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CJF in Harlem: The Spirit of Harlem

  • Harlem School of the Arts 645 Saint Nicholas Avenue New York, NY, 10030 United States (map)

Featuring the New Generation Festival Jazz Collective and the Urban Playground Chamber Ensemble, co-presented with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

This tribute by some of the most outstanding musical voices of today's NYC jazz renaissance recreates the vibes of Minton's Playhouse, the Lafayette Theater, the Savoy Ballroom and beyond. Drawing on the rich musical past of Harlem, from Blues to Bebop headlining night reincarnates the iconic roots of artists like James P. Johnson, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, through to Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. The performance culminates in a specially-arranged commission for string orchestra.

Take a ride on this night of pit stops through Harlem's jazz history for a high-energy evening of blues and swing!

Free admission
$10 suggested donation, limited seating available.

Led by Dominick Farinacci, trumpet
Patrick Bartley Jr., saxophone/clarinet
Shenel Johns, vocals
Michela Marino Lerman, tap percussion
Jonathan Michel, bass
Mathis Picard, piano
Kyle Poole, drums
Christian Tamburr, vibes
Narration and spoken word by Orlando Watson
& Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra
performing a specially-commissioned original composition and arrangement by Steven Feifke

Students studied a broad range of jazz greats, from Thelonious Monk to Coltrane, to Horace Silver, to Mary Lou Williams. Each day, as part of the intensive curriculum, our students had an opportunity to better understand what made these musicians unique - what made them stand out. By highlighting the importance of excellence in training, we are passing on the legacy of the great jazz masters to a new generation of young musicians.
— Yolanda Wyns, HSA music director
Having this performance in our theatre is of special significance, not just because of HSA’s commitment to the arts, but as we approach the upcoming 100thanniversary of the Harlem Renaissance, a monumental milestone, it highlights the contributions and the impact that artists living in this community had across all of the arts disciplines.
— Eric Pryor, HSA president
We thank the HSA for allowing us to present this wonderful show at their historic home. This program has a very special mission and they have found the perfect complement of artists to turn the concept into a swinging reality. By focusing on a specific group of musicians who have both the authority of having been around long enough to establish international reputations but able to relate to the youth culture of today, they are perfectly poised to effect change in any generation they confront. This is a long way of saying how Ellington would have put it: I (and you) will love them madly!
— Loren Schoenberg, executive director of National Jazz Museum in Harlem