National Jazz Museum in Harlem June 2012 Schedule

This June, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem continues to offer a wide range of top quality free programming and affordable concerts from jazz’s most celebrated musicians, educators and historians.

For Harlem Speaks, our flagship public program of oral histories, we have vocalist Michael Mwenso.

Jazz for Curious Listeners is devoted to musical world of Ralph Ellison, who wrote brilliantly about Lester Young, Walter Page's Blue Devils and the others he heard in his native Oklahoma City, and also about Minton's Playhouse.

Our Saturday Panel this month will be spent celebrating the life and music of composer and lyricist Andy Razaf, featuring live music by Catherine Russell, and discussions led by Razaf biographer Barry Singer.

The Joan Stiles Trio and the Stephen Hudson Chamber Ensemble appear at Harlem in The Himalayas, a collaborative performance program with The Rubin Museum of Art.

We hope to see you, your family and friends at as many of our events as you can make during this exciting month at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem. You’re bound to meet other similarly exciting, interesting and vital people –like yourselves!
 
Friday June 1, 2012
Harlem in the Himalayas                                                                        
Joan Stiles Trio
7:00pm
Location:Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$20/Door $18/Advance | For more information: rmanyc.org
 
Joan Stiles, piano
Matt Wilson, drums
Joel Frahm, saxophone
 
Pianist/composer Joan Stiles has been gaining recognition for her highly creative approach to the jazz tradition. Her 2nd CD, Hurly-Burly garnered a 4-star review from Downbeat Magazine and topped JazzWeek Radio charts. What’s striking about Stiles is that she’s not beholden to any one era or jazz piano style. Her immersion in Mary Lou Williams’work has opened up jazz’s rich but often neglected history. Doug Ramsey writes, “Adventure, daring, exuberance and wit complement the sense of history coursing through her music…She weaves into her piano styles the blues, swing, stride and boogie that still inspire her.” With her new release, Three Musicians, Stiles is looking squarely to the future, making music that’s as fresh and full of wondrous surprises as any artist on the scene today.
 
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Saturday Panels
Black and Blue: The life & music of Andy Razaf featuring live music by Catherine Russell/Chuck Folds plus Barry Singer, Razaf biographer
12:00 –4:00pm  Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 4D)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
 
Join us for an afternoon celebrating the life of a singular African-American composer whose work still resonates today. Live music will be sung and swung by the brilliant team of vocalist Catherine Russell and pianist Chuck Folds. We are also honored to be joined by Barry Singer, author of the celebrated Razaf bio Black and Blue. As he wrote:
Born Andreamenentania Razafkeriefo - a direct descendant of the royal family of Madagascar - in 1895, Andy Razaf's life is a tale of breathtaking lyric talent ending in obscurity. After a brief pitching career in Cleveland with a semi-pro offshoot of the now-legendary Negro Leagues, Razaf turned to songwriting, creating with partners Thomas "Fats" Waller, stride piano giant James P. Johnson, and Eubie Blake such landmark standards as "Memories of You," "Honeysuckle Rose," "The Joint Is Jumpin'," "Ain't Misbehavin'," and "Black and Blue" - more than 800 songs from the bawdy blues "My Handy Man" to the big band hit "Stompin' at the Savoy." His first professional song, "Baltimo'," was performed in The Passing Show of 1913 at the Winter Garden Theatre when he was seventeen years old. He went on to write for the Creole Follies, a 1924 nightclub revue at the whites-only Club Alabam' in Times Square, with Fletcher Henderson leading the orchestra. Keep Shufflin', in 1928, Razaf's first Broadway show, was a jet-propelled musical entertainment ("there is no adagio anything," wrote one opening night reviewer) bankrolled by gangster Arnold Rothstein, who was the victim of a mob hit during the show's road tour. The nightclub revue Hot Feet followed - and quickly moved from Harlem to Broadway as Connie's Hot Chocolates with the backing of legendary gangster Dutch Schultz. A frenzied spectacle of a musical, Connie's Hot Chocolates featured a cast of 85, Louis Armstrong in the pit, and a score that included "Ain't Misbehavin"' and what many regard as America's first race protest song, "Black and Blue." Despite these successes, Razaf was invited to compose only one more musical for Broadway, Blackbirds of 1930. He died in 1978.
 
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Musical World of Ralph Ellison
Jimmy Rushing and The Blue Devils
7:00 –8:30pm   
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 4D)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300                                                                                
 
Ralph Ellison loved music deeply, and even considered a career as a trumpeter/composer before deciding on literature. His thoughts about jazz and its place in American culture were innovative and remain essential ingredients in any serious understanding of where we are as a country and how we got here. We will list to music that amplifies Ellison's prose about these formative influences.
 
During his teen years in Oklahoma City, the best jazz band by far was Walter Page's Blue Devils, a legendary unit that served as the root of the style eventually made famous by Page's pianist, Count Basie. Ellison would listen to them whenever he got the chance.
 
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Harlem Speaks
Michael Mwenso, Vocalist  6:30 –8:30pm
Location:NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 4D)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Vocalist Michael Mwenso was born in 1984 in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and began singing and playing piano at age eleven, a year after moving to London, England. He began to develop his love for jazz at an early age by attending concerts performed by such greats as Betty Carter, Elvin Jones, and Johnny Griffin. Michael developed a relationship in his childhood years with the King of Soul, James Brown, when he would perform in London. He often allowed Michael to sing with him when on tour in Europe. While enrolled in the Sylvia Young Theatre School Michael took up the trombone to enhance his musicianship. At age sixteen, he left school to lead his own bands and perform in various clubs including parts of Asia, with local jazz groups. Michael has won various music competitions, such as the Royal Northern College of Music award, and the Arts Educational Young People’s award. He has participated and achieved national and international recognition for his achievements. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Michael was asked to be a vocalist in the play “Katrina,” a production by Jericho House in London In 2007, he was invited to run the jam sessions at world renowned Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, which later became a four night residency at the club. Michael also developed a radio program and an educational program for children to study jazz at Ronnie Scott’s. In late 2010, Michael was personally asked by Wynton Marsalis to join the programming team at Jazz at Lincoln Center and head the After-Hours program at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, where he currently is employed. In his growing yet remarkable career, Michael has performed with Jon Hendricks, Jamie Cullum, Reginald Veal, Maceo Parker, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Wynton Marsalis, and many others.
 
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Musical World of Ralph Ellison
Lester Young
7:00 –8:30pm   
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 4D)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300                                                                                 
Ralph Ellison loved music deeply, and even considered a career as a trumpeter/composer before deciding on literature. His thoughts about jazz and it's place in American culture were innovative and remain essential ingredients in any serious understanding of where we are as a country and how we got here. We will list to music that amplifies Ellison's prose about these formative influences.
 
Lester Young came through Ellison's native Oklahoma City on many occasions long before he made his first recordings in 1936. It is in Ellison's descriptions of hearing the young Young that we get a glimpse of a nascent genius's reaction to hearing an already practicing musical genius.
 
Friday June 15, 2012
Harlem in the Himalayas                                                                        
Stephen Hudson Chamber Ensemble
7:00 pm
Location:Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$20/Door $18/Advance | For more information: rmanyc.org
 
Zach Brock, violin  Christopher Hoffman, cello Steve Hudson, piano, Martin Urbach, cajon/percussion
 
The Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble's compositions embrace the history of jazz, classical music, tango, and rock with their unique sound and a free spirited love of improvisation. Their newest recording, Galactic Diamonds has been called “a collection of little gems”by All About Jazz; “so disarmingly fun that it’s impossible to resist...a good-naturedly eclectic mix of third stream jazz with a catchy, quirky pop edge”by Lucid Culture; and “consistently engaging”by Christian Carey, Signal To Noise.  The New York City based SHCE  has performed to enthusiastic crowds from Vienna to New York. Praised by Keyboard Magazine for his "exquisite compositions”and for “a quest for beauty in his lines that evoke the masters," pianist/composer Steve Hudson has worked with Steven Bernstein, James Zollar, Marcus Rojas, and Claire Daly. Violinist Zach Brock has performed and recorded with Stanley Clarke, Alice Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, while cellist Christopher Hoffman has worked with Marc Ribot, Bebel Gilberto, Henry Threadgill, John Zorn, and director Martin Scorsese.  Martin Urbach has shared the stage with Lee Konitz and Dave Liebman. 
 
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Musical World of Ralph Ellison
Charlie Christian
7:00 –8:30pm   
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 4D)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300                                                                                
Ralph Ellison loved music deeply, and even considered a career as a trumpeter/composer before deciding on literature. His thoughts about jazz and it's place in American culture were innovative and remain essential ingredients in any serious understanding of where we are as a country and how we got here. We will list to music that amplifies Ellison's prose about these formative influences.
 
Jazz guitar pioneer Charlie Christian grew up in the same neighborhood as Ellison in Oklahoma City, and his portrait of those years is the only in-depth witnessing we have of Christian's genesis.
 
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Musical World of Ralph Ellison
Minton’s Playhouse
7:00 –8:30pm   
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 4D)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300                                                                                
Ralph Ellison loved music deeply, and even considered a career as a trumpeter/composer before deciding on literature. His thoughts about jazz and it's place in American culture were innovative and remain essential ingredients in any serious understanding of where we are as a country and how we got here. We will list to music that amplifies Ellison's prose about these formative influences.
 
Shortly after moving to New York in 1937, Ellison found his way to Minton's Playhouse, on W. 118th Street in Harlem. Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Christian and others were involved in discovering new, creative avenues for jazz there nightly. Those evenings inspired Ellison to write one his most memorable essays.

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