Imhotep's Guide to Black events: May 29- June 4, 2014

5/29/2014, 1:41 p.m.
As we wind down GBE African Liberation Month with farewells to the fallen,we open up Black Music Month with the ...
Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday

Greetings! As we wind down GBE African Liberation Month with farewells to the fallen,we open up Black Music Month with the official New York City naming of “Miles Davis Way” and a block party celebration that featured legendary people, including Herbie Hancock, Davis’ former wife and acting icon Cicely Tyson and many more luminaries. He will always be “Miles ahead.”


Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre and the Classical Theatre of Harlem are co-presenting “Dutchman” by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka). It is directed by Carl Cofield and stars Hollywood actor Sharif Atkins. It will be playing at the National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Ave., Harlem. The tribute to the late, great poet and playwright (who died on Jan. 9) will run through May 23. Tickets are available at the NBT box office or by calling 212-722-3800. Visit

“Holler If Ya Hear Me,” directed by Kenny Leon (“Fences,” “A Raisin in the Sun”), is a musical inspired by the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics. It officially opens June 19 at the Palace Theatre, one of Broadway’s largest venues. The cast will be led by performance artist, poet and musician Saul Williams. Performance previews begin May 29.

“After Midnight” celebrates Harlem’s golden age and the timeless songs of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Harold Arlen, all woven around the prose of Langston Hughes. Fantasia is back by popular demand! The music is by select Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars. Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. Fourth St. For information, call 212-719-4099 or visit

The historic 2014 revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry’s heart-wrenching family drama, stars Academy and Tony Award winner Denzel Washington and LaTanya Richardson. It is directed by Kenny Leon (“Fences”). It is currently in a limited run through June 15 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., where it originally opened in 1959. To order tickets, call 800-901-4092 or visit

“Alive!” is a celebration of a generation in song, featuring a company of performers ages 55 and over. It was conceived and written by the first lady of WBLS, legendary producers Vy Higgensen and Ken Wydro. It’s now playing in repertory at the Dempsey Theater in Harlem, 227 W. 127th St. For more information, call 212-280-1067 or visit

“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr. and featuring 2013 Tony nominee Charl Brown, Brandon Dixon and Felicia Roswell, is now playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St., between Eighth Avenue and Broadway. For tickets, visit or

“Lady Day,” a tribute to jazz legend Billie Holiday, features multi-Tony Award winner Audra McDonald performing Holiday’s classic moods and melodies. The show takes place at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Circle in the Square Theater, 1633 Broadway. Call 212-239-6200 for more details or visit

“Satchmo at the Waldorf” is the new play about Louis Armstrong, the man who invented jazz. It’s appropriate for audience members ages 14 and older due to strong language. It’s now playing at the Westside Theatre Upstairs, 407 W. 43rd St., between Ninth and 10th avenues. For more information, call 212-239-6200 or visit


B.B. King Blues Club presents my discovery, the multitalented Angela Winbush, on Friday, May 30 and the dynamic Sheila E on Saturday, May 31. For more information, visit

Tamar Braxton’s “Love and War” tour is coming to Newark Symphony Hall in New Jersey on Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m. Also coming on Saturday, June 14 is A Father’s Day Gospel Celebration in the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall, featuring Richard Smallwood’ Total Praise, I Love the Lord; Anthony Brown & Group Therapy; Testimony and many more! Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert is at 7 p.m. It will be hosted by Liz Black of WLIB/WBLS. Tickets are available through the Newark Symphony Hall box office (1030 Broad St., Newark) by calling 973-643-8014 or through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000 or visiting

The world-famous Apollo Theater announces that their 2014 annual spring gala will be held in honor of the storied theater’s 80th anniversary on Tuesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. The evening will include special award presentations and tribute performances by the music industry’s biggest artists, including Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, the Isley Brothers and more. It will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning and Grammy-nominated entertainer Wayne Brady. For tickets and information, call 212-531-5305, visit the Apollo Theater box office (253 W. 125th St.) or visit


Brothers, sisters, comrades and friends are all invited to “Retracing the Steps” a morning walk through Harlem tracing the history of the late Elombe Brath, Pan-African freedom fighter and founding leader of the December 12th Movement. The walk will take place on Saturday, May 31 at 8 a.m. at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building and will end at Abyssinian Baptist Church (132 W. 138th St., between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue) at 9 a.m. before the doors open for the funeral service. For more information, call 718-398-1766.

The New York City Chapter of the National Action Network presents an Economic Empowerment Forum at the House of Justice (106 W. 145th St.) on Saturday, May 31 at 12:30 p.m.Come out and get information about banking, insurance and investment. To get there, take the A train to 145th Street.

Celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the Mama Foundation for the Arts on Tuesday, June 10 at 6 p.m. at St. Martin’s Cathedral (230 Lenox Ave.) with their second annual gala, a grand celebration of Harlem’s culture and community. Proceeds benefit the Mama Foundation for the Arts Education programs to promote the history and fundamentals of African-American music. For donation information, call 212-280-1045 or visit


Imhotep Gary Byrd

Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM daily with “Imhotep’s On-Air Guide to Black Events” and “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. to midnight. The full show can be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2. IGB is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with Radio GBE: The “Global Black Experience” and “Global Beat Experience,” Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. We are archived online with both shows at To contact us for bookings or to reach us about your event, email, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.