Duke’s Keys Vol. 3: Helen Sung

Jazz For Curious Listeners

December 18, 2018 8:00pm – 10:00pm

When the National Jazz Museum in Harlem received a white 1917 Kramer baby grand piano that belonged to Duke Ellington, it came along with the request that it be played. In our third Duke’s Keys performance, the dynamic pianist and composer Helen Sung will share her musical offerings.

Pianist/composer Helen Sung hails from Houston, TX, where she attended the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts. An aspiring classical pianist before jazz intervened during undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Sung went on to graduate from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (at the New England Conservatory) and win the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition. Now based in New York City, Sung has worked with a “Who’s Who” in Jazz, including the late Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis, and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter.

With five albums as leader, Sung’s sixth release Anthem For A New Day (Concord Jazz) topped jazz radio charts and garnered a SESAC Performance Activity Award. With appearances at major festivals/venues including Newport, Monterey, Detroit, SFJAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, Sung is also stepping onto the international stage: her “NuGenerations” Project toured southern Africa as a US State Department Jazz Ambassador and other engagements include a European CD Release Tour for Anthem, the London Jazz Festival, Taichung International Jazz Festival (Taiwan), and Morelia Music Festival (Mexico). Sung also currently performs with fine ensembles such as the Mingus Big Band, T.S.Monk Band, and Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project (she performed on Carrington’s Grammy-winning album Mosaic Project).

Sung is an active composer and has received several commissions and grants, including a 2014 Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation New Jazz Works Grant. Inspired by her experience at the Monk Institute, Sung stays involved in music education through residencies/workshops, and joined the jazz faculties at the Juilliard School and Columbia University in 2015.

Tickets: $15

More Info:

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
58 West 129th Street
New York NY 10027 US


The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian feat. Valerie Simpson

Jazz For Curious ListenersThe Lowdown: Conversations with Christian

December 6, 2018 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Valerie Simpson, one half of the beloved and legendary songwriter/producers and performers Ashford & Simpson, will join Jazz Museum Co-Artistic Director Christian McBride for a live taping of his SiriusXM radio show The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian.

The evening will feature a mix of duo performance, conversation, and a healthy dose of McBride humor.

Tickets: $20

More Info:

Location Details
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
58 West 129th Street
New York NY 10027 US

The Year in Jazz: A Critics Roundtable

Jazz For Curious Listeners

December 5, 2018 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Four 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 2018.

This year’s panel will include:

Kira Grunenberg – Downbeat / No Depression / Off  Your Radar
Kira Grunenberg is a freelance music journalist with a love for brick and mortar record shops. She’s contributed writing to the likes of DownBeat, No Depression, Off Your Radar Newsletter, and many a music start-up.

Ethan Iverson – New Yorker / Do The Math
Ethan Iverson is best known as a founding member of the Bad Plus, a group he left at the end of 2017. He has written extensively about jazz on his blog Do the Math; in the last two years Iverson has also published several pieces at the New Yorker Culture desk. In 2018 Iverson has continued long term relationships with Billy Hart, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and released a duo album with Mark Turner for the ECM label.

Matthew Kassel – New York Times Magazine / WSJ / JazzTimes 
Matthew Kassel is a freelance writer whose work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, JazzTimes, DownBeat and Slate.

John Murph – DownBeat / JazzTimes / AARP 
John Murph is a Washington, D.C.-based music journalist and DJ. His writing has been featured regularly in Down Beat, JazzTimes, and JazzWise magazines; The Washington Post and The Washington City Paper newspapers; and on NPR Music. He contributed the essay, “Exploring the Queer Overtones of Sun Ra’s Outer Spaceways” for the Jazz Institut, Darmstadt’s 2016 scholarly collection, Gender and Identity in Jazz; and wrote essays on jazz and the Black Lives Matter Movement and Tyshawn Sorey, respectively for the Berlin Jazz Festival’s program books in 2016 and 2017.

Tickets: $0 – $10

More Info:

The National Jazz Museum
58 West 129th Street
New York NY 10027 US

“Great Day in Harlem” @ 60 w/ Benny Golson and Jonathan Kane

December 4, 2018 7:00pm – 9:00pm

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the famous Art Kane photograph “Great Day in Harlem”, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem will host Kane’s son, Jonathan Kane, and one of the last living musicians from the photo, NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson, for a night of conversation and celebration of the new book Art Kane: Harlem 1958 released in November.

Art Kane: Harlem 1958 is a visual history of an iconic image including, for the first time, virtually every single frame from the historic shoot. With original text by Art Kane, forewords by Quincy Jones, the legendary Benny Golson, who appears in the photo, and an introduction by Kane’s son, musician and photographer Jonathan Kane, the 168-page hardback volume is the story behind the shot.

In 1958 fledgling photographer Art Kane pitched the idea to Esquire – invite the musicians of New York’s jazz community to come together for one photo. Esquire agreed and Kane sent requests via agents, record labels, managers, clubs, anywhere he could spread the word.

“There was going to be an unusual shooting of a photograph for Esquire Magazine and I was being invited to be a part of it. I couldn’t believe it! Nobody really knew me that early in my career. But zippo, I was there on the intended date. When I arrived, there were all of my heroes.” Benny Golson

57 jazz musicians, from the unknown to the world famous, duly assembled at the unlikely hour of 10am at 7 East 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The group would include Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie – whose hat was repeatedly stolen by local kids until Kane surrendered and put them in the shot, too.

“Black and white: two colors forbidden to be in close proximity, yet captured so beautifully within a single black and white frame. The importance of this photo transcends time and location, leaving it to become not only a symbolic piece of art, but a piece of history. During a time in which segregation was very much still a part of our everyday lives, and in a world that often pointed out our differences instead of celebrating our similarities, there was something so special and pure about gathering 57 individuals together, in the name of jazz.” Quincy Jones

Tickets: Free

More Info:

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
58 West 129th Street
New York NY 10027 US

Uptown Nights: Elio Villafranca Afro Caribbean Trio

December 6, 2018 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Presented in collaboration with Carnegie Hall Citywide, a program of the Weill Music Institute.

Born in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba, Steinway Artist, Grammy Nominated, and 2014 Jalc Millennium Swing Award! Recipient pianist and composer Elio Villafranca was classically trained in percussion and composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba. Since his arrival in the U.S. in mid 1995, Elio Villafranca is at the forefront of the latest generation of remarkable pianists, composers and bandleaders. Over the years Elio Villafranca has recorded and performed nationally and internationally as a leader, featuring jazz master artists such as Pat Martino, Terell Stafford, Wynton Marsalis, Billy Hart, Paquito D’Rivera, Billy Harper, Eric Alexander, and Lewis Nash, Chick Corea, and Jon Faddis, Johnny Pacheco among others. He is based in New York City and he is a faculty member of Temple University, Philadelphia and The Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and New York University in NYC.

All ticket sales are final, no refunds or exchanges. Valid ID required to pick up tickets.

Cost: FREE. Note: Maximum number of tickets is limited to two.

Harlem Stage Gatehouse
150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street
New York NY 10031 US




Harlem Jazz Series – Corcoran Holt Trio

Corcoran HoltNovember 27, 2018 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Corcoran Holt, a son of Washington, DC, began playing djembe and other West African percussion instruments at the age of 4.  Corcoran feels called to the bass and his work is about honoring the ancestors. Corcoran feels blessed and gives thanks to the many jazz legends and greats with whom he has worked. Corcoran performs regularly at many of the top music festivals and venues around the world. Some have included The North Sea Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, The Village Vanguard, The Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola to name a few. Corcoran has performed through North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Currently, Corcoran leads his own group and is the regular bassist in the Kenny Garrett Quintet. Corcoran also works with numerous bands throughout the world and he is based in NYC and also serves as a djembe drummer/music therapist at Greater Harlem Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where he plays for his elders.

Featuring: Corcoran Holt – bass; Stacy Dillard – saxophone; and Chris Beck – drums

First set: 12pm-12:45pm (15 min break); Second set: 1pm-1:45pm

Cost: $15

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

Harlem Jazz Series – Bruce Williams

November 23, 2018 | 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Alto saxophonist, Bruce Williams hails from Washington D.C. and has been on the New York scene for 25 years. Bruce is one of the most in-demand alto sax stylist and section player currently working. He has performed with a diverse list of artists including long relationships with the World Saxophone Quartet, Charles Tolliver, Count Basie Orchestra, Roy Hargrove, Frank Foster, Jimmy Scott, Stanley Cowell, Buster Williams, and Steve Turre. Bruce has a style that is described as warm, powerful, soulful, and electric.

Featuring Bruce Williams – saxophone

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

Cost: $20

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

More Info: