For Kenichi Ebina, the passion for dance began with one simple move: the running man.
Born in Japan, Ebina came to the United States at a young age. One night he wandered into a freshman dance on the college campus where he learned English.
“Everyone made a big circle on the floor, people started dancing in the circle and I was watching and I was shy,” Ebina said. “But there was a moment where it was like ‘OK, you’re next.”
So Ebina did "The Running Man," the only move in his arsenal, taught to him by a high school friend in Japan. When people cheered, the energy he felt in that moment propelled him into a lifelong passion. He didn’t realize until later that the audience was actually laughing at his outdated move, but fast forward to 2013 and Ebina, now 39, wins $1 million on "America’s Got Talent."
What Ebina does on stage is hard to define. His act is equal parts break dancing, technoand physical prowess, developed over years of exposure to the New York club scene and MTV.
“They call it dance, but I don’t call it dance,” Ebina said. “It’s a versatile performance, a multi-media performance.”
Although he never had formal training, Ebina took every chance he could to perform.
“I love the feedback and the energy during a performance. When people get loud and excited, the energy I can feel from the audience gives me a reason to live,” Ebina said. “Before that I didn’t have ambition or a dream. That feeling gave me a sense of identity, like ‘OK, I’m Kenichi, I’m alive. I’m here.’ ”
Despite the money, recognition and stream of talk show appearances, Ebina maintains a humbleness that even winning the largest talent contest in the country couldn’t tarnish.
“As a performer, I’m not that good. So many other performers are better than me,” Ebina said. “[When I …
“Ancient City Stories,” a lifestyle show produced entirely by students and alumni of Flagler College, will debut at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 on CW17, according to a press release from Flagler College. The show will continue on WCWJ — Jacksonville's CW network affiliate — at 7 p.m. Sundays for 52 weeks.
Students from Flagler College's Communication Department as well as arts and graphic design researched, interviewed, shot and edited the show.
The show will cover people, locations and events highlighting St. Augustine.
A live screening of the premiere episode will play 7 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Gamache-Koger Theater in the Ringhaver Student Center, 50 Sevilla St., in St. Augustine.
"'Ancient City Stories' is a fantastic opportunity for our students who consistently create broadcast quality work," said Josh Wallace, the college's FCTV station manager, according to the press release. "The students have put a lot of hard work in to get the show to the point it is at, and with the premier right around the corner, we are all very excited to see the fruits of our labor."
An introductory video can be found on http://www.ancientcitystories.com.
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville announced the selection of Kim Bergeron as its new executive director, according to a press release Oct. 1.
Bergeron is expected to start Nov. 1, replacing Robert Arleigh White, who retired after 13 years as executive director.
Bergeron was the director of Cultural and Public Affairs in Slidell, La. In November 2012, she chose to resign from her post rather than select one of two other employees to be laid off, according to a story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
In Slidell, Bergeron spearheaded fundraising efforts for programming and worked with the New Orleans Museum of Art to bring in exhibits that included art by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol, according to the Cultural Council.
Bergeron was the unanimous choice of a search committee made up of Cultural Council board members and community representatives.
"The committee was wowed by all Kim has achieved in her previous roles," Cultural Council board member Abel Harding said, according to the news release.
It might not feel like fall in Northeast Florida yet, but the fall arts season is in full swing. This is one busy weekend for visual arts, with several major openings.
New York painter Leslie Wayne’s exhibit of abstract art created by building layers of oil paint into 3-D compositions opens J. Johnson Gallery's season. You have never seen paintings like these. The paint is sculpted, scraped, cut and combined to create works evocative of geological and oceanographic forms.
Reception 6-8 p.m. Sept. 20, exhibit continues through Nov. 1
J. Johnson Gallery, 177 Fourth Ave. N., Jacksonville Beach
‘Abstraction Over Time: The Paintings of Michael Goldberg’
The Museum of Contemporary Arts Jacksonville mounts the first retrospective exhibit to encompass the entire span of Michael Goldberg's career. Goldberg was an abstract expressionist who discussed art and studied with Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. Goldberg died in 2008, but his wife, the artist Lynn Umlauf, will attend the opening.
Reception 6 p.m. Sept. 20 for patrons, 7-9 p.m. for members, exhibit Sept. 21-Jan. 5, 2014
Admission: Free for members, $10 for nonmembers
‘The Human Figure: Sculptures by Enzo Torcoletti’
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens celebrates the opening of the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Community Sculpture Garden & Plaza with its inaugural exhibit. Permanent sculptures in the new space include William Zorach’s bronze “Spirit of the Dance.” The completion of the Olmsted Garden restoration is celebrated with live music, art-making activities and demonstrations.
Sculpture Garden Ponce de León Society opening and donor recognition 6-8 p.m. Sept. 20
Sculpture Garden community opening 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 21
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave., …
Congratulations to Arthur Moss for winning our drawing for two free VIP tickets to Folio Weekly’s Oktoberfest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre Oct. 19. Moss was selected randomly from the readers who posted a perfect score in Folio Weekly’s Fall Arts Preview Quiz. Here are the answers to the quiz:
1. What year did The Beatles perform at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville?
2. What was the first song Michael Jackson and his brothers performed on the first night (July 21, 1984) of the Victory Tour in Jacksonville?
b. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”
3. Who was the judge who warned Elvis Presley to tone down his act after his first show at The Florida Theatre in 1956?
a. Marion Gooding
4. Who painted the jaguar mural on the Bostwick Building in Downtown Jacksonville in 1995?
d. Jim Draper
5. What was the name of the Egyptian exhibit that came to the Prime Osborn Convention Center in 1986?
b. “Ramses II: The Pharaoh in His Time”
6. What are the six colorful statues outside Veterans Memorial Arena called?
d. “Talking Continents”
7. The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville was founded in 1924 as what organization?
c. Jacksonville Fine Arts Society
8. What is the most performed show in the history of Alhambra Theatre & Dining?
b. “Christmas Carole”
9. What is the full name for CEAM, Flagler College’s museum?
d. Crisp-Ellert Art Museum
10. What was the first Broadway show Artist Series brought to Jacksonville?
“Toes in the water, ass in the sand. Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today.” These vacation-lauding lyrics have found their liquid counterpart in LandShark’s island-style lager. Anheuser-Busch partnered with the Zac Brown Band to offer a series of limited-edition cans and accompanying exclusive video with band members.
The first can was released in May, the second in June and the third on Aug. 5. The three specialty cans are themed after the Zac Brown Band’s experiences. The first can celebrates pre-show routines, specifically the band’s “Eat & Greet” events. At these pre-concert Southern feasts, the band invites fans to join them in eating fried chicken. Guitars adorn the second can, which pays homage to the band’s performance. The third can’s design centers on the band’s post-show celebration.
This is not the first collaboration between the Zac Brown Band and LandShark Lager; the two have worked together for three years. LandShark brand manager Michael Lourie explained the cans are just one aspect of the partnership in an email. LandShark Lager is also sponsoring the Southern Ground Music and Food Festivals, which will feature the Zac Brown Band as the main act. The two-day festivals will be held in Nashville at the end of September and Charleston in mid-October. The festivals will include Kenny Chesney and Willie Nelson in Nashville and Band of Horses in Charleston. LandShark Lager is also a sponsor of the Zac Brown Band’s 2013 tour.
The Atlanta-based country band, created and led by vocalist Zac Brown, formed in 2002. Widespread national attention came when the band re-recorded and released their single “Chicken Fried” in 2008. Since then, the band has charted 10 hit singles, produced multiple platinum selling albums and toured all over the world.
Although many of their lyrics praise slowing down and enjoying a laid-back Southern lifestyle, the band has not had much time to sink their toes …
University of North Florida sculpture professor Jenny Hager, musician and talent manager David “Brad” Lauretti, fine artist Joy Poulard-Leverette (aka Sister Feathertoe) and Neptune Beach playwright Ian Mairs were selected as inaugural Spark Grant recipients.
A privately raised pool of $61,000 will be split among the four projects to be implemented Oct. 1, 2013-Sept. 30, 2014, in the Spark District, according to a press release from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
Hager’s project, “Art in Public Places,” will seek outdoor sculptures for lending from a national call to artists.
Lauretti’s “Jacksonville Songwriters’ Residency” program is designed to attract songwriters to live and perform in the Spark District — from Northbank Riverwalk to Duval Street, bordered on east and west by Liberty and Hogan streets.
Leverette’s “The Looking Lab: Art in Empty Storefronts” will use four downtown storefronts to feature art of various disciplines.
Mairs’ “Swamp Radio Jax” — a quarterly variety show of local art, culture and history — will broadcast live within the Spark District.
The grant recipients were selected in a process involving art and community leaders, the city of Jacksonville’s Art in Public Places Committee and the Cultural Council’s Board of Directors.
“Oh, my wandering eyes, nothing’s gonna take me by surprise I know, nothings gonna take me by surprise,” Kelsey Kopecky and Gabe Simon sing.
Starting with a bang, this “family” band consists of Kelsey Joy Kopecky (vocals, keyboard, bass), Gabe Simon (vocals, guitar, horns), Steven Holmes (guitar, lap steel guitar), David Krohn (drums), Markus Midkiff (cello, guitar, keyboards), and Corey Oxendine (bass, guitar, horns).
“Kids Raising Kids” is the band’s first full-length album after releasing three EPs — “Embraces,” “The Disaster” and “Of Epic Proportions,” between 2008 and 2010.
“Kids Raising Kids” opens up with “Wandering Eyes” as Kopecky and Simon catch your attention right away after a catchy guitar riff leads into their vocals.
Incorporating simple sounds like snapping fingers and whistling gives the band a down to earth feeling as “Heartbeat” opens with fingers snapping to an upbeat rhythm.
“I don’t know, no I don’t know what I can do for you,” Kopecky and Simon sing as clapping comes into the song.
All the sounds come together as the song continues with the full band jamming by the chorus.
Heavy drums begin “My Way,” as a softer guitar and keyboard comes in to join Kopecky’s gentle voice rolling on the beat.
The song picks up for the chorus however as Simon’s voice reaches its high pitch tone, singing “Why can’t you see it my way!” That's something reminiscent of the lead singer of indie pop band fun.
A smooth guitar riff starts “Are You Listening” as whistling is incorporated into the mix that will have you whistling along.
“Don’t be shy now my father said, if you’re honest, no one will complain or ask you are you listening,” Kopecky and Simon sing.
“Glow” begins in a similar fashion with a simple riff and gentle lyrics as the pace picks up toward the chorus.
The band shows its emotional side as “Change” is the halfway point of the …
Our special Fall Arts Preview issue comes out on Sept. 4. The season brings music, dance, theater, visual arts and more. To have your event considered for the preview, send the name of your event, the venue, its complete address, show dates and times, ticket prices, phone number, website, photos (with cutline and photo credit information) and contact information (phone number and email), in case we have any questions, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 5.
An art project that traveled from China, via Australia, to the West Coast of the U.S., has arrived in Jacksonville.
Collector Mike Cavendish acquired "The Unauthorized Collection of John Kaldor," which centers on a room-sized installation. The project was then transported to Jacksonville by artist David De Boer along with filmmaker Aaron Giesel, who chronicled the journey.
“It allowed them to have all these happenings with different Americans everyday,” Cavendish said. “They had a pop-up exhibition in Chicago. It was about a process of allowing a special work of art to pass through for all to see.”
Cavendish is a downtown attorney at Gunster Jacksonville and was thrilled to have these two artists, De Boer and Giesel, both of Southern California, spend 3 days in the city and meet with the art community.
The work was commissioned by FELT Space, a gallery in Australia, and created in China. De Boer wanted Kaldor’s collection to be made piece for piece in the same place Kaldor made his fortune.
The art project is considered to consist of three essential parts that made the process special — the installation, the journey and the film — Cavendish said.
“It’s the first time this has been done anywhere in the world,” Cavendish said. “Kaldor had a collection of world-class contemporary art he paid for by doing trade between China and Australia. It is provocative, highly original and was met with a great reception in Australia.”
Cavendish says that the installation confronts the way that the art market is aligning itself with the billionaires or the one-tenth of the 1 percent, taking art away from the masses.
De Boer’s work challenges that ideal by taking a highly renowned collector’s pieces and duplicating them.
Cavendish hopes to have the installation put up around Jacksonville to help promote Jacksonville as the next art hub, similar to Brooklyn or …