Jazz Shrines Fest, ALJO, Great Night in Harlem

Ron Scott | 1/10/2013, 12:52 p.m.

The Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival continues its shower of eclectic swinging vocalists and musicians. On May 11 at 7 p.m., don't miss Gregory Generet and Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, the music of Johnny Hartman and words of the renowned author Ralph Ellison at the Gatehouse (150 Convent Ave. at 135th Street).

Brooklyn-born vocalist Generet, whose debut CD, "(re)Generet-ion," which was recorded on his own label Monsieur Music, received quite an amount of buzz from critics in 2009. The album was recorded with his wife, "Law & Order" actress Tamara Tunie, who is directing this program.

The singer has worked with Mike Renzi, Laurence Hobgood, Eric Reed and Onaje Allan Gumbs. Generet performs somewhat regularly on the Upper West Side at Smoke Supper Club and has a small residency at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan. His current CD will be distributed nationally by Mosaic Records later this year.

Cooper is a veteran of Broadway and has had numerous television and film roles. Together, he and Generet will blend their talents, delivering their interpretations to the music of the velvet-voiced Hartman and the words of Ellison, author of "Invisible Man" and "Going to the Territory."

"Blazing Tongues: The Singers & Writers of Lenox Lounge" is part of Harlem Stage's Harlem Stride series.

For eight decades, the world-famous Apollo Theater has been the premier showcase for African-American music, from vaudeville to blues, jazz, R&B, soul, salsa, gospel and hip-hop. One of its most popular, longest-running shows that began in the 1940s was "Jazz la Carte," a variety show produced by owners Frank Schiffman and Leo Brecher, featuring MC Ralph Cooper and the Benny Carter Orchestra, which opened the series.

Last year at the inaugural Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, presented by the Apollo Theater, Harlem Stage and Jazzmobile, the "Jazz la Carte" series was revived by trombonist, composer and arranger Wycliffe Gordon.

On Saturday, May 12, at 3 and 8 p.m., Gordon returns to the Apollo for two swinging sets of the legendary revue and variety show.

This year's edition is a pulsating potpourri of musicians and dancers, with director-choreographer Kenneth L. Roberson; dancer extraordinaire Maurice Hines, who will serve as master of ceremonies; tap dancer Savion Glover; the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra; gospel-tinged vocalist Theresa Thomason; pianist and Cole Porter Fellow Aaron Diehl; trumpeter Philip Dizack; trombonist-vocalist Natalie Cressman; and the Apollo Dancers.

Magic Johnson Theaters Harlem USA is the place to be on May 13 from 4-7 p.m. for those Latin heads who hung out at the Carlton Terrace, Concourse Plaza and the Hotel Diplomat, swinging and twirling to the salsa sounds of Eddie Palmieri and Tito Rodriguez.

Jazzmobile, in collaboration with the Museum for African Art, will present "Dancing Mambo/Park Palace Live!," a recreation of the Sunday matinee dances featuring a multigenerational Afro-Cuban jazz band led by arranger, composer and drummer Bobby Sanabria with special guest artists and the legendary Candido on congas. The Magic Johnson Theaters are located at the corner of 124th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. For more info, visit harlemjazzshrinesfestival.com.