Maybe it’s too heavy to say that Zack Feinberg was destined to play guitar, destined to touch people with his music, and destined to help the wave of up-and-coming musicians following his lead to do the same. Then again, if you look back at Zack’s path to rock stardom, “destined” is probably the only worthwhile way to describe it all. Take for example, these two moments Zack shared during his interview: the time his dad took him to a Buddy Guy concert and Buddy, after feeling Zack’s fingertips to see if he played guitar, gave Zack his guitar pick; or the moment an aimless bike ride led Zack to the street where David Shaw, who’d recently moved to New Orleans, was playing his guitar and singing to the neighborhood. For the uninitiated, Zack and Dave went on to found the band The Revivalists, which has had a helluva year, after performing at Austin City Limits, Summer Stage in Central Park, and appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, and The Ellen Show. It’s no wonder that they’re the guys responsible for the song Julia Roberts--yea, that Julia Roberts--has on repeat right now (“Wish I Knew You”). Trey and Quest’s interview of Zack guarantees to entertain everyone from Revheads to the few of you who’ve already started reviewing Google hits to catch up...
The Revivalists most recent album, Men Amongst Mountains, is available for download on iTunes and also streaming everywhere. And, if you want a front row seat to watch the rocket ship continue to rise, follow along at www.therevivalists.com and IG: @therevivalists
Frank Relle is no stranger to adventure. As will become obvious as you listen to Frank’s interview, he is so well acquainted because he finds comfort in the face of risks others seek to avoid. For example, after reading a book about sailing the open seas for little to no money (and no experience sailing), Frank headed to the docks and talked his way onto a boat leaving that day, only to find out mid-trip that no one on the boat had any significant sailing experience. The story of Frank’s days at sea is one of many. It is no surprise then that when Frank took up photography in earnest, the project that first brought him acclaim required him to move about in post-Katrina New Orleans in the darkest hours of the night. It should also be no surprise that as a result of Frank’s unique combination of guts and creative genius his work has been featured in The Smithsonian Museum of American History, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and in the private collections of Wynton Marsalis, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Brees, Sheryl Crow and Kanye West. Nowadays, if Frank is not at his gallery in the French Quarter (910 Royal Street), he’s probably waist deep in the swamps of Southeast Louisiana, competing with gators for turf as he sets up his camera to shoot for his current project, “Until the Water.”
Until you can make it to Royal Street, you can check out Frank’s work at www.frankrelle.com, on IG @frankrelle, and Facebook at Frank Relle Photography.
Quest has a long history with the Island of Puerto Rico. He spent years investigating and trying narcotics and public corruption cases there. And since that time, has continued to visit friends on the island. When Hurricane Maria hit the island, he felt an increasing push to go down to the island and help out in whatever way possible. As is usually the case, when Trey and Quest put their heads together, an ambitious plan was formed. With the support of the Truest Adventure network, Trey and Quest were able to raise more than $7,000 and deliver more than 3,400 gallons of water to multiple remote neighborhoods in Puerto Rico.
Download this episode to hear Quest’s recap of the trip.
Raised as a “studio brat” it’s no wonder Maya Taylor became a highly sought after choreographer and dancer. But, it took years of practicing six hours a day, dance camps during the summer, and attending the prestigious Ailey School at Fordham before Maya was able to start living her dream of dancing professionally. Even with those stripes earned, Maya still paid more dues. For three years after graduating from Fordham, she danced and traveled with Elisa Monte Dance. When Maya’s mother became unexpectedly ill, Maya postponed her pursuit of a vaunted career as a dancer in New York and moved back to Omaha to help raise her younger sisters. The hardship of the move back to Omaha was silver lined with the opportunity to work as a choreographer, which was a career move Maya anticipated making much later in life. Ultimately, a chance meeting with the gentleman who later became Maya’s boyfriend turned her focus towards New Orleans. And, after two years of coaxing by the Crescent City, Maya made the move down south and built herself up as a premiere choreographer in the city. Just a few highlights from Maya's career include work on Solange’s Don’t Touch My Hair music video; features in the music videos of One Republic and Sweet Crude; and choreographing season one of the TNT drama Claws.
Rutina Wesley was born in Las Vegas and raised with a diverse group of friends and peers. Like many serious young thespians, leading up to high school graduation, she dreamed of Juilliard. But, as she puts it: the universe knew she wasn’t ready yet. With matriculation to her dream school postponed, she headed east to the University of Evansville in Indiana to take advantage of the school’s excellent theatre program. After she graduated from college, it seemed that fate met her at the other side of the graduation stage. From there she attended Juilliard; acted on Broadway; starred in the major motion picture How She Move; and starred in the HBO series True Blood. And now, she stars in Queen Sugar, the hottest show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (“OWN”). If you ever doubted #blackgirlmagic, Rutina Wesley will make you believe.
As Barbara Morgan explains, communications/public affairs specialists are storytellers, because they help politicians craft messages that are relatable to the intended audience, whether that’s the public at large, constituents, or other politicians. Initially, Barbara, or “Bea” (pronounced “Bee”) as many of her friends call her, found her way into the field, after reading a moving news article about then-Chancellor of the New York Department of Education Joel Klein’s solutions oriented response to a recent tragedy. After that spark, Bea spent years paying her dues by working in the administrations of then-Mayor Bloomberg, then-Mayor Cory Booker, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. In 2013, Bea took on what would likely be the greatest challenge of her career: spearheading the effort to remake the image of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who previously resigned from office amidst scandal, yet sought to run for Mayor of New York. Thanks in large part to the work of Bea and her public relations team, Mr. Weiner began to gain momentum in the polls--that is until he thrusted himself, his family, and his campaign back into chaos.
Download this episode to hear all about Bea’s incredible career.
Also, you can find Bea on Twitter and Instagram @BarbaraKMorgan.
When +Aziz was a kid in Kuwait, he would stay up until the early hours of the morning to watch music videos on MTV and make VHS recordings of his favorites--that was the seed. After moving to the U.S., he spent some time in New York, working in marketing and brand strategy to pay the bills, and writing and singing songs to water that seed. Around 2014, +Aziz left New York and moved to New Orleans with a mission: to form a band to manifest the beautiful music he’d heard in his head for years. The band, Kuwaisiana, with +Aziz as front man, singing in English and Arabic, plays a unique blend of alt-country, cajun rock, and world music.
You can find Kuwaisiana on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kuwaisiana/); Bandcamp (https://kuwaisiana.bandcamp.com); or stay up-to-date on the band’s forthcoming album at https://plusaziz.tumblr.com.
When Hurricane Katrina devastated the City of New Orleans, C. Beau Hoffacker was a rookie officer with the New Orleans Police Department (“NOPD”). Twelve years later, Beau is a detective and sharpshooter assigned to a specialized unit with the NOPD. And, for the past several years, Beau, who paints under the moniker “Von Hoffacker,” has used art to cope with the gravity of all that he’s seen in his career. With the gritty streets of New Orleans as his muse, Von Hoffacker has sought to provoke thought, but also courted controversy. A few of Von Hoffacker’s notable works include a mosaic of Telly Hankton, a well known New Orleans gangster, made of 40,000 bullet casings; painted portraits of 150 panhandlers, which he painted on the back of their signs; and paintings of AK-47s draped with Mardi Gras beads.
To check out Von Hoffacker’s work go to http://www.graphitenola.com/charles-hoffacker.html or go to Treo, 3835 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA to see the Telly Hankton piece in person.
We kick off Season 2 with Thomas Máthé, the son of Hungarian immigrants who developed twin passions for writing and recipes at a young age, when he would make his own comics and learn how to make traditional Hungarian dishes from his mom. Ultimately, Tom shifted from comic books to working on his first novel and applied his aptitude for recipes to mixing craft cocktails. Now, Tom is one of the premiere mixologist in the country, having created one-off, craft cocktails for NPR and multiple bars in New York. And, Tom is writing a fiction trilogy.
To learn more about Tom’s writing and craft cocktails visit his website: http://www.thomasmathe.com.
We're really close to launching Season 2 of The Truest Adventure podcast, but to tide y'all over this week, we're sharing an episode of one of our favorite up-and-coming shows: The No Blueprint Podcast.
The hosts Yoshiko and Domo interview Seattle-based cultural ambassadors about their influences, successes, and failures, among other things. In this episode, they interview Luis Ortega, an entrepreneur, public speaker, social impact consultant, and the director and founder of Storytellers For Change (IG: @stories4change). For over a decade, Luis has traveled across the nation to share his personal narrative and message about the power of story-telling and story-listening to generate empathy, promote inclusion, and inspire action.
You can download more episodes of No Blueprint Podcast on iTunes or Podomatic; follow the show on IG @noblueprintpodcast and Facebook at No Blueprint Podcast; and check out the show's website at www.noblueprintpodcast.com