Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival Takes over Uptown May 6 - 11
Harlem, USA – The third annual Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, a multi-venue partnership between The Apollo Theater, Harlem Stage and Jazzmobile, Inc., resurrects the spirits and sounds of Harlem’s historic jazz venues with swinging live performances May 6 – 11. On Thursday, May 9, Jazzmobile, Inc. revives the Renaissance-era vibe of the legendary Alhambra Ballroom (2116 Adam Clay¬ton Pow¬ell Jr. Blvd., www.alhambraballroom.net), with a day-long program, Alhambra Revived, highlighted by the “hi-dee-hi-dee-hi-dee-ho” harmonies of the Cab Calloway Orchestra, under the direction of his grandson, Calloway Brooks, at 8:00 pm.
Alhambra Revived begins the celebration at 10:00 am when tenor saxophonist/historian Loren Schoenberg hosts a free performance, talk and interactive session for young people, entitled Jazz in the First Person: Fun with “The Duke, ” detailing the artistry of Duke Ellington, followed by a noon-time dance session entitled Swingin’ Seniors. The evening performances begin at 7:00 pm, with Serenade by Jazzmobile Vocal Competition Winners. Doors open at 6:00 pm.
Tickets for the Calloway dance party are $10 and are available at the door.
The original hepcat – with his own style of clothes and slang – Cab Calloway was the embodiment of “swagga” in jazz. His jumpin’ jive big band beat, his cool choreography and his hilarious hits like “Minnie The Moocher, ” made him so eternally hip that he appeared in Janet Jackson’s video! And the New England Conservatory of Music-trained grandson, C. Calloway Brooks, channels his grandfather’s jazzy coolness and sartorial splendor. Hailing from Boston, Brooks is an amazing artist in his own right, as evidenced by his many gigs as a guitarist sideman with The Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton Orchestras, Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Burrell, Ran Blake, Don Byron, Anthony Braxton, Shelia Jordan, Joel Martin, Ellis Larkins and Rufus Reid. The elder Calloway approved of his grandson when he stated, “He's certainly got the music together, there's just no question about it."
The New Jersey-born tenor saxophonist Loren Schoenberg is another artist who’s got the music together. Known for his lovely, Lester Young-influenced sound, Schoenberg is also one of the world’s most authoritative jazz historians. His writings have appeared in The Lester Young Reader, The Oxford Companion to Jazz, and Masters of the Jazz Saxophone, and he is the author of The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz. An alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music, Schoenberg won Grammy Awards for his liner notes for the CD box sets, Louis Armstrong: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 1923-1934, and The Complete Columbia Recordings of Woody Herman and His Orchestra & Woodchoppers (1945–1947). He served as Bobby Short’s Musical Director, and worked with Wynton Marsalis, Marian McPartland, Mel Lewis, Benny Goodman and Dr. Billy Taylor. He currently is the Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. His five CDs as a leader include That’s the Way it Goes, S’Posin’, Manhattan Work Song, Out of This World, and Black Butterfly.
Originally established in 1905, The Alhambra was originally a variety house built by vaudeville mogul, Percy G. Williams, who later sold it to the Keith Vaudeville Circuit, which gave it the current name. The venue traces it “birthdate” to the 1926 premiere of Lew Leslie's famous Blackbirds show, which starred Florence Mills and Bill Robinson, and it featured many legendary performances by Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton and Billie Holliday. The ballroom fell into disrepair in the sixties, and it reopened in 2003 as The Alhambra Ballroom, Inc., which hosts weddings, parties, and various events. In June 2009, a new restaurant – Gospel Uptown (owned by Joseph H. Holland) – opened on the ground floor, replacing short-lived seafood restaurant, Pier 2110.
At the 2013 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, Jazzmobile also presents:
Minton’s Playhouse: Legends on the Bandstand – Jazzmobile pulls out all the stops to re-create the mood and legacy of the legendary Minton’s Playhouse, this year at Ginny’s Supper Club downstairs in Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster Harlem. Bringing the famed club on 118th Street back to life with a three-night celebration of Legends sharing the stage with New Titans of Jazz, the concerts shed new light on an old tradition of featuring the best of established and emerging artists. Hear how jazz swings across the generations when the bandstand lights up with the groups of Jimmy Heath and Antonio Hart, and Junior Mance and Christian Sands. The popular Minton’s Monday Night Jam Session is back as well as a Conversation with Jimmy Heath and Stanley Crouch.
Jazzmobile, Inc., America’s oldest not-for-profit arts organization created just for jazz, was founded in 1964 by NEA Jazz Master Dr. Billy Taylor and Daphne Arnstein. Its mission is to present, preserve, promote, and propagate Jazz – “America’s classical music.” Jazzmobile pioneered the concept of Jazz lecture-demonstrations and mobile Jazz performances presented across New York City, and continues to serve as a model for other Jazz music presentation-focused organizations around the country. Jazzmobile reaches approximately 100, 000 people in New York City each year, consisting of multi-ethnic audiences of all ages and socio-economic levels, including the disabled. In order to reach the largest possible audience, all of Jazzmobile’s programming is presented at no or low-cost cost to participants. Other outreach includes instructional workshops and panels and symposia that provide a historical framework for Jazz and its significance to American culture.
Renewing their partnership for the third year, the Apollo Theater, Harlem Stage and Jazzmobile, Inc., in collaboration with Columbia University, join forces to present the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival from May 6 – 11, 2013. The three cultural organizations will present a series of concerts and events to celebrate the rich legacy of jazz in the uptown community while bringing both established and emerging artists to famed Harlem venues. This year, the festival will pay tribute to The Alhambra Ballroom, the Apollo Theater, The Baby Grand, Minton’s Playhouse, Clark Monroe’s Uptown House, Showman’s Jazz Club, the Sugar Cane Club and the Cotton Club. In addition to concerts at jazz shrines throughout Harlem, festival events will take place at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, Cowin Auditorium at Teacher’s College and Ginny’s Supper Club.
Designed to draw a diverse audience of neighborhood residents, New Yorkers and tourists, events are free or $10 and up. Concerts are scheduled to allow people the option of attending several events each day, continuing the tradition of non-stop jazz throughout Harlem.
Tickets for many of the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival events are available now. For tickets and the complete schedule, visit the Harlem Jazz Shrines’ website at harlemjazzshrines.org.
Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council; the New York City Regional Economic Development Council; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, including Council members Robert Jackson and Inez E. Dickens; and the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.