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Henry Grimes and Friends in Concert: A Benefit for Harlem Textile Works at the Black Box Theater, Harlem

SOURCE: Published: 2009-08-31
Henry Grimes On Saturday, September 12th, ‘O9, visionary jazz musician Henry Grimes (acoustic bass, violin, voice), along with his esteemed band mates Andrew Lamb (reeds, flute, percussion) and Michael Wimberly (drums, percussion), will present a benefit concert for Harlem Textile Works at the Black Box Theatre, 3O8 West 133rd St. just east of St. Nicholas Ave. over the Morningstar Pentecostal Church, Village of Harlem, New York City.

Sets will be at 7 and 9 p.m, tickets $15 per set of music, available at the door (half-price for students & elders w/ valid I.D.), venue telephone 212-926-31O1.

The nearest subway lines are the B or C train to 135th St. or the A or D to 125th St. This concert is produced by Loft Arts Productions.

HENRY GRIMES has played more than 33O concerts in 23 countries (including many festivals) since May of ‘O3, when he made his astonishing return to the music world after 35 years away.

Grimes was born and raised in Philadelphia and attended the Mastbaum School and Juilliard. In the ‘5O’s and ‘6O’s, he came up in the music playing and touring with Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson, “Bullmoose” Jackson, “Little” Willie John, and a number of other great R&B / soul musicians; but drawn to jazz, he went on to play, tour, and record with many great jazz musicians of that era, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, and many more. Sadly, a trip to the West Coast to work with Al Jarreau and Jon Hendricks went awry, leaving Henry in Los Angeles at the end of the ‘6O’s with a broken bass he couldn’t pay to repair, so he sold it for a small sum and faded away from the music world.

Many years passed with nothing heard from him, as he lived in his tiny rented room in an S.R.O. hotel in downtown Los Angeles, working as a manual laborer, custodian, and maintenance man, and writing many volumes of handwritten poetry. He was discovered there by a Georgia social worker and fan in 2OO2 and was given a bass by William Parker, and after only a few weeks of ferocious woodshedding, Henry emerged from his room to begin playing concerts around Los Angeles, and shortly afterwards made a triumphant return to New York City in May, ‘O3 to play in the Vision Festival.

Since then, often working as a leader, Mr. Grimes has played, toured, and / or recorded with many of today’s music heroes, such as Rashied Ali, Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Marilyn Crispell, Ted Curson, Andrew Cyrille, Bill Dixon, Dave Douglas, Andrew Lamb, David Murray, William Parker, Marc Ribot, and Cecil Taylor.

Mr. Grimes has also held recent residencies at the Berklee College of Music, Hamilton College for the Arts, New England Conservatory, the University of Michigan, University of Gloucestershire at Cheltenham, and more; he has given a number of workshops and master classes on other major campuses, released several brilliant new recordings, made his professional debut on a second instrument (the violin) at the age of 7O, has now published the first volume of his poetry, “Signs Along the Road,” and has been creating illustrations to accompany his new recordings and publications.

He has received many honors in recent years, including four Meet the Composer grants, a grant from the Acadia Foundation, and a grant from WKCR upon being selected for its New York Music Alive series. Henry Grimes can be heard on 85 recordings on various labels, including Atlantic, Ayler Records, Blue Note, Columbia, ESP-Disk, ILK Music, Impulse!, JazzNewYork Productions, Pi Recordings, Porter Records, Prestige, Riverside, and Verve. Henry Grimes now lives and teaches in New York City. More information: http://www.henrygrimes.com, mailto:musicmargaret@earthlink.net.

ANDREW LAMB (saxophones, flutes, woodwinds) was born in North Carolina and grew up in Chicago and South Jamaica, Queens. He came into New York’s “avant-garde” jazz community during the 197O’s at the height of the legendary loft jazz era and soon became an active presence in the vibrant New York music world.

In 2OO4, the Henry Grimes Trio with Andrew Lamb and Newman Baker was named “Best Jazz Trio” by NY Press in its “Best Of Manhattan” issue, and that trio played 15 concerts between 2OO4 and ‘O7 in places as far-flung as New York City, Berlin, Edgefest (Ann Arbor), Chicago, Portugal, and the Azores, releasing two recordings along the way.

Andrew and his own ensembles remain a regular presence both domestically and internationally, frequently playing in New York’s annual Vision Festival. Andrew has also been a prominent participant in the Composer’s Workshop Ensemble, Alan Silva’s Sound Vision Orchestra, Cecil Taylor’s Vision Orchestra, the Roy Campbell Ensemble, and several other big band projects.

Of late, Andrew has been releasing his own music on the CIMP and Engine labels. Andrew Lamb’s music rises out of the African-American church, blues, and jazz traditions and is deeply spiritual, profoundly emotional, and easily accessible to all who hear him. http://www.myspace.com/andrewtheblacklamb, mailto:theblacklamb@netzero.net. Photos on request.

MICHAEL WIMBERLY, percussionist and composer of both classical and contemporary music, holds a B.A. in music from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and an M.A. in music from the Manhattan School of Music.

Raised in Cleveland, Ohio in the ‘7O’s, Mr. Wimberly set off for New York in ‘82, quickly carving out a niche for himself not so much in conventional hand-percussion circles, but in duets, quartets, and larger ensembles with unique instrumentation. Michael has performed / recorded with Jean-Paul Bourelly, Steve Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Charles Gayle, David Murray, P-Funk, William Parker, and Cassandra Wilson, among others.

As a composer, Michael has created commissioned scores for some of New York’s most acclaimed dance companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Forces of Nature Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Philadanco, and Urban Bush Women. Mr. Wimberly is also on the faculty of the Manhattan-based Drummers’ Collective. Recently, he created a project called “The Power of Drum” that has allowed him to find his voice as a producer; the production is held every year and has featured a number of renowned percussionists, including Will Calhoun, Terri Lyne Carrington, Eli Fountain, and Warren Smith. Michael Wimberly’s music can be heard on Ayler Records, Black Saint, FMP, Knitting Factory, and Silkheart. http://www.myspace.com/michaelwimberly, mailto:mwprodnyc@earthlink.net. Photos on request.

HARLEM TEXTILE WORKS is a 5O1 (c) (3) non-profit organization with offices at 143rd St. and Amsterdam Ave. Since its inception, Harlem Textile Works has successfully trained under-served African-American and Latino youth in silkscreen printing techniques and art and textile design, free of charge, while nurturing and cultivating within them a creative and entrepreneurial spirit. HTW interns have graduated from institutions of higher education, secured positions in the design, fashion, and advertising industries, or pursued careers at museums and other cultural entities. But like other businesses and institutions, non-profit organizations have been severely affected by the current economic downturn, and for HTW, past funders have declined or delayed funding, and new grants have been much more difficult to secure. Because of these changes, HTW needs to raise funds immediately to be able to cover on-going operating expenses. http://www.harlemtextileworks.org/workshops.html, mailto:office@harlemtextileworks.org. Press materials on request.

LOFT ARTS PRODUCTIONS is a three-year-old company founded by cellist Nioka Workman to support artists and entrepreneurs, with a vision for nurturing and sustaining the arts within and outside the community. Dedicated to new art, new avenues, new adventures, Loft Arts Productions promises that its lush cultural events, elegant venues, and enriching urban experiences will leave the audience wanting more. The Loft Arts Productions team is committed to artists whose work offers fresh concepts, cultural enrichment, historical story-telling, unique art forms, and particularly art that is a catalyst for conversation. Constantly moving towards bigger and brighter expressions, Loft Arts Productions seeks out hidden treasures, unusual spaces, venues that create a positive influence on our culture.


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