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Jazz Shrines Fest, ALJO, Great Night in Harlem

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

Arturo O'Farrill's Grammy Award-winning ensemble the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra will conclude its 10th anniversary season with a celebration, "Musica Nueva 5: Big Band Poetry Jam & Beyond," on May 11 and 12 at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street.

The program will celebrate the Nuyorican poetry movement and the Latino community. Artists will mix the classic sounds of mambo, boogaloo and salsa with hip-hop, acid jazz and alternative improvisation.

Additional guests for the evening include poet and curator Angel R. Rodriguez Sr.; Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda; and turntablist DJ Logic. Spoken word artists include Sandra Maria Esteves, Tato Laviera, Odilia Rivera Santos, Caridad "La Bruja" De La Luz, Circa '95 (PattyDukes and RephStar) and Christopher "Chilo" Cajigas.

The arrangers for the two-night engagement include O'Farrill, Todd Bashore, Adam Kromelow, Jason Lindner, Adam O'Farrill, Jay Rodriguez and Bill Ware.

On May 17, all subways will undoubtedly be filled with jazz enthusiasts and ardent supporters of the Jazz Foundation of America as they make their way to the world famous Apollo Theater for the organization's 11th annual "A Great Night in Harlem" gala concert to benefit the Jazz Musicians' Emergency Fund.

The evening will raise money to assist countless elder jazz and blues musicians in crisis across the country. The organization has a very small but effective staff who work directly with the musicians to solve their problems, whether its buying food, paying rent or mortgage, legal services, medical care or employment. This is one of the most effective nonprofit organizations in the country.

This year's concert is working to raise $1.6 million, which is not an outlandish amount when one considers how many jazz and blues musicians there are in need. The foundation is carrying on the jazz and blues tradition by helping our elder musicians to continue their craft by touching human souls with their music.

The concert that begins at 7 p.m. will feature special guest Quincy Jones with performances by Macy Gray, Dr. John, Randy Weston's African Rhythms Trio, Paquito D'Rivera, Rebirth Brass Band, Bill Saxton, Victor Lewis, Mark Whitfield, James Carter, Don Byron Geri Allen, the Kansas City Band, Ambrose Akinmusire, Sweet Georgia Brown, Essie Mae and the Treme Brass Band, among many others.

For ticket information, call (212) 245-3999, ext. 10. For a complete listing of performers, visit jazzfoundationofamerica.org.