National Jazz Museum in Harlem 2011 November Schedule

Article Contributed by Eigo | Published on Friday, November 4, 2011

As we spring towards winter, the National Jazz Museum in Harleminvites you to discussions, live performances, and jazz on film that will impress, inspire, and move you from head to toe. For Harlem Speaks, our flagship public program now over seven years in the running, we feature discussions with tenor saxophonist Billy Harper (at the New School for Jazz) and Maestro Maurice Peress (at the museum’s Visitors Center). Jazz for Curious Readers presents David Evanier, celebrated author of jazz vocal legend Tony Bennett’s biography. Our Saturday panel celebrates the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, which is approaching their 40th anniversary. And you can hear the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band perform live for our Jazz at the Players series, as these elder artists continue the legacy of the swing era tradition in jazz. In a contemporary vein, alto saxophonist Jim Snidero will lead his quartet at the Rubin Museum of Art for Harlem in the Himalayas. And at Stanford University in California, NJMH Executive Director Loren Schoenberg will lead a session on the integration of Latin American and Caribbean musical traditions into jazz. We bring back our popular Jazz on Film series, focusing on Ella Fitzgerald, the famous “Sound of Jazz” film, Ralph Gleason’s “Jazz Casual” series, Dr. Billy Taylor and a potpourri of selections for a holiday celebration.Not only do we invite you to come share in the pleasures of jazz, but we hope you’ll bring a few friends and family members along too! Tuesday, November 1, 2011 Jazz for Curious ListenersJazz on Film: Ella Fitzgerald7:00 – 8:30pmLocation: NJMH Visitors Center(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 Will Friedwald, author of The Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers, once wrote of our subject: “Unlike any other singer you could name, Fitzgerald has the most amazing asset in the very sound of her voice: it's easily one of the most beautiful and sonically perfect sounds known to man. Even if she couldn't do anything with it, the instrument that Fitzgerald starts with is dulcet and pure and breathtakingly beautiful. As Henry Pleasants has observed, she has a wider range than most opera singers, and many of the latter, including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, are among her biggest fans. And the intonation that goes with the voice is, to put it conservatively, God-like. Fitzgerald simply exists in tune, and she hits every note that there is without the slightest trace of effort. Other singers tend to sound like they're trying to reach up to a note - Fitzgerald always sounds like she's already there. If anything, she's descending from her heavenly perch and swooping down to whatever pitch she wants."Friedwald's apt descriptions does wonderful justice to Ella's gift, her voice and style, but since seeing is believing, come experience Ella's swing, scat, and the sheer beauty of her sound for yourself! Thursday, November 3, 2011  Harlem SpeaksBilly Harper, saxophonist6:30 – 8:30pmLocation: The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music(55 West 13th St., Arnhold Hall, 5th floor )FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 Texas-born Billy Harper sang briefly in the church and then taught himself saxophone basics with help from a musician uncle who happened to be a classmate of Charlie Parker’s trumpeter Kenny Dorham. While studying music at North Texas State University, Harper was the first black American invited to join the prestigious One O’clock Big Band. After graduating, he moved to New York City in 1966, where he immersed himself in the jazz community, gaining a stellar reputation by playing with greats such as Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Randy Weston as well as Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers. Shortly thereafter, Harper formed his own group and was featured on an NBC special about up-and-coming talent entitled "The Big Apple." As the seventies emerged, Harper continued to prolifically perform, mostly as a leader, but also as an influential member of both the Gil Evans Orchestra and the Mel Lewis/Thad Jones Big Band. He released his first album as a leader, Black Saint, for the brand new European label of the same name in 1975. In 1979, had the honor to release the premiere album for yet another new record label, Soul Note. Harper continued to pursue musical excellence in the years following, releasing numerous albums and extensively touring the globe. While still a consistent force on the music scene, Harper expanded his career into the field of music education, becoming a staff member at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Rutgers University and Livingston College. Harper has also been the recipient of three compositional grants, twice from the National Endowment of the Arts, and once from the Creative Arts Program. He also received the International Critics Award for Tenor Saxophone for two consecutive years. Considered one of the premiere saxophonists of the post-Coltrane era, Harper possesses an expansive, genre deconstructing style that fluctuates effortlessly between the many jazz sub-genres, from bop to free and further embraces influences from blues, fusion and even rock music. While never losing sight of the influential sound of previous jazz generations, Harper has carefully carved out his own quite large sound approach. This way, he strives to consciously and continuously push the bounds and momentum of music progressively forward.Friday, November 4, 2011 Harlem in the HimalayasJim Snidero Quartet7:00pmLocation: Rubin Museum of Art(150 West 17th Street)$18 in advance | $20 at door |For tickets: RMA Box Officeor call 212-620-5000 ext. 344Hailed as an "alto sax virtuoso" and a "master musician" by Downbeat Magazine, Jim Sniderohas been a highly-respected bandleader and recording artist for over a quarter century. Since making his first recording as a leader entitled On Time (Toshiba/EMI) in 1984, he has contributed to the art form via a remarkably diverse set of recordings (14 to date) on both major and indie labels. These include Strings (Milestone), for which he composed and arranged for string orchestra. This record was called a "masterpiece" by the Philadelphia WeeklySan Francisco Guardian, Swing Journal and Jazz Life magazine, among others. His 2007 Tippin’ (Savant) recording with an organ trio was a major hit on US jazz radio, topping the charts for months.Monday, November 7, 2011Jazz for Curious Readers  David Evanier – Tony Bennett biographer  7:00 – 8:30pmLocation: NJMH Visitors Center(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300In All the Things You Are, award-winning author David Evanier offers an intimate and unvarnished portrait of one of the most beloved singers of all time. Among America's greatest entertainers from Armstrong to Sinatra, Tony Bennett alone is still here and at the top of his game. He has led an amazing life. At age ten, he stood beside Mayor Fiorello La Guardia at the dedication of New York City's Triboro Bridge and, leading the throng of people across the bridge, sang "Marching Along Together." He fought in World War II and helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp. He was discovered by Pearl Bailey and Bob Hope. In the 1960s, he marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, Alabama, and several of his paintings are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.Come discover how Evanier documents the life and career of a genuine living legend. Drawing on interviews with scores of Tony's friends, family members, and fellow musicians, and experts on the last 50 years of popular music, he vividly captures the musical history of an era. He brings deep insight into an artist who has stayed perennially young because of his devotion to his art and to humanity.Tuesday, November 8, 2011 Jazz for Curious ListenersJazz on Film: The Sound of Jazz7:00 – 8:30pmLocation: The Maysles Institute(343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave (Between 127th and 128th Streets))DONATION SUGGESTED | For more information: 212-348-8300*Note tonight's special location.Perhaps the most iconic jazz television show ever made, The Sound of Jazzbrought together 32 leading musicians from the era, including Count Basie, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday, Jo Jones, and Coleman Hawkins; also featured were individualists such as Henry "Red" Allen, Vic Dickenson, and Pee Wee Russell; and younger "modernist" musicians such as Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, and Jimmy Giuffre. These players played separately with their compatriots, but also joined to combine various styles in one group, such as Red Allen's group and the group backing Billie Holiday on "Fine and Mellow," one of the most poignant moments of jazz ever caught on film. The song brought back together Lester Young and Holiday; Young's blues solo is transcendent in its painful beauty and sophisticated simplicity.Wednesday, November 9, 2011Special EventJAZZ @ THE CANTOR


Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | 12:00 pmCantor Arts Center|Stanford University  300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford CA.This season’s lunchtime jazz lecture/demonstration series at the Cantor Arts Center highlights the rich cross-fertilization American jazz has had with musics of Latin America and the Caribbean.Generously funded by The Koret Foundation, the Koret Jazz Project is a multi-year initiative to support, expand, and celebrate the role of jazz in the artistic and education programming of Stanford Lively Arts.ABOUT STANFORD LIVELY ARTSStanford Lively Arts curates experiences that engage artists' and audiences' imagination, creativity, and sense of adventure. Founded in 1969 at Stanford University, we produce and present music, theater, dance, spoken word, and multi-media events. We place a special focus on innovation and risk-taking, and through commissions and premieres are an incubator and destination for new work. Stanford Lively Arts plays a leading and collaborative role in the university's thriving vision of a sustained culture of creativity--one in which the arts integrate with the academic disciplines, flourish as a vital part of campus and community life, and inspire new perspectives on our lives and culture.Saturday, November 12, 2011Saturday PanelsThe Harlem Blues and Jazz Band: A Celebration12:00 – 4:00pm   Location: NJMH Visitors Center(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300Founded in 1973 by Clyde Berhardt, a blues singer who also holds the distinction of being King Oliver's trombonist, and jazz aficionado Al Vollmer, the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band has as its main mission to keep significant side-men of the Classic Jazz Period working and not forgotten. The continued quality of this group has caused the band to be declared a National Treasure and one of the most authentic Swing Bands playing today. The band has performed at Lincoln Center in NYC, the Ordway Theater in Minnesota, countless Jazz Festivals, as well as main venues in Europe, including the American Embassy and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Russia.     A documentary about the Harlem Blues & Jazz Band entitled "The Last Of the First" was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC several years ago, and won an award for best documentary at the Newport International Film Festival in Rhode Island. Come celebrate with us as we hear stories from the band’s travels, and tales from the swing era and even before!Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Jazz for Curious ListenersJazz on Film: Jazz Casual   7:00 – 8:30pmLocation: NJMH Visitors Center(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300Jazz instructor, columnist and Rolling Stone magazine cofounder Ralph Gleason hosted this half-hour program for the U.S. National Education Television Network from 1961-1968.You’ll witness excerpts from 28 star-studded episodes that featured luminaries such as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, B.B. King, McCoy Tyner, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Charles Lloyd, Paul Winter, Keith Jarrett, Woody Herman, Carmen McRae, MJQ, Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme, and Count Basie!Wednesday, November 16, 2011Jazz at the PlayersThe Harlem Blues and Jazz Band7:00pmLocation: The Players(16 Gramercy Park S. | get directions)$20 | Reservations: [email protected] or 212-475-6116The Harlem Blues and Jazz Band is the world’s most authentic swing bands. It stars veteran jazz and blues musicians (64 to 93 years old) whose roots reach to the classic period of the 20s and 30s. Together since 1973, these “originals” actually did “jump” at the Woodside and “stomp” at the Savoy, with Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, “Fats” Waller, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and other jazz greats. Come experience the sounds that made jazz a popular art form in the 20th century!Thursday, November 17, 2011Harlem SpeaksMaurice Peress, Conductor6:30 – 8:30pmLocation: NJMH Visitors Center(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300Maestro Maurice Peress is one of Americas most dynamic and versatile conductors. From Vienna to Beijing, he is internationally recognized by critics and audiences. He has a special connection to Duke Ellington, and a long-standing friendship with the legendary saxophonist, arranger and composer Jimmy Heath.His research in American music has made Peress a leading authority on Antonin Dvorak’s American period and has initiated invitations to give concerts and lectures throughout the USA, Germany and the Czech Republic. His television documentary, Dvorak in America, has been produced for eventual release on Czech and on PBS-TV here in the USA. His knowledge of the genre is now available in a book entitled Living with American Music: From Dvorak to Duke Ellington published by Oxford University Press in 2004.In Dvorák to Duke Ellington, Peress begins by recounting the music's formative years: Dvorák's three year residency as Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York (1892-1895), and his students, in particular Will Marion Cook and Rubin Goldmark, who would in turn become the teachers of Ellington, Gershwin, and Aaron Copland. We follow Dvorák to the famed Chicago World's Fair of 1893, where he directed a concert of his music for Bohemian Honor Day. Peress brings to light the little known African American presence at the Fair: the piano professors, about-to-be-ragtimers; and the gifted young artists Paul Dunbar, Harry T. Burleigh, and Cook, who gathered at the Haitian Pavilion with its director, Frederick Douglass, to organize their own gala concert for Colored Persons Day.Peress, a distinguished conductor, is himself a part of this story. He worked with Duke Ellington on the Suite from Black, Brown and Beige and his "opera comique," Queenie Pie. Maestro Peress also conducted the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Mass; and reconstructed landmark American concerts at which George Antheil's Ballet Mecanique, George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, James Reese Europe's Clef Club (the first all-black concert at Carnegie Hall), and Ellington's Black, Brown and Beige, were first presented. Concluding with an astounding look at Ellington and his music, Dvorák to Duke Ellington offers an engrossing, elegant portrait of the Dvorák legacy, America's music, and the inestimable African-American influence upon it.Discover the representative anecdotes about Ellington and Peress as relates to jazz and why it is undoubtedly America’s classical music!Tuesday, November 22, 2011 Jazz for Curious ListenersJazz on Film: Dr. Billy Taylor 7:00 – 8:30pmLocation: NJMH Visitors Center(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 Founding board member of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, the beloved Dr. Billy Taylor, was, in addition to being a superb pianist and composer, a pioneer jazz educator and media personality. Expect filmic examples of the master at work from the late 50s through the next 50 years. Through his example, the memories of those who knew and were taught by him, as well as clips such as those present tonight, Dr. Billy Taylor’s spirit lives!Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Jazz for Curious ListenersJazz on Film: Holiday Extravaganza  7:00 – 8:30pmLocation: NJMH Visitors Center