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News :: Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/30/08

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National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s July Schedule

  • Opening of our new Visitor’s Center 8
  • Performances by Jimmy Cobb, Wycliffe Gordon and Theo Croker for Harlem in the Himalayas
  • Harlem Speaks: Greg Bandy and Edy Martinez
  • Jazz for Curious Listeners: “New Artists You Should Know About”
  • Jazz for Curious Readers: Tribute to Otis Ferguson
  • Summer Film Show: Ellington at 109!

With the exception of Harlem in the Himalayas programs at the Rubin Museum of Art and a Duke Ellington film showing at the Museum of the City of New York, all of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s programming this month will take place at the new museum Visitor’s Center (104 East 126th Street, suite 2C).

The normal business hours of the NJMIH Visitor’s Center are Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm. Come through anytime, and thumb through the books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines on display. But most of all come and share in jazz moments with like-minded music lovers with class. Unlike some public spaces, filled with technology but little human presence, the NJMIH Visitor’s Center is warm, designed with jazz lovers of all ages in mind. Stop by anytime, especially at the events listed below!

July 1, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
New Artists You Should Know About

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

Instructors: Loren Schoenberg and Christian McBride

In their travels around the world, playing and teaching, Loren Schoenberg and Christian McBride observe the hot talents blazing paths in jazz. Talents such as saxophonist Mark Turner (called by the NY Times “The Best Jazz Player You’ve Never Heard”) and trumpeter Dominick Farinacci will be discussed at length with musical samples. And don’t tell anybody, but you may even meet and hear them live!

 

July 7, 2008

Jazz for Curious Readers
A Tribute to Otis Ferguson

6:00 – 7:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Otis Ferguson was a great writer on American Jazz now mostly forgotten. His essays were published in The New Republic in the 1930s. He never published a book, although he was working on one when he died at the age of 36. He had signed up on two tours with the merchant marine, and while at anchor in the Gulf of Salerno, Ferguson's ship was struck by a radio-guided bomb on September 14, 1943.

He was born on August 14, 1907, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He spent his childhood on a string of unsuccessful farms in Massachusetts. When he was 15, he went out to make his own way and joined the Navy at 17.

In 1932, while attending Clark University on a scholarship, he entered an essay contest sponsored by The New Republic, and won. He got a job there through the graces of editor Malcolm Cowley and began reviewing books, first on a freelance basis, and then, after 1934, as an assistant editor.

Two years later, he filed a truly wonderful piece about dancing through the night in the Savoy Ballroom called "Breakfast Dance, In Harlem." This was the beginning of his brief but brilliant career of writing about Jazz. In that essay he called jazz "a music deaf men could hear."

Recent Jazz for Curious Readers guest Ben Ratliffe wrote the following about Ferguson a decade ago: "In the Spirit of Jazz: The Otis Ferguson Reader, a collection of essays by one of the great early jazz critics, has just returned to print. Ferguson covered jazz for the New Republic from 1930 until his death in 1943. In the late 1930s, he set the standard for jazz writing, balancing musical analysis with broader social criticism, mixing granite pronouncements with slangy asides. What exists of his writing tends toward the great white players of his day like Benny Goodman and Bix Beiderbecke, but he never ignored issues of race and class. An essay he wrote on the jazz producer and entrepreneur John Hammond is still one of the best meditations on the complicated mix of worship and condescension that white supporters of jazz often have toward the black musicians who play it.”

 

July 8, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
New Artists You Should Know About

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

Instructors: Loren Schoenberg and Christian McBride

Twenty-four-year-old trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, a recent graduate of the Institute for Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School, has already recorded six records for the Japanese label, M & I Jazz. These recordings garnered Dominick the "International New Star" Award from Swing Journal Magazine (Japan) in 2003 ... an honor that has been previously awarded to Christian McBride and Diana Krall, among others.

Dominick also received Gold Disc Awards (signifying a record of the month for Swing Journal) for three of those recordings. Dominick has already toured several times throughout Japan, and has performed in the USA with such luminaries as Tony Bennett, Ira Sullivan, Joey DeFrancesco, and Jason Miles. In December of 2000, Dominick performed with Wynton Marsalis (one of his mentors) and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra as a featured student in a Louis Armstrong tribute, which was broadcast on PBSs Live From Lincoln Center. In 2005, Dominick performed with his own groups at both the Blue Note and Birdland Jazz Club in New York, as well as at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival in September of that year.

Dominick’s quartet recently recorded a live performance at the Kennedy Center for NPR's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. He is currently performing regularly with his own group and as a sideman throughout the US and on several international tours this year.

 

July 10, 2008

Harlem Speaks
Greg Bandy, Drummer

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

Drummer Greg Bandy was discovered by Charles Mingus at the of age 20. He has played with a plethora of prominent jazz artists over the last thirty-plus years: Joe Henderson, Betty Carter, Pharoah Sanders, Olu Dara, Curtis Fuller, Jack McDuff, Leon Thomas, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson, Yusef Lateef and many others. Mr. Bandy's 1997 debut CD "Lightning in a Bottle" garnered two Grammy nominations. He produces "Bandy Does Blakey," a tribute to one of his mentors, the late Art Blakey, and often reunites former members of Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He fronts a regular band at St. Nick’s Pub in Harlem. He’s got many a hip tale to tell, so don’t miss this chance!

 

July 11, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas
Theo Croker Quartet featuring Wycliffe Gordon

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

Wycliffe Gordon, trombone
Theo Croker, trumpet
Sullivan Fortner, piano
Chris Mees, bass
Kassa Overall, drums

At 22 years old, Theo Croker has already distinguished himself as a vital force in the jazz community. As the grandson of jazz trumpet legend Doc Cheatham, Theo's legacy is profoundly felt when he plays.

Theo knew that he would be a trumpet player from the moment he picked up his first horn at the age of eleven. As a teenager, Theo sought to distinguish himself as an artist, realizing that he would need to be in an environment that nurtured his growth as a trumpet player, so at the age of 16, Theo moved out of his home and relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. There he continued his high school education at The Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, a school recognized for its dedication to young artists. Theo quickly made a name for himself and stood out amongst his peers. He was appointed the first artist in residence at The Ritz Theater in 2003 through 2004 where he was commissioned to compose works and lead a 17 piece Big Band, A Septet, and The Ritz Voices, (a choir comprised of 80 individuals).

Theo graduated in May 2007 from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio with a B.A. in Jazz performance. At Oberlin Theo studied under the guidance of legendary trumpeter Marcus Belgrave & Donald Byrd, as well as Wendell Logan, Gary Bartz, Billy Hart, and Robin Eubanks. Upon graduating from Oberlin, Theo began his international career by taking his quartet to Shanghai, China where he had a four month (6 nights a week) engagement at "The House Of Blues and Jazz".

In the spring of 2006, Theo received the Presser Music Foundation Award. With this grant, Theo recorded his first album "The Fundamentals” in New York City with his band The Theo Croker Sextet. Those who have listened to the album have been impressed by Theo's musicianship. Amongst these people is legendary trumpeter Donald Byrd, who was compelled to write: "There are good, great and nice musical players, but then there are phenomenal instrumentalists such as Theo. I would place Theo in a class of musicians who will redirect the flow, change and alter the current of today's New Jazz.”

Theo's desire to grow as an artist has taken him into the realm of other genres. In addition to his love for Jazz music, he writes and produces hip-hop, rap, film scores, and contemporary classical, as well as many other forms of music. He is not limited by genres. Marcus Belgrave states: "Theo Croker is one of the most promising and creative trumpeters on the horizon today and is also one of the most energetic artists I have ever encountered".

Trombone player Wycliffe Gordon is best known for his work with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of jazz maestro, Wynton Marsalis. The versatile trombonist can scat, multi-note, slide, and plunge, just like he stepped out of the 1930s. Gordon has played with many jazz luminaries, including Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, and Shirley Horn. His musical colleagues call him "Pine Cone," since he grew up in the piney woods of Georgia.

It must have been this Ellington era quality that caught the ears of jazz educator Wynton Marsalis, who heard Gordon play while the trumpeter was giving a workshop at Gordon's alma mater, Florida A&M University. Their fortuitous meeting resulted in Gordon joining the Wynton Marsalis Septet, as well as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, in 1989. As a member of the illustrious band, Gordon contributed as both musician and composer. Gordon, who like Charles Mingus says he hears music in his head all the time, has managed to write some of it down, and then hear it performed all over the world by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Whether they know it or not, National Public Radio fans are familiar with the musician's work: In 1993, Gordon composed the NPR theme song.

Gordon, an admirer of Louis Armstrong, J.J. Johnson, and Jack Teagarden, prefers the melodic approach to playing and composition. The listener can hear that on any of his outstanding recordings. His first outing was with fellow trombonist Ron Westray on their 1996 release, Bone Structure. More good things came with Slidin’ Home, recorded in 1999. Joined by Victor Goines, Eric Reed, Rodney Whitaker, Herlin Riley, Milt Grayson, Joe Temperley, and Randy Sandke, Gordon really struts his stuff on this one, showing a wide range of influences from big band to gospel.

Croker and Gordon are certain to strut their stuff powerfully, so come and dance in the seats!

 

July 15, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
New Artists You Should Know About: Keyon Harrold

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

Instructors: Loren Schoenberg and Christian McBride

This young jazz trumpeter/producer recently cited his influences as:

"Influences considering that i have been influenced by great ones ill start with a few of my heroes a greatest influences, COMMON, Clifford brown, The Harrold Family, miles davis, Busta Rhymes, freddie hubbard, DR.DRE, fats navarro, booker little, lee morgan, Jay-Z, charles tolliver, kenny dorham, joe henderson, The Roots, john coltrane, mccoy tyner, Kirk Franklin, herbie hancock, Erykah Badu, kenny garret, woody shaw, Pete Rock, wynton marsalis, jeff tain watts, JustBlaze, PJ Morton, Kanye West, D-Prosper, billy harper, the count basie orchestra, JayDilla, duke ellington, Tribe Called Quest, canonball adderlly, goerge coleman, Robert Glasper, wayne shorter, dizzy reece, dexter gordon, phineous newborn, art tatem, Mobb Deep, bud powell, max roach, art blakey, louis armstrong, DJ Premier, Hi-Tek, thelonious monk, billie holliday, ella fizgerrald, sarah vaughn, gil evans, jay jay johnson, willie akins, russell gunn, roy hargrove, nicholas peyton, tony williams, jaco pastorias, kurt rosenwinkle, greg tardy, Rodney Jerkins, Leon Lacy, The Neptunes, The Clark Sisters, Mo Horns, D'angelo, Most Def, Talib Quali, OutCast, Timbaland, Scott Storch, 50 cent, Leron Thomas, Jason Harrold, Clark Terry, Jimmy Owens, Jd Allen, SLumvillige, to name a few."

 

July 18, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas
Jimmy Cobb Quartet featuring Theo Croker

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

Jimmy Cobb, drums
Theo Croker, trumpet
Sullivan Fortner, piano
Chris Mees, bass

Jimmy Cobb is largely self-taught, though he studied briefly with Jack Dennett, a percussionist in the National Symphony Orchestra. He played engagements with Charlie Rouse, Leo Parker, Frank Wess, Billie Holiday, and Pearl Bailey in Washington. After leaving the city in 1950 he played with Earl Bostic (with whom he made his first recordings), Dinah Washington (for three and a half years), Cannonball Adderley, Stan Getz, and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1958 he replaced Philly Joe Jones in Miles Davis’ group, with which he remained until 1963, and is the only living member of the famous Miles Davis Quintet that recorded the timeless Kind of Blue. He then joined Paul Chambers in the Wynton Kelly Trio, which toured and recorded both on its own and with Wes Montgomery and J. J. Johnson.

He accompanied Sarah Vaughan through the 1970s and later played with Rich Cole, Sonny Stitt, Nat Adderley, and Ricky Ford. Most recently he was heard in pianist Cedar Walton’s group at the Iridium Jazz Club in NYC. Cobb's style of drumming is in the classic hard-bop tradition of Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, and Art Blakey. As an accompanist he plays forcefully, aggressively, and slightly ahead of the beat; as a soloist he uses the entire drum set in a quasi-melodic fashion.

Last week Croker threw down with Wycliffe Gordon; this week he swings with the sole survivor of the great Kind of Blue session. Don’t miss history in the making!

 

July 22, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
New Artists You Should Know About

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

Instructors: Loren Schoenberg and Christian McBride

 

July 24, 2008

Harlem Speaks
Edy Martinez, Pianist

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

Edy Martinez was born in the south of Colombia, in a small city called Pasto. He didn’t have any formal training in music, but his ears and aspirations took him very far. Martinez left Colombia in 1960, moving initially to the Netherland Antilles and then to New Orleans, Miami and New York. He remained for 33 years outside Columbia, working as keyboardist and arranger for Tito Puente, Ray Baretto, Mongo Santamaría, Ron Carter, Bobby Watson, Gato Barbieri and Paquito d'Rivera.

Edy came back briefly to Colombia with the idea of promoting the development of jazz by way of concerts and recordings with young musicians but he found many obstacles. He told a local newspaper (El Espectador): "There's no respect for our career. That's the problem. The musicians have to become politicians, engineers, scientists or astronauts [to get some respect]... To record a CD of Latin Jazz in the U.S is very difficult but to do it in Colombia is nearly impossible". Yet Martinez managed to achieve it in 1995 after a lot of hard work. He recorded the first CD of Latin jazz totally produced in Colombia, "Privilegio," featuring a young group of musicians from Venezuela, Cuba and Colombia. That CD has become the most successful jazz recording ever in Colombia.

Martinez told El Espectador: "We just want people to take our efforts into consideration, the strength with which our music is born, our idea of introducing culture and harmony in our lives". Why has he insisted so much in spite of the many obstacles he has found? "I'm a jazz musician because I'm a modern musician and jazz is the most contemporary sound today...All my life I've done what I feel in my soul with the raw materials that I've had on hand". Martinez is yet another unsung giant honored by Harlem Speaks, the longest running community program of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

 

July 27, 2008

MCNY Summer Film Shows
Ellington at 109!

2:00pm
Location: Museum of the City of New York
(1220 Fifth Avenue | get directions)
FREE with Museum admission! |
More information: 212.534.1672, ext. 3395

Celebrate the genius of Duke Ellington with films featuring the great pianist, composer, and bandleader in every decade from the 1920s through the 1970s, from locations in Harlem and around the world. Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem, hosts an exciting afternoon placing these films in a swinging context. Presented in conjunction with Harlem Week.

 

July 29, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
New Artists You Should Know About

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

Instructors: Loren Schoenberg and Christian McBride

16 year old Grace Kelly is a saxophonist, singer songwriter, composer/arranger from Brookline, Massachusetts. Having studied saxophone since the age of ten, she is rapidly making her way up in the jazz music world. Grace’s talents far outstrip others her age. Now just sixteen, Grace has already recorded and/or performed with many notable musicians: Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Dave Brubeck, Frank Morgan, Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jerry Bergonzi, Terri Lyne Carrington, Diane Reeves, Chris Potter, Adam Rogers, Christian Scott, Billy Hart, George Cables, Winard Harper, Russell Malone, Rufus Reid, Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland and James Cotton, among others.

Grace has performed in many notable venues in the U.S. and Europe such as Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Dizzy’s Club Cocoa Cola, Scullers Jazz Club, Regatta Bar, Dakota Jazz Club, Kennedy Center, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Blues Alley, Newport Blues Café, Boston Symphony Hall, Jazz Standard, Pabst Theater, 50th Grammy Awards (After party), Jazz Bakery, (LA) Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, (Kennedy Center),. Grace has performed as far away as Tromso, Norway, and Seoul, Korea. Media appearances include WGBH with Eric Jackson, WICN, CBS TV4, Fox 25 News, NECN, EBS Radio and EBS TV and numerous radio interviews.

Grace appeared as special guest artist for two nights with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops 2007 Jazz Series. One of the selections Grace performed was her award winning composition “Every Road I Walked” which she also arranged for the entire Pops orchestra. It was her first arrangement for an orchestra and strings. Grace also performed with Diane Reeves and the Boston Pops Orchestra.Grace is also an award winning recording artist five CD’s as a leader. “Dreaming” 2005, “Times Too” 2005, and “Every Road I Walked” 2006 with two more releases as a leader scheduled for 2008: “GracefulLee” with Lee Konitz, Rufus Reid, Matt Wilson and Russell Malone. “Mood Changes” Doug Johnson, John Lockwood, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jason Palmer, with special guests Adam Rogers and Hal Crook. Recipient of the ASCAP Foundation 2008 Young Jazz Composers Award for the composition “101”

 

This press release was composed and edited by Greg Thomas, host of the web’s only jazz news and entertainment TV show, Jazz it Up! (See footage of Harlem in the Himalayas by clicking the link.)

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem has been ensconced in its Harlem offices for over five years now; its public programs now attract several thousand people a year.  The Victoria Theatre on 125th Street will be redeveloped and includes space (10,150 sq. feet) for the museum!   If you would like to receive updates on our progress or further information, please contact us online at http://www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org/contact.php or by phone at 212-348-8300. To find video clips, event summaries, program updates and photographs galore from our previous programs, venture here:     www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org