harlem

National Jazz Museum in Harlem July 2011 Schedule

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem kicks off the summer of 2011 with our very first Music Festival! Dubbed “Summer Serenades,” the festival includes performances at the Highline Ballroom downtown, Orchard Beach in the Bronx, and Jackie Robinson Park, Grants Tomb and the NJMH Visitor’s Center in uptown Manhattan. Check schedule below for details.

Bassist Avery Sharpe leads a quintet in a live show at the Rubin Museum of Art, and live jazz on film will be presented for several of our programs at the Museum of the City of New York, Maysles Cinema, and at our home Visitor’s Center. A highlight of these film presentations will be two led by the museum co-director, Christian McBride.

The Midwest connection will be pursued at our Saturday Panel, where special guests will venture details about Missouri’s national music legacy.

As well, our flagship public program, Harlem Speaks, brings two keepers of the tradition of swinging jazz—trumpeter Warren Vache and tenor saxophonist and flutist Lew Tabackin—to share the story of their life and career in the music.

It’s a busy month with loads of events for you to attend—most free—so mark your calendar now and call some friends to share the musical wealth!

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer Serenades: The NJMH Summer Music Festival
Jonathan Batiste Band plus Blackberry Winter Play the Music of“Winter’s Bone”

8:00pm
Location: Highline Ballroom
(431 West 16th Street)
$20 in advance | $25 at door | Doors open @ 6pm
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

This summer musicians from the Oscar nominated film Winter’s Bone and its soundtrack will be taking to the road, performing their unique take on the traditional music of the Missouri Ozarks to audiences across the US and Canada.

This intimate evening of music will feature Marideth Sisco, Blackberry Winter, Bo Brown, Van Colbert, Dennis Crider, Tedi May, and Linda Stoffel - the original Ozarks musicians from the Winter’s Bone film, playing their authentic blend of traditional Americana in what will be their first ever North American tour. Bear witness to a legacy that spans generations in the making, performed by the heirs of the Great American Songbook.

New Orleans native Jonathan Batiste is a young ambassador of the culture of jazz music in America. By the age of 17, he released his first of his two CDs as a leader entitled "Times In New Orleans" which features the talents of some of New Orleans’ finest musicians including Jason Marsalis, Donald Harrison and Christian Scott. He presently studies Jazz Piano at The Juilliard School of music in New York.

Seen recently on the HBO series Treme, Batiste has headlined numerous performance and discussion sessions for the NJMH, and swings his band into this new venue for the jazz museum.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday Panel
Missouri on My Mind: An American Legacy
12:00– 4:00pm

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

Join us for an exciting and unusual afternoon as we trace the history of music in the great state of Missouri and its trail to Harlem. Some people think of Missouri as the home of ragtime, some as the home of KansasCity swing, but there are many strands that led to ragtime and Kansas City swing. Join music historian Jonathan Scheuer, radio host/singer Marideth Sisco and others for an afternoon you won’t forget.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Serenades: The NJMH Summer Music Festival

Jazz in the Parks

3:00 – 7:00pm
Location: Jackie Robinson Park
(147th and Bradhurst Avenue)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem and Jonathan Batiste present a special afternoon of music in Harlem's own Jackie Robinson Park inside the newly renovated bandshell (at W147th and Bradhurst Ave.). Young performers,from a variety of genres, will come together to celebrate July 4th in the spirit of America. From modern dance, country western, to swinging jazz music and gospel music, this performance will have a
little something for everyone!

The Jonathan Batiste Band - 3pm
The Jonathan Batiste Band (with Mary Ellen Beaudreaux and guest) - 3:15pm
Jerome Bell (of American Idol) with Michael T's Eclectic- 3:30pm
The Bailen Brothers Band - 4:15pm
Damien Sneed - 4:45pm
The Tres Amigos- 5:15pm
Michael T's and the Eclectic - 6pm
Fourth of July Jam with all performers and guests - 6:45 - 7:00pm

(w/ D.J. UWS spinning all afternoon)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
JAZZ ON A SUMMER’S NIGHT: Jazz on Film—Rare Ellingtonia

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

Duke Ellington’s leadership of his sui generis orchestra for over 50 years is a definitive accomplishment in the annals of 20th century America. Come witness on film the evolution of jazz through the prism of Maestro Ellington, the most comprehensive composer of the jazz idiom!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Harlem Speaks

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

Several years before Wynton Marsalis garnered headlines for breathing life into straight-ahead, acoustic jazz, Warren Vache had been leading the charge of a small group swing revival. He’s the son of bassist Warren Vache, Sr. and the brother of clarinetist Allen Vache, making yet another musical family of note in jazz. He studied music with Pee Wee Erwin, and early on played with Benny Goodman, Vic Dickenson, and Bob Wilber.

He’s played as a leader since the mid-‘70s, and was known in those days for teaming up with tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton. His warm tone belies an adventurous, soulful style of playing, which is akin to Vache’s approach to conversational engagement also, as you will see tonight!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

MCNY Summer Film Shows
52nd Street Swing: Jazz Films

2:00pm
Location: Museum of the City of New York
(1220 Fifth Avenue)
FREE with Museum Admission| For more information: 212-348-8300

In the late 40s to early 50s, 52nd Street was known for its amazing array of jazz talent, sprinkling the cultural scene with the magic of jazz styles of every imaginable genre. Come and experience filmic representation of the excitement of an era central to jazz lore and history!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Christian McBride, Pt. 1: Rare Films at Maysles Cinema

7:00– 8:30pm
Location: Maysles Cinema
(343 Lenox Avenue, bet. 127th and 128th)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Coming off his world travels on the road, museum co-director Christian McBride will present rare films from his vast treasure trove of archival footage. It’s always a happening when McBride presents, so make sure to arrive early!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Serenades: The NJMH Summer Music Festival
Film and Live Music(co-sponsored by Maysles Cinema)

7:00pm
Location: Jackie Robinson Park
(147th and Bradhurst Avenue)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Check http://jmih.org for more details.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas
Avery Sharpe Quintet
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

Avery Sharpe - acoustic bass

Onaje Allen Gumbs – piano

Yoron Israel – drums

Craig Handy - tenor and soprano sax

Maya Sharpe – vocals

CD release concert for "Running Man."

A bass player and composer of note who’s played with a plethora of jazz greats, from Dizzy Gillespie to Pat Metheny and McCoy Tyner, Avery Sharpe has an acclaimed career of his own. His quartet (with guest vocals) comes to the Rubin Museum to celebrate the release of their brand new album, Running Man.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Serenades: The NJMH Summer Music Festival

SALSA MEETS JAZZ: Dave Valentin Live in a Free Concert

12:00pm

Location: Orchard Beach Stage in Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Live music returns to the Orchard Beach stage as acclaimed Grammy Award-winning flutist and Bronx resident Dave Valentin offers a free, sizzling hot concert at Orchard Beach. Party all day starting at 12:00pm! Co-sponsored by Bronx Lebanon Hospital in association with the Bronx Tourism Council.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
JAZZ ON A SUMMER’S NIGHT: A Jazz Potpourri – 1927-2011

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

Jazz music was born in the sweltering heat of the tragic tale of race and culture at the turn of the century in New Orleans, but the resulting musical idiom carries the sweet smell of fine art. We invite you to a visual tour of jazz, from the early days of Armstrong to the biting modernity of today’s sounds!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Serenades: The NJMH Summer Music Festival

Harlem Nocturne: Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasone

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

The husband-wife musical team, Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasone, have been thrilling cabaret audiences at renowned rooms such as the Algonguin for several years. In this special, intimate performance they will serenadeeach other and you too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Christian McBride, Pt.2:

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

The most acclaimed bassist of his generation, Christian McBride, will take visitors into his musical world, which encompasses jazz, funk, fusion, and other genres, and share select videos for your viewing pleasure. His commentaries are always humorous and soulful, so don’t miss this special evening.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Harlem Speaks

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

Lew Tabackin is known for co-leading one of the most innovative big bands of the past quarter century, the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin big band. Yet he’s also one of the keepers of the flame of tenor sax stylings of masters such as Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and Don Byas. Plus, he’s one of the most original voices on jazz flute living today.

Come here his intriguing story of stylistic development from his days as a Philadelphia teen through his world travels as a soloist and bandleader with his wife Toshiko Akiyoshi, herself a former guest of Harlem Speaks, the flagship public program of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Serenades: The NJMH Summer Music Festival

CONCERT UNDER THE STARS: NJMH Afro-Cuban All Stars

6:30 PM
Location: Grants Tomb
(122nd St. and Riverside Drive

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

An explosive gathering of Latin jazz titans! Flutist Dave Valentin, trumpet legend Chocolate Armenteros, percussionist Johnny Rodriguez, pianist and arranger Edy Martinez and others will blaze the outdoor stage on the opening day of Harlem Week festivities. They’ll make you wanna move and groove, so bring your dancing shoes!

THE NATIONAL JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM SUMMER GLOBALORIA WORKSHOP

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is teaming up with the World Wide Workshop to create an innovative VIDEO GAME using Globaloria technology! We are looking for 6 special young people between the ages of 13-19 who we'll select and appoint as our official game designers. NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

This team of 6 prospective candidates must have the facility to present strong ideas, yet create and incorporate the ideas of the team as a whole. An emphasis is placed on the candidate's ability to use JAZZ music, innovation, and a compelling video game objective to efficiently create a product that will attract both young people and adults alike. Prospective candidates should have the facility to adopt World Wide Workshop and the National Museum of Harlem's existing visual identity. No previous experience necessary. Only requirement: captivating, original ideas.

The workshop will take place for 3 weeks from July 6 - July 27 (Mon-Fri only) at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In the afternoons the 6 game designers will collaborate on creating this new game. The experience will be interactive, including live performances, masterclasses, and trips to many exciting and historic NYC jazz locations.

The host for the entire summer workshop is rising star pianist Jonathan Batiste and his band. Each day he will have something unique to offer, and allowing the 6 game designers to truly immerse themselves in this music we call JAZZ!

Call 212-348-8300 or email office@jmih.org for more info.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, April 4 - April 10, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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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.

We welcome you to join this celebration of a classic of jazz literature.

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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.

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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). James began 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 Jersey where 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 Rutgers University campus from funds awarded him by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recorded on over 100 recordings.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Event: Mingus on Film with Loren Schoenberg

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:00pm

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

328 Lomita Drive, Stanford, CA 94305

FREE|for more information: 650-723-4177

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.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Loren Schoenberg with the Gunn School Jazz Band, Music of Jazz Great Charles Mingus

Community School of Music and Arts at Finn Center

230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, CA 94040

FREE|for more information: 650-917-6800

Stanford Lively Arts performance offering musical excerpts and conversation with Loren Schoenberg.

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 Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2011

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem in early February includes:

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film: Tenor Sax Legends
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Lester Young/Coleman Hawkins/Sonny Rollins/John Coltrane

We kick off this month’s Jazz for Curious Listeners with the most influential tenor saxophonists of the 20th century, bar none. Coleman Hawkins is recognized as the father of the tenor sax, the first virtuoso on the instrument. Lester “Prez” Young was the yin to Hawkins’ yang, and greatly influenced the developmental arc of solo improvisation in jazz. Sonny Rollins combined elements of the previous two pillars of jazz, with insights from Charlie Parker, Don Byas, and others, to create a style irresistible in its power and fluidity. And John Coltrane is perhaps the most influential jazz musician of the 20th century, following Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.

Where else can you see the sweep of the jazz tradition on tenor saxophone in such a short time on film? Don’t miss this class—it’s free!

Wednesday, February 2, 2010

Jazz Is: Now!
Jonathan Batiste
7:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Join 20-something pianist Jonathan Batiste as he performs and leads a discussion on jazz culture and its relevance in today's society. The Juilliard Jazz grad is one of the most exciting and original artists on the jazz scene; you'll discover that his point of view is also. Be a part of the celebration in the midst of the discourse.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas
NJMH All Stars, directed by Aaron Diehl
featuring Dominick Farinacci
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

Aaron Diehl, piano
Paul Sikivie, bass
Lawrence Leathers, drums
Dominick Farinacci, trumpet

If you haven’t attended any of the Harlem in the Himalayas events, you’ve missed one of the best, intimate acoustic halls in New York City. But it’s not too late: come check out our all-star band under the direction of Executive Director Loren Schoenberg. And if you have been with us for Harlem in the Himalayas, you know it’s true, so come and stomp the blues!

Jazz Museum in Harlem Featured on BBC

A feature piece on the NJMH’s acquisition of and programming around the BILL SAVORY collection with be broadcast Wednesday, September 29th on the  7 p.m. broadcast (most local times) on both BBC AMERICA and BBC WORLD.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating jazz as a living entity that stretches as far into the future as it does into the past. NJMH programs currently attract several thousand visitors a year. This event is the Museum’s largest and most important annual fundraising effort. Proceeds from the gala will support the Museum’s mission.

As you may have seen in the August 17th New York Times cover story, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem made a acquisition of a historic collection of never-before-heard recordings, including live performances of great American jazz icons from 1935-1941.  The collection of 975 aluminum and vinyl discs, encompassing over 100 hours of material, was created by William Savory, a recording engineer and Harvard-educated physicist who worked at a radio transcription service in New York and used the equipment his job afforded him to record hundreds of hours of material directly off the radio. The collection includes performances by jazz icons such as Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Fats Waller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and more, as well as classical broadcasts including Toscanini, Ormandy, and Kirsten Flagstad. The quality of the discs is extraordinary for the time, as most jazz enthusiasts in the 1930s did not have the access to the professional equipment that Savory enjoyed. You can sample some these newly discovered treasures at the Museum’s website.

The search for, and cultivation of, this collection is an exemplary example of the Museum’s commitment to preserve the history of jazz, while nurturing its evolution for future generations.  It also comes at a fortuitous time in the Museum’s development as we are currently preparing to build a permanent home at Mart 125 – a historic landmark in Upper Manhattan which stands directly across from the famed Apollo Theatre on Harlem’s 125th Street.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem September 2010 Schedule

Coming off the heels of the greatest archaeological find in jazz in decades, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem invites you to share in the treasures of the Savory Collection, featuring jazz legends of the Swing Era.

During the month of September 2010 our Jazz for Curious Listeners series and our special Saturday Panel on Bill Savory will open the vaults to selections from the 100 hours of live music that until now has been hidden in jazz lore.

Instead of resting on those laurels, we are happy to also present free public programs such as: Harlem Speaks (interviews with alto saxophonists Lou Donaldson and Steve Wilson), Jazz for Curious Readers (Langston Hughes on record with jazz music and artists), and Jazz at the Studio Museum in Harlem (the visual art of Pee Wee Russell and George Wettling, plus the NJMH All Stars).

For just a small fee you can witness the impeccable artistry of elder statesman pianist and composer Randy Weston, and the open-ended duet of bassist Henry Grimes and pianist Marilyn Crispell at the Rubin Museum of Art for the Harlem in the Himalayas program.

We invite you to share in the bounty of jazz at the National Museum in Harlem this month: you'll come away with priceless memories.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Savory Collection: Exploring a buried treasure-NEW sounds from 1935- 1940
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
You Won't Believe It: An Overview

If you appreciate jazz and American history, then you've heard about the acquisition of the Savory Collection by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. News outlets from the New York Times and NPR to WNYC and Newsweek have covered this truly historical find, which museum Executive Director Loren Schoenberg had been tracking down intrepidly for 30 years. His efforts paid off; some of these recordings may cause scholars to adjust their take of this period of the jazz idiom's historical accounting.

Come early to claim your seat at the Visitor's Center . . . we expect a full house who will hear samples from the Savory Collection as well as the tale of this investigative find as told by Mr. Schoenberg.


Monday, September 13, 2010 (note date change)
Jazz for Curious Readers
Langston Hughes: The Recordings
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Back in the day Langston Hughes was called the voice of Harlem and even the poet laureate of Negro Americans. Hughes imbued his lines with the echoes of jazz and gospel, and may have been akin to a 20th-century Chaucer, capturing common experiences in bold new rhythms. He once said, "I tried to write poems like the songs they sang on Seventh Street... (these songs) had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going."

In 1926 he wrote the now classic "Weary Blues." In 1958 he took part in a recording of this work (which includes the famous "A Dream Deferred") paired it with compositions written in collaboration with Charles Mingus, Leonard Feather, and Horace Parlan. Mingus’s compositional style combined with Hughes “cool” prose and poetry, written with rhythms straight out of Harlem, made for a revealing outing.

Come hear this synthesis of music and poetry and more at the Visitor's Center of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tenor Madness: Lester Young/Coleman Hawkins/Chu Berry/Herschel Evans

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

The Savory Collection featured songs and solos played by the two men who defined the sound and style on tenor saxophone in the first decades of the dispersal of jazz on record and in clubs and stages around the world: Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. Yet Chu Berry and Herschel Evans were also two very important musicians on tenor from those years in the late '30s, now too often sidestepped by critics and fans that focus solely on Prez and Hawk.

Come experience each of these tenor greats at the height of their considerable powers and discover the context and place of each in the estimable history of jazz.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

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

Lou Donaldson, one of the true keepers of the classic jazz, is a witty raconteur with stories galore. His distinctive, blues-based tone has been heard in a variety of small-group settings, and he has recorded dozens of worthy and spirited sets throughout the years.
He began playing clarinet at 15, and soon switched to the alto sax. He attended college and performed in a Navy band while in the military. Donaldson first gained attention in 1952, when he started recording for Blue Note as a leader. At the age of 25, his style was fully formed, and although it would continue growing in depth through the years, Donaldson had already found his sound. In 1954, he participated in a notable gig with Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver and Tommy Potter that Blue Note records documented extensively, and which directly preceded the Jazz Messengers. He recorded as a sideman in the 1950s and occasionally with Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson and Jimmy Smith, among others, yet he has been a bandleader from the mid-1950s up to now.

Donaldson's early Blue Note recordings were straight-ahead bop dates. In 1958 he began to incorporate a conga player, and from 1961 his bands often used an organist rather than a pianist. His blues-drenched style became a staple of soul-jazz, the musical context he's best known for by the jazz public. His association with Blue Note (1952-63) was succeeded by some excellent (if now-scarce) sets for Cadet and Argo (1963-66). Donaldson returned to Blue Note in 1967 and ventured into the more commercial leanings of the label; in this vein, he played an electronic Varitone sax, which some critics say watered down his sound. Yet, the success of "Alligator Boogaloo" in 1967 belied such criticism.

In the early '80s began recording soul-jazz and hard bop dates for Muse, Timeless and Milestone, which found him once again in prime form, not diminished to this very day. For proof of this claim, hear him proclaim that "Kenny G shouldn't try this," at one of his concerts, as he launches into a furious up-tempo number that he handles with aplomb, with blues and bebop lines and even occasional references to "Flight of the Bumblebee."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Randy Weston: 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

After 60 years of musical inspiration and African diasporic verve, Randy Weston remains one of the world's foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary.

Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa, his global creations continue to musically inform and inspire. "Weston has the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat," declared jazz critic Stanley Crouch, "but his art is more than projection and time; it's the result of a studious and inspired intelligence...an intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz technique".

Songs such as his "Little Niles" and "Hi Fly" are perennial contributions to the repertoire of the jazz songbook. In his solo performance tonight expect to hear such classics as well as others that embody the sound of surprise.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jazz at The Studio
The Paintings of Pee Wee Russell and George Wettling 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: The Studio Museum in Harlem
(144 West 125th Street)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

AN AFTERNOON IN HARLEM WITH GEORGE AND PEE WEE

Pee Wee Russell, one of jazz' most idiosyncratic clarinetists and George Wettling, one of its most swinging drummers, were also painters. The NJMH All Stars explore the swirling world of the 1920's that produced their mature works of the 1940's and 50's. Rare canvases by Russell and Wettling will be shown.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010  

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Trumpet Titans: Louis Armstrong/Roy Eldridge/Harry James/Bunny Berigan
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

As with the tenor giants discussed in last week's Jazz for Curious Listeners, two of the four men in this week's class have a firm place in the collective memories of jazz lovers. Louis Armstrong, the father of the idiom as it came through early small group and big band styling via his overwhelming approach to rhythm and sound on trumpet, his swing being irresistible. Whereas Armstrong made his mark starting in the 20s, Roy Eldridge came to prominence in the 30s with a style more akin to the facility of saxophonists that yet stayed true to the high-note range established by Armstrong.

We’ll also hear superlative jazz from trumpeters Harry James and Bunny Berigan—were also brass virtuosos worthy of historical reconsideration, as will occur tonight via excerpts of their work from the Savory Collection.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Henry Grimes with Marilyn Crispell
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

Master bassist Henry Grimes, missing from the music world since the late 1960s, has made an unprecedented comeback after receiving the gift of a bass  from William Parker in December 2002, replacing the instrument Grimes had been forced to give up some 30 years earlier. Between the mid-'50s and the mid-'60s, the Philadelphia-born, Juilliard-educated Grimes played brilliantly on more than 50 albums with an enormous range of musicians, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Roswell Rudd, Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Charles Tyler, McCoy Tyner, and many others. Then, one day, for reasons largely related to troubles in the music world at the time, he disappeared. Many years passed with nothing heard from him, yet recently, with his new bass, he reemerged to begin playing music again.

These days, he lives, works, and teaches in New York City and has been working almost exclusively as a leader with Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell Jr., Daniel Carter, Marilyn Crispell, Andrew Cyrille, Bill Dixon, Hamid Drake, Charles Gayle, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Joe Lovano, Sabir Mateen, Bennie Maupin, Jemeel Moondoc, David Murray, William Parker, and Marc Ribot, among others. Since 2003, Grimes has played and toured extensively in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. The recipient of a prestigious "Meet the Composer" award in 2003 and two more in 2005, Grimes was designated "Musician of the Year" by All About Jazz in 2004. One of his trios was chosen Best Jazz Trio of 2004 by New York Press, and one of his concerts, at HotHouse in Chicago, was named one of the 10 best of 2005 by Time Out/Chicago. Grimes's gentle, humble bearing and courageous life story have inspired all those privileged to know, hear, and play music with him.

"Hearing Marilyn Crispell play solo piano is like monitoring an active volcano. She is one of a very few pianists who rise to the challenge of free jazz," wrote Jon Pareles of the New York Times. Crispell, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied classical piano and composition, came to Woodstock, New York, in 1977 to study and teach at the Creative Music Studio, and has lived there ever since. She discovered jazz through the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and other contemporary jazz players and composers. She has been a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet, the Reggie Workman Ensemble, the Barry Guy New Orchestra (and guest with his London Jazz Composers Orchestra), the Henry Grimes Trio, Quartet Noir (with Urs Leimgruber, Fritz Hauser, and Joelle Leandre), and Anders Jormin's Bortom Quintet. In 2005 she performed and recorded with the NOW Orchestra in Vancouver.

Besides working as a soloist and leader of her own groups, Crispell has performed and recorded extensively with well-known players on the American and international jazz scene as well as music by contemporary composers Robert Cogan, Pozzi Escot, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Niehaus, and Anthony Davis (including four performances of his opera X with the New York City Opera). In addition to performing, she has taught improvisation workshops and given lecture/demonstrations at universities and art centers in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, and has collaborated with videographers, filmmakers, dancers, and poets. In 1996 she was given an Outstanding Alumni Award by the New England Conservatory, and in 2004 was cited as being one of their 100 most outstanding alumni of the past 100 years.

Come expecting to hear and feel the fireworks and wisdom of an open conception to music.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Panels
Who Was Bill Savory?
Guest panelists: Gene Savory, George Avakian, Larry Appelbaum, Larry Rohter and others

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

"For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of “the Savory Collection.” Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory, it was known to include extended live performances by some of the most honored names in jazz — but only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique.

After 70 years that wait has now ended," begins the story reported in the New York Times (by Larry Rohter) on August 16, 2010.

Today's panel discussion will uncover the identity of this audio engineer whose 100 hours of fine-tuned recording will breathe new life into the archival imperative of jazz music. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to have this treasure trove as part of its collection, and invite you to learn more about the man who museum executive director Loren Schoenberg describes as "a musician and a technical genius" as well as the music he captured for posterity.

Guests include Savory’ son Gene, who rescued the collection from oblivion, legendary record producer and life-long Bill Savory friend George Avakian, NY Times writer Larry Rohter, who broke the story, Larry Appelbaum, archivist at The Library of Congress, and professor Susan Schmidt Horning, who interviewed Bill Savory as part of her research into his innovations.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010  

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jam Sessions: Benny Goodman/Bobby Hackett/Lionel Hampton/Slim and Slam
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Benny Goodman, clarinet virtuoso, "King of Swing," and social pioneer as regards racial integration is captured in rare form in the Savory Collection, as are cornetist and trumpeter Bobby Hackett, vibraphone king Lionel Hampton, and Slim Gaillard (vocals, guitar, piano) and bassist Slam Stewart.

Gaps in jazz lore are filled to overflowing in the Savory Collection. Come listen and be one of the first to hear these fascinating records.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

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

Steve Wilson's creativity on alto saxophonist and dependability as a musical professional has allowed him to carve a prominent position on the bandstand and in the studio with the greatest names in jazz, as well as critical acclaim as a bandleader in his own right. A musician's musician, Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 100 recordings led by such celebrated and wide-ranging artists as Chick Corea, George Duke, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Bill Bruford, Gerald Wilson, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, Charlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, Bill Stewart, James Williams, and Mulgrew Miller among many others. Wilson has seven recordings under his own name, leading and collaborating with such stellar musicians as Lewis Nash, Carl Allen, Steve Nelson, Cyrus Chestnut, Greg Hutchinson, Dennis Irwin, James Genus, Larry Grenadier, Ray Drummond, Ben Riley, and Nicholas Payton.

A native of Hampton, Virginia, Wilson began his formal training at age 12. Playing saxophone, oboe, and drums in school bands, he also played in various R&B and funk bands throughout his teens, and went on to a year-long stint with singer Stephanie Mills. He then decided to major in music at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, affording him opportunities to perform and/or study with Jimmy and Percy Heath, Jon Hendricks, Jaki Byard, John Hicks, Frank Foster and Ellis Marsalis. In 1986, he landed a chair with O.T.B (Out of the Blue), a sextet of promising young players recording on Blue Note Records. In 1987 he moved to New York and the following year toured the US and Europe with Lionel Hampton. Becoming a first-call choice for veteran and emerging artists alike, Wilson was the subject of a New York Times profile "A Sideman's Life", highlighting his work with Ralph Peterson, Jr., Michele Rosewoman, Renee Rosnes, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Joanne Brackeen, The American Jazz Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Leon Parker, and Buster Williams' Quintet "Something More". In 1996 he joined the acclaimed Dave Holland Quintet, and from 1998-2001 he was a member of Chick Corea's Grammy winning sextet "Origin".

Wilson was a featured guest with Dr. Billy Taylor in his series "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" which is broadcast on NPR. He was artistic consultant to Harvey Keitel for the film "Lulu On The Bridge" as well as being featured on the soundtrack. He has been Artist-In-Residence at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hamilton College, Old Dominion University, and for the 2002/2003 season with the award winning arts organization CITYFOLK in Dayton, Ohio which included the performance of a commissioned work. He has been a featured performer, panelist, and clinician at conferences of the International Association of Jazz Educators, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and Chamber Music of America. Wilson was honored with the Marc Crawford Jazz Educator Award from New York University in 2001, and the Virginia Jazz Award 2003 Musician of the Year presented by the Richmond Jazz Society, recognizing his outstanding service in the advancement of jazz and education in their respective communities. Since 1997 he has been regularly cited in the Downbeat Magazine Critics and Readers Polls in the soprano and alto saxophone categories.

Wilson continues to tour with the Steve Wilson Quartet and Generations as well as National Jazz Museum in Harlem co-director Christian McBride's group Inside Straight. He also performs in duo with his long-time friend and colleague Lewis Nash, in the Lewis Nash/Steve Wilson Duo. He is also a touring member of the Grammy winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, T he Buster Williams Quartet, and Mulgrew Miller's Wingspan. In July 2009, Wilson made his orchestral debut performing the Villa Lobos Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gil Shohat, at the Vermont Mozart Festival in Burlington, VT.

Wilson is on the faculty at The Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Purchase, and Columbia University, and is the Artist-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Canada) for the 2008/2009 school year.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem 2010 July Schedule

The July 2010 National Jazz Museum in Harlem schedule puts particular focus on the visual side of the jazz genre, as we feature classic films in our Jazz for Curious Listeners series (inaugurating a new collaboration with The Maysles Institute), interview one of the premier jazz photographers in the nation, Frank Stewart, for our flagship Harlem Speaks public program, and screen a rare film of “The High Priestess of Soul,” Nina Simone.

Since jazz is music for the soul, we feed your ears too, as the NJMH All-Stars will perform at Marcus Garvey Park before the airing of the Nina Simone film as well as at the Studio Museum in Harlem (our new programmatic partners) for the first Jazz at the Studio event, where the shades of blue and the blues will be pursued in sound and aesthetic fury.

We’ll also play the music of pianist Mal Waldron at our monthly Saturday Panel, spend an evening with the genius of Duke Ellington, and have a conversation with legendary jazz record producer Michael Cuscuna for the second of two monthly Harlem Speaks events.

Every single event this month is FREE, so since money is no object, take the time to join our swinging festivities!

Monday, July 5, 2010

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

Known as a composer/arranger/bandleader, duke Ellington was also a gifted author, and his autobiography, Music Is My Mistress, affords as much of an insight into his personality as his music does. Join us as we read and discuss Ellington the author.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners

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

Perhaps the most iconic jazz film ever made, The Sound of Jazz brought together 32 leading musicians from the swing era, including Count Basie, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday, Jo Jones, and Coleman Hawkins; the Chicago style players of the same era, such as Henry "Red" Allen, Vic Dickenson, and Pee Wee Russell; and younger "modernist" musicians such as Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, and Jimmy Giuffre. These players played separately with their compatriots, but also joined to combine various styles in one group, such as Red Allen's group and the group backing Billie Holiday on "Fine and Mellow," one of the most poignant moments of jazz ever caught on film. The song brought back together Lester Young and Holiday; Young's blues solo is transcendent in its painful beauty and sophisticated simplicity.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

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

Frank Stewart is a photographer whose image-making work rises to the level of fine art.

He was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1949, and grew up in Memphis and Chicago. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and received a BFA in photography from Cooper Union in New York. Stewart has had numerous solo and group shows at Cooper Union Gallery, Washington Project for the Arts, Studio Museum in Harlem, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the International Center of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Stewart was a member of the first team of North American journalists invited by the government of Cuba to photograph the Island in 1977; he was also invited by the Los Angeles Committee to photograph the 1984 Olympics. He has been granted two photographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a New York Creative Artist Public Service Award, and a 2002 NFFA fellowship. He was honored as Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1975, at Kenkeleba House in 1987, and at the Light Work Gallery at Syracuse University in 1989. His photographs were published in Sweet Swing Blues on the Road (text by Wynton Marsalis; published by WW Norton) and Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in Barbecue Country. Most recently, his work was featured in Romare Bearden: Photographs by Frank Stewart (published by Pomegranate) and The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family (Frank Stewart, ed., with text by Ntozake Shange and photographs by Kamoinge Inc.; published by Simon & Schuster).

Stewart currently serves as Senior Staff Photographer for Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is a member of Kamoinge, a New York-based collective of African-American photographers. In addition to showing examples of his excellent jazz photography, Stewart will share anecdotes about his world travels with Wynton Marsalis, as well as accounts of times spent with Romare Bearden and Albert Murray as a driver.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners

Jazz on Film: The Last of the Blue Devils
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Kansas City in the 1930s was a wild, wide-open place. Under political boss Tom Pendergast, the booze flowed freely, prostitution and gambling flourished, and the Depression pretty much passed the city by, making it an ideal spawning ground for some great music. Pianist-bandleader Count Basie, saxophone immortals Lester Young and Charlie Parker, and blues belters Big Joe Turner and Jimmy Rushing were all working there, along with a host of lesser-known but nonetheless formidable musicians, and they all played the blues, Kansas City style.


Director Bruce Ricker's 90-minute The Last of the Blue Devils chronicles the 1979 reunion of many of these legendary players, combining interviews, vintage film footage, photos, and some inimitably swinging performances by Basie, Turner, pianist Jay McShann, and many others to create an intimate, good-natured portrait of what one old-timer calls the "cool, relaxed sound" of the city. The camaraderie among these men, all of whom are colorful raconteurs, is palpable. But it's the music, surely, that's the main attraction; performances include some familiar tunes, like Turner's "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and a Basie big band version of "Night Train" (featuring tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, the tune's composer) that's as greasy as the local barbecue. The Last of the Blue Devils is an absolute delight not to be missed!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Special Event
Film: Nina Simone Great Performances: College Concerts and Interviews
(Andy Stroud, USA, 60 mins.)
Music: The National Jazz Museum All-Stars
7:30-9:30pm
Location: Marcus Garvey Park (Lawn A located on the Madison Avenue side of the park between 122nd and 124th Streets)

A rare film of a radical artist in performance and in interviews, where she shares her views on race relations, and the role artists play in culture and society.
Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), better known by her stage name Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is arguably most associated with her performance of jazz music. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles that include classical music, jazz, the blues, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Her vocal style is characterized by intense passion, a loose vibrato, and a slightly androgynous timbre, in part due to her unusually low vocal range which veered between the alto and tenor ranges (occasionally even reaching baritone lows). Also known as The High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness and tragic melancholy.

Nina Simone recorded over 40 live and studio albums, the greatest body of her work being released between 1958 (when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue and 1974. Songs she is best known for include "My Baby Just Cares for Me", "I Put a Spell on You", "Four Women", "I Loves You Porgy", "Feeling Good", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Sinnerman", "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", "Mississippi Goddam", "Ain't Got No, I Got Life" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl". Many of her songs are featured on motion picture soundtracks, as well as in video games, commercials and TV series.

This event is brought to you by the Maysles Cinema, Target ® and The National Jazz Museum of Harlem
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jazz at The Studio
BLUE: A Shade of Difference
2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: The Studio Museum in Harlem
(144 West 125th Street)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Season Opener/Target Arts & Wonder Weekend Celebration

In this the kick-off performance of a new series, The NJMH All-Stars contemplate the color, the mood and art works that deal with the concept of blue and the blues. Blues, of course, are fundamental to jazz. But blues is way more than a simple, folk musical form. Many think the blues symbolize sadness and melancholy only; but blues music encompasses a full range of human emotion as a counter to what writer Albert Murray called “the blues as such.” Experiencing the variety of feelings evoked by Miles Davis’s recording, Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz recording of all time, demonstrates this effect . . . as will today’s concert at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film: Sound—John Cage and Rahsaan Roland Kirk PLUS!
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: The Maysles Institute
(343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave (Between 127th and 128th Streets))
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

*Note tonight's special location.

If you have never seen Dick Fontaine’s groundbreaking film paring John Cage and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, run, don’t walk, to this screening. In addtionl, we’ll be showing examples of experimental film and experimental jazz including shorts by Shirley Clark and Rudy Burckhardt and a reception with Manny Kircheimer's Stations of the Elevated playing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film—Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: The Maysles Institute
(343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave [between 127th and 128th Streets])
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

*Note tonight's special location.

Filmmaker Bruce Ricker couldn't believe his luck: Michael and Christian Blackwood's extensive 1968 footage of the groundbreaking modern jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, including the only footage of the very private Monk off stage, turned out to be in excellent condition. The reels were, in Ricker's words, "just sitting there like the Dead Sea Scrolls of jazz." Ricker, as co-producer, joins director and fellow producer Charlotte Zwerin, executive producer Clint Eastwood and others to bring these scrolls to astonishing life. Their Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser combines the Blackwood's rare footage of Monk in studio on tour and behind the scenes with new interviews, archival photos and more to create a landmark aural and visual treat released 20 years after the original footage was shot.

Here are the tunes you’ll hear tonight, in order of appearance: Evidence; Rhythm-a-ning; On the Bean; Round Midnight; Well, You Needn't; Bright Mississippi; Blue Monk; Trinkle, Tinkle; Rhythm-a-ning; Ugly Beauty; Ask Me Now; Just a Gigolo; Crepuscule with Nellie; I Should Care; We See; Osaka T.; Evidence; Epistrophy, Don't Blame Me; Ruby, My Dear; I Mean You; Lulu's Back in Town; Off Minor; Pannonica; Boo Boo's Birthday; Misterioso; Monk's Mood; Sweetheart of All My Dreams; and Round Midnight.

Need we say more? See you at the Maysles Institute!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

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

Michael Cuscuna is a discographer, writer and record producer par excellence.
He played drums, saxophone and flute during his teenage years, but wasn’t professional material. So, instead, he turned his attention to radio and recordings. He had a jazz show on WXPN and worked for ESP-Disk in the late 1960s, while also writing for Jazz & Pop Magazine, Rolling Stone and Down Beat. After stints at WMMR in Philadelphia and WABC-FM (now WPLJ) in New York as a progressive rock DJ, he took a position as a producer with Atlantic Records in the 1970s, recording Buddy Guy, Dave Brubeck and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. He also produced albums by Bonnie Raitt (Give It Up), Martin Mull, Luther Allison and Chris Smither. He also produced for ABC (doing reissues of Impulse! albums), Arista, Muse, Freedom, Elektra and Novus. From 1975 to 1981 he went through the Blue Note archives and recovered many unissued sessions which are now prized.

Along with Charlie Lourie, he founded Mosaic Records in 1983 specializing in jazz reissue box sets, with almost 200 releases as of 2009. Artists surveyed include highly visible masters like Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Nat “King” Cole, and lesser known artists such as Tina Brooks and Ike Quebec. Cuscuna has won three Grammy Awards for his releases. Since 1984, Cuscuna has been a special consultant, producer, and reissue director of Blue Note Records.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

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

A pianist with a brooding, rhythmic, introverted style, Mal Waldron's playing was flexible enough to fit into both hard bop and freer settings. Influenced by Thelonious Monk's use of space, Waldron had his own distinctive chord voicings nearly from the start. Early on, Waldron played jazz on alto and classical music on piano, but he switched permanently to jazz piano while at Queens College. He freelanced around New York in the early '50s with Ike Quebec (for whom he made his recording debut), Big Nick Nicholas, and a variety of R&B-ish groups. Waldron frequently worked with Charles Mingus from 1954-1956 and was Billie Holiday's regular accompanist during her last two years (1957-1959). Often hired by Prestige to supervise recording sessions, Waldron contributed many originals (including "Soul Eyes," which became a standard) and basic arrangements that prevented spontaneous dates from becoming overly loose jam sessions.

He mostly led his own groups after Holiday's death, although he was part of the Eric Dolphy-Booker Little Quintet that was recorded extensively at the Five Spot in 1961, and also worked with Abbey Lincoln for a short stint. He wrote three film scores before moving permanently to Europe in 1965, settling in Munich in 1967. Waldron, who occasionally returned to the U.S. for visits, was a major force in the European jazz world. His album Free at Last was the first released by ECM, and his Black Glory was the fourth Enja album. Waldron, who frequently teamed up with Steve Lacy (often as a duet), kept quite busy up through the '90s, featuring a style that evolved but was certainly traceable to his earliest record dates. Among the many labels that have documented his music have been Prestige, New Jazz, Bethlehem, Impulse, Musica, Affinity, ECM, Futura, Nippon Phonogram, Enja, Freedom, Black Lion, Horo, Teichiku, Hat Art, Palo Alto, Eastwind, Baybridge, Paddle Wheel, Muse, Free Lance, Soul Note, Plainisphere, and Timeless. In September of 2002, Waldron was diagnosed with cancer. Remaining optimistic, he continued to tour until he passed away on December 2 in Brussels, Belgium at the age of 76.

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.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem 2010 May Schedule

We invite you to join us at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem as we venture to the very birthplace of jazz, New Orleans, for a month-long focus on the Crescent City of today.

We take our Jazz for Curious Listeners theme, “Tuning into Tremé,” as an allusion to the critically acclaimed new HBO series, which itself is named after one of the oldest black neighborhoods in the United States. Curated by Larry Blumenfeld of the Wall Street Journal, this journey will encompass the gumbo of cultures and musics that make New Orleans so special while pointing the way to its post-Katrina future. The Saturday Panel on New Orleans will extend and elaborate this critical inquiry.

Our flagship discussion series, Harlem Speaks, begins with Harlem resident and master tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, and ends with the veteran vibraphonist David Samuels, whose eclectic musical tastes will add spice to the conversation. Trumpet man Randy Sandke’s latest book is making waves in as a fresh and at times controversial look at race and economics in jazz history; he’ll share the whys and hows at Jazz for Curious Readers.

As always, we never just give you all talk and no play, so the instrumentalists will have their say on stage, as pianist Steven Schoenberg performs a solo concert for Harlem in the Himalayas and the NJMH All Stars blow their horns for dancers at Jazz at the Dwyer.

Mark your calendars today, tell some friends, don’t delay, so we can swing with you in May!

Monday, May 3, 2010

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

Trumpeter/author Randy Sandke, author of Where the Light and the Dark Folks Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics and Business of Jazz (Scarecrow Press, 2010), has performed at festivals, clubs, and concerts around the world and has recorded over twenty albums as a leader as well.

As a composer, Sandke has had pieces performed at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd St. YMCA, and Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center. The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band performed six of his suites.

Tonight’s focus, however, is on Sandke’s literary achievement and insights.

Randy Sandke’s previous book, Harmony for a New Millennium, details a method of exploring non-tonal harmony in the context of both composition and improvisation. He has also written scholarly articles on jazz history for the Oxford Companion to Jazz and the Rutgers University Annual Review of Jazz Studies.

In his recently published work (see above) Sandke conjoins his experience as a working musician with his scholarship to produce a work that debunks many of the hoary myths surrounding the role of race in jazz history. In what promises to be an intriguing (and perhaps controversial) discussion, Sandke will explain his thesis and why he was inspired to write Where the Light and the Dark Folks Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics and Business of Jazz.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tuning in to Tremé: Big Chiefs and Second Lines
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Set in New Orleans, David Simon's new HBO series “Treme” picks up three months after the floods that resulted from the levee failures after Hurricane Katrina. Culture, which in New Orleans means a tight braid of music, cuisine, dance, visual art, and street life, is the primary focus of the series, as indeed it was and is the defining element of the city's identity and its recovery. Familiar faces from Simon's actors' troupe show up as fictional cultural fixtures: Wendell Pierce (detective Bunk Moreland on The Wire) plays Antoine Batiste, a trombonist we first encounter subbing with the real-life Rebirth Brass Band. Clarke Peters (detective Lester Freamon on The Wire) plays the Mardi Gras Indian Chief Albert Lambreaux, chanting out some of his best lines while beating a tambourine. The true-life heroes of New Orleans jazz figure prominently too: In addition to Rebirth, the list of musicians making cameo appearances, often in performance, includes trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, saxophonist Donald Harrison, and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and drummer Bob French.

These 90-minute conversations, led by writer Larry Blumenfeld, who has written extensively about New Orleans since the flood, will use the HBO series to frame a wide-ranging consideration of jazz culture in New Orleans and its role in recovery. Excerpts from the show will be screened, and special guests-musicians, participants in the series, and scholars-will join in the discussion.

In Sidney Bechet's memoir, Treat It Gentle, the late, great clarinetist's real grandfather is supplanted by Omar, a fictional figure based on a folk tale, all the better to convey stirring truths about the true origins of New Orleans jazz. Real and imagined intermingle pointedly in New Orleans, in all walks of life. What can the fiction of “Treme”-which is named for the “Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, long a hothouse for jazz culture-tell is about the city's real culture before and since the flood?

In our first session we will see the manner in which “Treme” plugs directly into an indigenous culture that has served as a lifeline for a New Orleans still inching toward recovery. That lifeline is extended principally by traditional jazz and brass-band musicians; the Social Aid & Pleasure Club members that mount Sunday parades; and-perhaps the most mysterious and essential group of all-Mardi Gras Indians, who dress in elaborate feathered and beaded suits four times a year. We'll consider the roots, traditions and depictions of these culture-bearers and their connections to familiar music.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

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

Harlem resident Wayne Escoffery is one of the most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen on tenor saxophone in jazz. Born in London, Escoffery grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, where he sang in a renowned local boy’s choir and began taking sax lessons. At 16 he attended JazzMobile in Harlem, and by his senior year in secondary school had met Jackie McLean at The Artist’s Collective in Hartford.
McLean gave Wayne a full scholarship to attend The Hartt School, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance, and became known as one of McLean's prize pupils. He went on to attend and graduate from The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at The New England Conservatory in Boston with a Masters degree.

Since then, he has performed with a plethora of internationally respected musicians and has become known for his beautiful sound, impressive technique and versatility. As well as performing with his quartet, his group Veneration and a collaborative group with vocalist (and wife) Carolyn Leonhart, Wayne Escoffery currently performs locally and tours internationally with Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet, The Tom Harrell Quintet, and The Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas

Steven Schoenberg
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

This solo piano performance marks Steven Schoenberg's first New York concert since the release of Steven Schoenberg Live: An Improvisational Journey. He’s a dynamic, award-winning composer/pianist whose talents cross into musical theater, classical compositions, film scoring, children's music, and solo improvisational piano performances. Schoenberg’s creativity as an improviser and composer shall be on full display as he spontaneously riffs on the Himalayan themes of the venue as well as the vibrations he picks up from the audience . . . so be a part of the experience!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tuning in to Tremé: Hymns, Dirges and Misdemeanors
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

We continue tracking the acclaimed HBO series, noting that New Orleans jazz has always drawn upon and served both the secular and the sacred, and has been an important element of community organization. Yet, in the wake of Katrina, the often-strained relationship between the musicians and the police, the city and its culture, were starkly revealed: A city known for its culture did not so warmly welcome that culture back. Curator Larry Blumenfeld invites you to join the examination of this tension, and its portrayal in the series.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

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

Live music plus film and discussion about the Crescent City
New Orleans holds a special place in the history and mythos of the U.S.A. Its mix of southern, French, Spanish and African cultures, and a largely Catholic religious background—in a nation predominately Protestant—was a uniquely rich soil for the birth and early development of jazz. Today’s discussion will feature live music, film, recordings, and a lively discussion of the Crescent City from the 19th to the 21st centuries, when a post-Katrina New Orleans struggles to recover while maintaining its soul, style and dignity.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tuning in to Tremé: A Rhythm-and-Blues Intervention
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Following the current HBO series, we note that perhaps more so than in any other American city, New Orleans represents the blending of African rhythms and forms with European harmonies and musical sensibility to transform our ideas about music and seed ongoing innovation. Looking at that lineage-from Congo Square to Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino to the Nevilles, Wynton Marsalis to Lil Wayne-and as portrayed in the series, Larry Blumenfeld and our live audience will consider what that mixture means.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

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

Veteran Dave Samuels is widely recognized for his fresh new sound and creative approach to both the vibraphone and marimba. Although he’s best known for work with his current ensemble, The Caribbean Jazz Project as well as for his long tenure with Spyro Gyra, Samuels has also worked with a broad scope of artists ranging from Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Carla Bley and Pat Metheny to the Yellowjackets, Bruce Hornsby, and Frank Zappa.

Samuels has been performing and recording with his group The Caribbean Jazz Project for over a decade; their most recent CD, Afro Bop Alliance, garnered a Latin Grammy and was also nominated for a Grammy. Some of his other recording projects include Remembrances, a percussion recording that features a commissioned marimba concerto for chamber orchestra and soloist composed by Jeff Beal, and Double Image—the vibe-marimba duo consisting of Dave Samuels & David Friedman—which is celebrating thirty years of performances. Double Image performs music which spans many styles - from jazz standards and original compositions to through-composed pieces and spontaneous improvisations, demonstrating Samuels deep versatility and spirit of collaboration.

In addition to his playing, Samuels is a respected educator and author and some of his new works can be found at MalletWorks.com and JazzBooks.com. Samuels has been voted “Best Vibes Player” in both Jazziz and Modern Drummer magazines, and was recently featured on the online jazz television show, Jazz it Up!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jazz at the Dwyer
Take The A Train: A Big Band Swing Dance
7:00 – 11:00pm
Location: The Dwyer Cultural Center
(258 St. Nicholas Avenue at W. 123rd Street)
$20 | More information: info@DwyerCC.org
, presented with Community Works and The Dywer Cultural Center.

Featuring the NJMH All Star Big Band directed by Loren Schoenberg

Last month, Jazz at the Dwyer featured a romping Caribbean band; this month we’ll swing you into good health with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Star Big Band! The famed Big Band Swing era was full of dance bands that stomped and grooved with jitterbugging teens and adults following their every move. Tonight’s show is much more than nostalgia, it’s reclamation of an essential part of the dynamic that made jazz popular. Bring your dancing shoes!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tuning in to Tremé: Deeper Than the Water
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Weeks into the current HBO series that observes a city built on culture must be rebuilt with culture. That's precisely what is happening in New Orleans. How is this happening? Who are the artists and activists and organizations behind this cultural rebirth? And what can we learn from this experience about the role of culture in our lives and the needs of every American city?

Larry Blumenfeld, curator of this four-part JCL series on New Orleans, writes about music and culture for The Wall Street Journal, Village Voice and many other publications, and is editor-at-large of Jazziz magazine. He is a former Katrina Media Fellow with the Open Society Institute, researching cultural recovery in New Orleans.