It’s taken singer-songwriter Jeffrey Osborne 30 years to finally release the album he’s always wanted to record, ever since impacting the 1980’s R&B charts. With A Time for Love, Osborne reunites with producer George Duke for a set of covers featuring jazz and pop standards.
“When I was actually hot and selling records they [record labels] only wanted original material,” he says. “So I had to wait for a point where my career slowed down to do what I want to do. I feel more comfortable singing this than what made me popular and it’s my favorite record I’ve ever done.”
While Osborne may no longer consider himself a “hot” music artist, he is fully embracing a new chapter of his career. It is a time marked by wisdom and proven longevity that finally allows him to balance career and loved ones. “I’m at a point in my career where demand is not what it used to be and I can pick and choose what I want. The older you get the more you appreciate what’s around you. So I try to spend more time with my family and it’s the best of both worlds.”
Actress Janet Hubert—the original Vivian Banks on the hit sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—is also embarking upon a new phase of her career after dealing with an undisclosed health issue and the passing of several loved ones.
“Many things happen as you get older. I have been dealing with quite a few things like health issues and deaths that have taken place including my mom, dad, two brothers, my horse and my dear musical director,” she says. “I was gonna give up.”
Yet Hubert has done exactly the opposite of relinquishing her goals in life. She is currently touring her one-woman show, From Broadway To TV: Now Back To Me, hosting town hall discussions on relevant social topics and pursuing her new dream of writing. “I found that if God takes way one thing and I’m not feeling well I can write. My imagination still works and my dream would be to produce and write for television. At 57 you can still dream.”
Envisioning a world without disease is something that international HIV/AIDS activist and humanitarian, Hydeia Broadbent holds close to her heart. Unfortunately we are far from that point and to remind us of the continuing fight is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day this Thursday February 7th. Broadbent helped us identify a few must-see documentaries that she believes can further educate youth concerning HIV/AIDS. Her picks include, ESPN: The Announcement that chronicled Magic Johnson's revelation that he was HIV positive in 1991 and MTV’s I'm Positive, which follows the lives of three individuals living with HIV/AIDS. While these pieces are important, Broadbent notes that there needs to be more content developed to reach youth through media and the arts. “There isn't that much for young people to turn to that is influential in discussing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. That's one of the biggest problems,” she notes. “It's not talked about to the point that people forget that it exists.”
Broadbent continues to do her part to remind people of the disease through her tireless work including a recent partnership with HIV/AIDS organization, Until There's A Cure. When customers enter "Hydeia Broadbent" here as the partner that referred them to the site, a portion of the proceeds of every sale will go to help fund Broadbent’s initiatives.
New projects are also on the agenda for a host of others including international superstar Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio. The two have partnered with the Nederlander Organization to create a new Broadway show inspired by their music and life story. More details will be announced soon. Let’s just hope that the musical will include Gloria’s chart-topping hit songs Conga, The Rhythm is Going To Get You and 1, 2, 3.
You may want to count your coins and consider contributing to an exciting new art project by Harlem based artist, Dianne Smith. Organic Abstracts is an exhibition by the West Harlem Art Fund in partnership with the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and the City of New York Parks & Recreation department for Armory Week 2013. It will be the first contemporary art installation on the mansion’s grounds and you can be part of the history here.
From Osborne’s reinvention to history making public art projects, this is the week of manifesting one’s dreams.
The Harlem Arts Alliance is a not for profit arts service organization celebrating 10 years of service to a prestigious list of members such as the Apollo Theater, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Columbia University, Harlem Stage (Aaron Davis Hall) and over 850 more cultural/arts institutions and individuals. The weekly column, Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture and entertainment scene in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company, Souleo Enterprises, LLC.