Cellist Peter Thomas and music club owner Evan Christian are bringing classical music to the masses through a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra residency. Continue reading MSO, Gibraltar partnership unites people through music
A Dia de los Muertos celebration in Walker Square Park featured a parade, food, dance and tributes to the ancestors. Continue reading “This is where the spirits leave”
Despite growing up in a strict and narrow religious tradition, Brian Anders has pursued experiences to broaden his perspective and, in doing so, has learned to rely on himself. Continue reading “I’m homeless but not hopeless”
Keon Hamler, who overcame a challenging childhood, is still searching for his place in the world. Continue reading “They knew I was gonna wake up soon”
Novion Bailey, who grew up without much money or his father, has had to create his own goals and vision for his life. Continue reading “I want to go to Yale”
Despite a daunting childhood experience, Denise Malone is turning over a new leaf. Continue reading “I got emancipated”
Alejandro Narvaez has always bounced around — whether it’s where he’s lived, what he’s done or what’s been thrown his way — but, for him, change has always been a positive. Continue reading “I’m more of a kid at heart”
Jamahl Turner sits in the attic of a towering duplex on 57th and Lloyd in Washington Heights. The large, open area has been transformed into what doubles as a recording studio and bona fide hangout spot.
Turner — known by many as “Pharaoh Mac,” “King Pharaoh,” or simply, “Pharaoh” — is one half of local hip-hop group Pharaoh Mac & DMT. For him, music, and hip-hop in particular, is a way to express himself, an escape, a way to communicate on a deeper level, to be truly heard.
“If you think about it, music … is a universal language,” he says. “How you speak and what you speak of is what people can relate to. And, hip-hop, in a sense has become the more dominant music now. Everybody listens to it so everybody can relate.”
Ray Williams Jr. sits on his porch on the 3200 block of North 37th Street in a white, tank-top undershirt, holding a half burnt cigarette. The 49-year-old blues guitarist lounges in a chair as he recalls his playing days in Milwaukee.
“Hooligan’s, Murray’s Tap, Central Hall, Chancery Pub, Liquid Johnny’s. I done played with Billy Flynn, all them guys, you know, Eugene and the Soul Gang, Stokes and Eddie Butts, Jim Liban, Mississippi Cactus — that’s me, 38 years of it,” he says.
Peter Jest grew up on the northwest side of Milwaukee in what he calls “just an average middle-class family.” When it comes to music, though, Jest, who owns Lower East Side staple Shank Hall and has been a promoter for more than 30 years, has been anything but average.
The way Jest tells it, it’s simple — he just grew up on music. “I guess you would call it classic rock now but it was contemporary rock back then.”