Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Celebration of the History of Music in Trenton

A Celebration of the History of Music in Trenton
Posted on September 28, 2014

Sarah Dash
The College of New Jersey School of the Arts and Communication, together with support from the Department of Music, African-American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, First Seminar Program, English, and the Office of Equity and Diversity are pleased to announce two events held in celebration of the rich history of music in Trenton this fall.
Please join us on Wednesday, September 24 from 11-12:00PM in Mayo Concert Hall (Music Building) for a free public lecture by singer and actress Ms. Sarah Dash of the iconic genre-defying trio Labelle. Along with fellow Labelle members Patti Labelle and fellow Trenton native Nona Hendryx, Ms. Dash has been recognized by scholars and journalists as an important contributor to trends in music and popular culture in the 1960’s and 70’s. Beginning as the Bluebelles, they garnered critical acclaim in the early 1960’s with soaring renditions of standards such as “Danny Boy,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” They reinvented themselves in the 1970’s with elaborate stage shows, glam rock costuming and a bold repertoire that included their best known hit, “Lady Marmalade.
In her lecture, Ms. Dash will speak about how her upbringing in the African-American church in Trenton, as well as the city’s public schools, contributed to her early musical development. She will discuss some of the challenges she faced as a black woman in an industry rife with tales of race, gender and financial exploitation. She has also promised to share rarely seen performance footage and photos.
Clifford Adams was born and raised in Trenton, NJ and briefly attended Trenton State College to study trombone. Since then, he has played with many of the jazz greats, names that resound throughout history and remain vibrant in the present by their influence on modern music forms such as tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, bebop era saxophonist Sonny Stitt and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. Most notably, Mr. Adams spent decades in the horn section of the long-time pop-funk band Kool and the Gang and is recognized for his solos in hits such as “Joanna,” “Jungle Boogie,” and “Hollywood Swinging.”

Dr. Sidney Pestka Trenton Connection

Dr. Sidney Pestka

Known as the "Father of Interferon," Rutgers biochemistry department chairman Sidney Pestka, 80, of North Caldwell, N.J., passed on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. He was born in Drobin, Poland, moved near family to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., at 21 months of age, and at age eight to Trenton, N.J., where he excelled at Trenton Central High School. He received a scholarship to Princeton University, from where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in chemistry, and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on full scholarship.
Afterwards, he worked at the National Institutes of Health in the laboratory of Marshall W. Nirenberg. Dr. Pestka's early work on the genetic code, protein synthesis and ribosome function led to Nirenberg's 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
In 1969, Dr. Pestka left the NIH for the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, where he focused on defining how antibiotics worked and proteins are synthesized and, later, interferons.
There Dr. Pestka was first to purify interferon alpha and beta; the first to clone mature interferons; and the first to develop a commercialized recombinant biotherapeutic-Roferon A. Dr. Pestka is known as the "Father of Interferon" for his seminal work on interferon, work that gave birth to a $6 billion dollar market directed at the therapy of hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other diseases that affect mankind. Dr. Pestka was Emeritus Professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, which he joined in 1986 and where he served as chairman for 25 years. In 1990, he founded PBL Assay Science -today a company of 35 employees -to develop cytokine assays and reagents and to expand interferon's clinical utility in cancer and viral diseases. Dr. Pestka is named inventor on 270 U.S. and foreign patents and has 665 publications and abstracts in his name. He has edited five books related to protein biosynthesis and interferons -several of which are classics and still cited today. He holds an honorary doctorate in science from Rider University and has played an important role at the International Cytokine and Interferon Society, where he served as secretary, vice president, and president. He was awarded the 2001 National Medal of Technology by President George W. Bush. He received the Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research; the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize from Harvard Medical School; the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award; the Molecular Biology Medal from the National Institutes of Health for his role in deciphering the genetic code and the mechanism of protein synthesis; and the Edward J. Ill Outstanding Medical Research Scientist Award for Basic Biomedical Research. Dr. Pestka is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan; his sister, Doris Goldman; his three children, Steven, Sharon, and Robert and their spouses Caroline, Ned, and Kazumi; and nine grandchildren, Hannah, Eleanor, Leela, Maya, Beatrice, Ashenafi, Robin, Sabina and Harry. Funeral Services were Friday at Temple Sholom of West Essex in Cedar Grove, N.J. The period of mourning will be observed at the Pestka residence in North Caldwell.

Published in Star-Ledger from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27, 2016- See more at: