KUCI 88.9fm

Monday, March 20, 2017

24TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES WOMEN’S THEATRE FESTIVAL HONORS COMPOSER MEGAN CAVALLARI ON MARCH 23RD! Host Janeane Bernstein chats with Megan Cavallari tomorrow on KUCI 88.9fm before this great honor!

The 24th Annual Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival will honor composer Megan Cavallari with the Integrity Award on Wednesday, March 23rd at 7 pm at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre.

The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival empowers women artists to engage and inspire communities through the production of multidisciplinary solo performances and education outreach. The Annual Festival honors the achievement of extraordinary women in theatre. The Integrity Award is presented to an artist or individual who has brought credibility and dignity to her work.

Cavallari has worked on more than 50 film scores as performer, arranger, conductor or composer. She has composed for the L.A. Kings; has worked on 25 television shows; 16 stage musicals; and written hundreds of songs, jingles and assorted musical offerings.

In a world dominated by men, Cavallari’s critically acclaimed musicals have played at such theatres as The Mark Taper Forum, The York (NYC) Barrington Stage, 5th Avenue Playhouse (Seattle), The Ordway (St. Paul), The Under the Stars (Houston) and Living Arts Centre (Toronto).

Cavallari has won three ASCAP Awards, a BMI Award, two IRNE Awards, two Cynopsis Media Award, two Telly Awards, a FAHF Humanitarian Award, a Yip Harburg Award, a Founders Day Award, a Vollenberg Grant and has two platinum albums.

She recently launched The Talk Foundation Project, where she records the thoughts and observations of children with life-threatening and chronic diseases. She also faces the challenges of raising a twelve-year old daughter with juvenile arthritis.

Barnsdall Gallery Theatre is located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90027. Please visit the following website for further information and tickets: http://www.lawtf.org/

Agustín Fuentes, Notre Dame anthropologist shares his latest book, "The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional."

Listen to my conversation
with Agustín Fuentes

Agustín Fuentes, Notre Dame anthropologist discusses how our capacity for creativity is what has made humans exceptional.

Creativity: it’s the secret of what makes humans special. Agustín Fuentes, professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at University of Notre Dame, brings us this optimistic assertion, that we are defined as a species by our unique capacity for creativity and collaboration, in THE CREATIVE SPARK, a sweeping overview of the history and continued legacy of human creativity. Weaving fascinating stories about our ancestors, Fuentes explores how creativity has propelled the evolutionary development of our bodies, minds, and cultures, for good and for bad, over millions of years, defining and refining what it means to be human.

Agustín Fuentes will discuss:

· The history and trajectory of human creativity, from selective foraging and hunting to the marvels of modern technology.

· The unique relationship between humans and dogs, the only domesticated animal that shaped our evolutionary path even as we shaped theirs.

· What set the stage for modern warfare, and a controversial explanation of large-scale human violence.

· Evidence that men are not inherently more violent and women are not inherently more domestic.

· The dark side of human creativity—how social constructs such as race, gender, and nationality incite conflict at levels not seen in other species.

· Actionable and concrete steps we can take, individually and as a community, to harness our own creative power when it comes to food, sex, art, science, and more.

As Fuentes concludes, to make something lasting and useful today you need to understand the nature of your collaboration with others, what imagination can and can't accomplish, and, finally, just how completely our creativity is responsible for the world we live in.

About the Author:

Agustín Fuentes is a professor and the chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology and a National Geographic Explorer. He has contributed to Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Salon.com, and Slate.com. He is the author of Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You, and winner of the W.W. Howells Book Award. He lives in Indiana.

About the book:

A bold new synthesis of paleontology, archaeology, genetics, and anthropology that overturns misconceptions about race, war and peace, and human nature itself, answering an age-old question: What made humans so exceptional among all the species on Earth?

Creativity. It is the secret of what makes humans special, hiding in plain sight. Agustín Fuentes argues that your child's finger painting comes essentially from the same place as creativity in hunting and gathering millions of years ago, and throughout history in making war and peace, in intimate relationships, in shaping the planet, in our communities, and in all of art, religion, and even science. It requires imagination and collaboration. Every poet has her muse; every engineer, an architect; every politician, a constituency. The manner of the collaborations varies widely, but successful collaboration is inseparable from imagination, and it brought us everything from knives and hot meals to iPhones and interstellar spacecraft.

Weaving fascinating stories of our ancient ancestors' creativity, Fuentes finds the patterns that match modern behavior in humans and animals. This key quality has propelled the evolutionary development of our bodies, minds, and cultures, both for good and for bad. It's not the drive to reproduce; nor competition for mates, or resources, or power; nor our propensity for caring for one another that have separated us out from all other creatures.

As Fuentes concludes, to make something lasting and useful today you need to understand the nature of your collaboration with others, what imagination can and can't accomplish, and, finally, just how completely our creativity is responsible for the world we live in. Agustín Fuentes's resounding multimillion-year perspective will inspire readers—and spark all kinds of creativity.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bestselling author Subir Chowdhury joined host Janeane Bernstein Monday March 20 at 9:15am pst about his book, The Difference - When Good Enough Isn't Enough.

What are the Simple Characteristics that Separates Good Companies from Great Companies, “Good Enough” Organizational Cultures from Exceptional Ones?

Did you miss today's show with Subir Chowdhury?
Listen here!


When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

Renowned management consultant for Fortune 500 companies and bestselling author of The Power of Six Sigma and The Ice Cream Maker, Subir Chowdhury is best known for having transformed the quality of the products and processes at many of the world’s leading manufacturers over the past two decades. In THE DIFFERENCE: WHEN GOOD ENOUGH ISN'T ENOUGH, Chowdhury tackles an issue that has haunted him for decades in his work with many of the world’s largest organizations. Why is it that some companies improve only incrementally, while others improve one hundred times that? After all, the ideas and training are the same. What is the difference?

THE DIFFERENCE reveals that what distinguishes one organization from another is its culture— its people. The best processes and training programs in the world will not succeed, unless organizations nurture the skills, loyalty and passion of the people who make up their workforce—from the C-suite to the shop floor. Drawing from examples in his own life and career, Chowdhury illustrates why having a “caring mindset” is essential for both personal and professional success.

What is a caring mindset and culture? It is one built on what Chowdhury calls “STAR” attributes: Straightforwardness, Thoughtfulness, Accountability, and Resolve.

Illuminated with stories from his consulting work and his impoverished childhood growing up in Bangladesh, Chowdhury encourages each of us to be the difference in our lives.

A powerful guide to living a successful life and career, THE DIFFERENCE will inspire you to care more deeply about what matters most, at work, at home and in our communities.

SUBIR CHOWDHURY is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and consultants, who works with Fortune 500 companies to improve their processes, operations, quality and performance. His clients saved billions of dollars by deploying process improvement methodologies. He is the bestselling author of The Power of Six Sigma, and The Ice Cream Maker. Chowdhury lives in Los Angeles. For more information on Subir and The Difference please visit subirchowdhury.com or follow him on Twitter (@subirchowdhury) and Facebook (@subirchowdhuryauthor).

Ellen Hopkins, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath, joins host Janeane Bernstein Monday March 20 at 9:00am pst!

Did you miss Ellen Hopkins on today's show?
Listen here!

Ellen Hopkins—who has been called “the bestselling living poet in the country” by mediabistro.com—has over four million books in print, many reaching #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Her latest book, The You I've Never Known, is out now and host Janeane Bernstein will be sharing details on this latest work!

For the first time in both verse and prose, Ellen delivers a “deeply personal” (Publishers Weekly) novel where a teenager discovers uncovers a startling truth: her mother didn’t abandon her. Her father kidnapped her. In the vein of NBC’s This is Us, we follow the story of a teen mother (Maya) and daughter (Ariel) looking for the missing pieces in their lives.

The real twist? The author has experienced a kidnapping like this first hand!

The book is not just a thriller, but also tackles issues of love and sexual identity, in an emotionally deep way. As Ariel navigates through high school, she explores her sexual identity and develops relationships with both a male and female character.

Ellen Hopkins has been writing for Young Adults for 13 years, and is one of the first YA authors to continuously tackle tough issues successfully. She feels it is important to reach the teen readers that demand a story that’s deeper than just fluff, something that they can hold onto and that helps them understand that they are not alone in the world.

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at EllenHopkins.com and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

I was adopted at birth and raised by a great, loving older couple. I grew up in Palm Springs CA, although we summered in Napa and Lake Tahoe, to avoid those 120 degree summers. After my adopted parents died, I did find my birth mother, who lives in Michigan with my half sister.

I studied journalism in college, but left school to marry, raise kids and start my own business--a video store, before the mega-chains were out there. After a divorce, I met my current husband and we moved to Tahoe to become ski bums and otherwise try to find our dreams. At that time, I went to work for a small alternative press, writing stories and eventually editing.

When we moved down the mountain to the Reno area, I started writing nonfiction books, many of which you can see here. The rest are viewable on my personal website. I also continued to freelance articles for newspapers and magazines.

All that has changed, with the publication of my novel, CRANK, which has led to a valued career writing YA novels in verse, all of which explore the more difficult situations young adults often find themselves in. Will I ever write one in prose? No doubt! But, for the moment, writing novels in verse fulfills two needs: writing poetry and writing fiction. The combination is so interesting!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Isaac Lidskey, former Saved by the Bell star-turned-entrepreneur, shares his journey of becoming blind…and then learning to see with “Eyes Wide Open”

On Wednesday March 15, 2017, host Janeane Bernstein chatted with former Saved by the Bell star-turned-entrepreneur, Isaac Lidsky, who shared his journey of becoming blind…and then learning to see with “Eyes Wide Open.”

Listen to their conversation here!

In his popular new TED Talk "What reality are you creating for yourself?," former Saved by the Bell teen star-turned-entrepreneur Isaac Lidsky recalls how the sales person he waved to in the store was really a mannequin, and how he reached down to wash his hands and realized it was a urinal and not a sink. He learned of his diagnosis at thirteen: Retinitis Piegmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that would lead to his blindness by age 25. After initially believing his blindness signaled the end of his independence and achievement, Lidsky found other pathways of perception, turning his life around with his Eyes Wide Open philosophy. He graduated from Harvard Law School, worked as a law clerk under the guidance of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and eventually became a highly successful entrepreneur and family man.

In his new book EYES WIDE OPEN: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Cant’s See Clearly, Isaac Lidsky probes the many facets of perception, detailing the neuroscience of sight and drawing on his own experience to show how our perception shapes—and often limits—our reality.

Isaac Lidsky will share how his journey taught him to:

· face fears in moments of crisis or extreme change and shape his own reality;

· focus his viewpoint when it came to so-called “weaknesses;”

· tackle the perception of luck;

· listen with “eyes wide open” to better understand what others are communicating.

Isaac Lidsky shares how to live with freedom from self-limitations and to lead life with deeper awareness, understanding, accountability, and success.

About the Author:

Isaac Lidsky has an eclectic resume. He played “Weasel” on Saved by the Bell: The New Class; graduated from Harvard College at age nineteen with a degree in mathematics and computer science; graduated from Harvard Law School and served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg; transformed a struggling $15 million concrete subcontractor into an industry-leading $150 million business; and founded Hope for Vision, a nonprofit that funds the development of treatments for blinding diseases. Lidsky was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare degenerative disease of the retina that caused him to gradually lose his sight. Lidsky lives Florida with his wife and four children. Learn more at www.Lidsky.com.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jake Shimabukuro, one of the most exceptional and innovative uke players in the history of the instrument, joined host Janeane Bernstein on KUCI 88.9fm Monday March 13 at 9:00am pst!

If you missed Jake on today's show, listen here!

Visit: http://www.jakeshimabukuro.com/home/

Photo by Daylin Pelletier


Jake Shimabukuro can still vividly remember the first time he held a ukulele, at age four. It was an encounter that would shape his destiny and give the world one of the most exceptional and innovative uke players in the history of the instrument. He is an artist who has drawn comparisons to musical titans such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.

“ My mom played, and I kept bugging her to teach me,” he recalls. “ So one day we sat down on the floor and she put her old Kamaka ukulele in my hands. I remember being so nervous. Then she showed me how to strum the strings and taught me my first chord. I fell in love with theukulele immediately. From that day on, you had to pry the instrument away from me in order to get me to do anything else.” That first brush with musical fate took place in Honolulu, Hawai’i, where Jake was born and still makes his home. Growing up, he studied and played a number of other musical instruments drums, piano and guitar. 

“ But none of those instruments spoke to me the way the ukulele did,” he says. “ There was something about the uke that was different. Music was my passion, but I had no idea that I could make it as a musician. I always thought that maybe I’d be a school teacher and incorporate music into the classroom, rather than being on a stage performing in front of people.” Of course, Shimabukuro would end up performing on many of the world’ s most renowned stages.

Starting his career in Hawai’ i, he took his inspiration from some of the islands’great uke players Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon. But he quickly expanded his scope from there, drawing influences from across the musical spectrum. “ As I got older,” he says, “ I realized that I could also learn from guitar players, drummers, violinists, pianists, singers and even dancers. And then I started to observe athletes. Athletes are artists too. I was heavily influenced by people like Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan - applying their philosophy and intense, mental focus to music performance.”

As a member of the group Pure Heart, Shimabukuro became a local phenomenon. From Hawai’i, his fame next spread to Japan. He was signed to Epic Records (Sony/Japan) in 2001 as a solo artist. It was the start of what would become a deep catalog of solo albums, noted for their dazzling fretwork, ambitious repertoire and wistful melodicism. And in 2005, Shimabukuro became an international phenomenon when a video of him performing the George Harrison song “ While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube. 

“ At the time, I didn’ t even know what YouTube was,” Jake laughs. “Nobody did, especially in Hawai’i. But I had some friends who were going to college on the mainland and they sent me a link to the video. By the time I saw it, it already had millions of views. My name wasn't even on it then. All it said was ‘Asian guy shreds on ukulele,’ or something like that. 

That’ s what opened up the doors to touring in North America, Europe, Asia and beyond. It was a big turning point for me.” By adapting a guitar hero anthem for the ukulele (Eric Clapton had played lead guitar on the Beatles’ original recording) Shimabukuro made a significant statement: The ukulele, with its humble four strings and modest two-octave range, is an instrument limited only by the imagination and creativity of the person playing it. Along with his own original compositions, Jake became noted for his solo uke arrangements of such varied pieces as Queen’s “ Bohemian Rhapsody,” Schubert's “ Ave Maria” and Leonard Cohen’ s “Hallelujah.”

“ A lot of those are just songs that I really love,” he says. “I’ d sit at home and work out how to play some of them on the ukulele. A lot of it is for my own curiosity. I always wondered, ‘ Man, what would “ Bohemian Rhapsody” sound like on a ukulele?’ And then it’ s my stubborn nature not to give up until I’ d figured out how to do it.”

Widespread acclaim brought high-visibility collaborations with a widerange of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel, and Marty Friedman.
Jake Shimabukuro has topped Billboard’ s World Music Chart on numerous occasions, and has sold out prestigious venues and festivals such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, Wolf Trap, Bonnaroo, SXSW, and the Playboy Jazz Festival. He even playedfor Queen Elizabeth II at The Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool,
England. Shimabukuro’ s busy touring schedule 140 dates a year is complemented by a rich and varied catalog of albums that capture the many moods of the uke. 

His most recent CD, Nashville Sessions, is one of his most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging records to date, blending elements of jazz virtuosity with heartfelt melodicism. A husband and father of two, Jake balances his stellar career with family life and community service. He travels to schools around the world spreading positive messages to young people, encouraging them to live drug free and find their passion just as he did at age four when his mother gave him his first ukulele lesson. 

In the time since then, he has played a key role in the current revival of interest in the ukulele. “ When I first started touring the mainland,” he recalls, “everybody would say, ‘ Oh man, I didn’t know you could play that kind of music on that thing.’ But now there are so many iconic artists playing the ukulele, like Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder, Train, Jimmy Buffett, Michael McDonald, Dave Mathews and Taylor Swift. Even popular cartoons like
‘Peg + Cat’ and ‘ SpongeBob SquarePants’ have ukulele soundtracks. 

The popularity of the ukulele keeps growing every year. And I’m constantly discovering new sounds, styles and expressive possibilities within the instrument through projects like the Nashville Sessionsalbum. By the time we finished that recording, I already had tons of ideas for the next album. I can’ t wait to get back into the studio and experiment some more.”

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Christine Gross-Loh, a freelance journalist and author of The Path, joined Janeane Bernstein Monday at 9:45am pst on KUCI 88.9fm

Christine Gross-Loh
Christine Gross-Loh

Author, writer. THE PATH: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life. Bylines: @theatlantic, @wsj, @guardian, @nytimeswell @voxdotcom

Did you miss Christone Gross-Loh on today's show?
Listen here!

Christine Gross-Loh is a freelance journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and the Huffington Post. She has a PhD from Harvard University in East Asian history.

The Path - NYT and International BestsellerPraise for THE PATH:
“Puett’s dynamism translates well from his classroom theater onto the page, and his provocative, radical re-envisioning of everyday living through Chinese philosophy opens wide the “possibilities for thinking afresh about ourselves and about our future.” His text presents creative alternatives to the stale “confines of our narrative.” With philosophical consideration, our methods of interacting and coexisting may, as the author promises, have the power to better our lives and our relationships. With its academic tone and spirited, convincing vision, revolutionary new insights can be gleaned from this book on how to approach life’s multifarious situations with both heart and head.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“[Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh's] accessible, conversational style introduces anyone with interest to what Chinese sages suggested about giving meaning to our days. Even more impressive, they inspire interest.”

—Huffington Post

“The Path illuminates a little-known spiritual and intellectual landscape: the rich body of Chinese thought that, starting more than two millennia ago, charted new approaches to living a meaningful life. But Puett goes a lot further, creatively applying this ancient thought to the dilemmas of modern life. The result is a fresh recipe for harnessing our natural energies and emotions to strengthen social connection and build islands of order amid the chaos that sometimes surrounds us.”

—Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God

“I read The Path in one sitting and have been talking about it to everyone. It’s brilliant, mesmerizing, profound—and deeply contrarian. It stands conventional wisdom on its head and points the way to a life of genuine fulfillment and meaning.”

—Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

“This is a book that turns the notion of help—and the self, for that matter—on its head. Puett and Gross-Loh bring seemingly esoteric concepts down to Earth, where we can see them more clearly. The result is a philosophy book grounded in the here and now, and brimming with nuggets of insight. No fortune-cookie this, The Path serves up a buffet of meaty life lessons. I found myself reading and re-reading sections, letting the wisdom steep like a good cup of tea.”

—Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss and The Geography of Genius

Each fall, Harvard professor Michael Puett begins his freshman survey of Chinese Philosophy with a promise – if you take the ideas in these texts seriously, they will change your life. Confucius’s Analects, the Dao de jing, the writings of Mencius: Ancient texts handed down over millennia in a land more than 7000 miles away. These texts, you ask, will change my life? Many students, even those bound for Wall Street, say the class has done just that. And we have one better: we suspect they may change yours, too.

In his inspiring book THE PATH: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us about the Good Life, written with Christine Gross-Loh, Puett brings these texts out of the University and into the world, encouraging us to put aside traditional Western ideas about “the good life” and to engage with the philosophies of key Chinese thinkers.

A course the administration thought would barely draw 100 students has, in nine years, inspired such an overflow of requests to attend that it was forced to move to the majestic Sanders Theater – the biggest room on campus – where 700 students now crowd into that hall every semester for Puett’s legendary seminar, “Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory.” It is Harvard’s third most popular class after “Computer Science” and “The Principles of Economics.” And life-changing indeed have these ideas been. For students pressured to push ahead with big pre-set goals and achieve individual excellence, this ancient way of thinking about life seems to them nothing less than revelatory – and a huge relief.

But of course it isn’t only students who feel this pressure to succeed; it’s every one of us. And while our culture rewards ambition, that ambition often leaves us wanting for happiness, for peace, and for reassurance. So for Westerners, to say nothing of Harvard students, when these are ideas are put into practice they may even seem almost subversive.

According to the wisdom of the sages in THE PATH, in making subtle adjustments to way we move through our day, the most dramatic changes can – and will – occur. By engaging with these texts, we can make profound shifts in our thinking, not only about what we can control, but about what success and happiness really are; we can stop thinking about what we’d like to become, and focus more on how we want to be.

Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. He is the recipient of a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching.