The O'Jays (272041)
Credit: Courtesy of The OJays' official website

Greetings! As we end the year with this last column of 2018, we acknowledge a wonderful event that occurred earlier this month involving our good friend and colleague, brilliant producer Voza Rivers of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and the New Heritage Theatre Group, which in association with Professor Tokio Sakoda of Japan, creator of the Unheard Notes Piano Para Association, presented the extraordinary Unheard Notes for Peace, Love and Harmony fourth annual International Piano Competition for People with Disabilities.

The International Competition hosted 33 pianists with disabilities from 13 countries at Synod House on the grounds of the historic Cathedral of St. John The Divine (largest Gothic Cathedral in the world). The final competition, awards program and concert was held at Baruch College. Bravo!

On behalf of our GBE team, we are wishing a “Happy New You!”


“American Son,” a gripping tale about who we are as a nation and how we deal with family relationships, love, loss and identity. Starring Kerry Washington (“Scandal,” “Race”) and Steven Pasquale. Directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun,” “Fences”). Marking the Broadway debut of playwright Christopher Demos-Brown. Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St. between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Show runs 90 minutes with no intermission. Call 212-239-6200 or visit or

“Once on This Island.” A fearless peasant girl takes a remarkable life journey for love. Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 W. 50th Street, New York, N.Y. Tony Award winner. For more information, call 800-447-7400 or visit

“King Kong.” He’s 20 feet tall and weighs 2,000 pounds. He’s monstrous and moving. And he is on Broadway now in a $35 million musical that has been in development for nearly a decade. Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Call 844-379-0370 or visit


“Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” explores the struggle for full citizenship and racial equality in the 50 years after the Civil War. When slavery ended in 1865, the period of Reconstruction began, leading to such achievements as the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. Presented by the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library through March 3, 2019.Visit citizenship.


“Amateur Night at the Apollo,” every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. World famous Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., Harlem, N.Y. For information, visit

Tamar Braxton, Friday, Dec. 28, at 8 p.m., Sony Hall, 235 W. 46th St, New York, N.Y. For ticket information, call 212-997-5123 or visit

The O’Jays, with their final album, “The Last Word,” and their greatest hits, Monday, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m., Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. For Ticket information, call 899-745-3000 or visit


“If Beale Street Could Talk” is about a woman in Harlem who desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child. Directed by and written for film by Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins. Based on the book by James Baldwin. Check theaters.

“Creed II” rediscovers what makes a champion in the first place and reminds that no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history, with Michael B. Jordan, Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone and Phylicia Rashad. Check theaters.


The 2019 Women’s March marks two years of resistance to the Trump presidency. Jan.19, 2019, the #Women’sWave is coming and sweeping the world forward with them. For more information, visit

The New York Chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations, in conjunction with the International African Arts Festival, will host a 52nd Kwanzaa anniversary celebration. The creator of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga, will deliver his yearly founder’s message entitled, “Reimagining and Remaking the World: A Kwanzaa Commitment to an Inclusive Good.” Cultural presentations by The Donald Smith Quartet and Asase Yaa African Drum and Dance. Saturday, Dec. 29, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Doors open at 3 p.m.), at JHS 258, 141 Macon St., between Marcy and Thompkins avenues, Brooklyn, one block from Fulton St. For further information, call 718-789-3264 or 718-638-6700, or visit and Vendors should call 718-479-4186.

The World Famous Apollo Theater presents its annual Kwanzaa Celebration “Regeneration Night,” featuring the renowned New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, with guest performances, Saturday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Apollo’s celebration is a joyful evening of dance and music, honoring the principles of Kwanzaa—family, community and culture. Hosted by Imhotep Gary Byrd, radio griot of WLIB-WBLS-WBAI. Visit

Join the American Museum of Natural History’s annual Kwanzaa event, a celebration of African-American heritage that is rooted in seven principles known as Nguzo Saba, which promote unity, culture and community development. The festival features a local artisan marketplace. Black Comics Collective hosts a live drawing performance inspired by the seven principles and Oyu Oro performs music and dance from Afro-Cuban traditions. Kwanzaa is hosted by Dr. Linda H. Humes, scholar and storyteller, Saturday, Dec. 29, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life (free with admission). Visit

“Bringing Our Youth to Our History” is the theme of the first annual Kwanzaa celebration at Sisters Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center (1942 Amsterdam Ave.), scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 29, at 1 p.m. Co-hosted with Sisters Uptown Book Club, the free, family friendly community event will include arts and crafts for children and the young at heart, spoken word, drumming and song. In addition to lighting of the kinara to honor the seven Kwanzaa principles and a libation ceremony, attendees can participate in an African head-wrapping workshop, create Kwanzaa cards and more. Set for 1 p.m. Contact Luvon Roberson at Phone/text 917-528-1049.

Imhotep Gary Byrd’s “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and simulcast over WLIB 1190AM. The full show can also be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2 and at, and NextRadio. IGB’s “Beat Experience” is heard Fridays 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Archived online at For bookings or to reach us about your GBEvent or for comments, email co-editor Nyerere,, find us at Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or call 212-592-3279.