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Remembrances of the Clit Club

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The first time I tried to enter the Clit Club, I didn't even make it inside. A beautiful young lady picked me up right there at the entrance, and took me back to her apartment. A few weeks later when I actually made it all the way inside, I saw that the atmosphere was highly sexualized. Topless dancers shook their stuff on the stage, on top of the bar, and on various elevated platforms. When I ventured downstairs, women were dancing, grinding, making out and making love in dark corners. Hostesses Julie Tolentino (made famous by the photo montage with her partner Alistair and Madonna in the book Sex ) and Jocelyn Taylor (aka Jaguar Mary) gave birth to the infamous party in the Meatpacking District, where celebrities including Debbie Harry and Madonna were often spotted. Photographer Lola Flash was behind the bar, and often displayed slides of her photographs on the walls. There was usually a line of people waiting to get in, and the dancefloor was normally so packed that we could ha

On This Day: April 5th, 2021

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Today, on the anniversary of my New York Recital Debut at Lincoln Center, I am celebrating the news that my first book of memoirs is a finalist for a 2021 Lambda Literary Award. While in the throes of writing and editing this work, I never imagined that my story of struggle as a concert pianist - who is also a woman and an African American - would be singled out for such an honor. It has renewed my faith and encouraged me to put more of my stories on paper. Celebrated women concert pianists are few and far between. I am reminded of a certain female pianist who has enjoyed much fame and success, who started out in her career as the wife of a famous orchestral conductor. As marriage to a man was out of the question for me, I missed out on some of the perks that a wife enjoys. I never knew how to flirt with conductors or concert agents to secure contracts, as many of my white female heterosexual colleagues were able to do. In addition to bearing the burden of being a female without male s

Nina Kennedy's "Practicing for Love: A Memoir" is Nominated for 2021 Lambda Literary Award

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  On March 15th, the Associated Press announced the finalists for the 2021 Lambda Literary Awards. Practicing for Love: A Memoir by Nina Kennedy is nominated in the Lesbian Memoir/Biography category. Kennedy is the only African-American author nominated in this category. Lambda Literary has championed LGBTQ books and authors f or over 30 years. To quote their website : " We believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published, and read." The announcement of the finalists as reported by the Associated Press  has appeared in Publishers Weekly , Kirkus Book Reviews , NYU Press, among other publications. Meshell Ndegeocello Finalists and winners will be celebrated in a virtual award ceremony on Monday, June 1st, 2021, which will feature a performance by  Meshell Ndegeocello , along with other guests. Nina Kennedy is a world-renowned conce

Bill Egan on "The Noshing with Nina Show"

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  Nina Kennedy and Bill Egan Bill Egan, author of the new book  African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: A History, 1788-1941 , is our special guest on this month's episode of  The Noshing with Nina Show . Filmed while he was in New York on his way to the Duke Ellington International Study Group Conference in Washington, D.C. - which was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic - Bill sat down with us in the lobby of the Empire Hotel near Lincoln Center to discuss his book. Bill shared with us his enthusiasm for Broadway star Florence Mills, and how his research on her life eventually led to further research on other African American performers who came to Australia and New Zealand in the 19th century and beyond. We first came in contact with Egan when he responded to host Nina Kennedy 's  blog on pianist Leota Henson , who traveled to Australia as piano accompanist for Frederick Loudin's Fisk Jubilee Singers. He even requested permission to publish the

"The Noshing with Nina Show" Nominated for 2020 B Free Award

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The 7th annual B Free Awards were held last Saturday in a Virtual/ Zoom format presented by BRIC Arts Media. Last year, the B Free Awards took place in May, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's awards ceremony was postponed to October. Also in 2019, The Noshing with Nina Show 's producer April Gibson was nominated as best director in the First Amendment category. The episode on "The People's State of the Union" and our coverage of "The Poetic Address to the Nation" won the award. April Gibson accepting her B Free Award in 2019 This year, the episode with special guest Kimberly Nichole was nominated in the B Harmonious category. Kimberly Nichole, also known as "The Rock Ballerina," was the star of NBC's The Voice for several episodes. Her voice incorporates the elements of soaring gospel and R&B, over a distinctive foundation of Rock & Roll. Kimberly came into the studio for an hour-long interview, and even gave us an impro

"Practicing for Love" - A Review by Michelle Veras

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  Practicing for Love  - A Review By Michelle Veras September 28, 2020 Practicing for Love , Nina Kennedy’s recently published memoir, is a beautiful chronicle of the author’s childhood, lifelong passion for music, and her journey from Tennessee to New York City, and eventually, across the globe. The text is an intimate glimpse into Kennedy’s early life as a child prodigy, and later, her career as an internationally acclaimed classical pianist. Along the way, Kennedy confronts the complex and interconnected realities of racism, sexism, and homophobia.  The only child of musician parents, Ms. Kennedy spent her childhood immersed in the world of classical music. The author recounts her experiences traveling to performances with her parents, sitting in on the classes they taught at Fisk University, and the countless hours she spent practicing at the piano. For those of us with fairly limited knowledge of classical music, Kennedy’s memoir lays bare her conflicted feelings about her choice

What People are Saying About The Anne Gamble Kennedy 100th Birthday Celebration/Virtual Exhibit

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"Congratulations to you for the excellent exhibit you produced in honor and memory of your dear mother ANNE GAMBLE KENNEDY in celebration of her 100th Birthday. What a superbly well-documented work of art it is, indeed! Thank you for your invitation to attend this memorable event."  - Richard M. Turner III, Chair of the Music Department, Fisk University, 1968-1971 "It was a pleasure to participate in this Celebration!...I really enjoyed the presentation, and also purchased it...Congratulations, Nina, on an outstanding job!...I'm sure your parents would be proud of you."  - Leah Travillion Rollins, singer/songwriter, former student of Anne Gamble Kennedy "Just watched my copy of the video on the life of your mom, Anne Gamble! Bravo Nina, what a fascinating woman. You did some great storytelling. I hope many people will see and enjoy a jewel that was kept in the box for so long. Anne Gamble Kennedy! xoxoxo"  - George Cooper, pianist, founder, Ella Sheppa

"The Noshing with Nina Show" in Vienna, Austria!

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TNWNS host Nina Kennedy Nina Kennedy, in her role as concert pianist, hosts this special episode of The Noshing with Nina Show in Vienna, Austria, where she was invited to film a music video. In the show we witness her visits to one of the oldest cathedrals in Central Europe, the summer palace of the Austro-Hungarian emperors, and the Vienna State Opera House. In the Royal Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace Nina interviews the manager of the showroom for the Austrian piano maker Bösendorfer , who shows us the pianos owned by Oscar Peterson, Leonard Bernstein, and Michael Jackson. Nina performs on the Imperial Grand owned by these three artists. With Bösendorfer showroom manager Vladimir Bulzan We hear much glorious music in this episode, including clips from Mozart's final opera The Magic Flute , Schumann's "Widmung" which Nina recorded for the music video, and of course the famous waltz by Johann Strauss, "The Blue Danube." During one magical clip filmed inside

Looking Back on 2019

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2019 has been a banner year for INFEMNITY Productions and  The Noshing with Nina Show (TNWNS) . The year began with the broadcast of our recap of “The People’s State of the Union” in January. For Black History Month we broadcast the first of a two-part series on the award-winning documentary film  Matthew Kennedy: One Man’s Journey , produced and directed by host Nina Kennedy. In March, the Rock Ballerina Kimberly Nichole was our special guest on  TNWNS . Kimberly is most recognized for her amazing performance of “House of the Rising Sun” on NBC’s  The Voice . Nina Kennedy directing the Fisk Jubilee Singers Also in March, the Fisk Jubilee Singers performed at Carnegie Hall under sponsorship of the H.T. Burleigh Society, and Nina was asked to participate in a panel discussion with the descendants of Ella Sheppard, Harry Burleigh, J. Rosamond Johnson, W.C. Handy and Bob Cole  on the legacies of famous African American musicians. After that panel di

"Practicing for Love" Versus Mary Trump, John Bolton, Michael Cohen, et al

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I couldn't care less about Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, John Bolton, et al. Trump's niece, Mary, writes a book on her uncle, and hundreds of thousands of books are ordered before its release. John Bolton has a best-seller out, and he chose to make money instead of testifying before Congress. Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen wants to write a book, but Trump sent him back to prison for refusing to sign a statement saying that he would not write a book. Convicted felon Roger Stone is talking about writing a book, and is free to do so since Trump commuted his sentence. All of it is disgusting to me. Trump has murdered well over a hundred thousand Americans via his incompetence, denial, and self-absorption. Yet nothing seems to happen to the bad guys. Meanwhile, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain, et al are still dead - killed by police for being black. The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Ella Sheppard seated at the keyboard

A Conversation with "Blue White and Red" Stars Nina Kennedy and Nejma Nefertiti

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Juneteenth 2020 marked the world premiere of a music video for the single "Blue White and Red"  starring lyricist/rapper Nejma Nefertiti  and pianist Nina Kennedy . An INFEMNITY Production , the video was filmed and edited by April Gibson . INFEMNITY:  Tell us how "Blue White and Red" happened. Nina Kennedy Nina Kennedy: The first step was that April's nephew Mike Gutta  [owner of Ryan Premier1989 LLC] sent us some beats to choose from. I listened to them and thought about which pieces in my classical repertoire would fit well around the beat. I decided on the opening of the Grieg Concerto since the mood is a bit defiant yet melancholic. I knew I'd have to slow it down for a track that kids could dance to, so I recorded the solo over Mike's beats. Then April put together a rough cut audio recording. She had the idea to aim for a Juneteenth launch, so we asked Nejma to write lyrics that would be appropriate for Juneteenth. We sent her what w

Will Alicia Keys Portray Philippa Schuyler?

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Philippa Schuyler Back in the 1930s there was a famous American pianist by the name of Philippa Schuyler. She was a child prodigy, and the daughter of a white mother and black father. Philippa's mother was an eccentric Texas heiress, and believed that her daughter would set the example for ending racism. She kept Philippa isolated. Hailed in the New York Times as "the Shirley Temple of American Negroes," Schuyler was performing public recitals and radio broadcasts by age four. In later life, Schuyler grew disillusioned with the racial and gender prejudice she encountered, particularly when performing in the United States, and much of her musical career was spent playing overseas. She fled to Latin America, where mixed races were more prevalent. She chose a voluntary exile of traveling and performing in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and Europe. She played at the inauguration of three successive presidents in Haiti. In Africa, she performed for variou