Reviews

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Chuck Gregory is the developer and webmaster for Party Digest.

He’s responsible for product reviews, and also occasionally posts events and other items for the Fort Lauderdale area where he lives with his wife Lorraine.

See more at http://partydigest.com/person/chuck-gregory/

DANCE TO UNITE presents 5th Annual Benefit: Lead the Way

Tuesday, May 15 at 6:30 PM to Tuesday, May 15 at 9:00 PM
Manny Cantor Center

DANCE TO UNITE
presents
5th Annual Benefit: Lead the Way
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 6:30pm
Manny Cantor Center

Dance to Unite presents the 5th Annual Benefit: Lead the Way on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 6:30pm, featuring a dance performance from Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, at the Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway, NYC. Tickets are $150 and are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lead-the-way-dance-to-unites-5th-annual-benefit-tickets-43849071754.

Join the Dance to Unite Board, Host Committee, Guests, and Volunteer Teachers for an unforgettable evening of performances, wine reception, passed hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, music and mingling to celebrate dance and diversity in New York City. The evening will include a performance by Dance to Unite students from PS64 and Emmy Award-winning journalist Susan Farkas presents a mini-documentary. All proceeds support Dance to Unite’s critical work in offering free multicultural, dance classes to inner-city public school kids in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Chinatown, Chelsea, East Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

This year, Dance to Unite proudly honors Allen Kovac, CEO and President of 10th Street Entertainment, one of the world’s leading music management companies. He will be joined by featured speaker, Igal Perry, Artistic Director of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and founder of Peridance, named one of the best dance schools by Time Out Magazine.

ALLEN KOVAC
CEO/Founder, Tenth Street Entertainment/The Eleven Seven Music Group
In his more than four-decade-long career in the music business, Allen Kovac has been an independent maverick and entrepreneur, a pioneering, self-taught executive who not only predicted music industry trends, but put them into practice. At his core, though, the record company management firm/music publisher founder is at heart an artist advocate, one who makes sure to maximize that talent through creative marketing, promotion and a big data-based approach. As a leading voice in the indie community, Kovac is involved as a committee member for A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) and has been instrumental in working with international trade organization Merlin to improve relations with the major streaming services.

Born in Israel to Holocaust survivor parents who fought in the country war for independence in 1948, Kovac moved with his family to Houston at three, revealing his business skills when he joined with his older (by a year) brother Phillip to book acts like ZZ Top and Michael Murphey to his high school. Dropping out of the University of Oregon in Eugene after a year, he convinced a local Chinese restaurant owner to let him use the venue to promote rock bands there at night. The Place became a vital tour stop for groups between San Francisco and Portland, with Allen and Phillip’s company, TDA (Totally Dedicated to Artists) Productions bringing in such acts as Tom Petty, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello to the 500-capacity room between 1974 and 1984. “Back then there was a culture of music,” he recalls. “People like Ken Kesey and the Grateful Dead… It was a true community.”

In 1985 Allen created Tenth Street Entertainment, an artist management company in LA that included Richard Marx, Duran Duran, The Cranberries, Motley Crue and Meatloaf. By 1995 Allen had an interest in branching out from traditional music marketing and created a joint venture with DDB Needham and Strategic Research. These companies were media buying and consumer research ventures for the music industry. Highlights include Garth Brooks, Meatloaf Bat Out Of Hell 2, and the Beatles. He continued expanding management to The Bee Gees, Blondie, Luther Vandross, Yes, and En Vogue.

In 2006 Allen founded E7LG – The Eleven Seven Music Group to give artists the integrated world wide marketing campaigns and direct distribution with ITunes, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube and Deezer.

While the major labels tend to their quarterly billing with a steady diet of hip-hop and pop, Kovac has doubled down on rock and artist development, which he’s studied for nearly 45 years now, recognizing what it takes to succeed, and applying principles both old school and up-to-date.

From Richard Marx to Nothing More, the Santa Antonio, TX band which just garnered three Grammy nominations earlier this year, Allen Kovac has had his finger on the pulse of the music business, and he’s not about to let up.

Allen is currently co-producing the movie “The Dirt” (based the on biography of the legendary rock band Mötely Crü) with Julie and Rick Yorn for Netflix, and a musical based on Nikki Sixx’s autobiography “The Heroin Diaries.”

Allen Kovac continues to break new ground. “Whatever I don’t know, I learn,” he says simply. Call him a quick learner.

IGAL PERRY
Founder and Artistic Director of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and Peridance Capezio Center
Igal Perry is a world-renowned choreographer, ballet master, and dance educator. Mr. Perry’s elegant choreography, often in collaboration with contemporary composers, has been described as “blessedly inventive” (Jennifer Dunning, NYTimes). His works have been set on prestigious companies and performed at renowned festivals including Florence Dance Festival and Invito Alla Danza (Italy), Batsheva and Bat-Dor Dance Companies and the Karmiel Dance Festival (Israel), Ailey II and Complexions Contemporary Ballet (NYC), Companhia de Danca de Lisboa (Portugal), and Alberta Ballet (Canada). This year his new work Infinity will be set on the San Jose Ballet.

Born in Israel, Igal Perry began his dancing career with Karmon, a folk dance company. He later joined the Bat-Dor Dance Company, where he worked with leading teachers and choreographers including Alvin Ailey, Benjamin Harkarvy, John Butler, Rudi Van Dantzig, Inesse Alexandrov, Paul Sanasardo, and Lar Lubovitch. Upon arriving in the United States, Mr. Perry joined Dennis Wayne’s Dancers as ballet master and choreographer. During that period, he staged John Butler’s work for the NYC Opera, the Opera of Munich, Caracas Ballet, and Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, where he also directed the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s opera Paradise Lost. From 1981-1982, Mr. Perry headed the ballet department at Jacob’s Pillow. In 1983, he launched his dance school, Peridance Capezio Center, now one of New York City’s leading dance institutions. A year later he founded Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, for which he has choreographed over 50 works, with performances at BAM, The Joyce Theater, and City Center.

In addition to his daily class at Peridance, Mr. Perry serves as guest faculty/choreographer at The Jacob’s Pillow Festival, The Ailey School, and Marymount Manhattan College. Since 1995, Mr. Perry has served as a guest teacher at The Juilliard School, where he staged his Intimate Voices and Mourning Song. His international teaching engagements include Scapino Ballet and Het National Ballet (Holland), Laterna Magica and the National Ballet (Prague), Architanz (Tokyo), The Royal Ballet of Sweden and Balettakademien (Sweden), the National Ballet of China, and the Kwang-Ju City Ballet Company (Korea).

PERIDANCE CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY
Founded by Artistic Director Igal Perry, New York City’s Peridance Contemporary Dance Company has been a powerhouse of energetic and evocative dance since 1984. Operating from its home at the renowned Peridance Capezio Center at Union Square, the Company presents an annual New York Season at the Salvatore Capezio Theater as well as guest performances in venues such as the Joyce Theater, BAM, and Lincoln Center. In addition to Perry’s signature works, described by the NY Times as “blessedly inventive”, the Company has commissioned and performed works by many choreographers including Ohad Naharin, Dwight Rhoden, and Sidra Bell. In the past five years alone, the Company’s domestic and international tours have brought contemporary dance to over 45,000 audience members around the globe in festivals and venues such as Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Big Arts Florida, Spring to Dance St. Louis, Florence Dance Festival, Tel Aviv Dance, Seoul International Dance Festival, and many more. The Company’s “Dance-Break” outreach program provides an array of creative dance workshops for youth, often in underserved schools. PCDC has been generously supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, Capezio Dance Foundation, Harkness Foundation, Google, the Jewish Communal Fund, PNC Bank, and the Sequoia Foundation.

Dance to Unite, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to use dance as a vehicle to teach and to celebrate cultural diversity. We are committed to creating positive experiences for children to develop understanding, acceptance, respect and compassion for all cultures culminating in unity for the purpose of future peace. Dance to Unite, Inc. partners with After School programs to offer weekly free dance classes with an educational component that celebrates cultural diversity. The classes are complemented periodically with special guest artists who conduct workshops to promote our mission of unity and peace. Each Dance to Unite class culminates with and end of the year performance.
www.dancetounite.org

For more information click here

Movenpick Soul Restaurant

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Jumeriah Beach Resort can be a hectic merry go-around with the latest Middle East cars with their boy toys cruising around — but if you are looking for a relaxing, yet very elegant, and semi-discreet hideaway to entertain a client, or visitor, or a surreptitious date, consider the Soul Restaurant & Bar at the Movenpick Hotel’s JBR location.

20160119_211226_resizedChef Baljit Kumar (seen at left) is quietly cooking up a storm at Soul Restaurant & Bar (he came over from Trader Vic’s) and he can cook with a magician’s wand. (“What did you see first: Duck or Rabbit?” is just one brain test he gives himself on Facebook!).

On a recent visit, we were treated by him to, among many mouthwatering treats, a medium Rib Eye Steak (300g) called the Australian Wagyu.

Just like Dubai, the steak was lavishly embroiled with a Marco Polo-esque twist: A Japanese cow by virtue of Australia. Only in Dubai, right?

The highest in the food chain among cows, a Wagyu commands a high price in Japan. But it is in Australia where it really attains the cash cow status, really. Aussies are the largest breeders outside of Japan.

And with a strong Aussie expat community in Dubai, the dish attains its holy status!

The meat was tender, even for a medium flame, but cured just right for the succulence that was about to follow with mashed potatoes and exotic spinach.

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The restaurant offers an eclectic wine list, and you will never be wanting for the specials of the day.

Hotel restaurants can get a bum rap for being an extension of the breakfast buffet for a weary business traveler or jet-eyed lag but Soul Restaurant is a welcome respite — and a great breeding ground for the hungry stomach and the bounties thereafter!

For more information click here.

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Review: Coffee Wine

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I got a sample of Coffee Wine, so now I’m reporting what I thought.

Click here to see info about Coffee Wine

Friends Beverage Group (aka/The Fun Wine Company) of Miami, FL, has launched the World’s First Coffee Wines ™ — Cabernet Espresso ™ and Chardonnay Cappuccino ™ — in New York under the FRIENDS FUN WINE ® brand. Imported from the EU, FUN WINE ™ is a friendly tasting recreational drink that makes wine fun for the general population with refreshing flavors. The New Lifestyle Drink ™ comes with half the alcohol of wine and has no preservatives, gluten or caffeine. It is very affordable, so everyone can enjoy it. Joe Peleg, CEO, explained, “We believe in ‘Responsible Fun’ and ask consumers to ‘Reduce the alcohol…and Increase the Fun!” Lower alcohol translates to lower calories as well.

COFFEE WINE ™ is an everyday beverage for:

  • Women
  • Millennials, age 21-35
  • New, occasional and casual wine drinkers
  • Consumers who seek alternatives to wine and beer
  • Consumers who prefer lower alcohol

Benefits include:

  • Multiple flavors – Coffee, Strawberry/Peach Moscato, Red/White Sangria
  • Affordability-$1.99 -$2.29/can (~ $1.00/serving)
  • Lower alcohol than wine
  • Lower calories than wine or beer (75-94 calories/serving)
  • Attractive, portable, lightweight, unbreakable, tamper-proof, quick chilling, recyclable cans
  • 33% more wine than 187.5 ml wine bottles

WHAT DIFFERENTIATES FUN WINE ™ FROM TRADITIONAL WINE?

FUN WINE™ is a new beverage category of recreational wine drinks for the general population. It is defined not by vintage, heritage or other highbrow hallmarks of wine, and is not for wine aficionados.

You do not sniff it. You do not swirl it in a glass. You do not tout its origin. You do not pour it into red or white wine glasses. FUN WINE ™ does not compete with wine, but is an everyday fun and affordable recreational drink for the masses – and The Alternative to Beer. ™

Check out this video about Breakfast in Bed!

The new beverage category is distributed in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau and Suffolk by Union Beer Distributors. Upstate distributors include Try-It Distributing — Niagara and Erie, and DeCrescente Distributing — Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Washington, and Warren.

Retailers include CVS Health ®, 7-Eleven ®, Tops Markets ® and many convenience stores.

I had a nice selection of flavors so I waited till I finished all of them before writing the review. The one I liked best was the Peach Moscato.

My overall impression of these is that they are interesting. They aren’t as gross as I thought they might be, in fact I drank all of them… If I were looking for a quick alcohol buzz from a store that didn’t have hard liquor I might be tempted to buy these.

I’m still not convinced that coffee and wine really go together. But it was nice to have a can of something that wasn’t beer, since I hate beer.

These are definitely worth checking out if you, too, are looking for an alternative to take to the beer bashes. Have fun!

Flyp-Duo

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FLYP-DUO Reversible USB Charge & Sync Cable

$24.99

I received a sample of the Flyp-Duo a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been using it nonstop ever since.

It’s really nice to be able to plug in either my iPad or my MemoPad without having to change the cable. Very convenient. Being able to plug the usb into the computer without worrying which way is up is another excellent feature, which is important because I use my computer a lot now a days for work and visiting sites like http://mycsgoboosting.com/guides/how-to-rank-up-in-csgo that improve with my ranking in games like CSGO.

When I first plugged in the iPad, it didn’t occur to me that the reason there are both male and female mini-usb connectors is that you have to mate them in order to use the lightning connector. To someone who is not an engineer that would probably be obvious; to me, with 30 years of experience matching the gazintas and the gazoutas, it was not. I thought there were three ways of connecting to the usb… [facepalm]. No, I didn’t read the directions…I’m a guy.

Once I got past that cockpit error, everything was great. I highly recommend this innovative cable. It works great for charging and also for syncing the data.

See more at http://www.tylt.com/flyp-duo-reversible-usb