05-20-2018  2:52 pm      •     
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Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Portland jury issues million verdict against landlord

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has ordered a rental-property company to pay more than million after a man fell through a rotting walkway at his Portland apartment complex.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Robert Trebelhorn argued that Los Angeles-based Prime Group, which owns the...

University of Oregon sorry for statement on student death

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon has apologized for a statement it put out after a student was found dead during a trip to Shasta Lake in Northern California.The 21-year-old student, identified as business administration major Dylan Pietrs, was found dead at a boat-in campground...

Responders searching for missing vessel find oil sheen

OCEAN PARK, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says crews searching for a missing vessel in Willapa Bay have found an oil sheen and debris where they believe the 43-foot boat went down.Authorities say the wife of a man who took the fishing boat Kelli J out reported him overdue on Saturday....

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...


Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...


Principal apologizes for 'insensitive' prom tickets language

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — The principal of a New Jersey high school has apologized for what he called "insensitive" language on tickets for the upcoming senior prom.The Courier Post reported the Cherry Hill High School East senior prom tickets urged students to "party like it's 1776" during...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...


'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators.At the closing...

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...


Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion...

Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran's...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering...

Iraq's al-Sadr says next government will be 'inclusive'

BAGHDAD (AP) — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq's...

Cubans mourn plane crash dead, officials ID 20 bodies

HAVANA (AP) — At morgues and in church services, tearful Cubans on Sunday mourned loved ones who died in...

Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday revealed his latest picks to be cardinals in the Catholic...

Tamara Stephens
By Helen Silvis | The Skanner News

PHOTO: Tamara Stephens entertained publishers at the National Newspaper Publishers Association Convention in Portland this June.

Tamara Stephens has been singing since she was four-years old. She started off singing gospel in church, and at age 8 was discovered by Linda Hornbuckle.

"She'd bring me along to shows or festivals and let me have the stage," Stephens told The Skanner News. "That built my confidence. Linda is a mentor of mine; she's  a sweetheart. I absolutely love Linda."

Stephens stopped singing for a while during her self-conscious teen years, but started again about three years ago, she said, this time with a focus on R&B and soul. And true to form, she went straight to the top.

"I hit the stage with my ex-husband Errick Lewis at Jimmy Mak's," she says. "We did a song called "There" that we wrote together. And since then I've never stopped performing. I've even been on stage in LA."

As well as beloved local musicians such as Hornbuckle and piano genius Janice Scroggins, who recently passed away, Stephens has been influenced by the likes of LaRhonda Steele-- "a huge influence," -- Lalah Hathaway,  Brandi and Roberta Flack. And of course Liv Warfield.

"Everyone is looking up to her now," Stephens says. "She has really put Portland on the map."

Stephens also loves older groups like The Temptations, Al Green and Luther Vandross.

"My parents wouldn't let us listen to a lot of secular music, but they grew up with those groups and they let us listen to them," she says.  "So now I really love that music."

The hip hop revolution didn't totally pass Stephens by, however. She says her guilty pleasure is "hard-core rap,"  so she has to turn down the volume on the x-rated lyrics when her kids are around. And she's excited about an upcoming  visit to Seattle to see Jay Z and Beyonce in concert.

A student at Warner Pacific University, where she is studying Human Development, Stephens says she has considered becoming a therapist because she is fascinated with how people think and why we do the things we do. But her current day job is as a contract specialist with an insurance company. And as the mother of a four-year-old she has her hands full.

But now she's found her way back on stage, she says she's ready for whatever success comes her way --even if that someday means moving to a bigger city.

Meanwhile she's recording an album with her band The Tamara Stephens Experience, scheduled to be released next Spring.

"I'm very critical of my own work. I have to play stuff over and over and make sure it's right before I can let the world hear  it."

Hear Tamara Stephens  perform in person:

 August 9 with Eldon T. Jones: 7 p.m. at The Star Theater 12 NW 6th Ave., Portland

August 30 with Saeeda Wright, Ronnie Wright and Kimberly Monique: 8 pm at Jimmy Maks 221 NW 10th Ave., Portland .

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