BMHC, Harlem week, jazz in the valley

Ron Scott | 8/8/2019, 1:09 p.m.
On Aug. 8, Bronx Music Heritage Center at 1303 Louis Nine Blvd., will present its new series New Voices in ...

On Aug. 8, Bronx Music Heritage Center at 1303 Louis Nine Blvd., will present its new series New Voices in Latin Music, at 7 p.m. New Bojaira (Bo-hi-ra) blends jazz improvisation with flamenco rhythms and singing to create a combination a multi-cultural excursion.

The band will include; pianist Jesús Hernández, singer/flutist Alfonso Cid, bassist Tim Ferguson and drummer Mark Hoten. The band will join forces with saxophonist Peter Brainin and flamenco dancer Elisabel Torras. If you have never experienced flamenco dancing don’t miss this opportunity. Admission is $7. For more information visit thisisbronxmusic.org or call 917-557-2354.

As a partner with HARLEM WEEK Jazzmobile will present their annual Great Jazz on the Great Hill (West 106th Street and Central Park West) on Aug. 10, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.

Featured musicians include; trombonist, composer and vocalist Wycliffe Gordon. His repertoire includes singing the blues and infusing fire into his jazz compositions; Harlem’s own Alyson Williams will bring her personal brand of R&B, soul and jazz to the big hill. Harlem Renaissance Orchestra is returning from their blazing performance at the Newport Jazz Festival and fresh off their recent Grammy album win for their album “Anniversary,” performs their own brand of New York hard-core salsa with prominent pianist and arranger Oscar Hernández leading the band. This dynamic orchestra uses their own style to reverberate with the sounds from those days when the architects like Tito Puente, Eddie and Charlie Palmieri, Johnny Colon and Ray Barretto ruled.  

The all-woman ensemble Sage refuses to be categorized. These young ladies have their own unique style and each are rising bandleaders, who as a collaborative force, blend jazz in and out of its normal spectrum. The musicians are; Harlem’s noted saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, pianist Yayop Ikawa, bassist Mimi Jones, Charisa The Violin Diva, violinist Kersten Stevens and drummer Taylor Moore.

Some upcoming highlights for HARLEM WEEK include “Summer in the City” on Aug. 17 featuring; The Higher Education Fair & Expo from noon-5 p.m. offers students and parents information on private, state universities and HBCUs. Some colleges represented at the fair are; SUNY Purchase, SUNY Old Westbury, Columbia University, Hunter College, Clark Atlanta University, MeHarry Medical College and Spellman. “Our program gives students and parents an opportunity to get vital information on financial assistance, requirements for scholarships, the application process and other resources,” stated Winston Majette, executive director of HW & Higher Education Expo Coordinator with Michael Flanigan.

On the same day the Harlem “Spelling Bee” takes place at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. “This is one of those special events that will make you say wow,” said Jackie Rowe Adams, the founder. The Spelling Bee includes students from kindergarten to fifth grade with no more than 15 participants. “All of the children are awarded certificates and other gifts,” noted Adams. She is also the founder of “Harlem Mothers and Fathers Save,” a nonprofit organization for parents and family members who have lost children to gun violence.

Later in the evening from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. ImageNation Film Festival will screen “If Beale Street Could Talk” (adapted from James Baldwin’s 1974 novel) at St. Nicholas Park Great Lawn (West 135th Street). Moikgantsi Kgama founded ImageNation in 1997, “I felt there were films about Black people that needed to be distributed by us.”

On Aug. 24, Harlem Week’s ImageNation will screen “Spider Man: Into the Spider Verse,” at 7 p.m. (Great Lawn). Kgama’s eight-year old son Kgari is the curator of this “Kids Night Out.” Since Kgari and Spider Man both have a love for science he felt this would be the ideal movie for kids. There will be a backpack give-away at the screening.

For a complete schedule visit the website harlemweek.com or call 212-862-8477.

Once a year Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie, N..Y becomes a well-traveled jazz mecca for the annual Jazz in the Valley all-day jubilee. On Aug. 18 (always on Sunday) from noon-6 p.m., nestled along the banks of the Hudson River, the site becomes a shrine for all the true jazz-heads from the tri-state area and beyond.   

For this year’s 19th anniversary the festival will present NEA Jazz Master bassist and composer Ron Carter takes the stage with a stellar quartet and bandleaders in their own right featuring; pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Payton Crossley and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene. Jazz in the Valley artistic director saxophonist Javon Jackson will present a celebration of the music of Art Blakey, featuring trombonist Robin Eubanks, trumpeter Philip Harper, pianist Benny Green, the first-call bassist Peter Washington and drummer Willie Jones III. The two-time Grammy-nominated group The Baylor Project, featuring husband and wife duo Marcus and Jean Baylor on percussion and vocals, performs favorites from their recent release “The Journey.”  

The Spanish Harlem Orchestra have appeared in various television specials and films, including an HBO special on the life of swing and Lindy hop dance innovator Frankie Manning, and a music special on the Discovery Channel entitled, “Drop Me Off In Harlem.”

Jazz in the Valley, who take great pride in their continued efforts to introduce new young musicians to their stage, will bring the exciting young Bahamian-born trumpeter Giveton Gelin, who kicks off the festival at noon. His recent Newport Jazz Festival performance was quite impressive. After all he is the protégé of the incredible Roy Hargrove.

“There’s room for everyone in this music,” says TRANSART founder and festival director Greer Smith, who always ensures that the festival’s program demonstrates the scope of different styles that fall within the jazz idiom. The nonprofit organization – dedicated to promoting awareness of the art, history, and popular culture of people of African ancestry – presents two stages of world-class jazz.

Gates open at 11 a.m., and the event is rain or shine.  For tickets and a complete listing visit the website jazzinthevalley.org.