The Schomburg Center shares love of Black history

Misani | 4/12/2011, 5:27 p.m.

Now for some music programs. If you missed the brilliant saxophonist James Carter's February 8 concert, you missed a truly special evening. Carter's talent on a number of instruments and his "postmodernist embrace of the past, present and future of jazz [have] been mesmerizing people everywhere," including at the Schomburg.

On Monday, February 22 at 7 p.m., two great jazz innovators get together for "We: An Intimate Set of Duets featuring Wycliffe Gordon and Eric Reed." This unique pairing of trombone and piano and the "supreme musicianship by the illustrious Wycliffe Gordon and Eric Reed" offers an intimate set of duets from their collaborative project, "We," which features a collection of original compositions, jazz standards and spirituals.

How about some theater? The much-hyped, one-woman theater cabaret, "Bananas: The Josephine Baker Story," written by and starring Sloan Robinson, is based on the life of the legendary Josephine Baker, who, after feeling stifled by the discrimination she experienced in the U.S., fled to Paris, where she became the toast of the town. Baker became an international hit performing on stage and in screen recordings. Her humanitarian work in adopting children from different cultures is well-known (no doubt helping to inspire celebrities of this era, like Angelina Jolie and Madonna). Part of the Woodie King Jr. National Black Touring Circuit's series, this production runs Friday and Saturday, February 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 14 at 3 p.m.

On Wednesday, February 17, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center Staged Readings series and the Classical Theatre of Harlem present "Follow Me to Nellie" by Dominique Morisseau. (Check out Dominique's photo in this issue's Caribbean Association for Females in Entertainment article.)

And for film lovers, the "Black History Month Film Series Remix" features a selection of contemporary and historic films that both educate and entertain. With a focus on the theme of "Carnival," the series highlights two of the Americas most famous carnival celebrations in Trinidad and Brazil. The February 20 "Mas' Fever: Inside Trinidad Carnival" will be screened at 3 p.m. followed at 4 p.m. by "Spirit of Samba: Black Music of Brazil." On February 27, "Natal da Portela" will be screened at 3 p.m. and "Festive Land: Carnival in Bahia" at 4 p.m.

For tickets to the notable Black History Month events at the historic Schomburg Center, please call the Schomburg Shop at (212) 491-2206 or visit Telecharge.com.