curious

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, April 2011

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem cordially invites you to our April public programs, which we promise will warm your hearts as much as the weather of spring brings miles of smiles to your face.

Our bi-weekly discussion series first features flutist/saxophonist James Spaulding and then composer Maria Schneider, who will be premiering a large-scale works at Carnegie Hall in May. We continue in the spirit of celebration for our once-a-month Jazz for Curious Readers session, focusing on drummer Art Taylor's classic book of interviews, Notes and Tones.

For live performances, we direct you to The Rubin Museum's cherrywood-lined acoustic performance space, where Fred Hersch will play solo piano, and Scott Robinson will lead a quartet the likes of which you've never seen -  before for Harlem in the Himalayas. The Players Club is yet another beautiful setting for jazz players, which is why we point to this month's show by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars!

On the West Coast, at Stanford University, Executive Director Loren Schoenberg will lead a special class of Charles Mingus on film. And right here, at the Visitor's Center of the museum, we feature classes on the role of the rhythm section in jazz, from the 1930's to the 60's, in four Jazz for Curious Listeners sessions as well as our Saturday Panel, in which the Jonathan Batiste Trio will swing for you, and explain it at the same time.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Fred Hersch, solo piano

7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has been called "one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation" by Downbeat and has earned a place among the foremost jazz artists in the world today. From the late 70's onward as a sideman to jazz legends including Joe Henderson, Art Farmer and Stan Getz, he has solidified a reputation as a versatile master of jazz piano, as well as a relentlessly probing composer and conceptualist. His career as a performer has been greatly enhanced by his composing activities, a vital part of nearly all of his live concerts and recordings May of 2011 will see the premiere of My Coma Dreams for actor/singer, animation/multimedia and mixed ensemble. Hersch is considered to be the most prolific and widely-praised solo jazz pianist of his generation. Palmetto has just released Alone at the Vanguard which documents his second solo engagement at the legendary club.  An early review in All Music Guide calls it "a once-in-a-decade album that will stay with you long after the final track fades out."

Don't miss this opportunity!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Art Taylor: Notes and Tones, a celebration
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz. As a black musician himself, Arthur Taylor asked his subjects hard questions about the role of black artists in a majority white society. Free to speak their minds, these musicians offer startling insights into their music, their lives, and the creative process itself. Notes and Tones consists of twenty-nine no-holds-barred conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with some of the most influential jazz musicians in jazz—including: Thelonious Monk, Erroll Garner, Elvin Jones, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dexter Gordon.

Arthur Taylor drummed with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others. He was called ”one of the great drummers to come out of the fertile Harlem bebop scene” (New York Times) and ”one of the best bandleaders living or dead” (Village Voice). His band, Taylor’s Wailers, recorded several albums, and was based in New York City up until Taylor's death in 1995.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Count Basie's All American 4

The Count Basie Orchestra's All American rhythm section appropriately initiates our focus this month on great rhythm sections. Basie (piano), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums), and Freddie Green (guitar) together perfected what, after Louis Armstrong's style modeled it, became known as swing. From the mid-30's to early 40's, the Count Basie Orchestra popularized this feeling, contributing to the period of American history called the Swing Era. These four men blended into a "cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts," as Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem put it in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

We invite you to swing on through to our Visitor's Center for this free event in which the sounds of Lester Young and the All American rhythm section will reign once again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harlem Speaks

James Spaulding, flutist/saxophonist

6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

James Spaulding has established his reputation as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances, and for many years was among the busier sidemen for Blue Note Records. An exceptional saxophonist and flutist, he is one of the many fine artists to come out of the Indianapolis, Indiana area. James is a modernist, with solid roots in classical jazz; his saxophone style is an extension of the Charlie Parker influence, but his overall concept incorporates much of the broad jazz saxophone heritage.

Spaulding's musical training started early, as he came from a musical family in his place of birth Indiana (his father was a professional musician who played the guitar and led his own big band, traveling throughout the country). Jamesbegan playing a bugle when he was in grade school. He later took up the trumpet and saxophone on his own, and while in high school studied clarinet. He made his professional debut playing around Indianapolis with an R&B group.

From 1954 to 1957, Spaulding was in the army playing in service bands. When he was discharged, he settled in Chicago where he performed in clubs leading his own group, and had a stay with the Sun Ra Orchestra. He also furthered his flute studies there at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music. In 1962, he arrived in New York City, and subsequently was associated with notables such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach and the Ellington Orchestra.

In 1975, he received a bachelor's degree in music from Livingston College in New Jerseywhere he taught flute as an adjunct professor. James' daughters, Gina and Yvonne Spaulding were on the cover of his very first recording: The Legacy of Duke Ellington, recorded in 1975. Mr. Spaulding's range of performance experiences extends nationally and internationally, from the concert stage to jazz clubs to colleges and street fairs. His original music, a suite entitled "A Song of Courage," was performed by him with full orchestra and choir at the Voorhees Chapel at the RutgersUniversitycampus from funds awarded him by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recorded on over 100 recordings.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Event: Mingus on Film with Loren Schoenberg

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:00pm
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University | FREE

Loren Schoenberg, Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, concludes the Remember Mingus series with an afternoon of rare film footage, live concert clips, and lively discussion about Charles Mingus’ music, life and legacy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Duke Jordan/Tommy Potter/Max Roach

After Charlie "Bird" Parker and Dizzy Gillespie parted ways on the bandstand, Bird formed a quintet featuring Miles Davis and Jordan (piano), Potter (bass) and Roach (drums). Although they maintained the swing of their forebears as heard in last week's class, the way they dealt with accents and tempo transformed to perform the style that became known as bebop. Join us to hear the sonic transformation that revolutionized jazz.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jazz at the Players

Melba Joyce and The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars 7:00pm

Location: The Players

(16 Gramercy Park S. | get directions)
$20 | Reservations: reservations@theplayersnyc.org or 212-475-6116

If you've never been to the elegant setting of The Players, we urge you to reserve a seat asap, because the down-home swing of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars will make you tap your feet with glee, most happily, and swing your troubles away.

Melba Joyce was born in Dallas, Texas where she grew up under the warm and instructive musical influence of her mother and grand-parents.  Her father, Melvin Moore, a prominent vocalist with the jazz and swing bands of his era (including Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he toured and recorded )was also one of Melba's influences. After her family moved to Los Angeles, Melba was immediately noticed by musicians and soon found herself opening for such renowned artists as Miles Davis, Freddy Hubbard and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.

Melba tirelessly toured the war-torn fields of Vietnam to entertain the troops at the height of that horrid conflict, an experience that raised her social conscience to new heights.  When Melba returned, she was appointed panelist for the Congressional Black Caucus of Women in Jazz Forum. She produced the first Women in Jazz Festival at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Black Culture; and became a principal in the Day of the Child Series for UNICEF.  With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ms. Joyce produced Jazz For Special People, a musical education series for the handicapped.

In 2008, The Central Park Conservancy presented Melba with a very special recognition through the City of New York for creating and producing The First Women's Jazz Festival. The program, held in Harlem at the park's Dana House, featured  Kunle Abodunde reading of a chapter from his unreleased book.  During Melba's tour assignment in Nigeria as a Jazz Ambassador, Abodunde  attended her performance and being deeply impressed included a chapter in the book describing what he felt about the evening.

Her long and impressive career has spanned three decades in the company of and sharing top billing with such giants of the music world as Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and so many others.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Scott Robinson Quartet

7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Scott Robinson, bass saxophone
JD Parran, basssaxophone
Vinny Golia, bass saxophone
Warren Smith, drums, percussion

A respected performer in all areas of jazz, from traditional to avant-garde, Scott Robinson brings audiences an unusual pairing of three bass saxophones with percussion for this raucous and soulful concert—his encore performance at the Rubin Museum. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Robinson, who is known for his work on unusual and obscure styles of saxophones, has been the winner of a number ofDown Beat Critics Polls and Jazz Journalists Association awards in recent years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Red Garland/Paul Chambers/Philly Joe Jones

Miles Davis was a key member of the Charlie Parker Quintet, whose rhythm section was the focus of last week's class. This week we'll hear how Davis and other giants came into their own with the solid yet flexible support of one of the most grooving and soulful rhythm sections in the history of the idiom. The mid-50’s classics we'll listen to tonight are never old, but hearing them could make you feel younger. Don't miss it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Harlem Speaks

Maria Schneider, Composer

6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their debut recording, Evanescence. With that recording, Schneider began to develop a highly personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the unique voices of the group. Subsequently, the Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with more than 85 groups from over 30 countries spanning Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and North America.

Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres, and as a result, her long list of commissioners has become quite varied. They include the Norrbotten Big Band and Danish Radio Orchestra with Toots Thielemans and Ivan Lins, the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands (several works), Orchestra National de Jazz (Recapitulation), Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra (El Viento), Monterey Jazz Festival (Scenes from Childhood, Willow Lake), The American Dance Festival (for dance company, Pilobolus–Dissolution), University of Miami Concert Jazz Band (Three Romances), Jazz at Lincoln Center (Buleria, Soleá y Rumba), Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (Aires de Lando), Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival (Vienna’s Mozart Festival–Cerulean Skies), Kronos Quartet (String Quartet No. 1) and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with soprano, Dawn Upshaw (Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories), a work that will receive its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall, May 13th, 2011, conducted by Schneider.

Schneider’s most recent work (premiering June 12th, 2011), co-commissioned by the Ojai Festival, The Australian Chamber Orchestra and Cal Performances, will blur boundaries further as it features the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Dawn Upshaw, and two musicians long associated with Schneider’s own orchestra: pianist Frank Kimbrough, and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. For this work, she is incorporating poems by poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser, from his book ”Winter Morning Walks.”

Schneider continues to be a pioneer in funding her projects. She recently composed two works for her own orchestra with the involvement of commissioners, not from arts organizations, but directly from her ArtistShare® fan base. "Concert in the Garden" and her orchestra’s latest album, "Sky Blue" (on which Cerulean Skies was recorded) were both named “Jazz Album of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association and the DOWNBEAT Critics Poll.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Panels

The Beat Goes On: The Jonathan Batiste Trio Demonstrates What The Rhythm Section does

12:00 – 4:00pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

This Saturday panel is a perfect complement to and extension of our Jazz for Curious Listener's focus on great rhythm sections. Jonathan Batiste’s Trio will demonstrate how the piano comps, the bass walks and the drums ride the cymbals, yes, but that's only the start. You'll witness, live, how the bass and drums lock-in together creating the basis for the swing; how the trio ebbs and flows and communicates non-verbally to create musical magic. Not only should this class not be missed, it's also a chance to introduce jazz music to those curious about it, but haven't heard it up close and personal enough yet to connect with it. Do them and yourself a favor!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

 McCoy Tyner/Jimmy Garrison/Elvin Jones

We started in the 30's with the rhythm section fronted by Count Basie, then moved to the 40's with a foundational group of three, and thereafter transitioned to the 50's. For our last session of this month's Great Jazz Rhythm Sections theme, we land on the doorstep of a classic 60's rhythm section that supported the Great John Coltrane. McCoy's percussive style, with Garrison's booming bass, and Jones' polyrhythmic fire combined to change the course of the music yet again.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem 2010 June Schedule

Our June 2010 schedule includes discussions with musical artists Paquito D'Rivera and Craig Harris for Harlem Speaks; a talk with a living literary legend, Peter Straub, at Jazz for Curious Readers; and our adult education series, Jazz for Curious Listeners, features instrumentalists Jeremy Pelt, Nicholas Payton and Orrin Evans taking the reins of discourse on jazz in the 21st century.

On the performance tip, Craig Harris will let his horn do the talking as he headlines the first Harlem in the Himalayas concert of the month, followed by the sax/piano duo of Loren Stillman and Russ Lossing in the intimate performance space at the Rubin Museum of Art. We're also devoting a Saturday afternoon to piano jazz, on the Steinway piano of Dick Katz, in honor of whom the musicians will play in a range of stylistic approaches that Katz performed with aplomb for 50+ years.

Consider donning your dancing shoes for two nights of jazz-influenced music to dance to! The Afro-Cuban tradition will be celebrated for Jazz at the Dwyer, with David Oquendo and Havana 3. A special collaboration with the Riverside Theatre features percussionist Vanderlei Pereira  binding the ties between jazz and Brazilian music with groove and soul.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Jeremy Pelt
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Tonight young trumpet master Jeremy Pelt will confront topics not usually addressed by musicians and the jazz public, as we pursue a month-long consideration of jazz in the 21st century.

Jeremy Pelt arrived in New York in 1998 after graduating from Berklee College of Music. Once he got there, it wasn't long before he started being noticed by a lot of top musicians in the city. His first professional Jazz gig was playing with the Mingus Big Band. That gig lead to many long lasting associations with many of the talent in the band, and a great opportunity for growth. Since his arrival, he has been fortunate enough to play with many of today's and yesterday's Jazz luminaries, such as Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess,Charli Persip, Keter Betts, Frank Foster, John Hicks, Ravi Coltrane, Winard Harper, Vincent Herring, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Cliff Barbaro, Nancy Wilson, Bobby Short, Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Skatalites, Cedar Walton, and many, many more. Jeremy has also been featured in a variety of different bands, including the Roy Hargrove Big Band, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Big Band. Currently, he is member of the Lewis Nash Septet, and The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes.

His work earned him a huge write-up in the Wall Street Journal by legendary Jazz writer and producer Nat Hentoff. His performances have received rave reviews from publications around the world.

After a reading of Pelt's biography and discography, it's easy to see why Pelt was voted Rising Star on the Trumpet five years in a row by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Craig Harris, Trombonist/Composer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

When Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire history of the jazz trombone—from the growling gutbucket intensity of early New Orleans music through the refined, articulate improvisation of the modern era set forth by J.J. Johnson, into the confrontational expressionism of the '60s avant-garde.

Yet the contemporary music world quickly realized that his talents went far beyond his superb skills as a trombonist. While he performed with a veritable Who's Who of progressive jazz, including Sun Ra, Sam Rivers, Lester Bowie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Jaki Byard, Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams, and so on, his own projects displayed both a unique sense of concept and a total command of the sweeping expanse of African-American musical expression.
Those two qualities that have dominated Craig's past two decades of activity, bringing him far beyond the confines of the jazz world and into the sphere of multimedia and performance art as composer, performer, conceptualist, curator and artistic director.

In tonight's Harlem Speaks discussion, Harris will venture forth on his life and career, especially as it intersects with Harlem, where he has lived since 1976.

"I used to visit Harlem a lot before moving here. I went to Paris in July 1976 and returned in October 76. I walked the street with Sun Ra back then. I worked in Aaron Davis Hall. I did a piece entitled 'Brown Butterfly,' based on the physiology of Muhammad Ali, which included seven dancers and seven musicians," said Harris, who more recently composed a long-form composition on Harlem called the TriHarLenium. "I sought to capture the beauty, history and culture of a people who have always been originators. Harlem is currently undergoing gentrification and transition so I wanted to share its history through my TriHarLenium composition with Harlem's people."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jazz for Curious Readers
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

In an excellent overview of the oeuvre, themes, and achievements of renowned contemporary author Peter Straub, writer Stefan Dziemianowicz calls Straub "a jazz stylist of modern horror. Like the musicians whom he references frequently in his stories, he works at an art with deep-rooted traditions that he respectfully acknowledges. But also like those musicians, Straub works tirelessly to extend the range of those traditions, pushing them boldly into hitherto unexplored territory."  Critics and fans alike appreciate that Straub is knowledgeable of horror standards since his fiction abounds with ingenious riffs and variations on its classic themes. Yet he is also a restlessly imaginative artist who synthesizes original and deeply personal creations from seemingly disparate elements of his compositions as well as a versatile improviser who never approaches recurring ideas in his work the same way twice.

Straub came to writing horror by way of mainstream fiction, and he is arguably the most literary of contemporary horror writers, with influences that range from D. H. Lawrence to Vladimir Nabokov and John Ashberry. He was an established poet with two volumes of verse to his credit when his first novel, Marriages, was published in 1973. Like his second-written novel, Under Venus (not published until 1984), it was very much a tale of its time, concerned with characters in the grip of midlife emotional and spiritual crises and set in a realistically imagined post-1960s milieu. In much of his fiction to come, Straub would show readers that supernatural experience is an effective tool for expressing states of intense emotion.

But as with the greatest jazz artists, Straub's fiction moves beyond the bounds of simple genre. Jazz itself is a theme around and through which Straub plays variations, as in the title of his path-breaking 1988 novel, Koko. And in a brilliant interview with writer David Mathew, Straub discusses the origin of his novella story-within-a-story, "Pork Pie Hat," and gives a taste of the feeling tones in store for our talk with him tonight.

"The inspiration for Pork Pie Hat came from a long moment in a videotape of 'The Sound of Jazz,' a live television broadcast in 1957 or 1958 that assembled a lot of great jazz musicians in a studio and let them play whatever they felt like for the space of an entire hour. Just before its conclusion, Billie Holiday sat perched on a stool to sing a blues she had written called "Fine and Mellow" at the center of a circle made up of heroic figures like Ben Webster, Vic Dickenson, Jo Jones, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Rex Stewart, and - above all - the tenor saxophonist Lester Young, then only months from the end of his life and in terrible shape. Billie sang a chorus, two musicians played a chorus apiece, Billie sang another chorus, and so on...

"Lester Young wandered into view at the beginning of the second go-round. Someone had to give him a push in the back to get him on his feet and moving toward the microphone. You can see him lick his reed and settle the horn in his mouth. What he plays is one uncomplicated chorus of the blues that moves from phrase to phrase with a kind of otherworldly majesty. Sorrow, heartbreak, and what I can only call wisdom take place through the mechanism of following one note, usually a whole note, with another one, slowly. There he is, this stupendous musician who had once transformed everything about him by the grace of his genius, this present shambles, this human wreckage, hardly able to play at all, delivering a statement that becomes more and more perfect, more and more profound as it advances from step to step. I cried every time I watched it, and I watched it over and over. I played it for my friends and made them watch it. Eventually, I wondered: what could lead a person to a place like that, what brought him there? That was the origin of Pork Pie Hat."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Nicholas Payton
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Considered by many the premier jazz trumpeter of his generation, Nicholas Payton is also an outspoken thought leader among his peers. His musings via blog, or his pithy questions and insights via Facebook are evidence of a deep, provocative thinker.

The son of bassist and sousaphonist Walter Payton, he took up the trumpet at the age of four and by the time he was nine he was playing in the Young Tuxedo Brass Band alongside his father. Upon leaving school, he enrolled first at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and then at the University, where he studied with Ellis Marsalis.

After touring with Marcus Roberts and Elvin Jones in the early 90s Payton signed a recording contract with Verve; his first album, From This Moment, appeared in 1994. In 1996 he performed on the soundtrack of the movie Kansas City, and in 1997 received a Grammy Award (Best Instrumental Solo) for his playing on the album Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton. After seven albums on Verve, Payton signed with Warner Bros. Records, releasing Sonic Trance, his first album on the new label, in 2003. Besides his recordings under his own name, Payton has also played and recorded with Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, and Joe Henderson.

In 2008, Payton became part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed that year in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. His own latest release, Into the Blue, is a collection of ten tunes steeped in melody and groove that Nicholas says “embodies the sensibilities of beauty, elegance and simplicity” and delivers “danceable tempos.”

Tonight's discussion is the first of two consecutive Jazz for Curious Listeners he's leading . . . don't miss this chance to engage with a jazz master in the making.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Craig Harris Quartet
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office
or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Born in Hempstead on Long Island, N.Y. in 1953, Craig Harris is a graduate of the renowned music program of SUNY at Old Westbury. Profoundly influenced by its legendary founder and director, the late Makanda Ken McIntyre, Craig's move to New York City in 1978 quickly established him in the forefront of young trombonists, along with Ray Anderson, George Lewis and Joseph Bowie.

First playing alongside another of his teachers at SUNY, baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick in Sun Ra's Arkestra for two years, Harris embarked on a world tour with South African pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) in 1981. Highly affected by their stay in Australia, Craig played with Aborigine musicians and returned with a dijeridoo, a haunting wind instrument that has become a part of his musical arsenal ever since.

Upon his return, Harris became a member of such major groups as David Murray's Octet, the Beaver Harris-Don Pullen 360 Degree Musical Experience, Sam Rivers' various orchestral aggregations, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and many, many more. He also played for the now dearly-departed Lena Horne in her Broadway orchestra for a year.

Harris has performed all over the world with his own ensembles and has recorded numerous albums for various labels; tonight hear this innovative creative spirit make music with his quartet that will certainly be a highlight of the Harlem in the Himalayas roster of concerts in 2010.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Nicholas Payton
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Since 1994 when Nicholas Payton made his recording debut as a leader with From This Moment, the trumpeter has been lauded as a significant, top-tier voice in jazz. Even though he started out as a “young lion of jazz,” heralded as one of the new-generation guardians of the hard bop flame, Payton consistently committed himself to discovering his voice outside of the strict confines of that rearview mirror approach to the music.
While his jazz journey has taken him down many roads – from heritage artist to electric experimenter – the 34-year-old trumpeter has arrived at a new plateau of jazz maturity with Into the Blue, his ninth album and his first for Nonesuch. It’s at once a nod to the past and a leap into the future. “It’s an amalgam of every recording I’ve done up until now,” says Payton. “As a musician, as an artist, you’re always trying to zero in on the bull’s eye as a means of becoming a better version of yourself. With Into the Blue, I’ve been able to find the kind of music that’s more inclusive of all of my life. The approach and the ideas of my music have become more singular, more cohesive. I had no agenda in terms of a specific genre or style, only to be true to who I am now.”

True to himself: that's a fitting way to describe Payton's approach to music and the issues that he addresses in writing, online, and at rare public discussion appearances such as last week's Jazz for Curious Listeners. Come witness the continuation of Payton's improvisation on life, the mind and spirit.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Paquito D'Rivera, Composer/Saxophonist/Clarinetist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Born on the island of Cuba, Paquito D'Rivera began his career as a child prodigy. A restless musical whiz during his teen years, Mr. D’Rivera created various original and ground-breaking musical ensembles. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He eventually went on to premiere several works by notable Cuban composers with the same orchestra. Additionally, he was a founding member and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music never before heard, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe, won several Grammy nominations (1979, 1980) and a Grammy (1979).

Paquito D'Rivera is the first artist to win Latin Grammy's in both Classical and Latin Jazz categories (2003), for Stravinsky’s Historia del Soldado (L'Histoire du Soldat) and Brazilian Dreams with the New York Voices. The other historic recipient who has won duo Grammy's in both Classical and Jazz categories is Wynton Marsalis.

D’Rivera is a recipient of the National Medal for the Arts, presented at the White House by President George W. Bush in 2005, and was named one of the 2005 NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters.

While Paquito D'Rivera's discography includes over 30 solo albums in Jazz, Bebop and Latin music, his contributions to classical music are impressive. They include solo performances with the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He has also performed with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Costa Rica National Symphony, the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, and the St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, among others.

In addition to his extraordinary performing career as an instrumentalist, Paquito D'Rivera has rapidly gained a reputation as a dynamic composer. The prestigious music house, Boosey and Hawkes, is the exclusive publisher of Mr. D'Rivera’s compositions. Recognition of his significant compositional skills came in 2007 with the award of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, and the 2007-2008 appointment as Composer-In-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. His works often reveal his widespread and eclectic musical interests, ranging from Afro-Cuban rhythms and melodies, including influences encountered in his many travels, and back to his classical origins.

Also a gifted author, Mr. D’Rivera’s book, My Sax Life, was published in Spain by the prestigious literary house, Seix Barral, and contains a prologue by Guillermo Cabrera Infante. Acclaimed by the public and critics alike, the English edition was released by Northwestern University Press in November 2005.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to feature one of the most respected and beloved artists in jazz this evening for what promises to be a discussion full of fun by a free-spirited virtuoso artist who puts profound feeling into his music, no matter the style or genre.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas Loren Stillman/Russ Lossing Duo
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office
or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

A saxophonist and composer from Brooklyn, Loren Stillman is hailed as a writer and a stylist that has found a previously unoccupied slot in the jazz spectrum. He's been recognized as one of today's truly original creative voices by publications such as The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine, Jazziz and Jazz Times as well as by National Public Radio. A former student of Lee Konitz and David Liebman, Stillman has performed and recorded throughout the United States and Europe and Japan with his own ensembles, and with those led by Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Paul Motian, John Abercrombie, Andy Milnes DAPP Theory, Eivind Opsviks Overseas, Tyshawn Soreys Obliquity, Vic Juris Quartet and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Russ Lossing is a provocative, fresh leader in creating alternatives to long held conceptions in music. His individual voice, as a pianist, teacher and composer, is sought out as an authority in the jazz and avant-garde fields emerging in music today. He's has composed over 300 works and is in special demand as a world class jazz pianist and improviser.  Lossing has seven CDs as leader and is featured on over 30 other CDs as sideman and collaborator with world acclaimed musicians such as Paul Motian, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Mat Maneri and Mark Dresser. He has composed 21 film scores from avant-garde shorts to full length documentaries for PBS, BBC and world broadcast performances, as well as dramatic features both foreign and domestic.  He has numerous television and live radio performances and interviews in the U.S.A. and Europe relative to his distinction as a performer and composer.

Tonight's performance promises to be an adventure into musical territory both expansive and introspective, not to be missed by those with a cutting-edge sensibility.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jazz at the Dwyer
Afro-Cuban Jazz Dance Night: David Oquendo and Havana 3
7:00 – 11:00pm
Location: The Dwyer Cultural Center
(258 St. Nicholas Avenue at W. 123rd Street)
$15 | More information: info@DwyerCC.org
<mailto:info@DwyerCC.org>

A Night to Remember!

Dance was formerly a mainstay of the public ritual of jazz performance, and remains an essential part of the variety of Latin American music. The Afro-Cuban legacy in jazz brings dance to the forefront, as declarative horns and clave-based rhythms kiss the American impulse to swing. Come ready to do your own thing . . . on the dance floor at the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem!


David Oquendo was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958.  Self taught, Oquendo absorbed the essence of the Afro Cuban rhythmical vernacular in the poorest neighborhoods of his native city. At 12 years of age, David started playing guitar and singing in several “Rock” bands around Cuba.  Even though he was not conservatory trained, his passion for music, his discipline and self-criticism, took him to the point where eventually he was considered one of the best guitar accompanist in Cuba. This was evident in his appearances at “El Rincon del Feeling”, “Cabaret Tropicana”, “Cabaret Internacional de Varadero”, “ Salon Rojo” at the Hotel Capri and many more venues.



As accompanist, David has worked with artist of the caliber of: Moraima Secada, Elena Burke, Lucho Gatica, Meme Solis, Maggie Carles, Lenny Andrade, and many others.  As guitarist, singer, composer, arranger and bassist, David has performed in concerts and recordings in Cuba, Panama, Dominican Republic, Austria, Canada, Greece, Spain, Brasil, Bermuda and the US with names such:  Paquito D’Rivera, Compay Segundo, Marc Anthony, Johnny Ventura, Ray Barreto, Arturo Sandoval, Giovanni Hidalgo “Manenguito”, Mauricio Smith, Andy Gonzalez, Manny Oquendo, Johnny Pacheco, Gilberto Santarrosa, El Gran Combo, Jose Luis Quintana “Changuito”, Willie Chirino, Regina Carter, Candido Camero, Patato Valdez, Gato Barbieri, Carlos Ponce, Sergio Vargas, Rudy Calzado, Basilio, Yomo Toro, Anthony Rios, Jose Fajardo, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, Graciela and Chico O’Farril to mention a few.

David has a Grammy Award for the album “Tropicana’s Nights” with Paquito D’Rivera, a Grammy Nomination for “Bebop Timba” with Raphael Cruz and three Latin Grammy Nominations for “Raices Habaneras”, “50 Years of Mambo” and “Paquito D’Rivera Presenta Las Hermanas Marquez”.

Founder and director of the Afro Cuban folklore group “Raices Habaneras”, which has been performing, without interruption, every Sunday since 1996 what has become known as “Domingos de la Rumba” (Rumba Sundays), David’s mission is to expose the public to a genuine representation of the “Rumba” genre.  David, was musical director and producer for “The Cuban Rumba All Stars”, a first time, historical collaboration by members of Cuba’s Rumba groups:  Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Yoruba Andabo, Clave y Guaguanco, Obba ILU, Coro Folklorico Cubano, Raices Profundas y Grupo Tata Guines.

As a member of Faculty of Harbor Conservatory for The Performing Arts, since 2002, he is teaching guitar, Cuban tres, bass, voice and the Afro-Cuban folklore workshop, the Latin Band workshop, the Guitar ensemble and the Vocal training Group Class.

David has appeared in: “El Show de Cristina” in Univision, the series “OZ” in HBO, “Harmony in the Kitchen” in the Food Network, “State of the Arts” and “The Cuban Americans” in PBS, The Ivan Acosta’s films “How to Create a Rumba” and “ Candido Hands of Fire”, The Heddy Honigmann’s film “Dame la Mano”, “Al Rojo Vivo” in Telemundo and “Orgullo Hispano” in Channel 47 Telemundo NYC, “Sabado al Mediodia” and “Al Despertar” in Channel 41 Univision NYC.  As well as WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, WBAI 99.5 FM and WADO 12.80 AM radio in NYC.  He has also performed in prestigious stages such as: Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, Beacon Theatre, NJPAC Newark, Symphony Space, Cami Hall, Seattle International Children Festival, Jackie Gleason Theater, Olympia Theater at Gusman Center and Tropigala at The Fontainebleu in Miami Beach as a part of The 4th Annual Latin Grammy’s performance, The WOMAD Festival in Spain, Tenerife’s Carnival, Sao Pablo and Rio de Janeiro Jazz Festival in Brasil, The JVC Jazz Festival, Ravinia Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival and The Montreal Jazz Festival.



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Panels A Piano Extravaganza
12:00 – 4:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Special guest: Ethan Iverson and others

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to present four hours of live piano jazz as we welcome into our museum holdings the Steinway piano of the late Dick Katz, kicking off our Memorial Concert Series in his honor.

Renowned as a repository of the variety of jazz piano styles from the earliest years of the idiom to the modern styles of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, Katz was last at the museum during our Saturday panel on Papa Jo Jones in 2009. His body was weak, and his gait slow that day, but his eyes gleamed with delight as he discussed Jones's life and career, and the generation of musicians that were central to his own development as a jazz artist.  

In tribute to this friend of the museum and exemplar of the continuum of jazz piano styles, we'll feature hours of the versatility of jazz piano by Katz's friends and admirers.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Orrin Evans
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

We continue with a month of conversations led by jazz musicians on topics not usually associated with jazz musicians with pianist Orrin Evans, whom Executive Director Loren Schoenberg invited to participate based on "illuminating chats spurred on Facebook."

Born in Trenton, NJ but raised in Philadelphia, acoustic pianist Orrin Evans was among the "Young Lions" of straight-ahead jazz who emerged in the 1990s, as was the previous Jazz for Curious Listeners guest host, Nicholas Payton. Evans' main focus is hard bop, although he has occasionally ventured into soul-jazz and R&B when backing such vocalists as Denice King http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,525768,00.html and his wife, Dawn Warren http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,679983,00.html.

Expect a far-reaching discussion with jazz at the starting gate, and audience participation and feedback determining the finish line.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Special Event
Evening of Brazilian music and jazz: Vanderlei Pereira 5
2:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Riverside Theatre (at the Riverside Church)
91 Claremont Avenue, betw. 120th and 122nd
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Music by drummer, percussionist, composer and educator Vanderlei Pereira and friends. Come dance!
Drummer Vanderlei Pereira is one of the most sought-after musicians on the contemporary Brazilian jazz scene. Combining a prodigious knowledge of Brazilian rhythms with dazzling technique and a distinctive touch, Vanderlei has captivated audiences with his unique and electrifying performances.

Yet Vanderlei Pereira's proficiency on the drum set extends beyond his mastery of Brazilian rhythms. He received a Diploma in Jazz Studies from the Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he studied with the renowned jazz drummers John Riley and Vernel Fournier. In addition, Vanderlei has studied with the Latin jazz drum and percussion masters Ignacio Berroa, Bobby Sanabria and Johnny Almendra. He has incorporated these diverse influences into his playing and, as a result, has earned the respect of both straight-ahead and Latin jazz musicians on the demanding New York scene, where he is widely admired and respected for his musical versatility.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Orrin Evans
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Influenced by McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk, among others, our guest host Orrin Evans graduated from high school in the early 1990s and studied at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ before going on to private study with Kenny Barron, and work as a sideman with Ralph Peterson, Duane Eubanks, singer Lenora Zenzalai-Helm and Bobby Watson. In fact, Watson's effect on Evans has been so affecting that Evans's latest CD, Faith in Action (on Posi-Tone Records), is a tribute to the silvery alto saxophonist.

Evans recorded his first CD as a leader, The Orrin Evans Trio, for his own Black Entertainment label in 1994. After that, he signed with Criss Cross and recorded numerous CDs. Most recently, he's released a DVD titled, "Live All Over the Place," excerpts from which he may share tonight.

Curious Yellow (August 2003)

- for the Grateful Web

Named after the controversial Swedish film I Am Curious: (the Yellow Film) Denver-based indie-rock quartet, Curious Yellow, had its beginnings in early 2001.

After fronting a couple bands in the mid 90s in California and spending the next several years developing his musical and songwriting talents in Japan and Minneapolis, Adam Lancaster landed in Denver in 2000 and founded the band.

The band took on many formations and seemingly endless lineup changes for about a year until the perfect complimentary additions of Gregg Rosenthal (drums), Josh Eckhoff (guitar), and Matt Novack (bass, vocals) created a sound and style beyond what Adam could have hoped for. This new talented group immediately began writing songs and reworking old songs to create music and a performance that attracts and engages every listening audience. The personal and musical bond between each member deepened quickly and the dedication from everyone to develop the band to its fullest possibilities is evident.

Now that they fill rooms at venues like the Bluebird Theater at home, they've set their sites on a touring schedule to increase national notoriety and label interest. Curious Yellow has independently released one E.P. (1-2-3 Go Go Go) and plans to start work on their second release in May 2004, upon return from a spring tour.