The Year in Jazz: A Critics Roundtable

December 10, 2019 7:00pm

Three leading music critics representing a range of perspectives and publications will converge in this annual critics’ roundtable, hosted and moderated by Nate Chinen, author, former music critic at The New York Times and current Director of Editorial Content at WBGO. The panel will discuss the music, the artists, and the moments that shaped jazz in 2019.

This year’s panel:

Martin Johnson
Since 1984, New York City-based writer Martin Johnson has contributed articles on music to a wide variety of publications, including Vogue, Rolling Stone, New York, The New York Times, Newsday, numerous other outlets and four books. He also writes about sports, craft beer, gender and age issues. You can usually find him in the back of the jazz club, either smiling on the inside or grinning outwardly.

Shannon J. Effinger
Shannon J. Effinger has been a freelance arts journalist for over a decade. Her writing on all things jazz and music regularly appears in Downbeat, Pitchfork, NPR Music, Bandcamp, EBONY, JazzTimes and Jazziz, among others. She’s also written playbills for HarlemStage and Carnegie Hall. Recently she was interviewed for the documentary UNIVERSE, the rediscovered orchestral suite by Wayne Shorter written more than fifty years ago for Miles Davis, and left unrecorded and largely untouched until now by Davis’ protégé, trumpeter Wallace Roney. She lives and works in Harlem.

Will Layman
Will Layman is a writer, teacher and musician living in the Washington, DC area. He has been a contributor to National Public Radio and WNYC’s “Soundcheck” as a jazz critic. He plays rock, funk, and jazz in the bars and clubs in and near the nation’s capital. His fiction and humor appear in print and online.

Free with RSVP.

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Location
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

58 West 129th Street
New York NY 10027 US

Harlem Jazz Series – James Brandon Lewis

June 28, 2019 7:00pm – 9:00pm

James Brandon Lewis (b. 1983 Buffalo, NY) is a critically acclaimed saxophonist, composer, recording artist and educator. Lewis has received accolades from New York Times, Q Magazine and cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine, who hailed him as one of the “7 Young Players to Watch” in today’s scene. Lewis has shared the stage with Ken Filano, Darius Jones and Jason Hwang, William Parker, Hamiet Bluiett, Hamid Drake, Ravi Coltrane, Jimmy Heath, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Mark Ribot, Anthony Coleman and many others. Jazz legend Sonny Rollins endorsed Lewis as a “promising young player with the potential to do great things having listened to the Elders.” New York Times had this to say, “James Brandon Lewis is a jazz saxophonist in his ‘30s, raw toned but measured, doesn’t sound steeped in the current jazz academy values; there’s an independence about him.” Lewis leads numerous ensembles and is the co-founder of Poetry Music Ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders. Lewis attended Howard University, with a MFA from California Institute of the Arts. 

Featuring:
James Brandon Lewis – sax 

1st set: 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm (15 min break) 2nd Set: 8:00 pm – 8:45 pm

House doors open at 6:30 pm

Price: $20

Email: info@welcometoharlem.com
Phone: 212-662-7779

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

Jazz on the Cusp

June 15, 2019 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Hosted by Nate Chinen, director of editorial content at WBGO

From the glories of 1959 to the multiplicity of 2019, jazz has often thrived on the cusp of a new decade. We’ll explore that idea with a look back and a leap forward.

For mysterious reasons, jazz has experienced many important events toward the close of a decade — whether it’s the introduction of the 33 1/3 rpm LP in 1949; the so-called “greatest year in jazz,” 1959; the quantum leap of fusion in 1969; or (ahem) the birth of WBGO in 1979. What is it that makes these cusp years pivotal? What can we learn from them still, and where do we find ourselves this year, as we hurtle toward the 2020s?

Nate Chinen has been writing about jazz for more than twenty years. As the director of editorial content at WBGO, he works with the multiplatform program Jazz Night in America and contributes a range of coverage to NPR Music. He is the author of Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century (Pantheon, 2018), a former music critic The New York Times, and a longtime columnist for JazzTimes. An eleven-time winner of the Helen Dance–Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association, he is also coauthor of Myself Among Others: A Life in Music, the autobiography of impresario George Wein.

  • Guest speakers to be announced soon

Panel before show: DeJohnette – Coltrane – Garrison Trio / Brandee Younger in association with Sony presents Blue Note Jazz Festival

RSVP is required for all and is on first-come, first-served basis at rsvp@cityparksfoundation.org

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Location
Central Park – Rumsey Playfield
72nd Street and 5th Avenue
New York NY 10021 US

Harlem Jazz Series – Eddie Allen

May 31, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Trumpeter, composer, arranger, author … Eddie Allen is one of the more versatile musicians on the New York scene. Playing everything from jazz to R&B/Pop to Latin to symphonic to Broadway, and everything in between. Eddie has worked with such jazz greats as Art Blakey, Billy Harper, Randy Weston, Dizzy Gillespie, Henry Threadgill, Bobby Watson, Jon Faddis, Benny Carter, Panama Francis, Joe Henderson and Steve Turre. He has recorded and performed with, as well as composed for Louis Hayes, Lester Bowie, Jack McDuff, Etta Jones & Houston Person, Mongo Santamaria, Chico Freeman, Charli Persip, and Vanessa Rubin. Eddie leads a quartet, a quintet, a Latin/Brasilian project, a large ensemble and a big band, who not only plays Eddie’s compositions and arrangements, but also the music of such jazz greats as Jimmy Heath, Bobby Watson, Muhal Richard Abrams and Rufus Reid as they come to lead the band.

 

 

Featuring:
Eddie Allen: Trumpet

1st set: 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm (15-min break) 2nd set: 8:00 pm – 8:45 pm

House doors open at 6:30 pm

Price: $20

More Info: http://harlemjazzboxx.com

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

Harlem Jazz Series – Jorge Sylvester

December 14, 2018 7:00pm – 9:00pm

A unique innovator in the idiom of creative music, Jorge Sylvester’s sound is reminiscent of another time in jazz history when artists like Dolphy and Ornette were exploding on the scene and experimenting with concepts that would ultimately revolutionize music at large. A throwback to the future, Mr. Sylvester has been on the cutting edge of that scene since 1980 when he first came to New York City. His blend of African-Caribbean rhythms with new music is what gives Sylvester his distinguished voice. An impressive composer and arranger, Sylvester has performed with Stefon Harris, Rodney Kendrick, Karl Berger, the David Murray Big Band, poet Sekou Sundiata, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra, the Oliver Lake Big Band, Kuumba Frank Lacy’s Vibe Tribe, the Next Legacy Orchestra, Joe Bowie’s Defunkt Big Band and Nora McCarthy, with whom he also co-leads several groups, namely The ConceptualMotion Orchestra and A Small Dream In Red. Mr. Sylvester performs frequently and conducts workshops throughout the United States teaching his unique approach to composition using Afro-Caribbean rhythms.cted Trombonist of the Year 2008 – 2010, 2012 and 2014 by the magazine El Intruso of Argentina, received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award and selected by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category from 2010 – 2014. Steve is a teaching artist through the American Composers Orchestra, Healing Arts Initiative, Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, and the Jazz Foundation of America.

Featuring: Jorge Sylvester – alto saxophone and compositions, Nora McCarthy – voice, poetry and compositions, Donald Nicks – double bass, and Tcheser Holmes – drums

First set: 7pm – 7:45pm; 15 min break; Second set: 8pm – 8:45pm

Cost: $20

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

Harlem Jazz Series – Pete Drungle

September 28, 2018 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Pete Drungle is a Bessie Award-winning composer and pianist who has made music with Ornette Coleman, The Kronos Quartet, Yoko Ono, the Decoding Society and many others; he has composed scores for theater, television, film and video, and has collaborated with visual and performance artists including Michael Portnoy, Rudolf Stingel, Marianne Vitale, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Agathe Snow and others. His music compositions, performances and sound design have accompanied exhibitions in Art-Basel Miami, the Whitney Biennial, and Performa 07, 09 and 11. As a pianist, Drungle is an intrepid, adventurous improviser – possibly best exemplified by his legendary 24-HOUR CONTINUOUS SOLO PIANO IMPROVISATION; Wire magazine’s Alan Licht remarked, “… In as much as free improvisation can be a real-time, stream of consciousness expression, Drungle’s epic event pushed it well beyond the limits usually imposed by the customary concert timetable…
That he was still functioning at a high level of creativity after 23 hours pays new testimony to the improvisational mindset. Drungle contributed the truest experiment in concert as performance art that PERFORMA had to offer.”

Featuring: Pete Drungle – piano

First set: 7pm-7:45pm (15 min break)
Second set: 8pm-8:45pm

Cost: $20

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

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Harlem Jazz Series – Roman Filiu

September 21, 2018 7:00pm – 9:00pm

New York-based Roman Filiú has been a saxophonist, bandleader, composer for over 20 years. Born and raised in Santiago de Cuba, he has played, recorded, and toured worldwide with a variety of artists. Currently, a member of Henry Threadgill’s Ensemble Double Up, and Roman leads several groups himself such as Quarteria, as well as the Roman Filiú Quartet. Among his many collaborations, Román has played in Chucho Valdés’ Irakere, has been the musical director of David Murray´s Big Band and has played with outstanding musicians Andrew Cyrille, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Coleman, Dafnis Prieto, Milford Graves, Miguel Zenón, Doug Hammond, Nasheet Waits, Michele Rosewoman, Omara PorFtuondo, Marcus Gilmore, Lázaro Ross, Alain Pérez, Iván Melón Lewis, Román Díaz, Damion Reid, Pablo Milanés, Liberty Ellman, Stephan Crump, Pepe Rivero, Adam Rogers, Rez Abassi, Roy Hargrove, and Chano Domínguez to name a few. The musician has been a recipient of the Jazz Gallery Commission Series, the Langnau Jazz Fest Artist in Residence, the Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Award, and the Lucas Artist Residency.

Featuring:  Roman Filui

First set: 7pm-7:45pm (15 min break)
Second set: 8pm-8:45pm

Cost: $20

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

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Harlem Jazz Series – Stafford Hunter

September 4, 2018 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Stafford Hunter is a Philadelphia native and three-time Grammy-nominated trombonist and sea shells plays (and sometimes vocalist). He became a professional musician at the age of 16. Stafford has performed at former-US President Bill Clinton’s first inaugural. Since then, the trombonist has performed, recorded and toured all over the world with Illinois Jacquet, McCoy Tyner, Lester Bowie & Brass Fantasy, Abdullah Ibrahim, Charli Persip, Charles Tolliver, Tony Bennett, Roy Hargrove, Donald Byrd Dance Troupe, Cab Calloway Orchestra, Joss Stone, Orrin Evans, the Mingus Big Band, Lauryn Hill, Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Reggie Workman, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Dionne Warwick, Lenny Kravitz, Muhal Richard Abrams, Amy Winehouse, Oliver Lake, Steve Turre & Sanctified Shells, and has been a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra since 1998 among other groups. Stafford manages to tour the USA, South America, Europe, and Asia with his own groups and frequently gives master classes, lectures, concerts around the world.

Featuring: Stafford Hunter – trombone

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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Charlie Parker – The King of Bepop | Harlem Jazz Boxx

Credited as the inventor of the musical style of bebop, Charlie Parker was more than that. His success didn’t stop there. But let’s start at the beginning.

Charlie Parker “Bird” was born on August 29, 1920, in Kansas. Although he didn’t have any musical aspirations at an early age, his father’s musical background, however, was an element of influence for the young Parker. He started playing at the age of 11 and by 14 was an active part of his school band. Playing in clubs around Kansas, Parker worked hard to hone his musical talents.

A move to New York City in 1939 became a turning point in Parker’s life. He held several jobs but all of his free time was devoted to practicing. He soon joined bands that would perform at after-hours clubs in Harlem. During this time he continued his musical learning under the guidance of his teacher, Maury Deutsch. The same year, he discovered the method that eventually led to the development of bebop.

During the early years after its inception, bebop wasn’t fully accepted by the public. Jazz musicians were skeptical and rejected the new style. Once the recording ban lifted in 1945, bebop got the fame it deserved. Fans and jazz musicians were all ready to groove to the music. The music was new but refreshing, and so audiences all over the world were fascinated by the new sound. This accomplishment put Charlie Parker and his band in the spotlight.

While his stint with bebop paid off, Parker wanted to perform with a string section. Being a keen student of classical music, he wanted to experiment with the genre. And hence he worked with Norman Granz to record an album of ballads. In 1949, he made his European debut at the Paris International Jazz Festival.

While Charlie Parker was achieving successes in his professional life, his personal life started to affect his career. Substance abuse and heroin addiction affected his work but many of his works during this time had been labelled as remarkable. His command over his work made his pieces even more magical. Being gregarious and charismatic, Charlie Parker’s complex character didn’t show much. His music had the same nature, complex and thought-provoking.

His works forever changed the performance and writing of jazz music. As the big band era was slowly fading away, Charlie Parker gave the industry something new. It was the bebop that changed the gameplay in the jazz industry and thus highly influential saxophonist who had a penchant for fast and free-styled music.

Charlie Parker’s contributions to the jazz industry are numerous, but we can all agree that he went too soon. His music brought peace and solace to many others, but it had no such effect on him. He died on March 12, 1955, in New York City while he was staying at Stanhope Hotel.

If you liked this, you’re sure to like the magical experience of listening to world-class progressive music in intimate settings.  Visit our website, www.HarlemJazzBoxx.com for further information.

 

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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