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Special Features: Chyna McCoy, Jurni Rayne, RMA Raiders Basketball Team, Brett Laquercia, The Hensley Ensemble, and Elisabeth Marie Davis.

The Chosen


BUSINESS HOURS: SUN & MON -CLOSED TUES-FRI- 9AM-7PM SATURDAY- 9AM-6PM

USD $5.00

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CONTENTS March 2013

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THE CHOSEN

Featuring Bishop Gary Oliver Tabernacle of Praise

22 ACTORS ON THE RISE

Featuring Actor Chyna McCoy

26 EDUCATION “Dear Parents” By Professor X

30 HEALTH &

WELLNESS

Exploring the Veggie Rainbow

Photography: Nathan Paul Model: Desmond Kofi 3


Owner/Editor in Chief-Erika L. McDade Chief Financial Officer-Latisha Youngblood-McDade Executive Assistant-Rodnesha New Director of Marketing-King Solomon Ali Senior Editor-Sabrina Strang Creative Director/Fashion/Photography-Xavier Carter Lead Photo Journalist-Demetria Guillory Creative Director/Hair/Make Up-Rodnesha New Lead Photography-Nathan Paul Fashion Stylist-Willie Johnson III Editorial Journalist-Erika McDade, Xavier Carter, Sabrina Strang Editorial Journalist/Music-Brett Laquercia Fashion Journalist-Krystle Kay Junior Journalist-Avasha Bournes, Victoria Strang

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CONTENTS March 2013

32 VOCALIST/ ARTIST

Featuring Jurni Rayne

40 PLATINUM SPORTS

Richard Milburn Academy “The Raiders”

44 EXPERIENCE JAZZ

Featuring Brett Laquercia & The Brett Laquercia Group Photography: Nathan Paul Model: Desmond Kofi 5


Platinum Urban Magazine is a community based entertainment publication. Covering topics such as, community based artist, aspiring journalist, creative children, teachers, and business owners, whom are local to the area. We here at Platinum Urban, make it our " mission", to facilitate a venue for all of our serviced communities, that can be utilized to promote one's new business venture, showcase local talent, promote sales of "self-produced" artistry (musicians, poets, models, and etc.), blogging, and affiliated marketing, just to name a few! Although we here at Platinum Urban Magazine do focus on "local" talent, and "community" based information. We also offer information, and content from a global standpoint, to attract our international consumers, here in the DFW area. Platinum Urban Magazine can be found online or for your mobile enjoyment on your favorite device! We feature representatives of local communities, who come from all walks of life. We here at Platinum Urban believe that being a diverse publication is key in today's world, and Platinum Urban Magazine, brings you just that! In closing, Platinum Urban Magazine is a great way to stay abreast of all your local news, and information, business promotion, and artistry display. Pick up your next copy today, and enjoy!

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Editor-in-Chief Platinum Urban Magazine Erika. L. McDade At Platinum Urban Magazine we always strive for empowerment and change through entertainment and we will always provide our audiences with editorial coverage that will help change the lives of others. I believe everyone is put on this earth and is here for a reason. We all serve a purpose while we are living and there are reasons why we exist. Many of us know our calling and we do our best to keep fit what is pleasing to God. The Volume 7 issue of Platinum Urban Magazine was titled “The Chosen” because the stories that are covered are real people, with real life stories, and they are all familiar with what they were called to do. Bishop Gary Oliver is “The Chosen” because we believe that he is living his life worthy of his calling (Ephesians 4:1-16). He is a man of God, he is humble, gentle, patient, bearing in one another, loving, united and peaceful. He uses his gift that God gave him to change great multitudes and lead people to Christ which is the perfect example of serving purpose on earth. Other great inspirational stories in Volume 7 “The Chosen” include Actor/Martial Artist/ Screenwriter Chyna McCoy, Adult Contemporary Vocalist/Artist Jurni Rayne, Coach Ronnie Govan and the Richard Milburn Academy Raiders Basketball Team, and Jazz Singer Brett Laquercia and The Brett Laquercia Group. These individuals are “The Chosen” because of their determinations to stay in spirit with their higher power and serving their purpose without question. Platinum Urban Magazine presents to you our Volume 7 issue “The Chosen” featuring Bishop Gary Oliver of Fort Worth, TX at Tabernacle of Praise. Enjoy our publication! Platinum Urban Magazine would like your feedback. Contact us at platinumurban@gmail.com or visit our website at www.pumagazine.com.

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By Erika McDade

Photography by Phillip Anthony

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T

hough he is known worldwide as a singer, songwriter, and speaker, Bishop Gary Oliver has his roots firmly planted in Texas. After years of building an extensive ministry in music, he came home to Fort Worth in October 2000 to start Tabernacle of Praise (TOP) where he currently pastors.

Bishop Oliver has made it his goal to bring a different approach to the church experience. He started with his roots in music. Early influences of gospel, rhythm and blues, bluegrass, rock and country allowed him to create a sound that is distinguishable only as Gary Oliver. His albums, “Gary Oliver”, “Just One Word”, “More Than Enough”, and “Closer To You”, proved to be influential. The music, forged out of his personal experiences, brought people to the church and also formed an extensive internet audience. TOP was ready to praise the Lord! His songs, such as “Celebrate Jesus”, “Everybody Praise The Lord”, “Holy, Holy, Holy”, and “More Than Enough” continue to be familiar anthems to believers world-wide. Bishop Oliver delivers a determined word of encouragement, of challenge, and of hope that underlines his core belief: Jesus is the answer to every situation and no story is too devastating to turn His unconditional love away.

Bishop Oliver brings a fresh approach to every part of his ministry, including televised events. He regularly hosts Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise the Lord television program where he has the opportunity to bring the TOP experience to its

worldwide audience.

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PUM: What are your instant feelings when asked how it feels to be doing exactly what God has called you to do? BGO: The greatest joy in the world! I don’t know anything that is more fulfilling as when you feel as if you are exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what you were created to do and seeing the fruit of that manifesting before your very eyes!

thanksgiving! And I am certain that function is best served when we as believers come hungry for His manifest presence and a God encounter. Not just another church service. PUM: Who are your heroes and why?

BGO: I have so many that I look up to and respect. Aside from Jesus, my greatest heroes are my parents. They were strict disciplinarians, which God knows I needed, but they loved God, PUM: At what age did you become a Christian? family and were always there to lend a helping hand or handout to friends and strangers alike. BGO:I was raised in a Christian home with ChrisThey lived what they taught... they worked hard tian parents and values. I don’t remember a time and they loved deep. While all of us can fault in my life without church. I don’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t personally own a Bible parents on certain aspects of life... I never doubted their love. and read it... my first reader... with my mother and/or father. So I guess you could say I was PUM: What is the greatest danger to the peace born into Christianity but my earliest recall of of the local church? What is the greatest danger desiring my own personal experience with Jesus to the purity of the local church? Christ was at 5 years of age... and I still rememBGO: These two questions can really be the ber most of those early experiences. I was same answer because the bible teaches that the baptized at 5 at my own request. Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy PUM: What do you believe your fundamental calling is as a minister of gospel? BGO: I believe my fundamental call is to help people experience the presence of God thru worship and the power of His Word. I believe that of course I am called to new converts but equally as strong I have always believed that my calling is to those who have been disillusioned by religion and “church”. PUM: What do you believe is the function of Lords day worship? How would you see that function best served? BGO: I am going to assume that you are speaking of Sunday worship service and what I believe is the function of that meeting is for the Body of Christ to be renewed, energized and encouraged by the presence of the Lord. We find His presence by the way of worship... Come before His presence with singing! Enter His gates with

in the Holy Ghost. The Word of God is not random... just throwing words out... and if you study this scripture you quickly understand that righteousness (right standing with God or “purity”) is followed by peace and when you have righteousness plus peace you will find true joy! If you lose your peace you need to go back and check your right standing! So the greatest danger to the local church is to try to compromise the purity of the Word of God to the point that we accept the invasion of other philosophies and adapt them as truth. I will never rant and rave about certain “issues”. I just try to create an atmosphere where all are welcome to come and experience God at the level where His truth becomes real to them personally. How an individual handles truth in their own life is not up to me, it is up to that person and Jesus how they live for Him. I personally refuse to be involved in the issues of today. They have been issues as long as people

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Photography by Phillip Anthony WWW.PLATINUMURBANMAGAZINE.COM 11


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have been on the earth. I think the peace and the purity of the local church would best be served by helping people experience the love of Jesus and His forgiveness, grace and mercy and find righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost!

PUM: What are the last five books you read? What is the most helpful book you read this year?

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I sought the Lord, and He heard me,

PUM: What is the good news of Jesus Christ?

And delivered me from all my fears.

BGO: He lives! He reigns! He rules! All we have to do is believe! He is salvation is every respect of the word! And He wants to have a relationship with you!

BGO: I read bits and pieces of three books by Guillermo Maldonado, which were “How to Walk in the Supernatural Power of God”, “The Glory of PUM: What bible verses do you read on a daily God”, and “Inner Healing”. I am reading Dr. basis? What are your favorite bible verses? Renny McLean’s book “Eternity Invading Time” and I just started the book by Jonathan Cahn BGO: I read everyday but I never read the same thing unless God has me on a quest for a deeper “The Harbinger”. understanding. My favorite is Psalms 34 and I I love to read and I must say the other than the am especially fond to the first 8 verses. I feel like one I just started the other four have all been it sums up my life’s journey, purpose and duty... insightful, helpful and very inspirational. it is what I try to get others to do! PUM: What was the most positive aspect of your training for ministry? What was the most negative aspect? Psalm 34:1–8 (NKJV) BGO: The tests, failures and hardships I went 1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His thru were the best teachers along the way. The praise shall continually be in my mouth. most negative aspects were the easy successes 2 My soul shall make its boast in the that gave me a sense of accomplishment and Lord; made me think higher of myself than I should The humble shall hear of it and be glad. have! I know it sounds backwards but struggle always makes you pray and dig in a little harder. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, Then success will come with more appreciation And let us exalt His name together. and humility.

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They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.

6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;

PUM: What are your greatest weaknesses as a pastor? BGO: Getting too busy to do the really important things. As pastor it is easy to get bogged down in busy work until your emotionally and mentally spent. I have to make sure that I block time for prayer and study every day! It is a must and there are always many things vying for my attention.

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! WWW.PLATINUMURBANMAGAZINE.COM 13


PUM: During your walk through life what was or has been the most difficult challenges to overcome? BGO: I think my greatest challenges were and are much like many people... believing that I count. Believing that I can really make a difference. Believing that I am really a significant voice and that my life matters. Really just believing in myself.

BGO: On some levels I do because I have had mainstream artists record some of my music. Most notable is probably the song “DANCE! SHOUT!” recorded by the amazing Wynonna Judd. PUM: What is your favorite part of the music making process?

BGO: When you sing that song for the first time and it connects with your audience the way it hit PUM: What are your most recent and upcoming you... that is the most amazing feeling and part of projects? the whole process to me. Next would be when you go to the studio to put your interpretation of BGO: The most recent is a CD recorded live here at Tabernacle of Praise, SUNDAY MORN- that song into a recording that defines what you were hearing and feeling when you wrote it. ING LIVE @TOP! It can actually be purchased here at the church or website www.topfw.org or PUM: How do you describe your sound? by simply going to iTunes, Amazon and several BGO: My sound. :) Most people say I sound other internet outlets for music. I am currently black... I just think it is me... It is not a sound I about to finish up with a BEST OF... that Tommy learned or tried to develop... it is just simply me. Sims produced most of and Tre’ Corley is finishing up. In fact I will be headed to Nashville soon PUM: Who are your influences? to work on the finishing touches. BGO: I grew up listening to a very eclectic PUM: When were you called into the music min- sound. My mother loved black gospel. My dad loved bluegrass. My older siblings (I am the baistry? by of 7 children) listened to country, some popuBGO: I actually started singing in church at a lar music and of course it was all sprinkled with very early age... 3, 4 or so... and started playing southern gospel. Some of my favorites growing the piano in church by 11, 12... but started full up of my era was Earth, Wind and Fire, Gap time in church work as a musician, choir director, Band, Lakeside, Stevie Wonder, Doobie Brothers singer at the age of 17, 18. and Michael McDonald, Kansas, Chicago, Merle PUM: What inspires you the most when writing Haggard, George Jones, and of course the most gospel music? influential of all... Andrea Crouch, Walter and Edwin Hawkins, Vestal Goodman... I like any kind BGO: The Bible is the foundation of all the best or style of music that is well executed... I like to inspiration for gospel music. Of course I have written many songs from personal experiences in feel heart and it helps if you have a little grease on it! God to messages others or I have preached. PUM: Do you feel your innovative work has brought spiritual music to mainstream audiences? Explain why.

Story by: Erika McDade Photography by: Phillip Anthony WWW.GARYOLIVERMINISTRIES.COM

TABERNACLE OF PRAISE-FORT WORTH, TX BISHOP GARY OLIVER 14


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PLATINUMURBAN@GMAIL.COM

COP AN ISSUE

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PRESENTS GOSPEL ARTIST’S THE HENSLEY ENSEMBLE

&

ELISABETH MARIE DAVIS 17


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T he H ensley E n semble

B

lessed with the gift to deliver beautiful melodies and harmonies showcasing the splendor of gospel music, The Hensley Ensemble has touched the lives of countless souls across the nation. Founded by Minister Elbert Hensley, Jr. in 1984, this premier ministry is comprised of singers and musicians from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area that have shared the stage with such gospel greats as Angela Spivey, Beverly Crawford, Carolyn Traylor, Byron Cage, Marvin Sapp and Richard Smallwood. The Hensley Ensemble [also known as T.H.E.] has had the privilege of opening for the fabulous Neville Brothers at the House of Blues, as well as Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi (The Blues Brothers) at the Houston House of Blues. This fine group has been blessed to win first place awards in such gospel competitions as the Dallas Black Expo (2002), the Houston New Artist Showcase (2004), the John Wiley Price Kwanzaa Gospel Fest (2008), the American Heart Association's "Most Powerful Voice" (2010) and the Yolanda Adams/Take 6 best group (2011). Taking their style of gospel music beyond the church sanctuary, the ensemble forged new opportunities with an appearance on the Style cable television program "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway". T.H.E. also performed at the 2007 & 2008 Austin City Limits Blues Festivals and was featured on three of Dallas/Ft. Worth's prominent television stations (Channel 21, Channel 33, and Channel 8's Good Morning Texas). In July 2007, T.H.E. was chosen to grace the stage for the House of Blues 20

Sunday Gospel Brunch event in Dallas where they ministered monthly and were featured at the new Houston location in 2009. The 2007 release of the ensemble’s debut CD project entitled "Elbert Hensley Jr. Presents The Hensley Ensemble: “We’ve Come To Worship" & the newly released 2012 CD “Christmas With The Hensley” upholds the group's purpose of gospel ministry, which is to glorify God through one of His most beautiful gifts….music. In 2009, The Hensley Ensemble connected with JayKayAsh Management and its Founder and CEO, Kent D. Wilson who recognizes "This ministry's adept versatility of music styles including the Negro spiritual, hymns, anthems, praise and worship, classical, country, jazz, pop, and the contemporary sounds of today is phenomenal. This group does it all."

Websites: http://www.thehensleyensemble.org

Distribution: http://www.reverbnation.com/main/ music_artists#!/thehensleyensemble http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hensleyensemble http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/elberthensley-jr-presents/id288593165 http://www.amazon.com/s/ ref=ntt_srch_drd_B0018O7X34?ie=UTF8&field -keywords=The%20Hensley% 20Ensemble&index=digital-music&searchtype=ss


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-Elisabeth

Marie Davis-

Elisabeth is the eighteenth of eighteen children. She began singing at age five and showed strong piano skills by age eight. Her greatest accomplishment has been to accept Christ as her Lord and Savior. He is her source of everything tangible and intangible. Elisabeth is a graduate of Faulkner University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and minor in Liberal Arts. She also has a BA in Fashion Design. She is a singer/ musician that loves all types of music but gospel music has become the mantra for her life. Many have told Elisabeth that she has a unique sound but in her opinion, she believes that she has a contagious sound that really makes you think and most importantly smile. That’s how she sees God’s music. Her goal is to help others like

herself find “God-actualization because self and God don’t mix.” Elisabeth believes that refining our gifts will bring us closer to God spiritually, mentally, physically, and financially. To Him she gives all glory and praise. Elisabeth’s credits include performances aside Karen Clark Sheard, Shirley Caesar, Cicely Tyson, The Williams Brothers, The Winans, Marvin Sapp, Al Green, and many others. Her recent accomplishment has taken her to Nashville, TN to perform at “2013 Churchin After the Show ”showcase during the 2013 Stellar Awards where she shared the stage with Joshua Rogers (2012 Sunday’s Best Winner), LeJune Thompson, Wess Morgan, Alexis Spight, Moses Tyson, Kim McFarland as well as the “2012 I.M.A.C Conference” (also in Nashville) 22

where she shared the stage with such artists as Angela Spivey, Malcolm Williams, and the great Dr. Bobby Jones. She has performed with local and international gospel artists such as Dalon Colllins, formerly of Kirk Franklin and the Family and Tommye Young. She is currently working on her first CD project with her group Elisabeth Davis and The C.A.M.P. (Christian Artist Ministering The Promise). The CD will be entitled “Recover All” and is expected to release the winter of 2013 with one single available November 2012 entitled “Yes Lawdy, Lawdy.” Elisabeth’s favorite scripture is Isaiah 54:17, “No Weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.”


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Chyna McCoy ACTOR/MARTIAL ARTIST/ SCREENWRITER 24


By Rodney Brooks

Andre’ Chyna McCoy, moved to Los Angeles, California in '1995' to pursue his dreams in acting. Landing on the shores of Venice Beach, he got his first start at doing Extra work for Television Shows such as Baywatch, Charmed and Pacific Blue. Later, he went on to become the Action Fight Stunt Double for Morpheus in the critically acclaimed film The Matrix & Matrix Reloaded. Soon after the success of The Matrix, Milan began starring as a Lead Hero in Indie Action films. While making his mark on Silver-Screen, Milan was busy hammering away at numerous Screenplays as well as his new book 'Just a Thought in my Quiet Storm of Creativity' which is on sale now. PUM: Could you take a moment to introduce yourself to the readers of Platinum Urban Magazine? And don't be shy... CHYNA: Hello Platinum Urban Magazine as well as readers of the magazine. Let's see where do I start? [laughs] I was born in Seville Spain. My father was in the military. We moved to America when I was just a baby. I grew up on the East Coast in such cities as Baltimore, D.C. and New York City. I am single, never married. I guess I am single because I am focused on the dream at hand. PUM: What has been your favorite film you have appeared in so far? CHYNA: I have dabbled in everything from films, magazines, music videos, posters

and TV. Due to the heavy influence of Bruce Lee, comic books and Kung Fu movies the entertainment industry was right up my alley. My favorite is probably The Matrix 1 and The Matrix Reloaded. I was Morpheus’ (Lawrence Fishburne's) fighting stunt double. PUM: So how long have you been at this?

who introduced me to Wo Ping, director of The Matrix Trilogies, Fearless, Hero, etc... Wo Ping is who discovered Jackie Chan and made him famous. He also worked with Donnie Yen and Jet Li. PUM: What other action films we may have seen your work in?

CHYNA: I worked on "The CHYNA: Well my journey down One" with Jet Li, Buffy The the long road of entertainment Vampire Hunter, Pacific Blue, started about 15 years ago. It Random Acts of Violence and has been a consistent 15 Mac 10 to name a few. years. PUM: It is noted that you were PUM: When did you get your friends with the late, great Tubig break? pac Shakur. It is obvious to me that you guys were like family CHYNA: I got my first break just from observing some of the back in 1996 when I use to tumble, flip and do martial arts pictures I had the privilege to out on the beaches in Venice, view. What was it like to have known and worked with Tupac? California. It was there I was discovered by a gentleman WWW.PLATINUMURBANMAGAZINE.COM 25


CHYNA: Tupac Shakur, or Pac as we called him, and I met when we lived in Baltimore City. We both attended the Baltimore School of the Arts. One day Pac says, "I am moving out to Cali to join my cousins' group." That group turned out to be, "The Digital Underground". A little while later Pac returned to Baltimore in a white limo. He said, "If ya'll ever come out to Cali look me up." I actually ran into him a few times out on Venice. We worked together on “Players Ball” and "To Live and Die In L.A.". That was the last time I saw him. Like many other great artists, he lives on through his films and music.

The put downs are quick to happen when someone seems to be dreaming or soaring for the heavens. The key is to help him/ her get there and not expect anything in return. Trust in the universe and the universe will cover you.

chain whips when he battles the supernatural creatures in the distant future… an apocalyptic future. Right now I am working on the Graphic Novel, the comic and the animated series.

PUM: What would you tell our young people of today who are looking to embark upon various careers (not just show business) about the importance of getting a proper education?

BAYNE LEGACY APOCALYPSE

CHYNA: I was born in the Atari era along with comic books and Kung Fu movies in a generation that has sparked the next generations to come. I think not only kids but everyone should PUM: Turning our focus to the keep dreaming. Focus on their African-American community for goals, push and thrive towards just a little bit. What are some of them. Staying consistent and the voids that you see that must persistent in whatever they want be filled in order for us to to be and work at being the best progress as a people? at it. If you want to be broke and homeless, then be broke and CHYNA: Get past all of these Madea movies. [laughs] homeless but be the best at it. If Seriously though, we must stop you want to be the next Presireflecting so much upon our past dent of The United States, be the and begin looking towards a best and don't give up. better tomorrow as a culture. It PUM: I noticed on Facebook that has to be more than just us you have been developing your screaming about wanting more latest venture, "BAYNE". Tell us African-American films. To me, a little bit about it if you will. that does not solve the problem. CHYNA: Bayne. Wow, that is my We need films that involve all races, creeds and colors. Films baby. Bayne is a Hybrid… a where we are all equal. We also cross between King Vampire and Werewolf but predominately must start to help our own Werewolf and has their powers people in the African-American communities to excel instead of and then some. His weapons immediately putting them down. are 2 silver axes, which become 26

Please feel free to checkout it out

http://chynamccoy.wix.com/ baynelegacyapocalypse BAYNE LEGACY APOCALYPSE THE ANIMATED SERIES http://chynamccoy.wix.com/ blathenewanimatedseries PUM: Recently you and I chatted online about my bad eating habits and my health. What suggestions could you offer the readers of Platinum Urban Magazine about health and nutrition? CHYNA: One word. Nutribullet. I have one and it is far better than those bulky juicers and easier to manage and clean. PUM: Chyna McCoy, I want to thank you on behalf of Platinum Urban Magazine and its readers for taking the time to sit down and talking with us. CHYNA: And thank you very much Platinum Urban Magazine for having me. It has been a great pleasure.

Chyna McCoy...Actor/ Martial Artist/ Screenwriter


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By Professor X Keith Cozart born in the year of 1995, and grew up on the streets of Chicago, Illinois at age 17 finds himself with a record deal with Interscope Records and his own record company. However this young rapper was apprehended and charged with heroin manufacture and distribution and later finds himself being charged again for shooting at a police officer. How can a young man have whatever teenager would kill for, and a song that becomes a hit in the US and has Kanye West remixing the song and bringing extra exposure end up in trouble with the law?

going and picking up cans and collecting them and selling them at the aluminum lot for extra cash. Today’s society is more worried about street credit and being hard and how many times you been in and out of jail than they are about living a prosperous life. Parents need to be more accountable for their children they need a women and a man figure in their life. Keith has a grandmother but a woman can only teach a boy so much. A boy needs a man to show him how to become a man even if it’s to show him not do follow the same path.

Parents it’s because we are not teaching the children of today how to look forward and see the light ahead. All Keith needs is a mature adult to tell him that the streets are not his home and not the life style he wants to pursue. He needs someone to show him that he has a golden opportunity to become successful and to make it out of the hood and off the streets.

Parents your child’s life is always a teaching and learning moment. Not having money is not an excuse to get out and learn. Learning starts from day of birth and never stops. Take a book and have your child read it from time to time. Use your buss pass to go to the local museums and show them history and cultural outside of the streets cultural. Teachers can only do so much with their students it’s also up to the parents to teach that child the values of living.

What happened to the days when people would tell their kids to make something of the life they have and to get out off the streets and move forward? Where are the grandparents and parents that would teach children how to earn an honest living even if it is PLATINUM VOLUME 7 28

Teenagers today do not respect authority whether it’s their teachers, police, elders and even the judges. Parents are not teaching children the impor-


tance of having good manners and respecting people. Children today are treating elders, police, and judges as if they are talking to a peer. Have you ever heard a teenager curse, and flip the bird at a judge? I certainly have heard it plenty of times and have watched the parents do nothing about it, not even to tell the child to close their mouth.

expense clothes, expensive houses on TV for teenagers to see but no one is telling those teenagers that the rapper they admire is borrowing that car just for this video, or was able to get those clothes free to wear in the video to make you go out and buy it. It’s time for the urban community to make a stand and educate the children now of what’s really going on around If you look at history in the 1960’s and before the them, they need to know the world that they see on TV is not all it seems to be. Civil Rights Movement, children in the black community were very well behaved and didn’t have many problems. Once the schools became “ integrated and the Government put drugs in the urban neighborhood children started losing their fathers and their mothers leaving the grandparents to raise children. Over time it leads to children raising children and the grand parents are the ones in jail or on drugs. No one is guiding the youth of today and the world expects teachers to teach a child that has no home structure. Ever hear about professional athletics that are no longer playing in the pros talk about how they have no money and filing for bankruptcy. These are the same children that didn’t have parental guidance growing up to teach them basic living. Ask yourself how one person can go through millions of dollars through a couple of years. Plenty of reasons are the answer, such as not being able to properly read and count which allows the people around them to take the money. Paying rent and spending money for every person that has ever been in their life since age 6. Not having a mature and experienced person to look out for them and make sure they know how to manage and keep money. Urban life may be hard but the parents can teach lessons today that will help children in the future. Children are looking up to athletes, rappers, singers, and other TV role models that only care about making money. They have cars, jewelry,

Parents your child’s life is always a teaching and learning moment. Not having money is not an excuse to get out and learn. Learning starts from day of birth and never stops. Take a book and have your child read it from time to time. Use your buss pass to go to the local museums and show them history and cultural outside of the streets cultural. Teachers can only do so much with their students it’s also up to the parents to teach that child the values of living.” WWW.PLATINUMURBANMAGAZINE.COM

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Exploring the Veggie Rainbow

something caught my eye from across the fresh fruit and vegetable section. It was purple… and it was with the potatoes. Yep, I discovered purple potatoes. This oddly colored potato got my wheels spinning!

a reason, right? Instead of randomly selecting something I’ve never tried I started selecting vegetables that add color to my plate. For example, the last time I perused the grocery store

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables:

duces the risk of prostate cancer, helps to lower bad cholesterol, helps to maintain healthy joints, promotes the production of collagen (great for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, ladies!), helps to maintain healthy magnesium and calcium levels for healthy bones.

Examples: apricots, butternut squash, So I did a little research to see if I cantaloupe, carrots, grapefruit, lemons, could discover if the color of fruits and mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papavegetables should play a part in our yas, peaches, pineapples, pumpkin, diets. What I found is quite interesting. By Sabrina Strang sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tangerines, yellow apples, yellow beets, yelBlue and purple fruits and vegetables: low pears, yellow peppers, yellow sumI often find myself eating the same old mer squash, yellow tomatoes, yellow boring vegetables over and over again. Provide nutrients that support eye watermelon, yellow winter squash. health, helps to lower bad cholesterol I call these “the boring and normal Green fruits and vegetables: American veggies”. By this I mean the (LDL), helps to boost your immune vegetables that seem to be what Amer- system, supports healthy digestion, Provides nutrients that can reduce your improves your body’s ability to absorb chance of cancer, lowers your blood icans focus on: basic greens, tomacalcium, fights inflammation, plays a toes, potatoes, cucumbers, onions, pressure and bad cholesterol, helps to role in the reduction of tumor growth, carrots. The same applies for fruits: maintain normal digestion, supports and limits cancer cell activity in your apples, oranges, grapes, grapefruit, healthy eyes, helps to boost your imbody. pears, bananas. There may be a few mune system. more that I could add to this list but I’m Examples: blackberries, blueberries, Examples: artichokes, asparagus, avsure you get the basic idea of what I plums, eggplants, figs, grapes, pome- ocados, broccoflower (odd name but mean. There are hundreds of vegeta- granates, prunes, purple potatoes, purreally yummy if you’ve never tried!), ble varieties in the world but I have a ple cabbage, purple carrots (I’ve never broccoli, brussel sprouts, celery, cabtendency to focus on a small selection seen these but would definitely try bage, cucumbers, endive, green apof them. Because of this I often find them!). ples, green beans, green grapes, myself stuck in a vegetable rut. I try to green onion, green pears, green pepadd a different vegetable to my reper- Red fruits and vegetables: pers, honeydew melon, kiwi, leafy toire every month or so by just random- Provides nutrients that reduce the risk greens, limes, okra, peas, snow peas, ly picking something I’ve never tried of prostate cancer, helps lower blood spinach, watercress, zucchini. before and am not even sure how to pressure, plays a role in the reduction White fruits and vegetables: cook. This has helped me expand my of tumor growth, helps to lower bad vegetable horizon some but I’ve been cholesterol, supports arthritic joints. Provides nutrients that help maintain a trying to find a more creative way to Examples: beets, blood oranges, cher- healthy immune system, reduces the discover new veggies. risk of colon/breast/prostate/hormone ries, cranberries, papaya, pink or red related cancers, helps balance your grapefruit, pomegranates, radishes, hormone levels (very important after raspberries, red apples, red bell pepIn comes the rainbow. pers, red chili peppers, red grapes, red 40… for men and women!). onions, red pears, red peppers, red Examples: bananas, brown pears, cauMy new quest is to try veggies of vary- potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, wa- liflower (if you like broccoli, you’ll love ing colors. They have to be colorful for termelon. cauliflower), dates, garlic, ginger,

Provides nutrients that reduce the risk of age related eye health issues, re-

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jicama (odd name, easy to use, great for salad), mushrooms, onions, potatoes, shallots, turnips, white corn, white nectarines, white peaches.


As you can see, there are an abundance of options for expanding your rainbow of veggies but it can be overwhelming to try them all so pick one or two at a time to learn the benefit and how to use your newly selected fruit or veggie.

Happy vegetable hunting!! Now I leave you with a yummy recipe that’s easy and can help you broaden your vegetable rainbow.

At first I thought the purple potato would be very similar to its cousin, the Russet potato, but it turns out they have an added benefit… antioxidants… and a lot of them! Purple potatoes have 4 times the amount of antioxidants found in other potatoes, which can reduce your blood pressure. In fact, the Unite States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted a study of overweight participants who suffered from high blood pressure and found that “consuming six to eight golf ball-sized purple potatoes twice daily for one month reduced blood pressure by an average of 4 percent. These antioxidants also strengthen your immune system and can help prevent certain heart diseases and cancers.” [Source: San Fransico Chronicle] http:// healthyeating.sfgate.com/purplepotatoes-nutrition-2182.html

serves 4.

Nervous about cooking a randomly selected vegetable like something as different and odd as a purple potato? Just Google it! There are thousands of healthy, free recipes online found with simple searches. Another great source is right under your nose in the fruit and vegetable section of most grocery stores and it’s free. Look for a stand containing cards with various veggie recipes. Pick a new vegetable and grab a card featuring it. It’s that simple! With purple potatoes it’s a little easier because they can be used and consumed in a similar fashion as any other potato. (But they’ll look much cooler!)

Crushed Blue/Purple Potatoes with Olive Oil and Herbs (based on Michael Anthony’s Fork-Crushed Purple Majesty Potatoes via Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients 1 pound small blue and/or purple potatoes
 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
 1/3 cup olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
 ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chives and dill (or any other herbs), chopped

Directions: Place potatoes with skins on in large pot. Add enough water to cover potatoes by about 2 inches. Salt the water generously (about 2 tablespoons salt) and cook until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Remove potatoes from pot, and peel them while still warm. You will be able to just slip the skins off them potatoes with your fingers. Place potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle them with the lemon juice and about half the olive oil. Crush the potatoes with a large fork, keeping them in large chunks. Toss in the remaining half of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and chopped herbs. Season to taste with salt (about 2 teaspoons) and pepper (about 3-4 turns on a large peppermill). Serve warm. Sources: Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables: http://www.disabled-world.com/ artman/publish/fruits-vegetables.shtml San Francisco Chronicle: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/purplepotatoes-nutrition-2182.html New York Magazine Recipes: http://nymag.com/restaurants/recipes/ inseason/29408/ Smitten Kitchen: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/fork-crushed-purplepotatoes/ Recipe Image: http://www.tastespotting.com/features/crushedbluepurple-potatoes-with-olive-oil-and-herbs-recipe 31


ADULT CONTEMPORARY VOCALIST/ARTIST By Erika McDade Jurni Rayne is not your average Adult Contemporary vocalist/artist. This Dallas, Texas native has a great sound and unique flair. Do not judge a book by its cover because this anomaly of a diva will have you melting over the sultry sounds of her voice and the depth of her lyrics. Jurni Rayne is well versed in guitar, piano and flute; however, it is the voice that pulls everything together. Jurni Rayne has a fierce determination and an undefeated spirit. She doesn’t allow the difficulty of being an independent, “starving” artist control her destiny in music. With support from many friends and family, she has consistently been encouraged to keep striving toward her musical goals. Her hard work and determination has gotten her many opportunities. She was warranted a chance to open for Fantasia Barrino, and she recently had her song placed in a film titled “The Last Fall”. She has also had the pleasure of performing in different cities that included, but are not limited to: Houston, TX; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; Oakland, CA; San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; Gaitlinburg, TN and many more upcoming cities.

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Photography by Thomas Mosley WWW.ARTOFMIND.COM 33


J

urni Rayne’s father, James Butler, is a renowned blues guitarist whose influence developed an early love for music. Additionally, Jurni’s mother, Eugenia Butler, started a strong foundation by getting Jurni involved in the arts at a young age. She began with tap, ballet and jazz dance classes as well as piano and flute lessons. Eugenia has been Jurni’s moral support for everything that she was involved in and continues to nurture her talents by being the backbone of her support system. Jurni Rayne’s brother, Andre Butler, also known as Dre Emcee, has featured Jurni on a few collaborations. He has also spearheaded Major Prophets Entertainment.

Jurni wasn’t always a pursuant of music. She studied and received two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Spanish and the other in Hospitality Administration. Immediately following college she became a restaurant manager. Jurni did what she felt society deemed right, which was to go to school, get a degree and a career. In her title song, “Finding My Way”, she sings “got my degree/and a career for me/but deep down I wasn’t happy. Then suddenly/I couldn’t breathe /and I just had to leave.” This song was written as the onset of Jurni leaving the career world to pursue music.

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While music is important to Jurni Rayne, it is equally important for her to be an OUT lesbian artist. Jurni feels that your race, socioeconomic background, “hood” or sexual preference does not define the person or the talent. Because Jurni Rayne is a feminine identified lesbian, it would be easy for her to pretend to be heterosexual or, from the advice of many, just keep silent and let people make whatever assumptions they would like to make. Instead Jurni takes a visible and vocal stand against “hiding” by intertwining her lyrics and lifestyle without fear or regret. She uses any opportunity to educate the public and eradicate stereotypes and stigmas because she stands for justice in all forms.

“Jagged Little Pill” it created a chemistry called Jurni Rayne. Or I tell people it is a smooth hybrid of Norah Jones and Lauryn Hill. PUM: Thinking back on early childhood, what was your first experience with music like? What song do you remember most? JURNI: This is funny. My nickname is Bird. When I was 4 years old I wrote a song. It was a one liner but it had a cute melody. “My name is Birdie” was the title and lyrics. My dad still teases me and sings that song to this day. PUM: As a child growing up, music surrounds us; what type of music did you hear the most back then?

JURNI: I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood, but I went to a predominantly white church. It’s interesting because even though I only went to church on Sunday and Wednesday, my musical choices were influenced by my friends there. I listened to American Pop, Alternative, and Soft Rock. When I started cheering for the Oak Cliff Redskins, some of the girls heard me sing and liked my voice. They would BEG me to sing, but I never knew the songs. So, one day, they taught me “Stay” by Jodeci in the back of the van. That’s when I started listening to more R&B. Because PUM: How did you get your name? Where my dad is a blues musician and he was actively does the name originate? performing in clubs in Dallas. I got to sit in on JURNI: Jurni Rayne came from many nights of some of their rehearsals and got a taste of Isley trying to figure out who I was and where I was Brothers, Patti Labelle, and other soul/blues engoing. I decided that I couldn’t take being an arttertainment. Then I started taking piano lessons, ist seriously unless I gave myself a name. I which introduced me to classical music. So, I wanted to create a brand. I felt like “Jurni” dehave a WIDE range of musical influence, which scribed the journey that I was about to embark is why it’s so hard for me to fit into a genre box. upon in the music game. PUM: What was the first song you ever sang? PUM: How would you describe your music for How did it make you feel? the public audience if they have never seen you JURNI: I was probably singing a song as soon before? as I could talk. My first solo, however, was in the JURNI: When the smooth sound of India Arie’s 5th grade and Umphrey Lee Elementary. My “Acoustic Soul” met eyes with Alanis Morisette’s choir teacher, Mrs. Donnell, must have seen Jurni ultimate goal is to become an acclaimed LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) lyricist/vocalist. She also plans to combine her love for assisting the community, hospitality and music by creating a nonprofit for feminine identified lesbian and bisexual women, opening a chain of lounges where anyone can be themselves and enjoy great food and music. The talented Ms. Jurni Rayne allowed Platinum Urban Magazine an exclusive interview and here is what we captured.

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something in me because she let me sing Mahalia Jacksons’ “Trouble of the World”. I remember feeling honored that she would allow me to sing this solo. It was at a Black History program. I felt like I connected with the audience at such a young age. I saw some people singing along with me and that made me feel great.

from just a musician?

JURNI: For me, an artist creates. Some musicians are artists. There are some who play/sing the notes on the page, but it is the ones who bring those notes to life who are artists… the ones who evoke that deep emotional connection between you, them, and the music. The artists PUM: How did you become involved in the music give you that sense of climax. When they are finthat you play/sing now? ished, you want a cigarette…and you don’t even smoke. THAT’S an artist. JURNI: I never really wanted to pursue a music career. I went to school, got degrees and worked PUM: What are your immediate music career in my degree field. Music was my release. It was goals? how I got away and relaxed. I felt that if I made JURNI: I’m finishing up my first album, “Finding music my career, how would I “get away” if I My Way” and I plan to start touring. I am working needed to? That’s when I turned to writing. Writ- on increasing my fan base, because when labels ing songs is very therapeutic for me. A lot of my look to sign you, they are looking for someone songs are derived from my real life experiences. who already has that fan base, so exposure is PUM: What can people expect to see at your live going to be a huge thing for me this year. I’m goperformance? ing all out. If a car, boat or plane can get me there, I’ll be there singing my heart out. JURNI: Interacting. I LOVE to get the crowd involved in my performances. I want to entertain PUM: You’ve heard of the term “starving artist”… you, but I want you to feel like you are a part of how do you cope with major obstacles? the entertainment. Kinda like Sea World. You JURNI: It’s EXTREMELY difficult. I randomly could go to the Aquarium and look at the fish, but tweet “The struggle is real.” And in most cases at Sea World, you get to be a part of the show I’m referring to being a “starving artist”. I have two that they put on. degrees and I am bilingual. I had a “career” and PUM: What do you think your “biggest break” or left that to pursue music. Some people don’t real“greatest opportunity” has been so far in your mu- ize how much goes into what we do as musicians sical career? either. They think we just get up there and sing and play. But we have to pay for lessons, studio JURNI: Definitely getting the opportunity to have time, gas to get there, we have bills, we have to my song in the movie, “The Last Fall”. It was eat, we have to rehearse and that doesn’t include AMAZING to go to L.A. and watch that movie in the $1000s of dollars that go into equipment. So, the theater and see my name in the credits. It most times we end up breaking even when it was equally amazing to see it on my TV when comes to performing somewhere. So, we just BET screened the movie. keep cranking it out until we “make” it. FortunatePUM: If you had to categorize your music, what ly, I have a fiancée who understands my struggle genre would you best fit in? and makes sure I am taken care of. JURNI: Smooth Jazz, Easy Listening, Soul Pop (yeah, I made that last one up!). LOL!

PUM: Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry or do you have some other promotional tips to help support your music?

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JURNI: I don’t think it’s really the economic crunch that has hurt the industry. It’s just oversaturated. Now, with it being so easy to record your own music, everyone who thinks about singing is doing it. So, it is a lot of people out there and we are all fighting for that little bit of attention or spot light. At the end of the day, we just want you to take out a few minutes to listen to our music (with the hopes that you will like it). PUM: Art & Music has an impact on both young and old. Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for youth today? JURNI: Be who you are and don’t let ANYTHING tear you down or attempt to define who you are. We are often told we are limited due to our circumstances. Women don’t do this, you can do this because you’re from the hood, or because you’re gay, or Black, or poor. I always tell people, this is YOUR story so write it. Don’t let someone else hold the pen. PUM: What are current performance plans? New releases? Tours? News? JURNI: My best suggestion would be to check out my website, www.JurniRayne.com. I have an updated “Upcoming Performances” section, and all new info will be released there first, and you can also sign up for email updates there. By signing up, you would be the FIRST to know about what is new with me. You can also check me out on facebook, www.facebook.com/JurniRayne and follow me on twitter @JurniRayne for updated info. PUM: Do you have any video links where people can see you? JURNI: Sure. You can subscribe to my channel and check out my videos on www.YouTube.com/ JurniRayne PUM: Is there anyone special you would like to thank for making your dream come true as an artist? JURNI: There are waaaay too many people to thank. There is no way I could have been able to do any of this alone. There are a multitude of people who have been placed into my life and have assisted me in getting where I am today. I would attempt to name people, but fear of leaving someone out and feeling the wrath is too much to bear! I do have three people that are “must thanks”. I come from a musical background. My dad is a blues musician and he has taught me so much about the live music scene and musicianship. I currently have a very supportive fiancée who I honestly feel is my #1 fan. And the producer I am working with now, Jameal Williams, has offered me SO MUCH encouragement. He has no idea how many times I’ve contemplated giving up on music and then he would randomly call or text and say, “Jurni Rayne, you got it. You’re gonna make it.” Now he knows. PUM: Where do you think your largest fan base is located, and why? JURNI: This is a very interesting question. I am from Dallas, and a lot of people know me here, so by default I would love to say that my largest fan base is in Dallas, however, that’s not always the case. I think mostly because I’m seen in Dallas as more of a “friend” type. With the internet being the main source of promoting and marketing, it allows me to have a “worldwide” fan base. I am fortunate enough to have supporters from the U.S. to the U.K! My favorite place to perform is Houston. The people are always receptive to new music. They actually listen and learn my songs and sing along.

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RICHARD MILBURN AC ADEMY

PLATINUM SPORTS

COACH RONNIE GOVAN

COACH LAURA BETIK

Ronnie Govan started teaching at RMA in October of 2009. When Ronnie started, initially there was no basketball team and only a few boys that had expressed a desire to play. There was a Science teacher who had also agreed that having a team would be good for the students and the school. Toward the end of the 2010 Spring semester, we encouraged the students that expressed interest to get their physicals; as a matter of fact he made arrangements with a nearby back and spine doctor’s office to allow the boys to come and get their physicals. None of them did. When school started in the Fall of 2010, the Science teacher became persistent and they began inquiring with the principal to allow them the opportunity to have a basketball team. Reluctantly, the principal agreed, after he realized that they were already practicing with eight 40

COACH BOBBY NASH

RAIDERS of the boys. He was leery at first because of the lack of needed physicals so Ronnie only agreed to coach these young men after they completed the physicals. At first some of the boys forged their doctors visit but he wasn’t aware until a couple of weeks prior to the teams first game. Eventually they were able to get them all legitimate physicals. The first season was rough to say the least. There was one occasion when they had to forfeit the game because the boys were trying to fight each other. The irony of this is that when they forfeited the game they were leading. That year the Raiders won five and lost five. The second year the team had some returning guys and it was a much better season. The Raiders advanced to the play off and lost in the Quaterfinals by


their cross town rivals CAN Academy, which was the only team to which the team lost. This year, Coach Ronnie Govan, almost had to have tryouts because now there were so many boys interested in playing on the team. These young men range from the age of 15 to 19, sometimes even 20 depending on their birthdate. Ronnie does believe that the Basketball Program has definitely had a positive impact on each player as well as the school

as a whole. Many of these boys work very hard to maintain a passing grades and additionally harder staying out of trouble, which is not always easy for many of them. There could be a future NBA player at RMA but if not the coaches feel that each of the players will have had a good sense of fair play, sportsmanship and team work. The coaches also believe that the program has helped many of them to do better in every area of their lives.

DGAdaFOTOGRAPHER

RMA STAR LINE-UP L/R: Justin Laster, Pitrell Gutter, Antoinne Grinnin, Gage Nash,Chris Brown, Da’Vontea Chadwick, Bobby Motten, Xavier Jolavaughn, Malcolm Jackson

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Platinum Urban Magazine was given the opportunity to speak with Ronnie Govan, the head coach of Richard Milburn Academy’s Basketball Team.

CRG: My advice to any coach would be to have a lot of patience and learn how to lose as well as win.

PUM: What are your priorities as a basketball coach?

CRG: I decided to coach when my children became involved in The Girls and Boys Club.

CRG: My priorities as the coach are to ensure that players understand that their education is more important than any sports activity.

PUM: How do your players get ready for the game?

PUM: Why did you become a coach?

PUM: What is your philosophy as a basketball coach?

CRG: To prepare for the game we try to correct some of the errors in practice and remember the fundamentals.

CRG: My philosophy is that every player deserves an opportunity if he desires to be an athlete.

PUM: What routine does the team do for each game?

PUM: What was your proudest moment as a coach?

CRG: There are 15 players on the roster

PUM: What did you see as your toughest challenge heading into this season?

CRG: We emphasize the value of team and family.

CRG: My toughest challenge was to not cut players.

PUM: What type of advice do you give to the young men that play for the Raiders?

CRG: The number one routine before a game is PUM: At which position would you rather have a a mandatory grade check; all players must have dominant player: point guard or center? a 75 average before a game. CRG: I would rather have a dominant point PUM: How many players are in the roster, or guard than a center. line up?

PUM: How does the team get ready for a big CRG: My proudest moment was when my boys game? made it to the Quarter-finals. CRG: To prepare for a big game we always try PUM: Would you rather have a high scoring to cover the areas of our weakness, with specials offense or a stingy defense? emphasis on shooting percentage shots. CRG: I prefer a stingy defense over a high PUM: What sets the RMA Raiders aside from scoring offense. the rest of the charter school teams around?

PUM: Did you ever play basketball yourself? If so,where and what position? CRG: No, I didn’t have transportation to and from practices.

CRG: My advice for each player is to always hear my voice and do what I tell them to every time.

PUM: What advice would you give to aspiring coaches?

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DGAdaFOTOGRAPHER

RMA-RAIDERS

DGAdaFOTOGRAPHER

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Story by Sabrina Strang 44


Discovering Jazz I recently went to a local jazz show to experience a piece of Dallas culture that I’ve somehow missed in my many years living in Dallas. I was instantly captivated and wondered why no one had introduced me to this hidden Dallas gem before. The band was The Brett Laquercia Group.

I was thoroughly impressed with the sound and became Brett Laquercia intrigued to know more about Dallas’ jazz culture, so this issue and future issues will introduce various local jazz artists in an effort to bring this corner of Dallas’ culture to the forefront. This new section of the magazine will showcase the many talents that inspired today’s jazz performers to educate us all on this genre.

We’ll start with Brett Laquercia… local jazz singer and performer. Brett was born and raised in New York City on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the 70s and 80s when Manhattan was still gritty. He moved to Dallas in 2004 for the birth of his daughter, gradually adapting to the culture shock of trading Manhattan for Dallas, and has been raising his daughter while making beautiful music here ever since.

Brett’s musical and life history is interesting and worth sharing here…

The Early Years Brett began singing and playing bongos as a toddler at the age of 3. His mother was always singing to him… show tunes, jazz standards, and playing Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Marvin Gaye on the record player. A significant memory for Brett and his family was when his parents took him to the original Broadway production of the Wiz.

In the early 80s Brett had his first public performance in high school as a singer singing Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady.” At 15 he became the lead singer and drummer in a New York jam band. He taught himself the electric bass at age 19 and still plays the first bass he ever owned, which he bought for $100 in 1986: a 1960 Gibson EB-0.

The Young Adult Years Brett continued his music in college where he sang as a baritone in the college choir for 2 years, the jazz band for a year, and performed as the bassist for the college’s student-lounge rock and roll band. He also has the distinction of having played at the legendary “Village Gate” in Manhattan’s famed Greenwich Village, where such musical greats as John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Nina Simone, and Aretha Franklin also played. WWW.PLATINUMURBANMAGAZINE.COM 45


In the 90s in NYC Brett trained as a jazz vocalist with Metropolitan Opera and Broadway singer/ actress Claudia Catania, and with the Barry Harris Jazz Vocals Workshop (Harris lived with Thelonious Monk, and played with jazz greats like Cannonball Adderley, Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, and Max Roach). In 1993 and 1994 he was the bass guitarist and a singer with an original rock band, performing in bars and clubs all over Manhattan. From 19951997 Brett was the singer and bass guitarist in a successful acoustic blues and rag duo in NYC called “Brett and Me” and later briefly had his own rock, soul, R&B and funk band in Manhattan. For Brett’s last project in NYC he was the lead male vocalist in the Motown-inspired group "Hitsville," a ten-piece band with three horns, playing regularly at many long-established NYC venues.

incredible music so that it was in his bones, and even his late grandfather, Jack Gottesman, was a Vaudevillian performer who handed down entertainer genes.

Brett has begun writing some of his own material lately, and is preparing to go into the studio to cut his first CD. Amazing that it’s his first, since he is already wellacclaimed and in high demand by Dallas’ most prestigious venues While growing up Brett would sit like the Rosewood Hotels Manon the living room floor surround- sion on Turtle Creek, where you ed by record jackets while the can catch him monthly on a turntable spun many greats such Saturday night. When he’s not as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Won- playing, Brett can often be found der, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Ray on Tuesday nights with his “jazz Charles, Crosby, Stills and Nash, family” at the jam at Dallas’ early Chicago, Carol King, Paul Sandaga 813, or on Monday Simon, Santana, Sly and the nights taking in the sounds of the Family Stone, Gershwin, and so Shelley Carrol band at the Ammany others… an endless incred- sterdam Bar, which brings him ible, long list of jazz, soul, funk, back to his earlier days in NYC. R&B, rock and Pop, and even classical artists. We are really pleased to announce that Brett will take over this section of the magazine for future issues and will introduce you to the many jazz, soul, and Brett is also a poet and a writer of R&B bands local to Dallas/Ft. prose and plans to publish a book Worth. one day. He speaks Italian and Spanish fluently, and has a pas- Where to Find The Brett Laquercia Band sion for languages. By day Brett’s in Business Development, Vist http:// Brett grew up in an incredibly hip Sales and Marketing for compa- www.brettlaquerciamusic.com/ for musical home in Manhattan. His nies in the field of web-based upcoming show dates and to live parents were among the original language testing and training. He recordings Mambo Kings, Latin dancers from has worked with the languagethe “Palladium days” to the music Some of the musicians who play learning professionals in State that evolved into today’s Latin in Brett’s band have bios that Departments of Education and Jazz. In fact, his parents went to school districts in 35 states, and make amazing reading: http:// Woodstock, his Dad was a Latin music.unt.edu/faculty-and-staff/ also with the military and intelliand ballroom dance instructor, detail/222 and http:// gence agencies in the areas of and his Mom auditioned on www.dwightlenox.com/ language testing and training. Broadway, and is a beautiful sylvestersamplebio.shtml model and great singer. Brett grew up surrounded by the most

Today & Beyond the Music

The Influences

What’s next?

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The Chosen