hello everybody. My name is Eric ‘Love’ Jones and I … am a fool.” Contagious laughter trickles through the tent. Not even a verse ... Read More »

Michael and Anjela Lynn

At First Glance: Maxwell’s “ascension” begins and a hearty bodied alto voice purrs around Michael Houston’s perfect high note as it resonates throughout the entire Pan-African Village. The range on this duo is unexpected with Anjela humming low lows to big-voiced Adele alto ranges and Michael singing Barry White “Ecstacy” to Maxwell super falsetto’s in nearly equal strength. More than ... Read More »

Jesse Sgambati

At First Sight: This is a solo act. Sgambati is a 15-year-old Manlius Pebble Hill rising junior strumming his way toward hopes of Berklee College of Music citing inspirations like Jana Kramer, Mumford and Sons or Augustana. At first sight, the audience simply sees a kid on stage and thinks, “hey, he sounds good.” After two or three songs, listeners ... Read More »


At First Glance: “Merge,” a six to eight phrase melody developed and strummed into proving that middle register instruments can romance a solo without high register sounds or flares. Smooth yet oddly interesting with the flavor of a percussionist salting exotic shakers from around the world. Riffs, ticks and shakes add to deep melodic rhythms from quick witty original charms ... Read More »


At First Sound: D.Lyte sounds like the lyrical composition of Big Sean meets the treble of Tyga or a young Flo-Rida. D.Lytes content is, thankfully, not inundated with thug life and “I’ll take yo’ girl” cliches. It’s realistic: young, eligible up and coming braggadocio about the process of being a hot rapper without the profanities. The Band: This is a ... Read More »

C-Jack Run Revue

At First Sight: There are groups and groups of people squeezing under the Pan-African Village tent for one of two reasons: either they can’t hear the act that is on or they want a better view of the dancers in CJack’s variety showcase. Right of the tent is a line-up of dancers, singers, bands and collaborations mixed and huddled into ... Read More »