museum

The National Jazz Museum Events | February 16 - 21

Forrest

As a young man in Los Angeles, Drummer Forrest "Chico" Hamilton was entranced by Count Basie's band, especially his drummer Jo Jones, and the band's featured soloists, tenormen Lester Young and Herschel Evans. Join us for this week's  Jazz for Curious Listeners dedicated to Evans, the soulful titan of the Texas tenor. Chico Hamilton, still going strong as he approaches 90, is leading his famous band at Friday's Harlem in the HImilayas. We conclude the week on Sunday when the JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM ALL-STAR BIG BAND joins the celebration of African-American Heritage Day at the Museum of Natural History.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Herschel Evans
with Loren Schoenberg

7:00 – 8:30pm         
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Join us for an evening celebrating one of the lesser known giants of jazz, the earliest "Texas tenors," Herschel Evans, whose soulful sound was a perfect contrast to that of the cool-toned Lester Young in the Count Basie Orchestra. Evans started out playing in territory bands, including Troy Floyd (1929-1931) with whom he made his recording debut, and Benny Moten (1933-1935). In 1936, Evans had stints with Lionel Hampton and in Los Angeles and then joined Count Basie just in time to enjoy the band's success and participate on many recordings; his most famous solo was on a ballad feature "Blue and Sentimental" from 1938. Sadly, Herschel Evans died of a heart ailment before his 30th birthday.

He may be gone, but certainly not forgotten, as you'll discover!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Chico Hamilton
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Chico Hamilton, drums
Cary DeNigris, guitar
Paul Ramsey, bass
Evan Schwam, flute, tenor & soprano saxophones
Eddie Barbash, flute, soprano & alto saxophones
Jeremy Carlstedt, percussion 

Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton, born September 21, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established this young West Coast prodigy as a jazz drummer on the rise, before he struck out on his own as a bandleader in 1955.

Chico's impact upon jazz includes the introduction of two unique and distinct sounds: first in 1955 with his Original Quintet which combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette; and the second in 1962 with his own drums, the bass of Albert Stinson, the guitar of Gabor Szabo, the tenor sax of Charles Lloyd, and the trombone of George Bohanon.

In 1997, Chico received the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Programs Beacons in Jazz Award in recognition for his "significant contribution to the evolution of Jazz". In 2002, Chico was awarded the WLIU-FM Radio Lifetime Achievement Award. At the IAJE in NYC January 2004, Hamilton was awarded a NEA Jazz Master Fellowship, presented to him by Roy Haynes. In December 2006, Congress confirmed the President's nomination of Chico to the Presidents Council on the Arts. And in 2007, Chico received a Living Legacy Jazz Award as part of The Kennedy Centers Jazz in Our Time Festival, as well as receiving a Doctor of Fine Arts from The New School.

Still swingin' at the age of 86, Chico Hamilton has a resume that includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, 50 + albums as a leader, and countless international tours. Come witness a living legend in collaboration with his young ensemble members, heard on Hamilton's most recent recordings, "Chico Hamilton Trio!," "The Alternative Dimensions of El Chico," and "It's About Time!"
Friday, February 21, 2009

Special Event
African-American Heritage Day
1:00 – 5:00pm
Location: American Museum of Natural History
(Central Park West @ 79th Street | get directions
Free with Museum admission

The National Jazz Museum All Star Big Band will be performing as part of

HARLEM SERENADE: A MOMENT IN TIME

This event is co-produced by Community Works and the New Heritage Theatre Group.
           
"A" Train to the Harlem Renaissance
 
Performance • 1:00-2:45 pm, Kaufmann Theater, first floor
 
Artistic Director and host James Stovall narrates an afternoon of musical performances by the All-Star Orchestra of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
 
The Jazz Orchestra will be joined by members of the Silver Belles – 2nd Generation, a group of exceptional senior female dancers inspired by the original Silver Belles, who appeared in the choruses of the prestigious Cotton Club and Apollo Theater during Harlem's heyday. Also joining them will be the Jitterbug Kids, a group of young dancers who recapture Harlem's Swing era. The performances will be woven together with classic film clips from Harlem's Golden Era.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem December Schedule

Heribe Nichols- for the Grateful Web

Coming off of its very successful November 25th 2008 Gala Fundraiser which raised over $200,000, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem spends December explores the variegated personalities and styles of jazz music through discussions with trombonist and experimental composer George Lewis, drummer Andrew Cyrille and pianist Larry Willis. 
 
Two special events leaven our free public programming this month. How Paris influenced the development of jazz is the topic of the first, whereas "Jews and Jazz" will delve into the intersection of Harlem, ethnicity, race, culture, business and the way jazz has served as a magnet for members of the Jewish community. A live performance promises to demonstrate musically the insights related in the discussion between musicians Yale Strom and Loren Schoenberg.
 
As a museum dedicated to codifying the grand legacy of the living art form of jazz, we believe it necessary to highlight the contributions of unsung contributors to the idiom. Our classes will delve into the musical legacies of three pianists curious listeners will be pleased to discover more about: Herbie Nichols, Andrew Hill, and the French virtuoso Martial Solal. 
 
The National Jazz Museum staff, board, and volunteers invite you to attend these free sessions, and to share the wealth and glory of this music to those closest to you in this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners

Deserving Wider Recognition: Herbie Nichols 
7:00 – 8:30pm
Instructor: Frank Kimbrough

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Herbie Nichols is a perennially neglected jazz pianist and composer. He recorded less than half of his 170 compositions on three classic trio albums for Blue Note and one for Bethlehem before dying of leukemia at the age of 43 in 1963. He is often compared to Thelonious Monk, and his piano playing and compositions certainly do have some of the harmonic angularity people associate with Monk. But he had a very distinctive sound of his own, more melancholy and, for lack of a better word, poetic than Monk in many ways. In fact, Nichols was something of a poet, as the titles to his tunes suggest. And he was fully Monk's equal in the quality and individuality of his tunes. He is held in high critical esteem within jazz, although his tunes are still not widely recorded. Outside of jazz circles, the only tune of his anyone is likely to know is "The Lady Sings the Blues," which Billie Holiday set lyrics to and adopted for the title of her autobiography.

Nichols was born in New York in 1919 and died there forty-four years later. In the course of his brief life he was for a time an associate of Monk's, though to consequently call his music Monk-like is to do it a grave disservice. He played with, amongst others, Milt Larkin and Rex Stewart out of economic necessity. His own harmonically extraordinary music was no small distance removed from theirs. This is not to imply however that his music amounted merely to an academic exercise. As it was to be with Andrew Hill some years later, Blue Note records afforded Nichols an unprecedented opportunity to record his own music, and he made full use of it, as the three CD set of "The Complete Blue Note Recordings" shows. The music found here comes exclusively from his pen and it was recorded in a bout of concentrated recording activity between May 6, 1955, and April 19, 1956. It was all performed in the trio setting, and throughout Nichols plays with a variety of virtuosity that couldn't be included in any jazz curriculum. As a player he has capable not only of dark lyricism but also of writing melodies so harmonically adventurous that they can make the listener laugh out loud over their audacity.

Furthermore, his music was in a rhythmic league of its own, and Nichols was indeed fortunate in the drummers he worked with in his brief recording career these Blue Note sides find him in the company of both Art Blakey and Max Roach.

In his lifetime Nichols only put out four records under his own name, three for Blue Note and one for the even smaller Bethlehem label, this time in the company of Dannie Richmond, Charles Mingus's drummer of choice. This date offers listeners evidence of his way with a standard song or two.

The music of Herbie Nichols is undoubtedly an acquired taste. Whilst he plowed an individual furrow he did so with clarity of purpose and vision. The irony of it is that if he were alive today he would probably have to work outside of music in order to make a living. The passing of time has moved several steps away from the recording and marketing of music as idiosyncratic as his. As such, his life was and is a stark example of the gulf between art and commerce.

Our session will be led by Frank Kimbrough, a leader jazz composer who helped create the Herbie Nichols Project. Frank Kimbrough is a New York City based jazz pianist, educator, founding member and composer-in-residence of the Jazz Composers Collective (est. 1992). He has recorded as a leader for OmniTone, Palmetto, Soul Note, Igmod, and Mapleshade.  His most recent duo project with vibist Joe Locke is Verazzano Moon (OmniTone), recorded live in concert, which follows the duos previous OmniTone recordings, The Willow and Saturn's Child, and the Frank Kimbrough Trio (with Ben Allison and Jeff Ballard) recently made its OmniTone debut on the brilliant, live recording Quickening.

As a recipient of funding from Meet the Composer, Kimbrough's own compositions have been the focus of concerts presented by the Jazz Composers Collective, a musician-run, non-profit organization dedicated to presenting original music. These concerts have featured several groups led by Kimbrough, most notably his trio with bassist Ben Allison and drummer Jeff Ballard; and his Noumena group with guitarist Ben Monder, saxophonist Scott Robinson, and drummer Tony Moreno. He is also active in the realization of music composed by other members or guest composers of the Collective, including Ted Nash, Ben Allison, Ron Horton, Michael Blake, Eddie Gale, Joe Locke, Jon Gordon, and the Collective Big Band.

An authority on the music of the late pianist/composer Herbie Nichols, he was awarded a Jazz Performance Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1995 to fund two concerts in New York City featuring 24 of Nichols' compositions as played by a dozen musicians in 16 different ensemble configurations. The Jazz Composers Collective's Herbie Nichols Project, with Kimbrough and Ben Allison as co-leaders, has toured the U.S., Portugal, Wales, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and England, and has documented its work with one CD for Palmetto (Strange City) and two CDs for Soul Note Records (Love Is Proximity), Dr Cyclops Dream.  Kimbrough has also written about Nichols' life and work for the journal O Papel do Jazz (Portugal), the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and liner notes for The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Herbie Nichols.

Since 1993, Kimbrough has toured with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra in the U.S., China, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, France, and Finland, as well as participating in her five-year (1993-98) residency on Monday nights at Visiones in Greenwich Village.  He also appears on her Grammy-nominated CD, Coming About, and contributed to Schneider's collaborations with the Pilobolus Dance Company in 1998 at the American Dance Festival, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Since 1996, Kimbrough has served on the faculty of New York University's Department of Performing Arts Professions, teaching jazz piano, improvisation, and leading student ensembles. He has conducted workshops at the Paris Conservatory (with Maria Schneider), Oxford University (with the Herbie Nichols Project), The New School, Berklee College of Music, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Indiana State University, the University of Iowa, the University of North Florida, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also served on the faculty of Cannon Music Camp at Appalachian State University from 1989-1996.
 
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Special Event
Paris and the Development of American Jazz: How the French Influenced American Jazz
6:30pm
Location: Museum of the City of New York
(1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St. | get directions
$9 General admission, $5 Museum members, seniors, and students | Reservations: 212-534-1672 x3395

During the years between the world wars, a small but dynamic community of African American jazz musicians left the United States and settled in Paris, creating a vibrant expatriate musical scene and introducing jazz to the French. While the Harlem Renaissance was taking off across the Atlantic, entertainers such as Sidney Bechet, Ada "Bricktop" Smith, Django Reinhardt, and Josephine Baker were performing in Montmartre, the epicenter of the Parisian jazz scene.

Charles Hobson, filmmaker and contributor to Channel 13's Great Performances, will show excerpts from his forthcoming film Harlem in Montmartre based upon William A. Stack's bookHarlem In Montmarte: A Paris Jazz Story Between the Great Wars (University of California press, 2001) to be followed by a discussion between the filmmaker and jazz historian and author Jason Weiss.

Click for more information or to purchase tickets. 

Monday, December 8, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
George Lewis, Trombonist and Director of Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, in discussion with Jonathan Scheuer
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002, an Alpert Award in the Arts in 1999, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, George Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work as composer, improvisor, performer and interpreter explores electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, text-sound works, and notated and improvisative forms, and is documented on more than 120 recordings. His published articles on music, experimental video, visual art, and cultural studies have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and edited volumes.

Professor Lewis came to Columbia in 2004, having previously taught at the University of California, San Diego, Mills College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Simon Fraser University's Contemporary Arts Summer Institute. He has served as music curator for the Kitchen in New York, and has collaborated in the "Interarts Inquiry" and "Integrative Studies Roundtable" at the Center for Black Music Research (Chicago).His oral history is archived in Yale University's collection of "Major Figures in American Music." 

Lewis has worked closely with film/video artists Stan Douglas and Don Ritter, as well as with contemporary musicians such as Anthony Braxton, Anthony Davis, Bertram Turetzky, Count Basie, David Behrman, David Murray, Derek Bailey, Douglas Ewart, Evan Parker, Fred Anderson, Frederic Rzewski, Gil Evans, Han Bennink, Irene Schweizer, J.D. Parran, James Newton, Joel Ryan, Joelle Leandre, John Zorn, Leroy Jenkins, Michel Portal, Misha Mengelberg, Miya Masaoka, Muhal Richard Abrams, Richard Teitelbaum, Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Rivers, Steve Lacy and Wadada Leo Smith.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Deserving Wider Recognition: Andrew Hill
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online 

Recognized by Blue Note Records' founder Alfred Lyon as his "last, great protégé," pianist Andrew Hill spent 40 years composing, performing, recording, and mentoring young musicians. Born in Chicago in 1931, Andrew Hill began teaching himself to play piano at age 10, and was later introduced to German composer and music theorist-in-exile Paul Hindemith. He started performing in 1952 with touring jazz musicians, including Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington, Coleman Hawkins, and Miles Davis.

He moved to New York in 1961 and shortly thereafter was contracted by Alfred Lyons at Blue Note Records as a leader and a sideman, producing his early classics for the label, such as Point of Departure and Black Fire. Hill's Blue Note sessions with acclaimed musicians such as Eric Dolphy, Kenny Dorham, John Gilmore, Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson, and Elvin Jones cemented his reputation as a musician and composer of some renown.
Hill served as composer-in-residence at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York from 1970-72. In California, he performed in concert and taught classes at public schools and social service institutions before becoming an associate professor of music at Portland State University, where he established the successful Summer Jazz Intensive. He also performed and taught at Harvard and Wesleyan universities, among others.

He returned to New York City in the 1990s, reestablishing himself as a pianist, ensemble leader, and composer. In 2000, Hill released "Dusk," a song cycle loosely based on Jean Toomer's 1923 book Cane, with yet another phenomenal band. The album brought him to the attention of and garnered him acclaim from a larger jazz audience, claiming a place on best-album-of-the-year lists with Fortune Magazine, San Diego Union Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, JazzTimes, and Down Beat.

The new attention led to reissues of his classic Blue Note recordings of the 1960s and new issues of some previously unreleased recordings from that time period. One of the most interesting was Passing Ships, a previously unknown nonet recording that prefaced his big band recording in 2002, A Beautiful Day, by more than 30 years. In 2003, he received the prestigious Danish award, the JAZZPAR Prize.  And just this year, Joyous Shout Records released a 1993 duet collaboration between Hill and drummer Chico Hamilton. Liner notes writer Gene Santoro: "How they prod and jab and lure each other, is a marvel to hear."

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Harlem Speaks

Andrew Cyrille, Drummer/educator
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Andrew Cyrille was born in Brooklyn, NY. As well as studying privately, he attended the Juilliard and Hartnett schools of music. He has performed with jazz artists ranging from Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet and Mary Lou Williams to Kenny Dorham, Muhal Richard Abrams, Horace Tapscott, John Carter, Mal Waldron and David Murray. In 1964 he formed and association with pianist Cecil Taylor that would last for 11 years. He played drums for many notable dancer-choreogrphers from the mid to late 1960's.

He was artist-residence and teacher at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio from 1971 to 1973. Cyrille has also taught at the Graham Windham Home for Children in New York. He is currently a faculty member at the New School University (formally The New School for Social Research) in New York City. His sterling work has earned him a number of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer, including a commission to create a new work for the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company in 1990. In 1999, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for composition.

Starting in 1969, Cyrille began to organize the first of several percussion groups, including Dialogue of the Drums, Pieces of Time, and Weights and Measures. Some of the distinguished artists who played in these groups were Kenny Clark, Milford Graves, Famoudou Don Moye, Michael Carvin and Obo Addy. Starting in 1988 through the present time, he has toured and performed here and abroad with the renowned Russian percussionist, Vladimir Tarasov.

In 1975, Cyrille formed a band called Maono (feelings) featuring various instrumental voices determined by his compositions. He is a member of Trio 3 featuring alto saxophonist, Oliver Lake and bassist, Reggie Workman. Also, from time to time, he leads another group called Haitian Fascination, playing music inspired by the musical tradition from Haiti. Within the past several years, he has been collaborating and working with musicians such as saxophonist Archie Shepp, trombonist Roswell Rudd, trumpeter Dave Douglas, bassists Henry Grimes and William Parker, pianists Dave Burrell and Marilyn Crispell, and vibraphonist Karl Berger. He continues to record and perform with duo, trio, quartet, quintet and big band formations.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Deserving Wider Recognition: Martial Solal
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Considered one of Europe's best jazz musicians, pianist Martial Solal is relatively unknown in the United States. Solal was born in Algiers, Algeria, North Africa, where he grew up listening to jazz pianists Fats Waller and Art Tatum and was exposed to bebop. In the forties Solal worked in Algiers as a pianist before settling in Paris in 1950. During the fifties he performed in Parisian clubs, often as backup, with many American expatriate jazz musicians.

The early 1960s were productive years for Solal. He performed for several months at the Hickory House, a club in New York City, and appeared at jazz festivals in Newport, Rhode Island; Montreal, Canada; and Berlin, West Germany. When asked in the sixties what he thought the future of jazz and his place in it would be, Solal recalled to Jerome Reese of Musician, "I said that in order for jazz to survive it had to have a repertoire; jazz musicians had to write important works. Just after that stupid declaration everyone did exactly the opposite, playing totally improvised music. Presently there is a return to traditionalism, and I persist in believing that the future of jazz lies in written music, in longer and longer written sequences, which does not exclude improvisation, of course. I also believe that once one has a very definite style, the only way to evolve is through composing."

While most jazzmen went the alternate route, emphasizing improvisation, Solal has scored pieces for big band and various trios with which he has performed since the sixties. "Freedom, for me, means being able to go as far as possible in a certain direction, established and prepared in advance," he told Reese. "But I don't like the idea of 'anything goes.' That's why I play jazz standards, which give the audience something they can follow more easily and which will perhaps entertain them while having to put up with my, shall we say, busy style. Even when playing my own pieces, a major part of my performance consists of humourous musical citations I'll throw in as they pop into my head. But this humorous aspect can only be appreciated if the audience knows the standards I'm quoting. I like music that can surprise you at any given moment, not to show off, but in order to produce something different each time."

At one point in his career, Solal seriously studied classical music to help perfect his technique. Regular daily practice, often consisting of scales, maintains the virtuoso technique that has given him the ability to express whatever he has to say musically. When improvising he explores a melody in a seemingly endless stream of variations, which has given rise to his reputation as a highly technical musician. When the French government commissioned a work from Solal in the early eighties, Solal composed a concerto for piano and orchestra that was played by the big band that eventually involved into the government-supported Orchestre National de Jazz.
While Solal is best known in France for his duo albums with saxophonists Sidney Bechet and Lee Konitz and violinist Stephane Grappelli, he has also composed more than thirty movie scores, including the original French version of Breathless, conducted by Jean-Luc Goddard and starring Jean Paul Belmondo. With the advent of pop music and highly improvisatory jazz in the late sixties, the opportunities for film-score composing vanished.

Through his composing, arranging, and performing, Solal seems to want to legitimize jazz in Europe in general and his distinct style of jazz in particular. "Even if it doesn't sound modest, I think that one must listen to my music several times because of its density," Solal declared to Reese. "If you are surprised by the technical aspect, then the musical content may escape you on the first listening. I have always had very high hopes for jazz. I want people who love classical music to find that same perfection in jazz, and 90 percent of jazz doesn't satisfy that demand."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Special Event
Jews & Jazz
7:00pm
Location: Museum at Eldridge Street
(12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY | get directions
Adults: $12 | Students & Seniors: $10 | 212-219-0888

Musicians Yale Strom and Loren Schoenberg will talk about the longstanding connection Jews have with jazz and its Harlem lineage beyond the stereotypes found in movies and popular culture. Roof-raising performances by Hot P'stromi and special guests will illustrate the intermingling of cultures.

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Larry Willis, Pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Once identified with on-the-edge free music, keyboardist Larry Willis had a profitable flirtation with fusion in the '70s, then moved to hard bop in the '80s and '90s. Willis' playing has been frenetic, ambitious and interesting, but during his jazz-rock and fusion days was funky but greatly restrained and simple. A devotee of Herbie Hancock, Willis has found a good balance, with expertly constructed modal solos and also lyrical, relaxed statements. 

Willis graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in the early '60s, then played with Jackie McLean and Hugh Masekela. He recorded with Lee Morgan and McLean in the mid-'60s, and worked with Kai Winding and Stan Getz, as well as recording with Robin Kenyatta in 1969. Willis turned to synthesizer and electric piano in the '70s, doing sessions with Cannonball Adderley, Earl May, Joe Henderson, Groove Holmes and Masekela again. He joined Blood, Sweat And Tears in 1972, recorded with Alphonze Mouzon in both 1972 and 1973, and did dates as a leader and freelance session musician. Willis also recorded with Ryo Kawasaki and Sonny Fortune in the late '70s, and with David "Fathead" Newman and Carla Bley in the '80s. Willis toured and recorded with Nat Adderley in the '80s, and joined Woody Shaw's quintet in 1986. He's done sessions as a leader for Groove Merchant, Steeplechase, Audioquest, Brunswick and Mapleshade, among others.

Jazz Museum Events: Nov. 17-21, 2008

James McBride- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem begins an exciting full week of public programming with a conversation between executive director Loren Schoenberg and best-selling author, saxophonist and composer James McBride for Jazz for Curious Readers, whose first novel was recently turned into a film by acclaimed director Spike Lee.
 
Thelonious Monk's musical style was singular, yet his ensembles embraced the voices of other titans in jazz music. Don't miss Jazz for Curious Listeners this week: the tenures of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, the standard-bearers of jazz tenor saxophone innovation post-1950s, with Thelonious Monk is the intriguing topic that Schoenberg will pursue.
 
Join us mid-week for an exploration of jazz legends at Jackie Robinson Park for Jazz in the Parks. We'll screen a series of short films in which you can see the legends for yourself. Details below.
 
Top jazz educator and percussionist Justin DiCioccio is the guest at Harlem Speaks this week. Guest interviewer Greg Thomas will investigate the state of jazz education through the vision and experience of DiCioccio, chair of the jazz department of the Manhattan School of music.
 
Expect an eclectic mix of sonic pleasure at Harlem in the Himalayas at the Rubin Museum of Art, as we close out the week with guitarist Bern Nix and bassist Francois Grillot.

Monday, November 17, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
James McBride
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE  

James McBride is an award-winning writer and composer. His critically acclaimed memoir, The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, explores the author's struggle to understand his biracial identity and the experience of his white, Jewish mother, who moved to Harlem, married a black man, and raised 12 children. The Color of Water won the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Literary Excellence, was an ALA Notable Book of the Year, and spent more than two years on the bestseller list. Chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 25 books of 1996 to remember, The Color of Water has sold more than 1.3 million copies in the United States alone and is now required reading at numerous colleges and high schools across the country. It has also been published in 16 languages and in more than 20 countries.

After the success of The Color of Water, McBride turned to fiction, albeit inspired by his family's history. "My initial aim was to write a novel about a group of black soldiers who liberate a concentration camp in Eastern Europe," McBride explains on his web site. "I read lots of books and spent a lot of time researching the subject but soon came to the realization that I'm not qualified to write about the holocaust. It's too much."  So, instead, he recalled the war stories of his uncle and cousin, who served in the all-black 92nd Infantry Division, and began researching World War II in Italy - particularly the clashes between Italian Partisans and the German army. Miracle at St Anna was published in 2002, and was recently turned into a major motion picture by acclaimed director Spike Lee, for which McBride also wrote the screenplay. His second novel, Song Yet Sung, was published in 2008.

McBride is a former staff writer for The Washington Post, People Magazine and The Boston Globe. His work has also appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. Aside from his literary honors, McBride is the recipient of several awards for his work as a composer in musical theater, including the 1996 American Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award, the 1996 ASCAP Richard Rodgers Horizons Award, and the American Music Festival's 1993 Stephen Sondheim Award. He has written the score for several musicals, including the highly acclaimed, award-winning show "Bobos."

McBride, an accomplished saxophonist who has toured with renowned jazz singers and musicians, has written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington, Jr., Gary Burton, Silver Burdett Textbooks, and for the PBS television character "Barney." He is a graduate of New York City's public schools, studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and received a Masters in journalism from Columbia University in New York at age 22. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Whitman College. He lives in Pennsylvania and is currently a Distinguished Writer-In-Residence at New York University.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: With Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

The pianist Eric Reed once said that "When you playing Monk's compositions, you're kind of playing Monk. His compositions and improvisations are completely integrated." Such is the nature of his compositions, so intertwined with his quirky, singular and ingenious style of playing and composing jazz.

The two foremost giants of jazz tenor saxophone in the 1950s, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, were a part of Monk's band at signal moments in the development of their styles and careers.  

This promises to be a night of swingin' revelation, so don't miss it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Jazz in the Parks
Jazz legend shorts
7:00 - 9:00pm
Location: Jackie Robinson Recreation Center
(85 Bradhurst Avenue @ West 146th Street)
FREE | RSVP, please call (212) 408-0296 or email for more info: NYC Department of Parks

A selection of short films about Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. Parker discovered Davis, and it was Davis who made John Coltrane into a musical icon. It's one thing to listen to their music, and another to see them play, live, in action. This is an unforgettable evening of rare film of three of America's greatest artists

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Justin DiCioccio, Drummer/educator
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Justin DiCioccio is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. In January 2001, he was inducted into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame, which took place at the 28th Annual International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conference in New York City. His keen insight into the teaching of conceptual and inventive ideas has earned him the title of "the musician's teacher." His performances, guest conducting appearances, adjudications, jazz and percussion clinics and workshops are numerous and widely recognized in the professional and educational fields.

Mr. DiCioccio was named assistant dean of Manhattan School of Music in June 2002, where he chairs the School's jazz department, a position that he has held since 1999. In addition, he has been a member of the School's jazz faculty since 1984, teaching percussion and coaching ensembles. Under his leadership, a complete restructuring of the jazz curriculum has taken place, which includes the creation of a new Jazz DMA program. His goal is to initiate and put into action the concept of the complete artist musician – performer, composer, and pedagogue – as well as the creation of working partnerships with public schools, community organizations, institutions and the music industry. He also directs international summer jazz programs in partnership with Manhattan School of Music that take place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina.

Mr. DiCioccio works actively in Manhattan School of Music's educational outreach program bringing jazz education to hundreds of New York City public school children. In addition, Mr. DiCioccio has initiated the creation of a jazz component to the School's already existing Preparatory Division, open to students ages 10 to 18, making Manhattan School of Music on of the few institutions in the country to offer jazz programs at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Mr. DiCioccio serves as program director for Carnegie Hall Jazz Education and under his direction in January 2001, the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall as part of its Family Concert Series. He also acts as a consultant to Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, with whom he also performs and gives clinics, as well as conductor of the Henry Mancini Summer Institute in Los Angeles, CA. He designed, developed and directed the internationally known and award-winning LaGuardia High School of the Arts jazz program, the first fully accredited secondary jazz program in the United States.

Mr. DiCioccio is the recipient of a citation for the major of New York for "Distinguished and Exceptional Service to Young Instrumentalists" and is currently active with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Music for Youth Foundation and the National Foundation for Jazz Education. He is a three-time recipient of the Presidential Scholars teaching recognition award in the jazz field by the U.S. Department of Education. In May 1998, The Commission Project, in partnership with the New York City Board of Education, created the JD Award for Outstanding Service to Music in New York City Schools. The award, presented annually, recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of music education and honored Mr. DiCioccio as its first honoree. In June 2003, Mr. DiCioccio received an Achievement Award from Downbeat magazine.

Friday, November 21, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Bern Nix and Francois Grillot
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Bern Nix has played the guitar since the age of 11. Bern studied music and graduated with a degree in music education from the Berklee College of Music. Since 1985, he has led The Bern Nix Trio. Before leading his Trio, Bern performed and recorded with Ornette Coleman from 1975 to 1987 as an original member of the Prime Time Band. The Prime Time Band recorded six albums including Dancing in Your Head, Of Human Feelings and Body Meta and performed hundreds of concerts around the world. The Bern Nix Trios first recording, Alarms and Excursions (New World Records) was released in 1993, making many top ten critics lists. Bern has performed with artists such as, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, Ronald Shannon Jackson, James Chance, Jayne Cortez and Kip Hanrahan. Hailed as one of the greatest jazz guitarists of our time, Bern was voted among the top ten jazz guitarists poll by Down Beat magazine. Most recently, Bern composed and recorded the score for the feature length documentary, A James Lord Portrait. Bern has a solo album coming out this fall on Tompkins Square Records.

Francois Grillot, born in Burgundy France, began studying trumpet, then guitar and electric bass. He recorded with Edition Speciale, on RCA, touring throughout France. Other credits include recordings with Mama Bea Teckelsk (RCA) and Serge Bringolf (Strave on Musea Records). Upon moving to New York he has been playing along side a number of notable musicians including Bill Bickford, Ken Hatfield, Adam Naussbaum, Harold Danko, and Mike Clarke. In 2001 his music took a turn with collaborators Matt Lavelle, Steve Swell, Daniel Carter, Matt Maneri, Roy Campbell, Mark Edwards, Jackson Krall, Lou Grassi, Jason Kwang, Robert Dick, Daniel Levin, William Hooker, Charles Burnham, Louie Belogenis, Bern Nix, Michael Marcus, Ken Filiano and a many others.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem November Schedule

Thelonious Monk- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's first event in November 2008 takes place a week after the presidential election, focusing on The World of Thelonious Monk for Jazz for Curious Listeners.
 
Now in its fifth year, the Harlem Speaks interview series continues strongly this month, with relaxed talks with photographer and producer Hank O'Neal and educator and drummer Justin DiCioccio. Best-selling author and jazz musician James McBride comes through to the Visitor's Center for Jazz for Curious Readers.
 
Live performance takes no back seat, as Harlem in the Himalayas presents several concerts boding experimental approaches (see details below.) 
 
If you've attended any of our events, or even have read our weekly and monthly press releases, you know that most of our programming is free to the public. Please consider giving your financial support to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem at our Gala 2008 fundraiser on November 25, 2008. 
 
That way, we can continue sharing the legacy and contemporary value of jazz, and keep swingin'!
 
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: The Minton's Years
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online
            
In the 1940s pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk was a house pianist at Minton's uptown in Harlem, a hotbed locale for the adventurous sound style that became known as bebop. Way before his wider popularity and critical recognition, his tenure at Minton's established his reputation among his musician peers, some of whom even questioned his approach. One man whose imprimatur stood Monk in good stead during this period was Coleman Hawkins, the "father" of the jazz tenor saxophone. 
 
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Hank O'Neal, Author/producer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

His mother, Sarah Christian O'Neal was a musically and intellectually inclined housewife from Tyler, Texas.. His father was a professional soldier and educator in the US Army in Texas and the Pacific (1929-1947) and, following World War II, an educator and public school superintendent in upstate New York (1953-72). O'Neal was raised throughout Texas, primarily, and Syracuse, NY. After first attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he graduated from Syracuse University in 1962.

In 1960 O'Neal was introduced to a representative of the CIA and ultimately accepted employment with that organization. He reported for duty in January 1963 and remained with the CIA in Washington D.C. and New York City until 1976. He served in the US Army during the same period (1962-1967), rising to the rank of Captain. The nature of his employment allowed him the flexibility of pursuing other interests during these years.

During a forty year career in music, he formed two record companies, Chiaroscuro Records and Hammond Music Enterprises, built two recordings studios (WARP and Downtown Sound), produced over 200 jazz LPs/CDs and - in conjunction with his business partner, Shelley M. Shier and their production company, HOSS, Inc. - over 100 music festivals (The Floating Jazz Festival, The Blues Cruise, Mardi Gras At Sea, Big Bands At Sea and others from 1983-2002), published a number of books and articles on jazz, photographed most of the giants of jazz from the second half of the 20th Century, exhibited these photographs regularly and served on the boards of various non-profit organizations that serve the jazz community, including the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program of The New School (1985 to present), the Jazz Foundation of America (1993 to present) and more recently The Jazz Gallery (1995 to present).

As a photographer, O'Neal didn't begin to pursue photography seriously until 1969 when he acquired a professional camera and began documenting recording sessions and jazz concerts he was producing. Long before Berenice Abbott admonished him to always have a project, he undertook his first, in rural East Texas during the years 1970-1973. These photographs led to his first exhibition in September 1973, at The Open Mind Gallery in New York City.

In the 1970s he became friendly and associated with a diverse group of photographers, notably Walker Evans, André Kertész and, most importantly, Berenice Abbott, with whom he worked for the last 19 years of her life.

Between the years 1970 and 1999, in addition to undertaking many photographic projects, O'Neal also published numerous books related to photography. In 1999, at the urging of Evelyn Daitz, the gallery director, he had a major retrospective of his work to that point at The Witkin Gallery. The focus of his activities have been more directed towards photography since then. He has had many exhibitions since that time. In 2003 his photographic career was summarized in a major profile in the New York Times.

Friday, November 14, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Anat Fort and Paul Motian
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

With Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Elvis Costello, John Coltrane and Egberto Gismonti among her many formative influences, Anat Fort's music can also subtly hint at her geographical origins. Born near Tel Aviv, she studied classical piano as a child and began improvising from an early age, all the while remaining open to the many musical sounds of her environment. 

In the early 1990's, Anat came to the United States to study jazz, looking to balance a natural tendency towards freer playing with a firm grounding in the tradition. Her sojourn resulted in her self-produced debut album Peel, and commissions to write for various ensembles including chamber and chorus and orchestra. Her most recent commission was premiered at the Opera House in Tel Aviv in January 2006. Anat received two artist-in-residence grants from the Jerome Foundation as well as the Creative Connections award from Meet the Composer. A session recorded with drummer Paul Motian, with whom she's performing this evening, bassist Ed Schuller, and clarinetist Perry Robinson was brought to the attention of the legendary producer Manfred Eicher ECM Records, and the resultant CD was released in 2007 as A Long Story

An important presence on the NYC alternative jazz scene and equally highly regarded in her homeland, Anat currently splits her time between Israel and the US and performs with bassist Gary Wang and drummer Roland Schneider in her touring band, the Anat Fort Trio.

Stephen Paul Motian was born on March 25, 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island. Motian played guitar in Providence in his teens, then served a term in the US Army. On his discharge in 1954 he went to New York to study music at the Manhattan School of Music. By 1956 he was playing drums for George Wallington and Russell Jacquet. Between 1956 and 1958 he worked with Tony Scott, with whom he met the pianist Bill Evans. His work in the Evans trio (1959-64) has since achieved legendary status for its delicacy and balance. Motian also played with Oscar Pettiford, Zoot Sims and Lennie Tristano in the late 50s. In the mid-60s he worked with singers Mose Allison and Arlo Guthrie and was part of the Paul Bley trio in 1964. Motian had met Ornette Coleman's bass player Charlie Haden in 1959 and had a chance to work with him in Keith Jarrett's band with Dewey Redman (1967-76); he also joined Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra for its debut recording in 1969 and toured with the re-formed Orchestra in the 80s. In the 70s he was active in the Jazz Composers' Orchestra and played on Carla Bley's Escalator Over The Hill in 1972.

Motian emerged as a leader in 1974, since which time he has released an impressive series of albums on the ECM Records, Soul Note Records, and JMT labels that have confirmed his stature as a drummer and composer. Tribute (1974) featured Carlos Ward on alto, while Dance and Le Voyage from the late 70s boasted rare appearances by saxophonist Charles Brackeen. In the 80s, Motian began long-term associations with guitarist Bill Frisell, whose arching, tremulous interpretations of Motian's melodies are particularly sympathetic, and the inventive tenorist Joe Lovano. In the late 80s, he renewed his acquaintance with Paul Bley on a marvelous album of improvised duets (Notes), and joined with Haden and pianist Geri Allen to form one of the most thoughtful of contemporary piano trios; a guest appearance with Marilyn Crispell's trio (Live In Zurich, 1991) proved he was also at home in more exploratory modes. Motian's examination of Thelonious Monk (Monk In Motian), standards (Motian On Broadway) and his piano-less tribute to Bill Evans (1991) show a questing musical mind, still working as keenly as ever. He recorded with his Electric Bebop Band (E.B.B.B) in the 90s and into the new millennium, which included Steve Swallow and Don Alias.

Monday, November 17, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
James McBride
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

James McBride is an award-winning writer and composer. His critically acclaimed memoir,The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, explores the author's struggle to understand his biracial identity and the experience of his white, Jewish mother, who moved to Harlem, married a black man, and raised 12 children.  The Color of Water won the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Literary Excellence, was an ALA Notable Book of the Year, and spent more than two years on the bestseller list. Chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 25 books of 1996 to remember, The Color of Water has sold more than 1.3 million copies in the United States alone and is now required reading at numerous colleges and high schools across the country. It has also been published in 16 languages and in more than 20 countries. 

After the success of The Color of Water, McBride turned to fiction, albeit inspired by his family's history. "My initial aim was to write a novel about a group of black soldiers who liberate a concentration camp in Eastern Europe," McBride explains on his web site. "I read lots of books and spent a lot of time researching the subject but soon came to the realization that I'm not qualified to write about the holocaust. It's too much."  So, instead, he recalled the war stories of his uncle and cousin, who served in the all-black 92nd Infantry Division, and began researching World War II in Italy - particularly the clashes between Italian Partisans and the German army. Miracle at St Anna was published in 2002. His second novel, Song Yet Sung, was published in 2008.

McBride is a former staff writer for The Washington Post, People Magazine and The Boston Globe. His work has also appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. Aside from his literary honors, McBride is the recipient of several awards for his work as a composer in musical theater, including the 1996 American Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award, the 1996 ASCAP Richard Rodgers Horizons Award, and the American Music Festival's 1993 Stephen Sondheim Award. He has written the score for several musicals, including the highly acclaimed, award-winning show "Bobos." 

McBride, an accomplished saxophonist who has toured with renowned jazz singers and musicians, has written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington, Jr., Gary Burton, Silver Burdett Textbooks, and for the PBS television character "Barney." He is a graduate of New York City's public schools, studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and received a Masters in journalism from Columbia University in New York at age 22. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Whitman College. He lives in Pennsylvania and is currently a Distinguished Writer-In-Residence at New York University.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: With Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

The pianist Eric Reed once said that "When you playing Monk's compositions, you're kind of playing Monk. His compositions and improvisations are completely integrated." Such is the nature of his compositions, so intertwined with his quirky, singular and ingenious style of playing and composing jazz. 

The two foremost giants of jazz tenor saxophone in the 1950s, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, were a part of Monk's band at signal moments in the development of their styles and careers. This promises to be a night of swingin' revelation, so don't miss it. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Justin DiCioccio, Drummer/educator
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Justin DiCioccio is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. In January 2001, he was inducted into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame, which took place at the 28th Annual International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conference in New York City. His keen insight into the teaching of conceptual and inventive ideas has earned him the title of "the musician's teacher." His performances, guest conducting appearances, adjudications, jazz and percussion clinics and workshops are numerous and widely recognized in the professional and educational fields. 

Mr. DiCioccio was named assistant dean of Manhattan School of Music in June 2002, where he chairs the School's jazz department, a position that he has held since 1999. In addition, he has been a member of the School's jazz faculty since 1984, teaching percussion and coaching ensembles. Under his leadership, a complete restructuring of the jazz curriculum has taken place, which includes the creation of a new Jazz DMA program. His goal is to initiate and put into action the concept of the complete artist musician – performer, composer, and pedagogue – as well as the creation of working partnerships with public schools, community organizations, institutions and the music industry. He also directs international summer jazz programs in partnership with Manhattan School of Music that take place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina.

Mr. DiCioccio works actively in Manhattan School of Music's educational outreach program bringing jazz education to hundreds of New York City public school children. In addition, Mr. DiCioccio has initiated the creation of a jazz component to the School's already existing Preparatory Division, open to students ages 10 to 18, making Manhattan School of Music on of the few institutions in the country to offer jazz programs at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Mr. DiCioccio serves as program director for Carnegie Hall Jazz Education and under his direction in January 2001, the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall as part of its Family Concert Series. He also acts as a consultant to Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, with whom he also performs and gives clinics, as well as conductor of the Henry Mancini Summer Institute in Los Angeles, CA. He designed, developed and directed the internationally known and award-winning LaGuardia High School of the Arts jazz program, the first fully accredited secondary jazz program in the United States.

Mr. DiCioccio is the recipient of a citation from the mayor of New York for "Distinguished and Exceptional Service to Young Instrumentalists" and is currently active with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Music for Youth Foundation and the National Foundation for Jazz Education. He is a three-time recipient of the Presidential Scholars teaching recognition award in the jazz field by the U.S. Department of Education. In May 1998, The Commission Project, in partnership with the New York City Board of Education, created the JD Award for Outstanding Service to Music in New York City Schools. The award, presented annually, recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of music education and honored Mr. DiCioccio as its first honoree. In June 2003, Mr. DiCioccio received an Achievement Award from Downbeatmagazine.

Friday, November 21, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Bern Nix and Francois Grillot
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Bern Nix has played the guitar since the age of 11. Bern studied music and graduated with a degree in music education from the Berklee College of Music. Since 1985, he has led The Bern Nix Trio. Before leading his Trio, Bern performed and recorded with Ornette Coleman from 1975 to 1987 as an original member of the Prime Time Band. The Prime Time Band recorded six albums including Dancing in Your HeadOf Human Feelings and Body Meta and performed hundreds of concerts around the world. The Bern Nix Trios first recording, Alarms and Excursions (New World Records) was released in 1993, making many top ten critics lists. Bern has performed with artists such as, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, Ronald Shannon Jackson, James Chance, Jayne Cortez and Kip Hanrahan. Hailed as one of the greatest jazz guitarists of our time, Bern was voted among the top ten jazz guitarists in a poll by Down Beat magazine. Most recently, Bern composed and recorded the score for the feature length documentary, A James Lord Portrait. Bern has a solo album coming out this fall on Tompkins Square Records.

Francois Grillot, born in Burgundy France, began studying trumpet, then guitar and electric bass. He recorded with Edition Speciale, on RCA, touring throughout France. Other credits include recordings with Mama Bea Teckelsk (RCA) and Serge Bringolf (Strave on Musea Records). Upon moving to New York he has been playing along side a number of notable musicians including Bill Bickford, Ken Hatfield, Adam Naussbaum, Harold Danko, and Mike Clarke. In 2001 his music took a turn with collaborators Matt Lavelle, Steve Swell, Daniel Carter, Matt Maneri, Roy Campbell, Mark Edwards, Jackson Krall, Lou Grassi, Jason Kwang, Robert Dick, Daniel Levin, William Hooker, Charles Burnham, Louie Belogenis, Bern Nix, Michael Marcus, Ken Filiano and a many others

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Special Event
Gala 2008 Fundraiser
6:30 – 9:30pm
Location: Players Club
(16 Gramercy Park South, New York, New York)
Tickets: $250 / $1000, Tables of 10: $2,500 / $10,000 | 
RSVP online

Honoring:
Representative Charles B. Rangel
Chairman, Ways and Means Committee
U.S. Congress
Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Billy Taylor
Pianist, Composer and Educator
Radio and Television Personality
Artistic Advisor, Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.
Lifetime Achievement Award

Music by:
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All-Stars
featuring Junior Mance, Reggie Workman,
and Dominick Farinacci

Reception: 6:30 pm
Awards: 7:30 pm
Dinner: 8:00 pm

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: The Pianist
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Some listeners today, and even some critics back in his days, thought that Thelonious Monk wasn't a complex piano player. Yet Monk was steeped in the stride and swing piano styles of his forebears, and sprinkled his compositions and improvisations with flourishes that clearly demonstrated his prowess. In fact, Dr. Billy Taylor has informed the audience at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, that early on Monk was an acolyte of Art Tatum, a man whose florid style can be posed as diametrically different than Monk's mature approach. 

Come get the real scoop on Thelonious Monk . . . as a pianist.

Friday, November 28, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Grace Kelly
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Grace Kelly, saxophones/vocal
Jason Palmer, trumpet
Jake Sherman, piano
Evan Gregor, bass
Jordan Perlson, drums
 
Born Grace Chung on May 15, 1992 in Wellesley, Massachusetts to Korean parents, Grace moved to Brookline, MA when she was two years old with her mother and sister after her parents divorced. Grace's mother married Robert Kelly in 1997 and a few years later Grace and her sister Christina were legally adopted by her stepfather and thus her name became Grace Kelly. Grace was brought up by a family that greatly appreciates music and the arts. When she is not busy with her burgeoning musical career, Grace likes to dance, act, and hang out with her friends.  She picked up the acting bug from her sister Christina, currently a student at Harvard University.  Grace also has two stepsisters and a stepbrother: Heather, Sara and Tim. Tim was a sergeant in the Marines and served twice in the war in Iraq.

Mother Irene Chang Kelly believes that learning piano is the best way to prepare for a lifetime of music, and so Grace began piano lessons at age six. She began with classical training but soon changed to jazz because she had the propensity not to stick to the notes on the page but wanted to make up her own melodies. Grace wrote her first song "On My Way Home" at age seven.  

All public school students in Grace's hometown are required to choose an instrument and take a year of school-sponsored instruction in fourth grade, and Grace chose the clarinet.  But this fourth-grader had already gotten hooked on another sound: the warm, almost-human voice of the saxophone. Her mom always loved [saxophonist] Stan Getz and would be playing him at home when they had Sunday brunch.  Grace always wanted to play saxophone, but they didn't let you take it until fifth grade.  So she started on clarinet. Grace couldn't wait until fifth grade, so halfway through fourth grade she started private lessons on the saxophone. When Grace was 12 she met Ann Hampton Callaway, a renowned cabaret artist, prodigious recording artist and award-winning songwriter. Seeing all that Grace had accomplished in those two short years, it is no wonder that when Ann Hampton Callaway met Grace she declared of Grace that "her sensitivity, control and focus as an alto saxophonist is impressive.  When I played some songs of hers for the legendary drummer Victor Lewis [who has played with Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, and many more], he said, 'Wow, I love her sound.'"  

Grace currently studies saxophone with Jerry Bergonzi, Lee Konitz, and Allan Chase. She also studies composition, arranging, flute, drums, and piano. Having participated in the certificate programs at both Brookline Music School and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Grace is the youngest ever to complete the four year Jazz Studies Certificate Program at New England Conservatory Prep School.
Grace began taking voice lessons this past year although she has been singing since she could talk; her soulful, versatile voice is quickly becoming one of her trademarks whether she's crooning a love song or belting out the blues.  She has kept up with piano all of these years, but now mostly uses those skills in conjunction with her creativity to write original songs. A visit to the Kelly's proves this very quickly, for Grace is frequently trying out a new idea for a song on the piano or guitar or listening to one of her creations via Sibelius, a music notation program, connected to her keyboard.  "Grace has always had an innate creativity.  When she was younger she never really needed toys because she could make up stories, songs, and dances – entertaining herself for hours by standing in front of a mirror and performing for her own reflection.  She remembers Grace practicing piano and ten minutes later she'll be making up songs instead of practicing. She's a very creative being," remarked Mrs. Kelly.

Grace plays the alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, some clarinet, flute, drums, bass and sings. The styles of music that intrigue Grace are many. Although jazz is her first love she embraces blues, funk, rock and contemporary styles. Some of the artists on Grace's nightstand are Paul Desmond, Joshua Redmond, Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Brad Meldau and Pat Metheny, Dave Brubeck, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Childs, Steve Wilson and Frank Morgan. Grace is also inspired by Ella, Sarah, Billy, Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn, Dianne Reeves, Ann Hampton Callaway, among others. Grace loves old movies and more recent romantic comedies. Some of her favorite actors are  Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Orlando Bloom, Cary Grant, and of course Princess Grace Kelly.

What does the future hold for this emerging musical powerhouse?  Grace says she hopes to become better and better at playing all her instruments and to do a lot more composing and arranging. "I just want to share my music with as many people as I can, hoping that my music gives as them joy and pleasure."

Jazz Museum Events: Oct. 14-17, 2008

Jonathan Batiste- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem begins the week on Tuesday with an analysis and listening session on Jazz in Europe and Australia, and ends with a live performance by the exciting young jazz pianist and recent Juilliard Jazz program graduate Jonathan Batiste on Friday. Between those two events, join us on Thursday night, which brings WBGO and Sirius Satellite Radio jazz host Rhonda Hamilton to the Harlem School of the Arts (new series location) for a Harlem Speaks talk. For those in the tri-state New York area, come meet the person behind the voice you've heard all these years.
 
We invite you to attend as many of our events this week as you can, to enhance your grasp of the international influence of this music, join in conversation with a noted jazz host on the current scene, and experience a live trio of young musicians pointing the way toward its future.
                    
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Europe and Australia
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online
Instructor: Loren Schoenberg
 
Jazz has been accorded a level of respect and admiration in Europe since the 1930s rivaling the reception to jazz found anywhere, including the U.S. That's why some black American jazz musicians became expatriates to Europe: they so appreciated the social acceptance of the music there as well as being treated with a human dignity all-too-rare because of racism at home. Saxophonists Don Byas, Dexter Gordon and Johnny Griffin are just three examples of musicians who found life in the Old World more amenable than in the New World.
 
What is it about the European understanding of the role of art in culture and society that led to an even higher appreciation of jazz there than in the native land of the music's origins? What European and Australian musicians have made a mark on jazz in the past? Of course, the beloved British jazz pianist George Shearing readily comes to mind, but who are the others? Even now there are musicians making a mark, such as Perth, Australian saxophonist Troy Roberts, a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
 
Then there are those attempts to combine elements from the European concert tradition and American jazz, some more successful than others. These and related topics are fodder for exploration, especially if you bring some thoughts, questions and insights of your own.
 
This is Jazz for Curious Listeners, so we welcome your input. See you there.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

HARLEM SPEAKS
6:30pm
Rhonda Hamilton, jazz broadcaster, WBGO
Location:
Harlem School of the Arts
(645 St. Nicholas Avenue, off 141st street)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300
 
Please note our new location this month.

Rhonda Hamilton, a native New Yorker, is the host and producer of a popular jazz program which airs weekdays, 10AM - 2PM, on WBGO/Jazz 88FM in Newark, NJ.
 
In 1976, Ms. Hamilton graduated from Boston University's School of Public Communication, receiving a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film. She also studied acting at the Actor's Studio in Boston. She began her career in radio in 1975 as a jazz announcer/producer at WBUR-FM in Boston. She later became the music director for WBUR. At WBZ-TV in Boston, she worked as a music reviewer and commentator on the public affairs program, "Mzizi Roots."

Returning to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area in March 1979, Ms. Hamilton came to WBGO at the station's inception and has played a key role in making Jazz 88 one of the finest and most listened to jazz stations in the world. In 1979 and 1980, she won the New York Jazz Award for Best Jazz DJ "in appreciation of a major contribution to the cultural life of our region."
 
In 1995 she was recognized "for her achievements in the world of jazz" as the recipient of The Ladies in Jazz Award from Mayor Giuliani of New York and the Harlem Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Hamiton's work has taken her to three continents. In 1984 she was invited to attend the first Senegalese Festival of Jazz and African Music. While in Dakar, Senegal, Ms. Hamilton was interviewed as a featured guest on a national TV news program. In 1985 she was invited to Europe by the Danish Tourist Board to document the Scandinavian jazz scene. After traveling to Brazil, Ms. Hamilton exposed the American public to various aspects of Brazilian culture - music, dance, film, food, religion, etc. - when she hosted a series of 36 programs called "Brazil/New York" which aired on WNYC-TV in 1985 and 1986.

In addition to her work at WBGO, Ms. Hamilton also does commercial and industrial voice-overs and is often called upon to host/narrate film, video and radio productions for such organizations as WNET-TV PBS/Channel 13 in New York, National Public Radio, Columbia Records and Japan Television NHK. She was the host of the nationally syndicated radio series "Big Apple Jazz", "American Women in Jazz" and "The Voices of Jazz," which she also co-produced.

Ms. Hamilton frequently hosts special music and cultural events in such historic places as the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Beacon Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 1993 she produced and moderated a Symposium on Women in Jazz for the Newark Jazz Festival and in 1996 she was a guest speaker on "Jazz and The Media" at the first annual Mary Lou Williams Women's Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Friday, October 17, 2008

HARLEM IN THE HIMALAYAS
7:00pm
Jonathan Batiste Trio
Location:
Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344
 
Jonathan Batiste, piano
Phil Kuehn, bass
Louis Hayes, drums

Jonathan Batiste was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1986. He was first introduced to music through his family's band, the Batiste Brothers Band, in which he played percussion at the age of 8, switching to the piano at age 11.  

By the age of 16 years old, Jonathan could be seen performing with some of New Orleans' most outstanding and respected musicians, including the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Batiste, Cyril Neville, Donald Harrison, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews at venues such as New Orleans' Snug Harbor, Tipitinas, Funky Butt as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival where he debuted his band in 2005. By the age of 17, he released his first CD as a leader entitled "Times in New Orleans." Also that year, Jonathan was selected through a nationwide search to be a member of the 2004 Gibson/Baldwin Grammy High School Jazz Ensembles in which he performed, in trio format, at the Grammy week of events as well as the Grammy pre-telecast and post celebration in Los Angeles.

In 2004, Jonathan graduated from St. Augustine High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) under the tutelage of Alvin Batiste, Michael Pellera, and others. NOCCA is a high-level fine arts conservatory that has produced alumni such as Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., Terrence Blanchard and many more. Jonathan auditioned at The Juilliard School for the 2004-2005 school year and was accepted. He graduated from Juilliard in 2008. Since his arrival to New York he has been performing regularly around the city with his trio. His most recent release entitled "Live In New York: At The Rubin Museum Of Art" features the talents of his trio (Phillip Kuehn and Joe Saylor), as well as his skills as a pianist and composer in a live acoustic setting.

He recently was awarded the "Movado Future Legend" award in jazz and has been playing around the world with his trio from Portugal to New York. He joined his fellow Juilliard piano colleague Aaron Diehl and one of his key influences, Marcus Roberts, on stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room for a solo piano recital titled, "Ragtime, Stride and Stomp."

Join us as Jonathan returns to the Rubin for what promises to be another evening of memorable music.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem October Schedule

Jonathan Batiste- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem covers the gamut in October 2008, with live performances for the Harlem in the Himalayas series featuring elder masters and young artists who defy the constraints of genre through style as well as discussions with three notable media standard-bearers: WBGO's velvet-voice Rhonda Hamilton, and two living legends of journalism, Evelyn Cunningham and Nat Hentoff. (NOTE: the Harlem Speaks interview series will return this month to the Harlem School of the Arts).         
 
Our adult ed class, Jazz for Curious Listeners, explores the impact of jazz around the world as well as the influence of Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, and the Americas on the preeminent United States musical idiom, jazz. And don't miss a special National Endowment of the Arts discussion on the future of jazz with a panel that includes executive director of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Loren Schoenberg. 
 
And to wrap up September, our last Classic Album analysis (of Andrew Hill's "Point of Departure") will be held on September 30th at the Visitor's Center. 
 
As you'll see below, our claim above of covering "the gamut" is far from a public relations ploy. Whatever your taste or level of interest in jazz, you'll find programs to satisfy your longing for artistic nourishment.
 
September 30, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online 

Andrew Hill: Point of Departure

Alfred Lion, founder of Blue Note Records, considered Andrew Hill his last major discovery, for Hill's rich, rhythmic piano and utterly unique compositions stand alone. "Point Of Departure" is Hill's masterpiece, with rich three-horn arrangements for Kenny Dorham, Eric Dolphy and Joe Henderson. Richard Davis and Tony Williams complete this high level ensemble of musicians with a wide range of approaches, but who, on this classic date, created a unified aesthetic whole.
October 3, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas
Reggie Workman, Oliver Lake & Andrew Cyrille
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Oliver Lake, saxophone
Reggie Workman, bass
Andrew Cyrille, drums
 
Trio 3 celebrates 20 years of performances in 2008. Jazz critic Gary Giddins, in his liner notes for one of the group's recordings, wrote that their ". . . cumulative experience involves the assimilation of every kind of jazz, from pre-bop mainstream to the furthest reaches of the avant-garde to sundry precincts on the world music front." 

Reggie Workman has long been one of the most technically gifted of all bassists, a brilliant player whose versatile style fits into both hard bop and very avant-garde settings. After working regularly with Gigi Gryce (1958), Red Garland, and Roy Haynes, he was a member of the John Coltrane Quartet for much of 1961, participating in several important recordings and on television. Workman then became a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1962-1964) and was in the groups of Yusef Lateef (1964-65), Herbie Mann, and Thelonious Monk (1967). He recorded frequently in the 1960s (including many Blue Note dates and Archie Shepp's classic "Four for Trane").

Since that time, Workman has been both an educator and a working musician, and has played with numerous legendary jazz musicians including Max Roach, Art Farmer, Mal Waldron, David Murray, Sam Rivers, and Andrew Hill. In the 1980s, Workman began leading his own group, the Reggie Workman Ensemble. He also began a collaboration with pianist Marilyn Crispell that lasted into the next decade. During the '90s, Workman was not only active with his own ensemble, but also in Trio Three (with Andrew Cyrille and Oliver Lake), and Reggie Workman's Grooveship and Extravaganza.

In recognition of Workman's international performances and recordings spanning over 40 years, he was named a Living Legend by the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum in his hometown of Philadelphia; he is also a recipient of the Eubie Blake Award, and serves as an Associate Professor at New York's famed The New School (Jazz and Contemporary Music Department) where, in 2007, he celebrated his twentieth-year and was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award.
 
Andrew Cyrille enrolled in Juilliard School of Music in 1958. In the late '50s and early '60s, he worked with such mainstream jazzers as Mary Lou Williams, Roland Hanna, Roland Kirk, Coleman Hawkins, and Junior Mance. He recorded with Hawkins, as well as tenor saxophonist Bill Barron, for the Savoy label. Then Cyrille succeeded Sunny Murray as Cecil Taylor's drummer in 1964. He stayed with the pianist until 1975, during which time he played on many of Taylor's classic albums. During that period he played with many other top players, including Marion Brown, Grachan Moncur III and Jimmy Giuffre. He also served for a time as artist in residence at Antioch College and recorded a solo percussion album, 1969's "What About?". Cyrille, Rashied Ali, and Milford Graves collaborated on a series of mid-'70s concerts entitled "Dialogue of the Drums." Cyrille is perhaps the preeminent free-jazz percussionist of the 1980s and '90s. 

Oliver Lake is an explosively unpredictable soloist, somewhat akin to Eric Dolphy in the ultra-nimble manner in which he traverses the full range of his main horn, the alto. Lake's astringent saxophone sound is his trademark - piercing, bluesy, and biting in the manner of a Maceo Parker, it was a perfect lead voice for the World Saxophone Quartet, the band with which Lake has made his most enduring mark on jazz.

From the late '60s to the early '70s he taught school, played in various contexts around St. Louis, and led—along with Julius Hemphill and Charles "Bobo" Shaw, among others—a musician's collective, the Black Artist's Group (BAG). In 1976, with Hemphill, Hamiet Bluiett, and David Murray, he founded the World Saxophone Quartet (WSQ). Over the next two decades, that band reached a level of popularity perhaps unprecedented by a free jazz ensemble. Its late-'80s albums of Ellington works and R&B tunes attracted an audience that otherwise might never have found its way to such an esoteric style. 

Lake continued working as a leader apart from the WSQ, he made excellent small-group albums in the '70s and '80s for Arista/Freedom and Black Saint. In the '80s, Lake led a reggae-oriented band, Jump Up, that had a degree of pop success. In the '90s, Lake continued to stretch creatively; a duo album with classically trained pianist Donal Fox set him free to explore the more fanciful side of his musical personality.

October 7, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Asia
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Go to almost any of the major jazz clubs in New York, and look at the audience. Very likely you will see persons from various Asian countries in rapt attention. What is the draw for Asians to jazz? Explore the answers with Loren Schoenberg.

October 14, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Europe and Australia
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Jazz has been accorded a level of respect and admiration in Europe since the 1930s rivaling the reception to jazz found anywhere, including the U.S. Many black American jazz musicians so appreciated the social acceptance of the music in Europe that they became expatriates. Come discover the cultural and social ties between American jazz and Europe, and Australia too.

October 16, 2008

Harlem Speaks
Rhonda Hamilton, Jazz Broadcaster
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Harlem School of the Arts
(645 St. Nicholas Avenue, off 141st street)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Please note our new location this month.
Rhonda Hamilton, a native New Yorker, is the host and producer of a popular jazz program which airs weekdays, 10AM - 2PM, on WBGO/Jazz 88FM in Newark, NJ. 

In 1976, Ms. Hamilton graduated from Boston University's School of Public Communication, receiving a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film. She also studied acting at the Actor's Studio in Boston. She began her career in radio in 1975 as a jazz announcer/producer at WBUR-FM in Boston. She later became the music director for WBUR. At WBZ-TV in Boston, she worked as a music reviewer and commentator on the public affairs program, "Mzizi Roots." 

Returning to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area in March 1979, Ms. Hamilton came to WBGO at the station's inception and has played a key role in making Jazz 88 one of the finest and most listened to jazz stations in the world. In 1979 and 1980, she won the New York Jazz Award for Best Jazz DJ "in appreciation of a major contribution to the cultural life of our region." 

In 1995 she was recognized "for her achievements in the world of jazz" as the recipient of The Ladies in Jazz Award from Mayor Giuliani of New York and the Harlem Chamber of Commerce. 

Ms. Hamiton's work has taken her to three continents. In 1984 she was invited to attend the first Senegalese Festival of Jazz and African Music. While in Dakar, Senegal, Ms. Hamilton was interviewed as a featured guest on a national TV news program. In 1985 she was invited to Europe by the Danish Tourist Board to document the Scandinavian jazz scene. After traveling to Brazil, Ms. Hamilton exposed the American public to various aspects of Brazilian culture - music, dance, film, food, religion, etc. - when she hosted a series of 36 programs called "Brazil/New York" which aired on WNYC-TV in 1985 and 1986. 

In addition to her work at WBGO, Ms. Hamilton also does commercial and industrial voice-overs and is often called upon to host/narrate film, video and radio productions for such organizations as WNET-TV PBS/Channel 13 in New York, National Public Radio, Columbia Records and Japan Television NHK. She was the host of the nationally syndicated radio series "Big Apple Jazz", "American Women in Jazz" and "The Voices of Jazz," which she also co-produced. 

Ms. Hamilton frequently hosts special music and cultural events in such historic places as the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Beacon Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 1993 she produced and moderated a Symposium on Women in Jazz for the Newark Jazz Festival and in 1996 she was a guest speaker on "Jazz and The Media" at the first annual Mary Lou Williams Women's Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

October 17, 2008

Special Event
NEA Jazz Symposium: The Future of Jazz
9:00 – 11:30am
Location: Langston Hughes Auditorium
(Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard)
FREE | r.s.v.p. by October 10

Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, invites you to participate in a lively conversation on the future of jazz, jazz education, and jazz audiences.

Panelists will include: 
Dr. David Baker, NEA Jazz Master
Dr. Billy Taylor, NEA Jazz Master 
Adrian Ellis, Executive Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Nicole Mitchell, flutist and composer
Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
Helen Sung, pianist and composer

Moderated by A.B. Spellman, author, poet, and critic

This symposium launches the 2009 NEA Jazz Masters celebration, taking place in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

October 17, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas
The Jonathan Batiste Trio
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Jonathan Batiste was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1986. He was first introduced to music through his family's band, the Batiste Brothers Band, in which he played percussion at the age of 8, switching to the piano at age 11.  

By the age of 16 years old, Jonathan could be seen performing with some of New Orleans' most outstanding and respected musicians, including the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Batiste, Cyril Neville, Donald Harrison, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews at venues such as New Orleans' Snug Harbor, Tipitinas, Funky Butt as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival where he debuted his band in 2005. By the age of 17, he released his first CD as a leader entitled "Times in New Orleans." Also that year, Jonathan was selected through a nationwide search to be a member of the 2004 Gibson/Baldwin Grammy High School Jazz Ensembles in which he performed, in trio format, at the Grammy week of events as well as the Grammy pre-telecast and post celebration in Los Angeles. 

In 2004, Jonathan graduated from St. Augustine High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) under the tutelage of Alvin Batiste, Michael Pellera, and others. NOCCA is a high-level fine arts conservatory that has produced alumni such as Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., Terrence Blanchard and many more. Jonathan auditioned at The Juilliard School for the 2004-2005 school year and was accepted. He graduated from Juilliard in 2008. Since his arrival to New York he has been performing regularly around the city with his trio. His most recent release entitled "Live In New York: At The Rubin Museum Of Art" features the talents of his trio (Phillip Kuehn and Joe Saylor), as well as his skills as a pianist and composer in a live acoustic setting.

He recently was awarded the "Movado Future Legend" award in jazz and has been playing around the world with his trio from Portugal to New York. He joined his fellow Juilliard piano colleague Aaron Diehl and one of his key influences, Marcus Roberts, on stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room for a solo piano recital titled, "Ragtime, Stride and Stomp."

October 21, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Africa
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Jazz was founded by descendants from the continent of Africa, who retained certain features that found its way into jazz, such as a dance-beat orientation to movement. But jazz has also influenced the music of Africa, and some noted African pop stars such as Fela Kuti, founder of the Afrobeat style. Cross-cultural influence is the theme tonight, as we continue to explore Jazz Around the World.

October 27, 2008

Jazz for Curious Readers
Nat Hentoff
6:30 – 8:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Nat Hentoff was born in Boston in 1925. He received his B.A. with the highest honors from Northeastern University and did graduate work at Harvard. He was a Fulbright fellow at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1950. From 1953 through 1957 he was associate editor of Down Beat magazine. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in education and an American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award in 1980 for his coverage of the law and criminal justice in his columns. In 1985 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws by Northeastern University. 

He has published many books on jazz, biographies and novels, including a number of books for children. Among his works: "Does Anybody Give A Damn?: Nat Hentoff on Education," "Our Children Are Dying," "A Doctor Among Addicts," "Peace Agitator: The Story of A. J Muste," "The New Equality," "The First Freedom: The Tumultuous History of Free Speech in America," "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book," "The Man from Internal Affairs," "Boston Boy," "John Cardinal O'Connor: At The Storm Center of a Changing American Catholic Church," "Free Speech for Me and Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other,"  "Listen to the Stories: Nat Hentoff on Jazz and Country Music," and the celebrated young people's book on race and jazz, "Jazz Country." 

In addition to his weekly Village Voice column, Hentoff writes on music for the Wall Street Journal. Among other publications in which his work has appeared are the New York Times, the New Republic, Commonweal, the Atlantic and the New Yorker, where he was a staff writer for more than 25 years. 

Hentoff's views on journalistic responsibility and the rights of Americans to write, think and speak freely are expressed in his weekly column, and he has come to be acknowledged as a foremost authority in the area of First Amendment defense. He is also an expert on the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court, student rights and education. 

October 28, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: The Americas
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Jazz is a North American export with strong South American "tinges," to paraphrase Jelly Roll Morton. From Brazil to Argentina, Cuba to Puerto Rico, are musicians who have incorporated jazz into their native sounds and grooves. And the presence of musicians from the Caribbean is one of the best kept secrets in jazz. Uncover the truth tonight.

October 30, 2008

Harlem Speaks
Evelyn Cunningham, Journalist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Harlem School of the Arts
(645 St. Nicholas Avenue, off 141st street)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Reporter, editor, columnist, radio host, special assistant to governors, member of various  task forces, Evelyn Cunningham has been involved in much of the reporting and shaping of American civil rights. She covered the Civil Rights Movement as a reporter for one of the foremost African American newspapers the Pittsburgh Courier. Cunningham has also served underrepresented Americans through seeking to improve opportunities and increase rights for African Americans, women and poor citizens, through public and private positions within the government and various organizations.

Evelyn Elizabeth Long was born on January 25, 1916, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina in Pasquotank County. Her mother, Mary Whitehurst Long, a dressmaker, and father, Clyde Long, a cabdriver, were very involved in their children's (Cunningham has a brother, Clyde Whitehurst) education. When her parents heard their daughter say she wanted to pick cotton when she grew up, they moved the family from North Carolina to Harlem, New York, where African Americans were progressive. Upon reaching New York, Cunningham did well in school and graduated from Hunter College High School in 1934. She later went to Long Island University where she graduated with a BA in the social sciences in 1943.

In 1940, Cunningham began to work for the Pittsburgh Courier by clipping stories from the New York Times that were relevant to blacks and rewriting these stories for the Courier. She was a reporter, columnist, editor and city editor with the Pittsburgh Courier from 1940-1962. Cunningham covered lynchings, major events, protests, and key figures such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X during this era. She was known for getting people to open up and tell her things, stories they might not tell others.

In 1961, interested in being involved in direct action while reporting, Cunningham traveled with Percy Sutton and other NAACP members to the Double T Diner in Rosedale, MD to stage a sit-in protesting segregation practices in restaurants. The group was arrested, found guilty of trespassing and fined $101.

In this same year, Cunningham began hosting "At Home With Evelyn Cunningham," a half hour radio show on WLIB in New York. During the show's five years and popularity, Cunningham interviewed significant figures within the African American community in New York. 

Evelyn Cunningham's post-journalistic career developed when she became special assistant to Jackie Robinson, former baseball player and political consultant to Governor Rockefeller. In this position and others that followed, she continued her service to the American public. Cunningham was the special assistant to New York Governors Nelson A. Rockefeller and Malcolm Wilson, and director of the Women's Unit in the office of the Governor between 1969-1974. In 1969, Cunningham accompanied Rockefeller to several Caribbean countries in order to research and write a report on racial problems and women's problems in that region. Under President Richard Nixon, Cunningham was appointed to the Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities (1969). From 1975-1976, she also served as special assistant to U.S. President Gerald Ford, office of Vice President Rockefeller. In 1970, Cunningham helped to found the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women, a nonprofit organization which seeks to improve the lives of black women and their families through implementing initiatives and services to address important social, economic, political, cultural issues. She has belonged to many feminist organizations throughout the years and has had a special interest in working within the government and in nonprofits on addressing major issues that concern women.

Evelyn Cunningham was one of five former reporters of the Pittsburgh Courier to receive the prestigious George Polk Award in 1998 on behalf of the newspaper. It was the first time the award, usually reserved for an individual, had been given to a newspaper. She also won the Women of the Century Award from the Century Club, (NYC) in 1998. A nonagenarian, Cunningham serves on different boards and on keeping young people involved in the arts.

Jazz Museum Events: Sept. 23-26, 2008

Chico Hamilton- for the Grateful Web

The season change, summer becoming fall, doesn't apply to the programming of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem since you can depend on something hot and fresh each week.
 
Take our Tuesday Jazz for Curious Listeners class for instance. Wynton Marsalis's Blue Interlude recording was the first long composition by the most influential jazz musician of his generation. Come discover what makes Marsalis a special composer of the jazz idiom and how this recording foreshadowed his future works.
 
Two elder statesman of the music will parlay a discussion on Thursday for Harlem Speaks: Dr. Billy Taylor, of whom the museum just spent a month of classes, will come back to the Visitor's Center to interview Chico Hamilton, still going strong after 60 years at the trap drums.
 
Then for a unique twist on jazz music, see David Ornette Cherry's Ensemble for Improvisers at the Rubin Museum of Art on Friday for Harlem in the Himalayas. Come be a part of history in the making.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Wynton Marsalis: Blue Interlude
"Blue Interlude" is an ambitious work centered on two mythic lovers, and it beautifully executes Wynton Marsalis' stated fundamentals of jazz: a communal conception of improvising, vocal effects on instruments, swinging rhythms, blues, and a sense of mystery and even melancholy. There are echoes of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, yet on this, his first extended composition on record, he establishes his own compositional stamp.

If you've listened to this recording before, or even if you haven't at all, rest assured that you'll hear Marsalis' "mastery of making four horns sound as full and as varied in timbre as a big band," says Loren Schoenberg in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Chico Hamilton, Drummer; Interviewer: Dr. Billy Taylor
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton, born September 21st, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established this young West Coast prodigy as a jazz drummer on the rise, before striking out on his own as a bandleader in 1955.

Chico's impact upon jazz includes the introduction of two unique and distinct sounds: first in 1955 with his Original Quintet which combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette; and the second in 1962 with his own drums, the bass of Albert Stinson, the guitar of Gabor Szabo, the tenor sax of Charles Lloyd, and the trombone of George Bohanon.

In 1997, Chico received the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Programs Beacons in Jazz Award in recognition for his "significant contribution to the evolution of Jazz". In 2002, Chico was awarded the WLIU-FM Radio Lifetime Achievement Award. At the IAJE in NYC January 2004, Hamilton was awarded a NEA Jazz Master Fellowship, presented to him by Roy Haynes. In December 2006, Congress confirmed the President's nomination of Chico to the Presidents Council on the Arts. And in 2007, Chico received a Living Legacy Jazz Award as part of The Kennedy Centers Jazz in Our Time Festival, as well as receiving a Doctor of Fine Arts from The New School.

Dynamic as ever at the age of 86, Chico Hamilton has a resume that includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, 50 + albums as a leader, and countless international tours.

Friday, September 26, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
David Ornette Cherry with The Ensemble for Improvisors
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

David Ornette Cherry grew up in Watts, California. This Watts young man, son of Don Cherry, later won the 2003 ASCAP- Chamber Music America Award for adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. He is inspired by themes of silence and nature versus technology.

The pulses and melodies that arise from his jazz, classical, African, world music background, and from playing with some of the great jazz artists of our times, speak about our human experiences through the language of sound. He listens with an open heart and fresh mind to his collaborators and the world around him in a way that makes his compositions not only music, but a way of life a positive form of energy, and a way to connect. His current group is titled Ensemble for Improvisors, the latest iteration of which you can hear tonight.

David Ornette Cherry studied music composition at Bishop College in Dallas and began concentrating on "world music" at California Institute of the Arts. He spent challenging summers attending the Creative Music Studio at Woodstock, New York. These summer experiences gave him the space to compose and create music with Trilok Gurtu, Olatunji, Jai Deva, and Foday Musa Suso and to explore the relationship of jazz and music from other cultures. While jazz remains both the root and sustenance of his sound, he often incorporates the sounds of the world in what he calls "multi-kulti" music. Acoustic piano, electronic keyboards, melodica, wood flute and douss'n gouni are his instruments.

He sees himself crossing borders drawing from the past - building a passageway to jazz of the future. David states, "The music never stopped. Jazz is dynamic. It is a continuum that expands and takes from the players and composers so they can add their little something to the art. It's not about JUST referencing the past. It's about keeping the momentum going like a ball that keeps rolling along."

David Ornette Cherry's future plans include: "Creating a musical intensity which invigorates and sets trends in jazz of the future, passing the torch to take the music beyond...to become another color in the ever-expanding sound spectrum."

Jazz Museum Events: Sept. 15-19, 2008

Benny Goodman- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem takes pride in presenting free discussions and educational classes, plus live performances, all which so clearly demonstrate the vibrant legacy of jazz not just in America's past, but in contemporary society. And we're proud to honor Harlem's own on Monday: Jazz for Curious Readers features a talk with local jazz journalist Ron Scott, who pens a weekly jazz column in the Amsterdam News.

On Tuesday, the museum's executive director Loren Schoenberg will elucidate the lasting value of Benny Goodman's 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall for Jazz for Curious Listeners. And not only does Schoenberg know this recording through deep study and countless listening sessions; as a young man, Schoenberg worked with Goodman directly, so expect insights that only he can bring.

And for those to whom talk is not quite enough to satisfy artistic hunger, come feast at Harlem in the Himalayas hosted at the Rubin Museum of Art and, as the drummer Cindy Blackman fronts a fiery quartet on Friday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jazz for Curious Readers

Ron Scott, Jazz Journalist

6:30 – 8:00pm

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Ron Scott currently writes a weekly column "Jazz Notes" for the Amsterdam News, and is a regular contributor of reviews and features for the monthly publications Jazz Improv and Network Journal.  He also wrote monthly reviews for the Jazz Heritage Society Catalogues, and contributes pieces to the online publication jazzhouse.org

He is the senior editor for the book Forever Harlem, (Starlight Press L.L.C., 2006), a pictorial history of Harlem from 1896-2006. Most recently he was writer and editor for the Community Works exhibit "Harlem is… Music," exhibited at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts and the Museum of the City of New York  

As a freelance writer Scott's byline has appeared in a variety of publications including the New York Times, Vogue, the NY Daily News, Time Out New York, Johnson Publications and ABC Radio. Scott also spent time as a theater and restaurant critic.

He is a member of the Jazz Journalists Association, New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ), and National Writers Union Local 1981. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University, and New York University's Graduate School of Social Work.

He's served as a publicity consultant on feature films and television specials working with such celebrities as Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor Harry Belafonte and two-time Grammy winner and jazz legend Roy Haynes. On the hip-hop tip Ron has worked on projects with Ice T., Chuck D. and Ice Cube. He's coordinated press conferences for Reverend Jesse Jackson, and R&B Grammy winner Al Green and Patti LaBelle.

Scott has received numerous awards including the D. Parke Gibson Award for distinguished achievement in Public Relations. He has lectured at the City University of New York, Howard University and shared his expertise on music and journalism panels throughout the United States.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners

What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Benny Goodman: 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert

Amongst celebrated dates that exist in popular or fine art music, January 16, 1938 denotes the day the Benny Goodman Orchestra played the rarified environs of New York's Carnegie Hall - previously designated as the dignified home of classical music. Initially conceived as a publicity stunt to enhance Goodman's increasing popularity, this was the very first time a jazz ensemble had ever played this venue and despite initial coolness towards the event, the sell-out performance left no doubt that swing dance bands provided the latest craze which could no longer be ignored.

"As an ensemble, the players brought a new kind of perfection and swing to their interpretations of the classic arrangements by Fletcher Henderson, Edgar Sampson, and Jimmy Mundy," wrote tonight's instructor and National Jazz Museum in Harlem Executive Director Loren Schoenberg in his book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

You'll hear the truth of these words by way of a crystal-clear recording of this date so crucial not only to jazz, but to American social history too.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas

Cindy Blackman, Drummer

7:00pm

Location: Rubin Museum of Art

(150 West 17th Street)

$18 in advance | $20 at door |

Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

JD Allen, tenor sax

Carlton Holmes, piano

George Mitchell, bass

Cindy Blackman, drums

Born in Ohio and raised in Connecticut, Cindy began her musical career as a New York street performer. She spent three semesters at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and also studied with legendary teacher Alan Dawson.

Cindy moved to New York City in the 80's and since that time, she has been seen and heard by millions of people all over the world performing with her own group and during her 11 year stint with retro funk rocker Lenny Kravitz, since 1993.

In 1998, Cindy released her first drumming instructional video entitled, Multiplicity. Cindy was touted as "one of the hottest drummers in the business, by the Star-Gazette and is regarded as one of the top drummers in the world. She is a solid, dependable drummer who can easily move from straight-ahead jazz to rock to funk and back again.

She's upheld the backbeat and created texture for artists as varied as: Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Don Pullen, Hugh Masekela, Pharaoh Sanders, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Bill Laswell, Buckethead. In early 2000, Cindy released her acclaimed solo album Works on Canvas, and yet another solo album, Someday, in 2004.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem September Schedule

- for the Grateful Web

From live performances for Harlem in the Himalayas to analysis of five classic recordings for Jazz for Curious Listeners, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's September 2008 schedule of public programs is sure to please you, not tease you.
 
You are also welcome to attend several discussions: our newest series, Jazz for Curious Readers features Harlem-based jazz journalist Ron Scott, who pens a weekly column for the Amsterdam News; while our longest running program, Harlem Speaks, features conversations with three living giants of jazz music.
 
Cedar Walton, a fluidly swinging pianist and deft composer, will delve into his life and career on September 11th, followed two weeks later by octogenarian Chico Hamilton, still going strong as a leader after more than 50 years! To be sure, this interview with Chico Hamilton is a must-see, since he will engage in conversation with one of his true peers: Dr. Billy Taylor.
 
September 2, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme
 
John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, a 32 minute suite made in 1964 based on a four note motif on the words "A Love Supreme," has become a holy relic of jazz. Similar in intent to Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts, the suite was Coltrane's musical gift to God. From the urgent speech-like timbre of his tenor, to the serpentine textures and earthy groove of Elvin Jones's drumming, Coltrane's suite proceeds with escalating intensity, conveying a beckoning serenity in the prayer-like drones of "Psalm," where Jones rolls and rumbles like thunder as Garrison and Tyner toll away suggestively.
 
One of the top-selling jazz recordings in history, A Love Supreme has "influenced countless musicians both inside and outside of Jazz," wrote Loren Schoenberg in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.
 
Come find out how and why this seminal recording has stood the test of time.

September 9, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Miles Davis: Kind of Blue

To many jazz fans and musicians, Miles Davis's Kind of Blue is the definitive jazz recording, capturing a variety of moods through musical modes interpreted by Davis, trumpet; Jimmy Cobb, drums; Paul Chambers, bass; John Coltrane, tenor sax; Cannonball Adderly, alto sax; Wynton Kelly, piano (on Freddie Freeloader), and pianist Bill Evans, with whom Davis worked up the compositional sketches.
 
Jazz historian Dan Morgenstern describes one reason for the timeless quality of this most classic recording: "It's so well balanced. There is not an unnecessary note in any of those pieces. And you keep coming back to it. It doesn't wear out its welcome."
 
That's why we implore you to attend this class, curious listener, as instructor Loren Schoenberg will relate why Kind of Blue reveals new vistas of artistic wonder each listening.

September 11, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Cedar Walton, Pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

For over 25 years, pianist Cedar Walton has enjoyed an uptempo career, which never seems to slow down. Maintaining a non-stop itinerary, Walton has accompanied a litany of jazz greats while also fronting his own successful groups. Born January 17, 1934 in Dallas, Texas, Walton set his sights on a career in music at an early age. An after-hours gig at the Denver Club introduced him to notable musicians like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane, who would sit in with Walton's group when they passed through town.

From there, Walton ventured to New York and began to work locally with Lou Donaldson, Gigi Gryce, Sonny Rollins and Kenny Dorham before landing his first touring job with J.J. Johnson. Soon after, the pianist made his recording debut backing Kenny Dorham on the Riverside album Kenny Dorham Sings. He also made two records with J.J. Johnson's group on Columbia Records before joining the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet, a group he toured and recorded with for two years. Walton's next major musical association was with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. During his three years tenure with Blakey, Walton stepped forward a composer, contributing originals like "Mosaic" and "The Promised Land" to the group's recordings for the Blue Note and Riverside labels.

Walton left the Jazz Messengers to lead rhythm sections and trios throughout the New York club and recording studio circuits. His debut recording as a leader came in 1966 with the release of Cedar on Prestige Records. From the late '60s to early '70s, Walton kept steady company with bassist Sam Jones and drummers Louis Hayes and Billy Higgins in multi-purpose trios that occasionally annexed saxophonists Clifford Jordan, George Coleman or Bob Berg for specific tours and albums.

During the '80s, Walton embarked on a variety of interesting projects, which have grown into lasting affiliations. In 1981, he formed a trio with Ron Carter and Billy Higgins, which clicked right from the start. Around the same time, Walton became part of the Timeless All-stars, a sextet also featuring Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Curtis Fuller, Buster Williams and Billy Higgins. Walton also ignited rhythm sections behind the likes of Milt Jackson, Frank Morgan, Dexter Gordon and vocalists Ernestine Anderson and Freddy Cole, and held the piano chair of The Trumpet Summit Band.

Walton's efforts have been well documented on record. In addition to a host of dates as a sideman, the pianist has been recording with his own groups at a prolific rate, as evidenced by an assortment of albums on the Timeless, Discovery, Red Baron and Steeple Chase record labels.

Walton is one of the most influential musicians active today. His original compositions "Bolivia," "Clockwise" and "Firm Roots" are frequently recorded by other musicians, and have become part of the standard jazz repertoire. His playing regularly receives praise from critics, fellow Jazz musicians and audience around the world. Cedar Walton is a true master of the music he loves, and you can discover even more about his life and career by attending. And bring a friend.

September 12, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Charles Davis Quartet
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, Charles Davis graduated from the famous DuSable High School, studied at the Chicago School of Music and was a private student of John Hauser. In the 1950s he played in the bands of Billie Holiday and Ben Webster, Sun Ra and Dinah Washington, and performed and recorded with Kenny Dorham, with whom he had a musical association that lasted many years.

In the tumultuous '60s Davis performed and recorded with Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, Illinois Jacquet, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Griffin, Steve Lacy, Ahmad Jamal and worked with Blue Mitchell, Erskine Hawkins, John Coltrane, Clifford Jordan, among others. In 1964 he won Downbeat Magazine's International Jazz Critics Poll for the baritone saxophone. In the '70s, he was member of the cooperative group "Artistry in Music" with Hank Mobley, Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Billy Higgins; was the co-leader and composer/arranger for the Baritone Saxophone Retinue, a group featuring six baritone saxophones; made European tours of major jazz festivals and concerts with the Clark Terry Orchestra; and toured the USA with Duke Ellington's Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington.

He performed and recorded with the Philly Joe Jones Quartet, "Dameronia" and with Abdullah Ibrahim's "Ekaya" in the United States, Europe and Africa in the '80s, when he also toured Europe with the "Savoy Seven Plus 1: A Salute to Benny Goodman." With his own quartet, performed in Rome, at the Bologna Jazz Festival, Jazz in Sardinia Festival, and the La Spezia Festival. In 1984 he was named a "BMI Jazz Pioneer."

Among his many musical activities in the '90s, Davis was the tenor saxophonist and a major contributor of musical arrangements with Larry Ridley's "Jazz Legacy Ensemble" which appeared at the Senegal Jazz Festival, performed concerts and conducted clinics, seminars and master classes. In addition, with Ronnie Cuber and Gary Smulyan he performed in the Three Baritone Saxophone Band, which toured Italy, appeared at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and other venues around the world.

In August 2001, he performed for President Bill Clinton at the "Harlem Welcomes Clinton" celebration. The Barry Harris/Charles Davis Quintet appeared several times at "Sweet Basil" in New York City, and in August 2004, they performed in the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival.

Charles is a saxophone instructor of private students from The New School, a teacher at the Lucy Moses School and for over 25 years has been an instructor at the Jazzmobile Workshops. He has made five of his own albums and is featured on over 100 recordings. Recent CDs include Blue Gardenia, with Cedar Walton on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums, released in 2003 on Reade Street Records. His latest, Land of Dreams, was released in 2007.

September 15, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
Ron Scott, Jazz Journalist
6:30 – 8:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
Free  | register online

Ron Scott currently writes a weekly column "Jazz Notes" for the Amsterdam News, and is a regular contributor of reviews and features for the monthly publications Jazz Improv and Network Journal.  He also wrote monthly reviews for the Jazz Heritage Society Catalogues, and contributes pieces to the online publication jazzhouse.org.  
 
He is the senior editor for the book Forever Harlem, (Starlight Press L.L.C., 2006), a pictorial history of Harlem from 1896-2006. Most recently he was writer and editor for the Community Works exhibit "Harlem is… Music," exhibited at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts and the Museum of the City of New York   
 
As a freelance writer Scott's byline has appeared in a variety of publications including the New York Times, Vogue, the NY Daily News, Time Out New York, Johnson Publications and ABC Radio. Scott also spent time as a theater and restaurant critic.
 
He is a member of the Jazz Journalists Association, New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ), and National Writers Union Local 1981. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University, and New York University's Graduate School of Social Work.
 
He's served as a publicity consultant on feature films and television specials working with such celebrities as Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor Harry Belafonte and two-time Grammy winner and jazz legend Roy Haynes. On the hip-hop tip Ron has worked on projects with Ice T., Chuck D. and Ice Cube. He's coordinated press conferences for Reverend Jesse Jackson, and R&B Grammy winner Al Green and Patti LaBelle.
 
Scott has received numerous awards including the D. Parke Gibson Award for distinguished achievement in Public Relations. He has lectured at the City University of New York, Howard University and shared his expertise on music and journalism panels throughout the United States.
 
September 16, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Benny Goodman: 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert
Amongst celebrated dates that exist in popular or fine art music, January 16, 1938 denotes the day the Benny Goodman Orchestra played the rarified environs of New York's Carnegie Hall - previously designated as the dignified home of classical music. Initially conceived as a publicity stunt to enhance Goodman's increasing popularity, this was the very first time a jazz ensemble had ever played this venue and despite initial coolness towards the event, the sell-out performance left no doubt that swing dance bands provided the latest craze which could no longer be ignored.

"As an ensemble, the players brought a new kind of perfection and swing to their interpretations of the classic arrangements by Fletcher Henderson, Edgar Sampson, and Jimmy Mundy," wrote tonight's instructor and National Jazz Museum in Harlem Executive Director Loren Schoenberg in his book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

You'll hear the truth of these words by way of a crystal-clear recording of this date so crucial to not only jazz, but American social history too.

September 19, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Cindy Blackman
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Born in Ohio and raised in Connecticut, Cindy began her musical career as a New York street performer. She spent three semesters at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and also studied with legendary teacher Alan Dawson.

Cindy moved to New York City in the 80's and since that time, she has been seen and heard by millions of people all over the world performing with her own group and during her 11 year stint with retro funk rocker Lenny Kravitz, since 1993.

In 1998, Cindy released her first drumming instructional video entitled, Multiplicity. Cindy was touted as "one of the hottest drummers in the business, by the Star-Gazette and is regarded as one of the top drummers in the world. She is a solid, dependable drummer who can easily move from straight-ahead jazz to rock to funk and back again.

She's upheld the backbeat and created texture for artists as varied as: Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Don Pullen, Hugh Masekela, Pharaoh Sanders, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Bill Laswell, Buckethead. In early 2000, Cindy released her acclaimed solo album Works on Canvas, and yet another solo album, Someday, in 2004.

September 23, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Wynton Marsalis: Blue Interlude
"Blue Interlude" is an ambitious work centered on two mythic lovers, and it beautifully executes Wynton Marsalis' stated fundamentals of jazz: a communal conception of improvising, vocal effects on instruments, swinging rhythms, blues, and a sense of mystery and even melancholy. There are echoes of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, yet on this, his first extended composition on record, he establishes his own compositional stamp.

If you've listened to this recording before, or even if you haven't at all, rest assured that you'll hear Marsalis' "mastery of making four horns sound as full and as varied in timbre as a big band," says Loren Schoenberg in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

September 25, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Chico Hamilton, Drummer; Interviewer: Dr. Billy Taylor
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton, born September 21st, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established this young West Coast prodigy as a jazz drummer on the rise, before striking out on his own as a bandleader in 1955.

Chico's impact upon jazz includes the introduction of two unique and distinct sounds: first in 1955 with his Original Quintet which combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette; and the second in 1962 with his own drums, the bass of Albert Stinson, the guitar of Gabor Szabo, the tenor sax of Charles Lloyd, and the trombone of George Bohanon.

In 1997, Chico received the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Programs Beacons in Jazz Award in recognition for his "significant contribution to the evolution of Jazz". In 2002, Chico was awarded the WLIU-FM Radio Lifetime Achievement Award. At the IAJE in NYC January 2004, Hamilton was awarded a NEA Jazz Master Fellowship, presented to him by Roy Haynes. In December 2006, Congress confirmed the President's nomination of Chico to the Presidents Council on the Arts. And in 2007, Chico received a Living Legacy Jazz Award as part of The Kennedy Centers Jazz in Our Time Festival, as well as receiving a Doctor of Fine Arts from The New School.

Dynamic as ever at the age of 86, Chico Hamilton has a resume that includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, 50 + albums as a leader, and countless international tours.

September 26, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
David Ornette Cherry with The Ensemble for Improvisors
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

David Ornette Cherry grew up in Watts, California. This Watts young man, son of Don Cherry, later won the 2003 ASCAP- Chamber Music America Award for adventurous Programming of Contempory Music. He is inspired by themes of silence and nature versus technology.

The pulses and melodies that arise from his jazz, classical, African, world music background, and from playing with some of the great jazz artists of our times, speak about our human experiences through the language of sound. He listens with an open heart and fresh mind to his collaborators and the world around him in a way that makes his compositions not only music, but a way of life a positive form of energy, and a way to connect. His current group is titled Ensemble for Improvisors, the latest iteration of which you can hear tonight.

David Ornette Cherry studied music composition at Bishop College in Dallas and concentrating on "world music" at California Institute of the Arts. He spent challenging summers attending the Creative Music Studio at Woodstock, New York. These summer experiences gave him the space to compose and create music with Trilok Gurtu, Olatunji, Jai Deva, and Foday Musa Suso and to explore the relationship of jazz and music from other cultures. While jazz remains both the root and sustenance of his sound, he often incorporates the sounds of the world in what he calls "multi-kulti" music.

He sees himself crossing borders drawing from the past - building a passageway to jazz of the future. David states, "The music never stopped. Jazz is dynamic. It is a continuum that expands and takes from the players and composers so they can add their little something to the art. It's not about JUST referencing the past. It's about keeping the momentum going like a ball that keeps rolling along."

Acoustic piano, electronic keyboards, melodica, wood flute and douss'n gouni are his instruments.

David Ornette Cherry's future plans include: "Creating a musical intensity which invigorates and sets trends in jazz of the future, passing the torch to take the music beyond...to become another color in the ever-expanding sound spectrum."

September 30, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Andrew Hill: Point of Departure

Alfred Lion, founder of Blue Note Records, considered Andrew Hill his last major discovery, for Hill's rich, rhythmic piano and utterly unique compositions stand alone. Point Of Departure is Hill's masterpiece, with rich three-horn arrangements for Kenny Dorham, Eric Dolphy and Joe Henderson. Richard Davis and Tony Williams complete this high level ensemble of musicians with a wide range of approaches, but who, on this classic date, created a unified aesthetic whole.

Jazz Museum Events: August 26-29, 2008

Dr. Billy Taylor- for the Grateful Web

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

JAZZ FOR CURIOUS LISTENERS
7:00pm
A Celebration of Dr. Billy Taylor

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Instructors: Loren Schoenberg & Christian McBride

This week come greet and meet Dr. Billy Taylor in person.

Last week instructor Greg Thomas continued the month-long tribute to Dr. Taylor with a focus on trio configurations throughout his career, from the 50s 'til this century. Tempos ballad to brisk, and styles from straight-ahead swing to spiritual solemnity to dance-groove funk to a classically-tinged composition featuring his trio with a symphony orchestra, were appreciated by the attendees at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem's Visitors Center.

Dr. Taylor is one of the few musicians extant tutored by Art Tatum, and who, as house pianist at Birdland, can recount his days playing and recording with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and other standard bearers of jazz innovation. So expect the living jazz master to share wisdom in his inimitably warm style of conversation...with Loren Schoenberg and Christian McBride.

 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Harlem Speaks
6:30 – 8:30pm                                            Eddie Bert Trombonist

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE

Trombonist Eddie Bert's career spans nearly seven decades of jazz, from big bands to bebop and beyond. In addition to being a jazz musician who's played with one and all, he's been a regular in Broadway show bands, and a first call studio player. Yet no matter what the musical setting, Eddie has always played his uniquely personal, warm and melodic style of jazz.

When renowned jazz leaders needed a dependable, original trombonist for a significant recording or event in the second half of the twentieth century, they turned to Eddie Bert. In fact, his resume reads like a Who's Who of modern Jazz, including musical relationships with Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Machito, Tito Puente, Benny Goodman, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis.

There's a reason Eddie Bert has played with the jazz masters - he's a truly gifted musician, a trombonist who has easily traversed eras and genres, from bop to swing, Mingus to Hampton, and Kenton to Herman. Eddie straddled the racial divide as well. He played in one of the first integrated big bands, Charlie Barnet's 1943 aggregation, which included Howard McGhee, Buddy DeFranco and Oscar Pettiford.

In addition to being one of the most dependable players in jazz history, always in demand because of his sight-reading skills and his ability to lend a passionate and individual approach to all music, Eddie is a soloist and arranger with a distinctive musical voice. In 1955, when he stopped playing only to sleep, he won Metronome's Musician of the Year award. He followed that with a top rated album of the same name for Savoy. He has led a number of other recordings during his distinguished career, featuring such sidemen as Duke Jordan, Joe Morello, Hank Jones and Kenny Clarke.

Yet during Eddie's teenage years, 52nd Street was a hotbed of musical activity. At fifteen, he began frequenting "The Street," where musicians of all generations played and gathered nightly. Being too young to get into the clubs at night, Eddie hung around during the afternoon when he knew the bands would be rehearsing.

Fast-forwarding several decades, in the 1990s Eddie started working with drummer T.S. Monk's group. "We did a European tour in 1997 and an album that featured a lot of Thelonious' new material that T. S. had found around the house. He hired me because I had played with his father-if you hang around long enough, you find that you have played with everyone's father!"

Now in his eighth decade, Eddie Bert is still playing the trombone, still traveling, and still married to Mollie, his wife of 60+ years. With three daughters and four grandchildren, he enjoys spending time with his family and, when not playing, also likes photography.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas
7:00pm                                   Theo Croker Quartet featuring Marcus Belgrave

Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344
 
Marcus Belgrave, trumpet
Theo Croker, trumpet
Joe Sanders, bass
Sullivan Fortner, piano
Kassa Overall, drums
 
Trumpeter Theo Croker, Doc Cheatham's grandson, has been featured all summer at Harlem in the Himalayas. This last performance promises to be hot, with Croker locking horns in antagonistic cooperation with elder trumpet legend Marcus Belgrave.
 
Trumpeter, composer, arranger, educator, recording artist, and producer Marcus Belgrave was born in Chester, Pennsylvania June 12 1936.
 
He began playing the trumpet at age six and professionally at age twelve.  Mr. Belgrave describes himself as "born into bebop."  An early inspiration and mentor was Clifford Brown.  At age eighteen, Marcus earned his initial reputation joining the Ray Charles Orchestra.  His solo on Alexander's Ragtime Band from the album The Genius of Ray Charles put him on the map. He toured for five years and is heard on such Charles hits as  Night Time is the Right Time, What'd I Say, You are My Sunshine, Margie, Ruby and Stella by Starlight.
 
In the early 60's he worked and recorded in the bands of leading innovators of post-bop modern jazz: Max Roach, Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy. In 1963 Marcus settled in Detroit, becoming one of the prominent studio musicians with Motown Records.  He is heard on many Motown hit recordings including Dancing in the Street, The Way You Do the Things You Do, and My Girl. His distinguished career as a player includes performances with legendary stars from both the pop music and jazz world: Ella Fitzgerald, Bud Powell, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Sammy Davis Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Lena Horn, Liza Minnelli, Doc Cheatham, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstein, Gene Krupa (with whom he recorded) and many others.
 
As an original member, starting in 1988, he toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, appearing on national television and recording for CBS/Sony. Marcus Belgrave's own recordings began in 1974 with the release of his self-produced album Gemini II, showcasing a collective of Detroit jazz artists, which he led. This record was the first to garner the attention of the international jazz press, about new "cutting edge" jazz activity emanating from that famous music city. Belgrave's recordings from the 1980's and '90's include the critically acclaimed Detroit Piano Legacy with Tommy Flanagan and Geri Allen and Working Together, Marcus' collaboration with composer/drummer Lawrence Williams. Recording more traditional jazz material in this period, Marcus co-led on albums with several of the last surviving "pioneers" of the pre-bebop era including saxophonist Franz Jackson (Live at Windsor Jazz Festival III) and pianist Art Hodes (Hot 'n Cool Blues). Critical accolades for these releases are cited in The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, The Rolling Stone Guide to Jazz and Blues on CD, other jazz reference books, and major news publications.
 
Since 2001 Marcus Belgrave has led his Tribute to Louis Armstrong octet, appearing in thirty states, Canada and Puerto Rico and playing Armstrong's music in pops programs with the Detroit Symphony and other US orchestras.

As a soloist, Marcus continues to travel the US for appearances at jazz festivals, night clubs and concert hall performances. In January 2006 he was featured on three concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center's presentation Detroit: Motor City Jazz, later broadcast on National Public Radio.

Mr. Belgrave is internationally known for his dedication to educational endeavors. He is founder of Detroit's Jazz Development Workshop and co-founder of the Jazz Studies Program at the Detroit Metro Arts Complex (recognized with grants from federal and state levels). He was also an original faculty member with the Oakland University Jazz Studies Program and in 2003 became the first Chair of Jazz Education and Programming for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Beneficiaries of his musical tutelage include leading names of today's jazz scene: pianist Geri Allen, bassist Robert Hurst, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, violinist Regina Carter and bassist Rodney Whitaker. The past five years Marcus has served as Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Oberlin University in Ohio.
 
In recognition of his outstanding artistry, vision, and life-long achievement in jazz education, Marcus Belgrave is the recipient of numerous honors including the Arts Midwest Jazz Master Award, the Michigan Governor's Arts Award, and the Louis Armstrong Award.