Monday, September 17, 2012

2012 Gala Menu Preview!

This year's H'Art & Soul of Haiti Gala menu has a little something for everyone! Together with La Crème Catering, we've cooked up a Haitian-inspired menu that is sure to dazzle and delight. Check out our VIP menu preview below, and remember ~ as always ~ in addition to a full dinner, VIP guests (who are of age!) will enjoy a full open bar, valet parking, and live music throughout the course of the evening. Don't wait a second longer! Space is filling up, and fast! For tickets and more information, click HERE

Image (c) Rose & Sara Savage

To Begin
Fire-Roasted Corn, Poblano & Black Bean Salsa (Veg, GF)
Mango & Pineapple Salsa & Homemade Tortilla Chips (Veg, GF)
Sliced Watermelon, Feta Cheese Skewers (V, GF)
   with Balsamic Honey Glaze
Black Eyed Pea & Chick Pea Fritters (V)
   with Cilantro Sriracha Crème Fraiche
Julienned Vegetables on Belgian Endive Petal (V, GF)
   with Creamy Spiced Aioli
Andouille Chicken, Poblano Pepper in a Puff Pastry 
   with Sweet Chipotle Sauce
Sweet Potato Latke (V)
   with Cilantro Chive Aioli
Cray Fish and Lump Crab Cakes 
   with Chili Lime Aioli

Slow Smoked Pork Loin Stuffed with Dried Fruits (GF)
  with Mango Glaze & Crispy Plantain Garnish
Okra Gumbo (Veg)
Jerked Boneless Chicken Thighs (GF)
Black Beans & Saffron Rice (Veg, GF)
Spicy Grilled Shrimp Creole (GF)
Coconut, Mandarin & Romaine Lettuce Salad  (Veg, GF)
   with Citrus Vinaigrette

Sweet Endings
Key Lime Pie Tartlets (V)
Mini Caramel Brownies (V)

V = Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)
Veg = Vegan
GF = Gluten Free

Meet the Host! H'Art & Soul of Haiti 2012

This year, the Friends is thrilled to hand over the microphone to WYEP's Brian Siewiorek, who will act as the official host for this year's H'Art & Soul of Haiti Gala. This is our twelfth annual gala, but it's the first ever gala to have an emcee! For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets, click HERE!


Brian Siewiorek has been the Production Director at 91.3 WYEP since 2004. He produces the majority of the content for the station along with “Discumentary,” an in-depth look at an essential album. He’s also co-producer of “American Originals,” a monthly focus on an essential American musician. His work has won awards from the Alaska and Pennsylvania Broadcasters Associations, the Associated Press and a national Edward R. Murrow Award. He is extremely excited to be helping out with this year’s event, and is madly in love with the artwork he bought at last year’s party.

H'Art & Soul of Haiti Entertainment Profiles: The Professor & Mary Fran

The Friends of HAS is pleased to bring you live music throughout the course of the entire evening this Friday, September 21st, for our twelfth annual H'Art & Soul of Haiti Gala. For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets, click HERE

Martin and Mary Fran Reidell have been married and playing music together for over ten years. Martin is a graduate of Duquesne University School of Music and has been performing in live bands in the Pittsburgh area for over 30 years. He currently teaches music at the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park and private music lessons to over 20 students per week. Mary Fran is the Director of Health Services at Carlow University and has performed in acoustic duos in the Pittsburgh Area for the last 15 years. The “Professor and Mary Fran” can be heard at Mullaney’s Harp & fiddle every second Friday of the month during happy hour.

2012 H'Art & Soul of Haiti Entertainment Profiles: Delicious Pastries

“whimsical and literate ; 
equal parts yesterday and today...”

Image courtesy of Delicious Pastries
The Friends of HAS is so excited to give you a slice of Pittsburgh's best talent at this year's H'Art & Soul of Haiti Gala. This unique band has a pretty sweet set in store for you on Friday evening, and that's in addition to what we've planned for dessert! For more event details and to purchase tickets, click HERE

Delicious Pastries are a pop outfit unencumbered by the fleeting dalliances of the new rock vogue. Forged in the fire of friendship over ten years ago, and galvanized by a deep love of the pop idiom, they create melodic vignettes as familiar as they are odd. The band makes a “self-aware brand of pop music, with sixties-era retro sensibilities, and a late-nineties delivery.” It is as if, as band members have explained, they, “swallowed five decades of pop music in one sitting, and the result is an unbridled pop explosion.”

This Friday, at WQED Studios on Fifth, Pittsburgh’s own “reigning princes of retro pop” will perform songs from their recently released debut album, Pretty Please, a not-to-be-missed, seven-track collection of gorgeously arranged, self-aware pop songs. 

For music and more informaiton about Delicious Pastries, visit

2012 H'Art & Soul of Haiti Entertainment Profiles: Thank You Rosekind

“In an age where the musical spectrum ranges radically between overblown party anthems and lyrics bogged down by ennui, Thank You Rosekind’s heavily layered and melodic music is infused with a rare, non-eye-roll-inducing enthusiasm you can dance to.”   
— Emily Currier, Impose Magazine

Image courtesy of Impose

The Friends is thrilled to welcome Thank You Rosekind to Pittsburgh, to perform at our twelfth annual H'Art & Soul of Haiti Gala. For more information about this event, or to purchase tickets, click HERE!

Thank You Rosekind is comprised of artists and musicians, Michael G. Bauer, Joel Chartkoff and Calpin Hoffman-Williamson. Developed from a concept by Bauer in 2009, Thank You Rosekind performs an ongoing series of songs expressing gratitude to people, places and things. The band has strived to create motivationally-based pop songs that highlight human achievement and positive functioning as a means to promote the continual thriving of individuals, families and communities. Critic Sarah Renee Lehrer-Graiwer describes their music as, “restrained, yet spaciously layered  electro-pop dreamscapes that are simultaneously airy and watery, blissfully weightless and grounded in minimal bass lines. With titles like ‘Drive Your Dreams,’ ‘Be Bold,’ and ‘Emanation,’ this album Attention Intention!  is effective for everyday happiness and enlightenment.” TYR’s punchy optimism, paired with their infectious pop styling gives the band an irresistible energy that we are certain you’ll love! 

For music & more info visit or click HERE to listen now.


Michael G. Bauer is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Through a variety of media, Michael often explores collaborative processes, interpersonal connection and aspects of positive psychology.  Recent ongoing projects include motivational art pop music group Thank You Rosekind, initiated in 2009,  along with creative pedagogical research initiated through the Philly Public School.  To learn more about  Michael's work please visit

Joel Chartkoff has played music and performed in numerous cities including New York, London, and Philadelphia.  In addition to singing in Thank You Rosekind, he has sung and  played keyboards and
percussion in several other bands including  2nd. Opinion in collaboration with lyricist and photographer Erica Baum. Chartkoff also has extensive experience in acting and movement work, including one recent fifteen-minute conceptual mini-musical about plums called Plum Tree Country (Up A Plum Tree), which was presented at various venues around Philadelphia.

Calpin Hoffman-Williamson is a music producer and audio engineer. His recent compilation of West African field recordings I Have My Liberty! Gospel Sounds from Accra, Ghana has received positive coverage from outlets such as, PopMatters, and The Wire. He is currently based in Brooklyn where he records, produces, and mixes a variety of records and other sound things.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Downtown Rockers - A New Album from Tom Tom Club

Tom Tom Club will be performing LIVE this Friday at our twelfth annual H'Art & Soul of Haiti Gala fundraiser! For more information and to purchase tickets for this year's event, click here!

On September 11th, Tom Tom Club released Downtown Rockers, their first new material in more than decade.  The EP features 6 new songs, and will be released digitally and on vinyl.

Downtown Rockers features Tom Tom Club’s characteristic upbeat fusion of electro and funk.  Chris Frantz explains, "We recorded the basic tracks soon after Tom Tom Club toured with the Psychedelic Furs in October of 2011 at our home studio. These tracks were built from improvised jam sessions with Bruce Martin on keyboards and Pablo Martin on guitar, Tina Weymouth on bass and Chris Frantz on drums. This is the same way we began "Remain In Light" with Talking Heads
. This time our only instruction to the other players was to keep the parts simple with lots of space like Booker T. and the MGs would do."

The title track from the new album pays tribute to the many bands that created the downtown music scene in New York City in the 70's from The Velvet Underground to the Talking Heads. The song was mixed by Ed Stasium, who also recorded and mixed Talking Heads '77 and umpteen Ramones classics.

Tom Tom Club was originally formed by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth in 1981. Graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design, they moved to New York City where they founded Talking Heads as a trio with David Byrne. Chris played drums, Tina played bass and David sang and played guitar. In early 1981, Talking Heads took a hiatus after five years of touring internationally and four studio albums, and Chris and Tina began the Tom Tom Club.

When legendary reggae producer Lee “Scratch” Perry failed to show up for the scheduled recording sessions in the Bahamas, Blackwell allowed Chris and Tina to produce the album themselves with Jamaican engineer Steven Stanley. Tom Tom Club's first single was “Wordy Rappinghood,” an unusually original mix of schoolyard rap over a funky groove that went into the top of the charts in 17 countries. “Wordy Rappinghood” turned out to be seminal in bringing mainstream attention to the new spirit of hip-hop.

The group’s second single was the remarkable “Genius of Love.” Released in the UK before North America, the track was bubbling up in the underground with dozens of unsolicited remixes and versions--most notably, Grandmaster Flash’s "It's Nasty/Genius of Love" in 1982—a massive hit in the clubs and on the R&B and dance charts, soon earning the Tom Tom Club debut a Gold sales award. In 1995, Mariah Carey hit #1 with “Fantasy,” her version of “Genius of Love” featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard rapping over the original instrumental track. “Genius of Love” continues to be frequently sampled by various artists, from Tupac Shakur to most recently, T.I. feat. Fergie and of the Black Eyed Peas.

Tom Tom Club continues to celebrate more than thirty years as a band. Last year, they performed their timeless classic “Genius of Love” on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” It was a flashback to one of the group’s earliest career highlights - playing the hit song on the highly popular TV show “Soul Train” back in 1983 – at a time when it was in heavy rotation on urban radio stations.

Last fall, Tom Tom Club rocked their first U.S. tour in 10 years and released ‘Genius of Live.’ The album featured select tracks from classic album ‘Live At The Club House’ as well as a various remixes by artists like Ozomatli, Kinky, Money Mark and The Pinker Tones.

In 2002, Frantz and Weymouth were inducted at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.