Cosmopolitan Review: November 16 - November 22
Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 11/16/2017, 1:46 p.m.
Baby, it’s cold outside. I don’t know what to expect next, but I hope it’s not a blizzard.
Keeping warm and cozy was civil rights activist Faith Ringgold, who was awarded the Museum of Arts and Design Visionaries! Award. The presentation was made at the MAD’s annual gala held at Cipriani 42nd Street, where more than 500 guest were in attendance. This year’s gala carried on the theme of the Museum’s current exhibition, “Sonic Arcade: Shaping Space with Sound.” There to cheer Ringgold on was C. Virginia Fields and Recho Omondi. Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was also among the honorees. Besides the award ceremony being the highlight of the evening, it was announced that a new initiative reinforcing the MAD’s commitment to the next generation of artists will be awarded on an annual basis. The Burke Prize, named after Marian and Russell Burke, will award $50,000 to a professional artist under the age of 45 working in glass, fiber, clay, metals or wood. If you fit the
bill, the recipient could be you.
Also warm and cozy were those who gathered at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem Uptown in Autumn 2017 annual Fall Benefit Concert. The audience was taken on a musical journey that traced the roots of jazz from Southern blues to Chicago, New York and beyond. Performing were W.C. Handy Award-winning blues vocalist Guy Davis (son of the late Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee), drummer Ronnie Burrage, saxophonist Ron Blake, bassist Curtis Lundy and Harlem-based pianist Marc Cary, with a special performance by jazz legends Randy Weston on piano and Reggie Workman on bass. The evening began with a preconcert reception that included light hors d’oeuvres and drinks, along with live music and presentations on the Sonny Rollins and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis exhibits, which are now on view at the Schomburg Center and the Jazz Museum.
Also on exhibit is the Ralph Ellison record collection. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the Ralph Ellison collection in 2007, thanks to Todd Bryant Weeks, who said, “There seemed like no better time to use [the collection] as the basis for an exhibition than this, the year celebrated as Ellison’s centennial.”
Ralph Ellison was a writer, one of his most famous books being, “The Invisible Man,” which was first published in 1952. It was no secret that Ellison used music as his muse, his balm and his inspiration, believing jazz is the only true American art form. Highlighted throughout the exhibition is evidence of how Ellison’s “most eloquent thoughts emerged when writing about the music and the musicians he loved.”
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem visitors center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Great for a class trip.
Just in case you thought nobody cared, the New York Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Children held a wine tasting and dinner at the Metropolitan Club that brought out some pretty big supporters. It is also worth noting that either these ladies drink a lot of wine or they don’t because they were all so physically fit, from head to toe. It was awe inspiring. They wouldn’t say how much money they raised, but from the look of things, it was a lot.