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More Than A Sign

Can you feel music without hearing it? Would you be able to follow the rhythm or the beat? Would you know what notes are high and low or what instruments are being played without hearing them?

These are the ideas that Amber Galloway Gallego uses to bring music interpretation to life. The long-time American Sign Language instructor has found a way to make sure that those who are hard of hearing or deaf never miss a beat.

Her skills went viral when someone posted this video of Gallego interpreting during Kendrick Lamar’s performance at Lollapalooza last year. Since then, she’s appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and been featured in numerous magazines, including Rolling Stone.

But Gallego says the fame is just a by-product of the awareness she’s trying to bring about the deaf community.  By the way, this is not your average sign language instructor. She covers every detail of the songs she interprets (dirty words included!).

Learn how Gallego got started, the process she goes through to customize every song she interprets, and why what she does bridges the gap between the deaf and the hearing. See it all below!

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A Taste of Angola in Houston

Houston is such an international city, and I love showcasing that diversity on “Is It Art, Yet?” That’s why I invited singer, songwriter and musician Vivalda Dula to perform on the show.

She hails from Angola and is now sharing her gift of music in the Bayou City on her album “Insanidade Mental” (Mental Insanity in Portuguese). Vivalda also plays a mean “Djembe” drum – watch the show below, and you’ll find this instrument actually has a pretty interesting background and meaning.

Her music combines soul with the influences of Africa – it’s hard to stay still while listening to it! Vivalda performed with her band consisting of MV-Robert, a classical guitarist and Tomas Gallego, a bass guitarist.

Aside from multiple appearances at international festivals around country and the world, releasing new music and producing/directing plays for Houston Community College, Vivalda is also actively involved with a special movement against child labor, sponsored by the International Labor Organization.

Learn more about this multi-cultural artist and how her music is spreading a powerful message.

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Scenes from the Set

What’s it like behind-the-scenes of a studio or on location? I’ll show you some of the spots I record shows, stand-ups, and interviews. Plus – see one of the finished products below: a promo for the fine-arts/education show I produce and host,  “Is It Art, Yet?”

The program airs on HCCTV, Fridays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m./p.m. and Saturdays at 5:30 pm.  HCCTV is available on Comcast Ch.19 and AT&T U-Verse Ch. 99.

Here are pictures from the set including in front of the green screen to record my show, The Hype, and the Houston Dynamo Adidas Store at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Enjoy!

 

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Dialogue Houston

From the set to the control room all in one hour! That’s what happened when I appeared as a guest on the weekly show “Dialogue Houston with Laurence Payne.” Every week, the community affairs program explores different issues in the city and surrounding areas and discusses topics such as civic engagement, Houston’s changing cultural and economic landscape and more. Guests have included Dr. Stephen Klineberg from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, pastors, Houston Community College representatives and now me!

I talked about life as a post-grad, the ever-changing multi-media industry and more. After the first segment, I returned to my regular role on the show as the technical director.

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When South Park Meets Sesame Street

 

I’ve mentioned before that I host a program called “Is It Art, Yet?” The show promotes fine arts by operating similar to a master class where the instructor helps the students refine their craft and break down a technique. I’ve recently added a co-host, Kathleen Knight (whom I like to call our resident fine-arts expert). She has over 40 years of experience in theater, music, and performance.

Our latest show spotlighted the musical, Avenue Q. This show is politically incorrect in that it says everything everyone else is afraid to and touches on some pretty sensitive topics such as racism and homosexuality. The Sesame Street comparison comes into play with the use of puppets, although in this case, the audience completely sees the puppeteers. The other similarity is with the character names Rod and Nicky (Bert and Ernie) and Trekkie Monster (Cookie Monster). The likeness ends there. Let’s just say, the show is not kid friendly, but I think that may make it more realistic.

To promote HCC’s upcoming performance, students from the musical were guests on the show.

Here are some pics from the set.

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5 Minute Harmonica Lesson

I’ve been incredibly busy this summer, so I haven’t updated the way I should be. But at least I’ve been busy, right?

One of the projects keeping me on my toes is a show that I host and co-produce called “Is  It Art, Yet?” The program focuses on breaking down a topic in fine arts (such as how to play the guitar, group-singing, modern dance, etc.) and my guest is usually a professor in fine arts and his/her students. “Is It Art, Yet?” is designed to be like a master’s class – it’s a complete environment for learning, especially on my part!

One of my recent guests was Michael “the Shankster” Shanks, a blues/jazz songwriter and musician. In the last segment of the show, Michael showed me how to play the harmonica (something I didn’t think I had the rhythm to learn!) Check out my blues debut below!