Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director, Christian McBride, Co-Director Wilhelmina Grant Executive Assistant
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
We Hope To See You There!
Harlem Speaks at The Jazz Museum In Harlem
Willie Mack and John E. Johnson of NAMA (February 10) Joey Morant (February 24)
New York, NY (February 8, 2005) The Harlem Speaks series of The Jazz Museum In Harlem, designed to give due recognition to musicians and others of great value to Harlem jazz, continues on alternate Thursdays, starting at 6:30 p.m.
This Thursday, Executive Director Loren Schoenberg will be in dialogue with Willie Mack and John E. Johnson of the New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA).
Last year, NAMA, originally conceived as a union for Black musicians, celebrated its one hundredth anniversary. Willie Mack, 72, is the group's premier teacher, and practices what he preaches on the tenor saxophone. On February 10, Mr. Mack and John E. Johnson, President of NAMA, will share lessons learned over the years and comment on the future of the music.
NAMA is a non-profit organization organized to promote the learning and performance of music in all forms and to draw together trained musicians for music education, concerts and performances, community jam sessions, and to expand the support for and understanding of musicians and their art. Organized by professional black musicians in 1904 as a response to segregationist attitudes, over the years its membership rolls read like a Who’s Who of music, including the likes of Eubie Blake, Sonny Greer, Sammy Heyward, James Weldon Johnson, Zutty Singleton, Dicky Wells, and so many others. Within the past few years a dedicated group of musicians, some older members and some newer recruits, have devoted their time to reviving the activities of NAMA. Once again, the organization is looking forward to providing a vital role for the community. After a revitalization movement by a dedicated group of volunteer members, NAMA offers jam sessions, free performances, space for rehearsals and fundraisers, and music lessons for all ages, all in Central Harlem.
Two weeks ago, Loren Schoenberg welcomed one of the country's most accomplished architects, Harlem's own Max Bond, who led a well-attended presentation in which he provided an informative discussion intersecting art, architecture and jazz. The 2005 season opened with bass great, Larry Ridley. On January 13, 2005 our guest was bassist extraordinaire Larry Ridley, who shared tales of his life and career. The audience was delighted by the mellow sounds of the bass as he played a few tunes.
Joey Morant, trumpeter and member of the Harlem Blues & Jazz Band, has been hailed for his ability to capture the light and serious sides of Pops," Louis Armstrong, yes; yet he is as well known in Harlem, especially at Showman's, where he's a regular, for playing a bent horn in the manner of Dizzy Gillespie. The 2003 Harlem Jazz & Music Festival Instrumentalist of the Year, Morant was recently featured on vocalist Lainie Cooke’s recording, Here's to Life, for his own flavorful styling. On February 24 he'll discuss his life in the music, from Harlem to Paris, and share rich anecdotes for a live audience and the museum's archives.
The series, co-produced by the Jazz Museum in Harlem and Greg Thomas Associates, is held at the offices of the Jazz Museum in Harlem, located at 104 East 126th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, from 6:30pm-8:00pm, on alternate Thursdays.
The series is free to the public. Please call for reservations: 212 348-8300.