Mitch’s Travel: Bally’s Las Vegas set to host the first-ever World Food Championships on Nov. 1-4, 2012

The World Food Championships (WFC) announced today a partnership with Bally’s Las Vegas as the official host of the four-day food festival and cooking competition. Additional events will take place at Paris Las Vegas and Caesars Palace, all at the heart of the famed Las Vegas Strip. Television’s Adam Richman will play host to the festivities Nov. 1 through Nov. 4.The alliance will transform the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Boulevard into a food epicenter with unrivaled competition and culinary experiences, when food champions from across the United States will compete for fame and fortune.

With a total prize pot of $300,000, the World Food Championships will feature seven categories: BBQ, Chili, Burger, Sandwich, Recipe Championship, Side Dish and Chef’s Challenge. Each of the seven category competitions will take place at Bally’s Las Vegas on Nov. 2 and 3. Throughout the competitions, several People’s Choice and VIP opportunities will occur near the Strip and at Paris Las Vegas. On Nov. 4, the ultimate food battle, where each of the champions from the seven categories will go head-to-head for the main prize purse, will occur at a Final Table in front of the iconic Caesars Palace. This showdown will be judged by a panel of seven celebrity/culinary judges, including WFC spokesman Adam Richman, star of the Travel Channel’s “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America” and “Man v. Food: Nation,” and author of “America the Edible” and the upcoming “Quest for the Best.”

“The World Food Championships is unlike any culinary event Las Vegas has ever seen and we feel that Bally’s Las Vegas is the ideal location,” said Mike McCloud, president of Trybe Targeting, the company producing the four-day event. “WFC is the ultimate food showdown, and in a city known for world-class food and entertainment, there is no better place to host this event. “

“Bally’s Las Vegas is the perfect home for the inaugural World Food Championships,” said Jeffrey Frederick, vice president of food and beverage for Bally’s Las Vegas. “Right in the center of the Strip, Bally’s partnership with the World Food Championships will give guests the opportunity to taste a wide variety of America’s favorite dishes from amateur and professional chefs. The competition will transform a section of Las Vegas Boulevard, with events spread across three resorts, creating one of the largest food competitions this city has ever seen.”

For more information about events, opportunities or competitions at The World Food Championships, visit

THIRTEEN to broadcast benefit concert featuring Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr on April 29

According to a news release, former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited on an American stage for the first time in 17 years during an historic April 2009 Radio City Music Hall benefit concert. The event will be broadcast in New York on THIRTEEN at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29, 2012 (check local listings for broadcast dates and times in your area).
The Beatle reunion highlights the 90-minute “Change Begins Within” concert to benefit the David Lynch Foundation, a charity set up in 2005 by the iconic filmmaker David Lynch to fund Transcendental Meditation programs for at-risk youth, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and women who suffer from domestic abuse and violence.
McCartney performs a set of Beatles, Wings and solo classics; Starr sings his own set of Beatle and solo hits. McCartney and Starr join together on stage for “With a Little Help from My Friends,” Paul’s rarely performed “Cosmically Conscious,” and Beatle fan favorite “I Saw Her Standing There.”
Also appearing on the broadcast are comedian Jerry Seinfeld as well as musicians Sheryl Crow (“My Sweet Lord”), Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper (“Under Pressure”), Moby and Betty LaVette (“Natural Blues”), Paul Horn, newly-elected Rock-and-Roll-Hall of Famer Donovan  and Jim James (“Hurdy Gurdy Man”). 
The concert was co-produced by Hoosick Falls Productions and David Lynch Foundation Television with executive producers George Verschoor, David Lynch, and Bob Roth.

Guitarist Stanley Jordan obtains 2012 NAACP Image Award nomination

Stanley Jordan
Photo by Keith Major

Guitarist Stanley Jordan has been nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award in the category of “Outstanding Jazz Album” for his latest Mack Avenue Records release Friends.
The NAACP Image Awards, celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year, are presented each year to honor outstanding people of color in film, television, music and literature. In conjunction, the ceremony offers awards to individuals or groups who help promote social injustice through creative efforts. Members of the NAACP vote on the awards, and the process is similar to that of the Grammy Awards and Oscars.
The complete awards ceremony will be presented live at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST on Friday, Feb. 17 on NBC.
In Friends, Jordan shares the platform with the following musical guests: guitarists Bucky PizzarelliMike SternRussell Malone and Charlie Hunter; violinist Regina Carter; saxophonists Kenny Garrett and Ronnie Laws; trumpeter Nicholas Payton; bassists Christian McBride and Charnett Moffett; and drummer Kenwood Dennard
Reflecting on the wealth of music inspired by collaborating with chosen peers on FriendsStanley Jordan says in a news release, “I am so humbled and grateful to all of the wonderful musicians who graced this project. This collection truly speaks to my belief in the integrationist spirit of music. I’d like to move beyond ‘fusion’ and explore the concept of ‘integration.’ When you integrate styles, you combine them into something new while still remaining true to the original sources. The same principal holds for our friendships, which require mutual respect. Our friends are a mirror revealing the diversity within us, and at the same time they give us the courage to share our true selves with the world.”

Black Liberated Arts Center presents “Sing-Off” Season 2 winners Committed in concert

Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc., in conjunction with members of the Oklahoma Conference of Seventh Day Adventist, will present Sony Music recording artists Committed in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Frederick Douglass High School Auditorium, 900 Martin Luther King Avenue in Oklahoma City. 

The concert will benefit the Douglass High School Band. The group – Maurice Staple, Geston Pierre, Alain “Tommy” Gervais, Theron “Therry” Thomas Jr., Robert Pressley Jr., and Dennis Baptiste Jr. – initially started as a quartet 2003 at Forest Lake Academy outside Orlando, Fla., and evolved with the addition of new members over time. With a sound reminiscent of their greatest musical influence, Take 6, the group stole the hearts of America when they walked away as the grand prize winners of the “The Sing-Off” Season 2.
The group earned a contract with Epic Records and a $100,000 cash prize. “The Sing-Off” ranked No. 1 in its timeslot, and Committed received a record number of votes, sold more than 110,000 tracks, garnered 25,000 Facebook friends and 7,000 followers on Twitter.

For more information, call BLAC Inc. at (405) 524-3800.

Shirley Murdock interview with Tavis Smiley airs this weekend

According to a recent news release, vocalist Shirley Murdock recently sat down for an interview and talked about her journey through life and music with media personality Tavis Smiley on Public Radio International’s “The Tavis Smiley Show.” The interview airs on Public Radio International (PRI) from Friday, Oct. 28 through Friday, Nov. 4. Local stations can be found at

The Dayton, Ohio-based singer is best known for her top 10 ’80s era R&B hits “As We Lay,” “Go on Without You,” “Husband” and “In Your Eyes.” However, in recent years, she’s become equally known for her gospel and inspirational tunes such as 2007’s “I Love Me Better than That.”

Murdock talked with Smiley about her transition from R&B to gospel and all the twists and turns in between. She also discussed her new, first live CD “Live: The Journey” and its companion music DVD.
The 17-track collection was produced by Grammy Award winner Cedric Thompson (who’s produced Yolanda Adams and Marvin Sapp) and recorded live at The Broadcast Group Complex in Charlotte, NC. R&B singers Kelly Price and Regina Belle as well as gospel singer Beverly Crawford each performed a song with Murdock and did one song as a foursome. The “Live: The Journey” (Tyscot Records) CD has debuted at #24 on Billboard’s top Gospel Albums chart while the “Live: The Journey” (Tyscot Records) music DVD debuted at #40 on Billboard’s top Music Videos chart where it shares rank alongside projects such as Taylor Swift’s “Journey to Fearless” and the band Journey’s “Live in Manila.”

Meanwhile, Murdock’s current inspirational/gospel radio single “Dream” is moving up the gospel radio playlists around the country. It’s receiving heavy substantive rotation on Sirius XM satellite’s Praise Channel 64 and Murdock was also recently a guest in the VIP Lounge with DJ Cayman Kelly on Sirius’s XM’s Heart & Soul Channel 48. Murdock also recently sang the song on The National Mall during the recent Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Unveiling ceremony where President Barack Obama spoke about Dr. King’s legacy.

“The song is anointed because it’s full of the word,” Murdock says of the inspiring ballad of hope and perseverance. “It’s like the voice of God speaking directly to your spirit, reminding you, that He’s not a man that He should lie … if He spoke it, will He not do it? This song will stir up and rekindle that word, that’s been spoken into your spirit and remind you that your dream can not…will not die.” For more information on Shirley Murdock, go to or!/ShirleyMurdock