Harlem Jazz Series – Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin – Power of The Word In Our Hands

August 17, 2018 | 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin is an award-winning spoken-word performance-recording artist, actress, educator, and self-empowerment speaker. Gha’il was most recently featured in The Appel Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center in collaboration with Senakwami’s Studio, with pianist Julius Rodriguez. For the third year in a row, Gha’il rocked the house as host/performer in the 18th annual Fort Green Juneteenth Arts Festival Celebration. Ms. Benjamin’s collaboration with Jeff Haynes on the CD Storm King with the late great Pete Seeger was Grammy nominated and the winner of The Audiobook of the Year Award (Publishers Weekly). Ms. Benjamin coaches and facilitates an array of self-empowerment workshops and is featured in filmmaker Al Santana’s REPARATION BLUES, and China Colston’s DARK SEED and SWEET THANG. Via her own production company Talking Poems and Storytelling Production’s, she continues to customize poetry for any occasion. Her CD Spiritual Eclipse continues to inspire audiences.

Featuring: Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin – spoken word; Ayodele Maakheru – bass, vocal; and Hasan Bakr – percussion, vocal

1st set: 7:00pm – 7:45pm (15 min break)
2nd Set: 8:00pm – 8:45pm
House doors open at 6:30pm

Price: $20 

Greater Calvary Baptist Church
43-55 West 124th Street btwn Malcolm X Blvd and Fifth Ave
New York NY 10027

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Harlem Jazz Series – Kahlil Kwame Bell Trio

August 21, 2018 – 12pm

Kahlil Kwame Bell, having made nearly 90 recordings with numerous musical icons and legends as well as with his own talented band, has been called “one of the most prolific musicians in the industry today.” He plays over 1,000 percussion instruments and has experimented with wood and clay flutes. His musical output varies from jazz to rock to hip-hop; from European classical to world music; from spirituals to spoken word accompaniments. His layering of sounds and instruments, sometimes blended with unique rhythms, reflects his view of the unity of cultures through music. His work for other musicians, as well as his renditions of his own compositions, can be heard almost daily on jazz and world music radio programs worldwide. Bell uses an innovative percussion instrument called the slappaphone, whose unusual sound captivates all who hear it. Asked about the instrument, Bell says, “The slappaphone called me when I first heard it and it has become my voice … offering rhythm and melody to the listener.”

Featuring:
Jovan Alexander – saxophone
Ian Baggette – bass
Kahlil Kwame Bell – drums

1st set: 12:00pm – 12:45pm (15 min break)
2nd set: 1:00pm – 1:45pm
House doors open at 11:30 am

Price: $15

Greater Calvary Baptist Church
43-55 West 124th Street btwn Malcolm X Blvd and Fifth Ave
New York NY 10027

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Jazzmobile – Summerfest 55 – Craig Harris

August 17, 2018 | 7:00pm – 8:30pm

When Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire history of the jazz trombone with him. From the growling gutbucket intensity of early New Orleans music through the refined, articulate improvisation of the modern era set forth by J.J. Johnson, and into the confrontational expressionism of the ’60s avant-garde, Craig handled the total vernacular the way a skilled orator utilizes the spoken word.

Craig has performed with a veritable Who’s Who of progressive jazz’ most important figures – including Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Abdullah Ibrahim, Jaki Byard, Muhal Richard Abrams, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Lester Bowie, The WORLD Saxophone Quartet, The Roots, RAKIM and the list goes on and on – his own projects displayed both a unique sense of concept and a total command of the sweeping expanse of musical expression. And it’s those two qualities that have dominated Craig’s past 15 years of activity, bringing him far beyond the confines of the jazz world and into the sphere of multimedia and performance art as composer, performer, conceptualist, curator, and artistic director. His projects include Souls Within the Veil, composed to commemorate the centennial of W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk; Brown Butterfly, a multi-media work based on the movement of Muhammad Ali with video, dance, and music; and God’s Trombones, based on James Weldon Johnson’s classic collection of poems that refigure inspirational sermons by itinerant Negro preachers.

Cost: FREE

Marcus Garvey Park-Richard Rodgers Amphitheater
18 Mount Morris Park West
New York NY 10027

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Jazzmobile – Summerfest 55 – Winard Harper – Hon. I Daneek Miller Family Concert

August 18, 2018 | 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Inspired by the musicianship of greats such as Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Jackie McLean, Cannonball Adderley, Dr. Billy Taylor, Art Blakey and Billy Higgins, Harper has been the leader and musical inspiration for a vibrant sextet for almost a decade. The group appears regularly all over the United States from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to Yoshi’s, the legendary West Coast jazz club. Although clearly the dominant force behind this extraordinarily gifted ensemble, Harper has surrounded himself with superbly talented young guardians of the jazz tradition (including Lawrence Clark, Ameen Saleem, Josh Evans, Stacy Dillard and Alioune Faye), who are as entertaining to watch as they are to listen to.

Constantly in reverence of his predecessors, while remaining innovative in his own right, Harper has become one of the most celebrated drummers in jazz. He is a virtuoso on the drum set as well as the balafon, the West African equivalent of the marimba. Critics have written that Winard is as pleasing and entertaining to watch as he is to hear. “As tasteful a drummer as one could ask for,” according to Jeff Kaliss of JazzTimes. Franz Matzner recently wrote in All About Jazz that the sextet’s performance “culminated in an evening of fireworks with a sustained display of percussive pyrotechnics by Harper so rapid fire, so mind-bogglingly dexterous, and so expressively diverse, as to be truly awe-inspiring.” And in a Washington Post review, Mike Joyce said, “Winard Harper’s wonderfully orchestrated solos alone might have forced a corpse to grin!”

Harper’s first major gig was with Dexter Gordon in 1982, and shortly thereafter with Johnny Griffin. It wasn’t long before his drumming skills captured the attention of Betty Carter. He spent four years working with Ms. Carter’s band, inevitably honing his jazz-as-entertainment sense of showmanship.

During the 1980s while Winard worked as a sideman to such jazz legends as Ray Bryant, Abdullah Ibrahim, Pharoah Sanders and Clifford Jordan, he also laid the foundation for what would become The Harper Brothers band. He and his brother Philip launched a band that would blaze a brilliant trail both on the charts and on the international touring circuit.

Cost: FREE

Wayanda Park
217-60 – 217-72 Hollis Avenue near Montery Street
Queens Village NY 11429

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Harlem Jazz Series – The J.D. Allen Trio

Hailed by the New York Times as “a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant and hard-driving style,” J.D. Allen is one of the most thoughtful jazz saxophonists on the scene today. The Detroit native’s apprenticeship has largely been in New York, where he has performed, recorded, and toured with legends Lester Bowie, George Cables, Betty Carter, Louis Hayes, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Frank Foster Big Band, Winard Harper, Butch Morris, David Murray, Wallace Roney, and contemporaries Cindy Blackman, Orrin Evans, Marcus Gilmore, Russell Gunn, and Me’shell N’degeocello, Dave Douglas among others.  J.D.’s debut album, In Search Of…  (red records), won him the Best New Artist award in Italy and reviewers praised him for his original compositions and bold playing. That same year J.D. began touring and recording with drummer Cindy Blackman’s Quartet, where he remains a member. His second release, Pharoah’s Children (Criss Cross), was one of Jazziz Magazine’s Critics Pics Top 10 Albums of the Year. J.D. is a member of the Romare Bearden Homecoming Jazz All-Star Band.

Featuring: Gregg August – bass; Rudy Royston – drums; and JD Allen – saxophone

1st set: 7:00pm – 7:45pm (15 min break)
2nd Set: 8:00pm – 8:45pm
House doors open at 6:30pm

Price: $20

Location 

Greater Calvary Baptist Church
43-55 West 124th Street
New York NY 10027 US

Jazzmobile – Summerfest 55 – Harlem | Havana – Yunior Terry, OYU ORO Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble

August 15, 2018 – 7:00pm – 8:30pm

YUNIOR TERRY, bassist – Born in Cuba and regarded as one of New York City most sought-after bass player, Yunior Terry is recognized for his big sound, versatility and contagious rhythm. He attended CalArts where he expanded his musical horizon under Charlie Haden, Derek Oles (Poland), Rajeev Taranath (India) and Alfred Ladzekpo (Ghana)Awards: Van Lier Fellowship (Meet the Composer). Yunior Terry has performed with Steve Coleman, Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache, Lila Downs, Jeff Tain Watts, Eddie Palmieri, The late Hilton Ruiz, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Turre, Jane Bunnett and his brother Yosvany Terry. Terry leads his own band “Son de Altura”, created to innovate as well as to preserver the legacy of Cuban music; releasing his first album as a leader “Mi Bajo Danzón ” published by Palo Santo Music.

Oyu Oro is the brainchild of Danys “La Mora” Perez ─ international Afro-Cuban folklore performer, choreographer, teacher and dance ethnologist from Santiago de Cuba. The company is committed to the preservation of Afro-Cuban folklore as well as to encouraging the cross-cultural understanding of the dance and music forms derived from African culture.

Oyu Oro aspires to create a work that will serve as an informational tool for the researchers in the academic field as well as a source of enjoyment for audiences of all ages and multicultural backgrounds who seek a greater development of “art among people.

Cost: FREE

Grant’s Tomb – General Grant National Memorial
Riverside Drive and 122nd Street
New York NY 10027

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Jazzmobile – Summerfest 55 – A Jazzmobile Family Celebration & Special Salute to Denny Farrell Harlem/Havana & Artz, Rootz, Rhythm

August 12, 2018 | 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

JAAMBO was created with all the infusions of African music from mambo to West African and everything in between. Jaambo is a collective of musicians from New York City, Trinidad and beyond with rich, diverse cultural appetites. Come and party with the invigorating sounds of Jaambo. Their mission is to make you dance.

Jaambo has appeared throughout the tri-state area including performances at Grant’s Tomb, St. John the Divine, Showman’s Jazz Club, and Harlem Stage. They have also partnered with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Jazzmobile and the Harlem Arts Alliance. They are available for corporate events.

Harlem Renaissance Orchestra

We chose the name Harlem Renaissance Orchestra (HRO) because it is the residence and birthplace of several of our members. The word renaissance means rebirth or revival and our mission is to revive the music of the Big Band Era and to preserve this music in its living form by giving recognition to some of its leading figures: Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Pops Louie Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lucky Millinder, Earl Fatha Hines, Billy Eckstine, Lionel Hampton and many others. The Orchestra’s goal is to re-establish Harlem as the Big Band Mecca of the world.

Over the past two decades, HRO has performed in some of the most prestigious Concert Halls, Jazz Festivals and in many other events. Including Lincoln Center/Mid-Summer Night Swing, Town Hall, The Apollo Theater, Cape May Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, The Philadelphia Arts Center, The Westchester Jazz Festival, The infamous Copacabana, Great Jazz on the Great Hill presented by Jazz Mobile Inc., Plaza Hotel and the Rainbow Room. We have also appeared in various films and videos including, an HBO Special on the life of Swing Dance innovator Frankie Manning. We did a music special on the Discovery Channel entitled,”Drop Me Off In Harlem,” that was also shown on channel Thirteen PBS(WNET). One of our performances was videotaped on WDR/ARD (Germany) Good Life T.V., and we were filmed by Fuji Television Network Inc. (Japan). HRO has been recognized and featured in a plethors of publications and media for our contributions to the arts. The following is a sample of various media who have commended the HRO: United Nations Jazz Society Publication, the Amsterdam News, New Beginnings Magazine, the NY Daily News, Swing Live Magazine, the NY Times, the New York Press and the Village Voice. HRO is dedicated to keeping the spirit of Big Band Swing Music alive and thriving. Whether in a live performance or educating the next generation of musicians, we will remain a guardian and proponent of a great musical tradition. https://www.reverbnation.com/HRO

Cost: FREE
Riverbank State Park
679 Riverside Drive – enter at 145th Street
New York NY 10031

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