Greetings! This past weekend’s Hurricane Irene washed away the energy of the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s passing, with cancellations of special events here in the tristate, and the King Memorial celebration in Washington, D.C., also cancelled and rescheduled for September or October.

Meanwhile, a homegoing service at Abbysinnian Baptist Church was officiated by the Rev. Calvin Butts for the late Nick Ashford, mourned by his partner of over four decades and wife of 37 years,Valerie Simpson. The service was filled to capacity, standing room only, and attended by family and a celebrity-studded crowd of friends and fans.

Let’s hope “Labor Day on De Parkway” Sept. 5 can lift our spirits.


  • Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett and Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson star in the Broadway debut of “The Mountaintop,” Katori Hall’s Olivier Award-winning drama, directed by Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon (“Fences,” “A Raisin in the Sun”). Performances begin Sept. 22, with the official opening on Oct. 13. Featuring original music by Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and Tony Award nominee Branford Marsalis. At the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St. For tickets, visit
  • “Mama, I Want to Sing: The Next Generation,” by Vy Higginsen, with original music by Wesley Naylor. Now playing at the Dempsey Theater, 127 W. 127th St. between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X boulevards. For more information and tickets, visit
  • “Baby It’s You” follows the creation and rise of the independent record company that gave us the popular girl group the Shirelles, the Isley Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Chuck Jackson and more. At the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 44th St. For more information, visit
  • “The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith.” Now running on Broadway at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th St. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit
  • Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act,” the stage musical based on the 1992 movie of the same name, features funky, soulful songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater and presents the dynamic debut of Patina Miller. At the Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway. For more information, visit
  • The Riverside Theatre, Voza Rivers, New Heritage Theatre Group and the City College of New York present Daniel Beaty in “Emergency,” Fri., Sept. 23 and Sat., Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. The following weekend it’s Beaty in “Through the Night,” Fri., Sept. 30 and Sat., Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 2 at 3 p.m. Two weekends and six performances only at Aaron Davis Hall on the City College campus, 150 Convent Ave. at 135th Street.


  • At the Big Yard Calypso Tent on Thurs., Sept. 1, it’s “Clash of the Islands” and on Sat., Sept. 3, it’s “Move the Chairs,” an all-night soca party. Music by Swinging Stars, emceed by Tommy Joeseph. Outdoors at the Executive Lounge, 957 Utica Ave. between Snyder and Tilden avenues. To purchase tickets, visit For more information, call (917) 477-9926 or (347)-228-0822.
  • Gospel diva Lady Peachena will sing songs from her new inspirational CD, “I’ll Never Let Go of My Faith” (Tate Music Group), in a free, hour-long outdoor concert on Sept. 6 in front of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building at 163 W. 125th St. at the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.
  • Reggae Rhythm and Blues Festival featuring Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, David “Movado” Brooks, Monica, Tarrus Riley and Beenie Man, Sun., Sept. 4 at Roy Wilkens Park at Marrick and Baisley boulevards in Queens. Gates open at noon, show goes til 8 p.m. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free.
  • La Boom presents George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Wed., Sept. 7, hosted by Dr. Bob Lee and Dahved “Caribbean Feva” Levy of WBLS-FM. Doors open at 7 p.m., showtime is at 10 p.m. At La Boom, 57th Street and Northern Boulevard in Woodside, Queens.


  • It’s the hilarious Chris Tucker, coming to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury Sun., Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. 960 Brush Hollow Road, Westbury, N.Y. For more information, go to or


  • “Malcolm X: A Search for Truth” and “Romare Bearden: The Soul of Blackness-A Centennial Tribute” are on view now through Sat., Jan. 7 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd.


  • Diabetes Resource Nurses, New York-Presbyterian, the University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell present an insulin pump fair. Learn about the Neutronic, Animas and Insulet pumps on Wed., Sept. 14 from 3-4 p.m. at the Payson 2 Solarium at New York-Presbyterian Hospital No registration necessary, all are welcome. For more information, call (212) 746-6220 or email

Harlem Week 2011 is still rolling on:

  • Rescheduled! Sat., Sept. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m., Harlem Week/Imagenation’s first annual Outdoor Film Festival presents “This Is It.” This incredible film will be shown as a Hurricane Irene-delayed birthday celebration for Michael Jackson, whose birth date is Aug. 29. On the Great Lawn in St. Nicholas Park, at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 135th Street. This event is free. For more information, visit or

It’s the 43rd annual West Indian-American Day Parade! A celebration of “Labor Day on De Parkway,” Mon., Sept. 5. The six-hour extravaganza features thousands of revelers dressed in brightly colored costumes, all sorts of music and dancing and plenty of delicious Caribbean delicacies all day long. The parade, with bands, Road March and mask camps, will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will begin at the corner of Rochester Avenue and Eastern Parkway, ending near Grand Army Plaza. Look for WBLS’s David Levy of “Caribbean Feva” and a host of familiar faces from politics and entertainment on the route.

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 6 to 8 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to midnight (simulcast on WLIB-AM/WBLS-FM from 7-8 p.m.). The full show can be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2. IGB is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with the GBE 2.0 “Global Black Experience” and “Global Beat Experience,” Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. We are archived online with both shows at To reach us about your event, email, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at GBELIFE.