Harlem's crown jewel, the Apollo Theater, announced its programming for the 2015-2016 season. Along with staples, including Amateur Night and Uptown Hall, this season features events in genres including classical, hip-hop, jazz and African.
Mark your calendar and make sure you check out these events. For tickets and more information go to www.apollotheater.org
1.) Harlem Healthy Soul Festival
The Apollo Theater will present its third annual community initiative focused on family wellness—Harlem Healthy Soul Festival. This day-long, free event is designed to serve as a platform for Harlem families to learn about the numerous community health resources to help live active and healthier lives. The Festival transforms the Apollo and 126th Street behind the Theater into a block party filled with music, entertainment, health, and educational resources, and family fun.
2.) Breakin’ Convention—An International Festival of Hip-Hop Dance Theatre
October 16, 17, & 18
New to this year’s Festival is the inclusion of an original work commissioned for Breakin’ Convention by the Apollo and created by acclaimed choreographer Rennie Harris, currently in development as part of the Apollo’s new works incubation program, the Apollo Salon Series. The Philadelphia-based Rennie Harris Puremovement Dance Company and the Brooklyn-based Next Level Squad, both standout participants in the Theater’s first Breakin’ Convention, will perform 100NAKEDLOCKS, a new piece inspired by the themes of Afro futurism and the Black sci-fi genre.
3.) The New Orleans Jazz Weekend and Masquerade
October 30 & 31
Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and newly appointed Apollo Jazz Artist-in-Residence Irvin Mayfield returns to the Theater to bring the spirit of his hometown, New Orleans, to Harlem for a special Halloween weekend of events, marking the official start of the new artistic partnership between the Apollo and Mayfield. The weekend includes a special performance by the renowned trumpeter with legendary jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater in the New York concert premiere of Bridgewater’s and Mayfield’s new album, Dee Dee’s Feathers (slated for release in the U.S. on August 11). Be sure to stay for the after-party in the Apollo Music Cafe.
4.) Beautiful, Also, Is The Sun
November 20 & 21
The Apollo and the nation’s leading Latino dance organization, Ballet Hispanico, present the world premiere of renowned Brazilian choreographer Fernando Melo’s new work, Beautiful, Also, Is The Sun. A co-commission of the Apollo and Ballet Hispanico, the work is choreographed to a medley of Brazilian sounds, electronic and acoustic, and explores the cultural contrasts of Melo’s homeland of Brazil in an homage to Melo’s native country.
5.) Je Suis Soul!: A Salute To French And African Jazz And Soul
December 4 & 5, 2015
Apollo Theater and Jazz a Vienne continues their partnership and artistic exchange with a weekend in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Jazz à Vienne Festival. Through the sounds of French and African jazz and soul, Je Suis Soul!: A Salute to French and African Jazz and Soul will explore the influences of soul on jazz, funk, and other popular music from around the globe. Featured artists include: the legendary Cameroon saxophonist Manu Dibango, who made his Apollo debut in the 1970s and is best known for his hit "Soul Makossa"; French soul superstar Ben l’Oncle Soul performing with San Francisco’s foremost retro-soul group, Monophonics; and Les Nubians, the Grammy-nominated duo whose unique mix of neo-soul, hip-hop and African music is epitomized in their most recent hit, “Nü Revolution.”