Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dances of Universal Peace

From the "Dances of Universal Peace" in Albuquerque:
Amir has a master's degree in Percussion Performance from the University of New Mexico. A freelance artist, he plays drum set, vibes, and hand percussion with several Albuquerque bands. Amir is a certified dance leader and a member of the Mentor Teachers Guild.
The Dances of Universal Peace are a compendium of simple, meditative, joyous circle dances. They use sacred phrases, chants, music and movements from many of the world’s wisdom traditions. The Dances have no performers or audience. No musical or dance experience is necessary, and everyone is welcome to join in. New arrivals and experienced dancers form the circle together. Participants join hands in a circle with the Dance leader and musicians in the center. Throughout their time together, the leader teaches the group the words, melody and movement before each Dance. Themes for the Dances include peace, healing and the celebration of life’s great mystery.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Albany Poets & Beret Toss

Albany Poets is a local organization whose goal is to promote the poets and poetry of Upstate New York.
Albany Poets mission is to give everyone the platform to share their poetry with the world. Whether it is at an open mic, on a website, or in print, Albany Poets strives to integrate poetry and spoken word into the Capital Region.
Albany Poets’ website,, is the most comprehensive resource in the region for news and events listings for poetry and spoken word. 
True to poet identity, their annual event opens with the “beret toss” at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Jerry LeDuff

Jerry LeDuff was born in Alexandria, Louisiana to Creole parents Mary Elizabeth Esnault and Octave LeDuff and was raised in Pontiac, Michigan.
Blues music was an integral part of Jerry’s childhood experience. Jerry was introduced to jazz in the 1950s by twin jazz aficionados: brothers Obadiah and Rashid McConnell of Pontiac.
In 1961 Jerry joined the Navy “to see the world” and was stationed for three years at the Great Lakes Naval Station outside Chicago, Illinois. For a travel-hungry recruit this station was a disappointment, but for a jazz musician, not a bad concession. Jerry had the home advantage of proximity to Chicago and Detroit bars and jazz scenes.
After leaving the Navy in 1964, he purchased his first conga drum. At this time Americans had little access to authentic African music. Over a few years, visiting African drummers provided the needed instruction and guidance to develop the fundamentals of African drumming.
Having lived with the blues and studied and performed African and jazz music, Jerry LeDuff naturally extended his interests into World Music. Jerry’s music career has afforded him the opportunity to play and record with many great jazz musicians.
Jerry LeDuff was honored as guest artist at Oakland University, teaching students Brazilian rhythms and music, culminating in a performance with Akwaaba and Pan Jumbies.
Jerry plays congas, cuica, berimbau, tabla, suordo, ethnic flutes, ocarinas and many other percussion instruments. Jerry uses his large collection of ethnic and contemporary percussion instruments in performance, recording and lecture presentations. Jerry plays Latin Jazz and World Music. He composes, arranges and performs music for television, film and dance.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

La manufacture de Bérets Beighau

It is not that long ago that the South of France (and more specifically the area around Oloron Sainte Marie) counted many small beret manufacturers. These days, there is only Laulhère left of the historic manufacturers.
Until 1996 there was also Beighau.
110 years before, Zechariah Beighau set up business as a wine merchant in Oloron St Marie, and in 1928 his son Xavier started the manufacturing of berets under the family name Beighau. The business expanded rapidly.
In 1945, son Maurice joined his father in the company (he took over the business in 1980). This is still the time that many Frenchmen (and many others) saw the beret as a standard part of their clothing and berets were manufactured in great numbers. Only in 1977 Beighau produced 450.000 berets (65% export!) and employed 40 people.
The general decline in wearing hats and strong competition from Asian countries made Maurice, and his son Pierre decide to end the business in 1996. Most machinery went to Laulhere (including the ownership of the labels).
The factory building still stands in the centre of Oloron Sainte Marie, some machinery and equipment still present, but used principally as an exhibition space. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Martin Fourcade

Martin Fourcade (1988) is a French biathlete and Sous-lieutenant in the Chasseurs Alpin.
He is a five-time Olympic champion, an eleven-time World Champion and a six-time winner of the Overall World Cup. Fourcade and Ole Einar Bjørndalen of Norway are the only male biathletes to have won the overall World Cup six times, with Fourcade the only one to do so six times in a row. 
As of February 2018, he is the most successful French Olympian of all-time. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Nadine Vega (1959) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and record producer, best known for her eclectic folk-inspired music.
Vega has released nine studio albums to date, the latest of which is Lover, Beloved: Songs from an Evening with Carson McCullers, released in 2016.
Vega practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the US branch of the worldwide Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Douglas Cockburn OC (1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist. His song styles range from folk to jazz-influenced rock and his lyrics cover a broad range of topics that reveal a passion for human rights, environmental issues, politics, and spirituality.
Cockburn has written more than 300 songs on thirty albums over a career spanning 40 years. Twenty Cockburn records have received a Canadian gold or platinum certification as of 2013, and he has sold nearly one million albums in Canada alone.
In 2014, Cockburn released his memoirs, Rumours of Glory: A Memoir. No book-length biography of Cockburn has been written, but numerous critics have offered interpretations of Cockburn's songwriting phases, political views, and relationship with Christianity.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Achille Laugé

Achille Laugé was born in Arzens in the Aude region of France, and became a follower of Neo-Impressionism. 
The son of well-to-do farmers who moved to Cailhau near Carcassonne, where he spent most of his life, Laugé began studies in Toulouse in 1878 and went to Paris in 1881. At the Ecole des Beaux-Arts he studied with Alexandre Cabanel and Jean-Paul Laurens. While at the École, Antoine Bourdelle, whom Laugé had known in Toulouse, introduced him to Aristide Maillol and the three maintained a long and fruitful friendship. In 1888, after seven years in Paris (including a term of military service), Laugé returned to the south and established himself at Carcassonne. Finally, in 1895, he returned to Cailhau where he spent the rest of his life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

DJ Eve Dahan

DJ, producer, performer, Eve Dahan is an artist in her own right.
She takes pleasure in appropriating, assembling, mixing, triturating and digesting sounds to extract the juice and take people to a new territory of varied atmospheres. Her mix of electro is always cleverly dosed with rock and Brazilian influences; Hispanic, Indian and French repertoire leads to the creation of a cosmopolitan multifaceted universe coherent, voluntary and powerful.
Modern pinup? Certainly. Ultra-feminine? Yes. Fitted dresses, berets and high heels ... A look, an attitude, a class!  

Monday, May 14, 2018

Boinas Tolosa Tupida on SPECIAL!

On SPECIAL this week, the berets that stood at the very beginning of South Pacific Berets: the boinas Tolosa Tupida!
The boinas Tolosa Tupida are made of 100% Argentinian grown merino wool; soft to the touch, durable, light and extremely comfortable. What better recommendation than that the gauchos of the Argentinian pampas principally wear these berets?
For one week only, a selection of boinas TT in the standard diameter of 30cm and the generous Plato Grande in 32cm at a discount of 20% (as long as stock lasts)!

Elton John

Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947), is an English singer, pianist, and composer.
He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. In his five-decade career Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world.
In 2010, John was criticised by some Christian groups in the US after describing Jesus as a "compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems". William Anthony Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and opponent of gay marriage, responded: "To call Jesus a homosexual is to label him a sexual deviant. But what else would we expect from a man who previously said, 'From my point of view, I would ban religion completely.'"
Elton John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on 24 February 1998.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Berets were the typical headgear of whalers; Basques alike many other nationalities; partly tradition (Basques), mostly convenience.
Times have changed, luckily, and apart from some stubborn Japanese and Scandinavians, hunting these animals is a thing of the past.
It always makes my day when I spot a whale (orca's or dolphins) when driving along Wellington's south coast - always a magnificent sight.
Seems many people share this sentiment, even showing so by wearing 'whale berets'.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Peace Berets

"Peace Berets" come in many forms; typically it being the wearer who is associated with 'peace', being a Buddhist teacher, SCW-Veterans, scientists associated with the peace movement, protesters and activists... 
It often is the beret itself that stands for peace.
However, there are many berets that leave no doubt about the wearer's intentions. I even found a website selling solely peace berets and similar articles. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Jamie the Chimp

Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW) is located on 89 acres of farm and forested land in the Cascade mountains, 90 miles east of Seattle. CSNW is one of only a handful of sanctuaries in the country that cares for chimpanzees.
CSNW was founded in 2003 to provide sanctuary for chimpanzees discarded from the entertainment and biomedical testing industries. On June 13, 2008, seven chimpanzees arrived from a private biomedical facility in Pennsylvania. Some of the chimpanzees were kept as pets and used in entertainment when they were young. Some of them were captured in Africa as infants. All of them were used by the biomedical research industry to test hepatitis vaccines. Most of the females were also used as breeders during their years in labs and their babies were taken from them shortly after birth.
Now the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees enjoy a rich social life in an exciting indoor and outdoor environment where they have choices to make every day. Pictured here is Jamie, born in 1977.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Miki / Watch Caps at South Pacific Berets

Not berets, these Miki Hats or Watch Caps, but equally comfortable, well made and good looking.
These miki's are made of 100% cotton, fitted with a flexible headband and with a Velcro strap to ensure comfortable (adjustable) sizing. 
Available in 5 colours @ $28.50.

DJ Chris Sullivan

Chris Sullivan, is, and has been at various times, a DJ, author, nightclub host, pop star, painter, style commentator, entrepreneur and fashion designer. 
Coming to London from Merthyr Tydfil in the mid-70s, he went onto to study art at St Martins than fronted the high-concept Virgin-signed Latin funk band, Blue Rondo A La Turk. He began DJ'ing aged 14 at local youth clubs and after spinning at his self-promoted clubs such as Le Kilt and St.Moritz, he was the founder, host, director and DJ at of the world famous Wag Club in London where the likes of Sade, Prince and Lee Perry played live. 
During the early to mid-eighties he DJ'd every club and party worth talking about in London with gigs in Tokyo, New York, La, Paris ,Barcelona, Milan including the Mint bar ,Danceteria, Plastic and Ibiza’s Ku Klub. In 1987 he opened Afters in Clink St (4am-12 mid-day) where, using one deck and a cassette player, he was one of the first UK DJ's to play pure Chicago House.
In the nineties he DJ'd at parties for amongst many others, Elton John, Jean Paul Gaultier, Comme Des Garcons, Madonna, GQ and Italian Vogue and continued at clubs such as Browns, Pacha, The Limelight and the Cafe de Paris. 
He often plays film premier parties and art openings in the city and each year takes a DJ slot at the Vintage festival while his film script, Anarchy In The UK, is being developed by a Hollywood's Hacienda Films. Most recently he conceived and co-wrote a 9 part TV documentary series Gangs of Britain presented by his old chums Martin and Gary Kemp for the Crime and Investigation Channel.