John Denver Honored As Legacy Recordings’ Artist Of The Month For December 2013

Two-time Grammy Award®-winning singer and songwriter celebrated in 2013 so far with all-star tribute album The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver, and innovative virtual concert presentation in many cities, “John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert”

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Legacy Recordings (www.legacyrecordings.comthe catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, commemorates the life and music of John Denver (1943-1997) on the occasion of his 70th birthday, and celebrates his memory as the label’s Artist of the Month for December 2013. Fans will be urged to join the John Denver estate in celebrating his legacy by using the hashtag #RememberJohnDenver on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts so all messages can be collected in one place.

Fans are also being urged to tell “My John Denver Story” at mystory@johndenver.com, recalling when they first fell in love with the artist, or one of their favorite Denver songs or experiences, including concerts or personal meetings with him. Each week, one fan’s memory will be shared with fans worldwide at http://myjohndenverstory.tumblr.com/.

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John Denver, who would have turned 70 on December 31, 2013, was a multi-faceted singer, songwriter, actor, environmental activist, philanthropist, and long-time RCA, Windstar and Sony Music recording artist. The beloved two-time Grammy Award®-winning artist (and five-time host of the Grammy Awards® broadcast), was also honored as the Poet Laureate of Colorado.

Denver began his solo career when he was signed to RCA Victor in 1969. It was his 1967 tune, “Leaving, On A Jet Plane,” that received notice, when Peter, Paul & Mary recorded it that year on their first ‘folk-rock’ LP, Album 1700. It became PP&M’s one and only #1 hit. The song entered the Hot 100 on October 25, 1969, the same issue in which Rhymes & Reasons charted, Denver’s RCA debut, containing his own version of the song.

John Denver emerged from the folk music movement of the 1960s to become one of the most celebrated entertainers of the ’70s and ’80s – with a string of nearly three dozen Billboard chart hits including the standards “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High” (an official state song of Colorado), “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Back Home Again,” “Thank God I’m A Country Boy,” “Annie’s Song,” “Calypso,” and many others, a body of work that will continue to resonate for years to come.

Throughout his RCA recording career, Denver released some 22 studio, live and Christmas albums, averaging at least one release per year from 1969 until 1988, when he moved over to the Colorado-based Windstar Records. To date, Denver’s catalog has sold over 33 million records including eight Billboard Top 10 Albums in the U.S. (three of which hit #1). These include seven RIAA multi-platinum, thirteen platinum and 20 gold album certifications.

A number of landmark events have already marked 2013 as John Denver’s estate honors his memory and music during his 70(th) birthday year, including a tribute album released in April called, The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver (ATO Records), featuring a collection of his most popular songs as recorded by a diverse group of artists ranging from Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket, and Train, to Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, and many others. “John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert” visited several major cities, presenting an innovative virtual presentation in which for the first time in 15 years, Denver was seen performing on giant video screens, backed live by former members of his band, accompanied by a string section. The concert featured archival video footage of Denver performing hit songs spanning his career, along with stories of life on the road with the artist as told by old friends and fellow performers.

Legacy will continue its role as the steward of John Denver’s enormous audio and video catalog, with special attention to two best-selling titles: The Classic Christmas Album(released 2012), a 16-song collection of favorite holiday tunes gathered together from his long out-of-print albums, Rocky Mountain Christmas (1975) and Christmas, Like A Lullaby (1990); and The Essential John Denver (released 2007), the definitive two-CD retrospective, containing 36 singles and album tracks spanning his recording career on RCA and his own Windstar label from 1969 to 1995.

His songs, wrote long time chronicler Barry Alfonso in his notes to The Essential John Denver, “celebrated love without shame and encouraged millions to see the glories of the natural world with clearer eyes. The on-stage humbleness Denver was known for masked a resolute dedication to his craft and the courage of his convictions. His major-key life was one exceptionally well-lived, and we are all the better for it.”

WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT THE 16TH MOËT BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS

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British talent turned out December 8th for the 16th Moët British Independent Film Awards. The winners were announced at the star-studded ceremony, held at Old Billingsgate which was hosted by BIFA Winning actor James Nesbitt.

For the first time, the lucky winners took home the brand new iconic award designed by Fredrikson Stallard and created by Swarovski. The awards ceremony was streamed live exclusively online at www.film3sixty.com/moetbifa

Best British Independent Film was won by METRO MANILA with the film’s director Sean Ellis picking up Best Director. Lindsay Duncan won Best Actress for LE WEEK-END and James McAvoy won Best Actor for FILTH. Imogen Poots collected her BIFA for Best Supporting Actress for THE LOOK OF LOVE and Ben Mendelsohn took home Best Supporting Actor for STARRED UP.

METRO MANILA won the most awards on the night, picking up three trophies for Best Achievement in Production and as previously mentioned Best Director award and Best British Independent Film.

Joint Directors, The Moët British Independent Film Awards Johanna von Fischer & Tessa Collinson said: “This year our independent jury had an extremely tough job, they were asked to choose from an impressive pool of talent and creativity in a year where the diversity of storytelling is more extreme than ever. Thanks to an independent film industry which encompasses so many different cultures, personalities, visions and voices, Britain is producing a new generation of fearless artists both behind and in front of the camera who represent that richness of our diverse British society. With so many of the films exploring themes about being less judgmental and more forgiving, this perhaps reflects a movement within British independent filmmaking that brings much hope for the future.

As previously announced, Julie Walters was awarded the coveted Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film, and Paul Greengrass the Variety Award, which recognizes an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to shine the international spotlight on the UK. The Special Jury Prize went to Sixteen Films & Friends (AKA Team Loach), in recognition of their contribution, bringing the work of Ken Loach to life.

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund said: ‘this has been a standout year for British film and the BIFAs has once again kicked off the awards season in style, putting the wild creativity and bold storytelling of the UK’s independent sector centre stage. Congratulations to all the winners and to the BIFAs for doing such a great job of spotlighting so many brilliant filmmakers.’

Elsa Corbineau, Marketing Director Moët & Chandon commented: “As a long term supporter of British film, Moët & Chandon is delighted to share in the celebrations of tonight’s very well deserved winners. To toast the successes of 2013, guests joined us in creating a seven – foot champagne fountain to salute a year of amazing achievements.’

The Raindance Award was won by THE MACHINE. Elliot Grove, Founder of BIFA and the Raindance Film Festival added: “The breadth, scope and quality of this year’s nominated films shows that British independent films and talent are not only the talk of the town but the talk of audiences everywhere.”

The Moët British Independent Film Awards are proud to announce the following winners for 2013:

BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM – Sponsored by Moët & Chandon
Metro Manila

BEST DIRECTOR – Sponsored by AllCity & Intermission
Sean Ellis – Metro Manila

THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR] – Sponsored by 3 Mills Studios
Paul Wright – For Those in Peril

BEST SCREENPLAY
Steven Knight – Locke

BEST ACTRESS – Sponsored by M.A.C Cosmetics
Lindsay Duncan – Le Week-end

BEST ACTOR – Sponsored by BBC Films
James McAvoy – Filth

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Imogen Poots – The Look Of Love

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Sponsored by Sanderson & St Martins Lane
Ben Mendelsohn – Starred Up

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER – Sponsored by Studiocanal
Chloe Pirrie – Shell

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION – Sponsored by Company3
Metro Manila

BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT – Sponsored by LightBrigade Media
Amy Hubbard – Casting – The Selfish Giant

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer

BEST BRITISH SHORT – Supported by BFI NET.WORK
Z1

BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM
Blue is the Warmest Colour

THE RAINDANCE AWARD – Sponsored by Wentworth Media and Arts
The Machine

THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)
Julie Walters

THE VARIETY AWARD
Paul Greengrass

THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Sixteen Films & Friends (AKA Team Loach)

Proud supporters and patrons of The Moët British Independent Film Awards include Mike Figgis, Tom Hollander, Adrian Lester, Ken Loach, Ewan McGregor, Helen Mirren, Samantha Morton, James Nesbitt, Michael Sheen, Trudie Styler, Tilda Swinton, Meera Syal, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone and Michael Winterbottom.

MACY’S SIGNS EXCLUSIVE DEAL FOR NEW THALÍA BRAND

Broad array of Thalía Sodi apparel and accessories will be designed for the style, fit and color preferences of Hispanic women

Macy’s, Inc. announced it has signed a multi-year agreement for an exclusive new women’s fashion brand inspired by Thalía, an internationally recognized actor, recording artist, music producer, author and philanthropist.

The new brand – called Thalía Sodi – is expected to launch exclusively in 300 Macy’s stores nationwide and on macys.com in spring 2015 with dresses, tops, pants, shoes and jewelry. Additional categories are expected in future years.

Thalía Sodi products will be designed and produced by Macy’s highly regarded Private Brands organization based on Thalía’s viewpoint and lifestyle. She will provide robust marketing support, including serving as the brand’s model, spokeswoman and advocate.

I am very excited and honored to partner with Macy’s, an iconic American brand that believes in our community, to launch a collection that will be fabulous, fun and flirty – truly representative of who I am as a Latina. This new fashion venture of apparel and accessories has been a longtime passion of mine and I can’t wait for my fans and women from all over the world to wear my collection,” said Thalía.

Thalía is one of the biggest stars on a global stage – a favorite artist and personality not only in the Latino community, but among fans everywhere who love her music, her style, her passion and her charisma,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. “When it comes to fashion, Thalía is a trendsetter for Latinas who love to step out and stand out in a way that is flirty, fun, vivacious and put together. Hispanic women are one of the fastest-growing consumer segments in America and already important customers for Macy’s in major markets across the country. With this new Thalía Sodi brand, sold only at Macy’s, we will have an even stronger fashion offering that directly addresses the style, fit, and color preferences of this customer.”

Born and raised in Mexico City and now a U.S. citizen, Thalía began performing at age 9 and first gained attention with the group Timbiriche. She launched her career as a solo artist in 1990. Since that time, she has sold over 40 million records worldwide, and collaborated with musicians from Tony Bennett and Michael Bublé to Emilio Estefan and Julio Iglesias. Thalía also has starred in a series of telenovelas broadcast in 180 countries, with a viewership of more than 2 billion people, earning her the nickname of “the queen of soap operas.” She has hosted a network radio show in the United States and authored four books, including her recent children’s book entitled, “Chupie: The Binky that Returned Home.” Among her philanthropic ventures, Thalía has been a strong voice for the March of Dimes, an organization that Macy’s supports nationwide through cause marketing. In fall 2013, Thalía was featured in Macy’s Hispanic Heritage Month events across the country.

Thalía, who is a mother of two children and married to music mogul Tommy Mottola, was being honored on Dec. 5, 2013, with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This is a remarkable time for both Macy’s and Thalía considering that America’s #1 department store is now entering the Latino market with an iconic brand like Thalía Sodi. We are confident that this alliance will be extremely successful and that it will resonate with the vast Latino customer base Macy’s already has,” Mottola said.

Extended Adventures Ashore in Myanmar, China, Vietnam & More Set for Crystal Cruises Asia Cruises in 2014

More than a Dozen Overnight Journeys Explore Culture, Natural Wonders, UNESCO Sites

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From February through April 2014, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises (www,crystalcruises.com) is offering its largest collection of Overland Adventures in Asia. A total of 15 one- and two-night optional, mid-cruise journeys will take guests far from the ports of Yangon, Shanghai, Laem Chabang, Ho Chi Minh City, Xiamen and Chan May for in-depth, intimate exploration of treasured sites, history, culture, and nature, such as:

Myanmar/Burma (3 Adventures, from Yangon):
Former royal cities of Amarapura and Mandalay, a showcase for Myanmar’s 19th-century art and architecture
Bagan, home of 2,000+ pagodas, temples, and monasteries, including the city’s pilgrimage center, Shwezigon Pagoda
Mandalay Hill, the country’s most iconic, holy landmark
Lake Inle, for a tranquil boat ride through floating gardens
2,500 year-old Shwedagon Pagoda, covered by 6,500+ diamonds, rubies, and other stones
Varied monastic disciplines, from Mahagandayon Monastery, where 1000 monks eat dinner in silence, to Nga Phe Chaung Monastery, where monks train cats to jump through hoops

Vietnam (2 Adventures, from Ho Chi Minh City and Chan May):
A dragon boat ride down Perfume River
Regal homes such as the Royal Citadel, Presidential and Imperial Palaces, and Palace of Supreme Harmony
Heavenly Lady Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s holiest pagodas and 1960’s protest site
Cities such as former capital Hue; Hoi An, an UNESCO World Heritage Site; and colonial architecture-filled Ho Chi Minh City

Bangkok area (3 Adventures, from Laem Chabang):
Elephant ride through Ayuthaya, a 14th-century UNESCO World Heritage city
Boat past the stilt houses and rustic shops on the khlongs, or canals, that make Bangkok the “Venice of the East”
Temples such as that of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Trimit, each housing larger-than-life Buddhas made of jasper and gold, respectively.

China (6 Adventures, from Xiamen and Shanghai):
The Li River, where guests will take a traditional cormorant fishing excursion and sail past water buffalo and rafts to the town of Yangshuo
Guilin, home of China’s unique cone-shaped Karst hills
Hangzhou, considered the most beautiful and elegant city in the world by Marco Polo
Ancient marvels like the Great Wall, Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors, and Beijing’s Forbidden City
More recent historical landmarks such as Tiananmen Square and 2008’s Olympic Green

Cambodia (2 Adventures, from Ho Chi Minh City and Laem Chabang):
The country’s most legendary temples, including UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, jungle-engulfed Temple of Ta Promh, Banteay Srei Temple, and Angkor Thom
A private Apsara/Hindu celestial dance
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It’s humbling to stand next to a thousand-year-old golden temple reaching toward the sky, or to walk where ancient emperors were crowned,” says John Stoll, vice president of land programs. “These carefully-crafted exotic excursions give our guests the opportunity to experience even more of incredible Asia beyond that which is accessible by sea.”

All Overland Adventures include air, shuttle, and/or boat transport to and from ports; meals, featuring traditional fare like Peking Duck or a Myanmar-style royal dinner and show; and luxury accommodations such as Bangkok’s Peninsula, Siem Reap’s Sokha Hotel, and Myanmar’s Aureum Palace Hotel.

Next winter, spring, and fall, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sail through China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and India on 31 five- to 29-day itineraries, including abbreviated Crystal Getaways and extended combination cruises. Fares for the 2014 Asia cruises begin at $1,520/person if booked by January 3. Asian Overland Adventures fares begin at $869/person, double occupancy.

What’s Hot Culinary Forecast Predicts Locally Sourced Food as Top Restaurant Menu Trend of 2014

National Restaurant Association survey of professional chefs also shows environmental sustainability and healthful kids’ menu as top trends

Each year, The National Restaurant Association (NRA) prepares its What’s Hot culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year by surveying nearly 1,300 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – to find which food and beverage items will be hot trends on restaurant menus in 2014. The NRA surveyed 1,283 American Culinary Federation members October-November 2013, asking them to rate 258 items as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news,” or “perennial favorite” on menus in 2014.

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Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees. The organization represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf, operate the industry’s largest trade show (NRA Show May 17-20, 2014, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids’ menu options. For more information, visit http://www.restaurant.org.

According to the just completed survey, the Top 10 food trends for 2014 are:
Locally sourced meats and seafood
Locally grown produce
Environmental sustainability
Healthful kids’ meals
Gluten-free cuisine
Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
Children’s nutrition
Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
Sustainable seafood
Farm/estate branded items
For complete What’s Hot in 2014 results, video and downloadable images, visit http://www.Restaurant.org/FoodTrends.

Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their food comes from, and that is reflected in our menu trends research,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association’s research and knowledge group. “True trends – as opposed to temporary fads – show the evolution of the wider shifts of our modern society over time, and focus on the provenance of various food and beverage items, unique aspects of how they are prepared and presented, as well as the dietary profiles of those meals.”

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Added Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, HGT, AAC, ACF national president, “The American Culinary Federation chefs who took part in the survey understand that sourcing locally and environmental sustainability tie in with ongoing efforts to provide more-healthful foods for everyone, especially children. Chefs recognize that nutrition is a vital component of the foodservice industry, and constantly revise and update recipes to reflect the concerns and desires of a diverse group of consumers who are looking for good food choices to best meet their nutrition and other needs.”

What-s-Hot-Alcohol

The What’s Hot in 2014 survey also found that the top five alcohol and cocktail trends will be micro-distilled/artisan spirits, locally produced beer/wine/spirits, onsite barrel-aged drinks, culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients), and regional signature cocktails. Continue reading