Barry Harris (281874)

Despite the metamorphoses of Harlem—or plain old forced gentrification—there has been one constant mainstay in Harlem and that is Jazzmobile, since 1964. Harlemites with history will reminisce over Club Barron, Connie’s Inn, Lenox Lounge and Mr. B’s. But don’t linger too long; the summer is here and Jazzmobile @55 is already swinging through with its Summerfest of free concerts featuring a roster of exceptional musicians both icons and emerging.

Now through August, Jazzmobile will alternate between its main two residences; on Wednesdays at Grant’s Tomb (Riverside Drive/West 122nd Street) and Fridays in Marcus Garvey Park (Richard Rodgers Amphitheatre at Fifth Ave. & 124th Street). Along with its original mission (from when it was established 1964) by founders NEA Jazz Master, pianist and composer Dr. Billy Taylor and philanthropist Daphne Anstein, Jazzmobile remains committed to swinging on neighborhood stages across the city’s colorful landscape.

The Summerfest rousing jazz formats of straight-ahead, swing, blues, Latin and Afro-Cuban is also a part of Jazzmobile’s Residency at Minton’s Playhouse (206 West 118th Street) that jumps every Thursday from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The concert is free, with a beverage and or food minimum.

On July 11 the stirring saxophonist, flutist and singer Camille Thurman joins with The Darrell Green Trio. The well-adapted leader and drummer Green has played with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Pharaoh Sanders and Faye Carol.

On July 13, the vocalist Antoinette Montague brings her sassy soul to Bed-Stuy for the 500 Block Associations’ “A Brooklyn Block Party!” 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at MacDonough Street (between Ralph & Patchen Street).

On July 18, the adventurous pianist/composer, Marc Cary, who grew up playing on the Go-Go Washington, D. C. scene and having put in quality performances with Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln is sure to be an enthralling force with his Harlem Sessions.

On Wednesdays at Grant’s Tomb the engrossing drummer/composer Winard Harper hits the Harlem stage with his Jelli Posse; July 24 it will be all blues, funk and jazz with one of genres most exciting saxophonists Houston Person; and July 31 feel the roots of jazz from saxophonist and flute T.K. Blue.

On Fridays @ Marcus Garvey Park July 12 swing with the trumpeter/composer Jeremy Peltwhose sound has become a distinctive part of the jazz collage. On July 19 “Happy birthday Billy Taylor!” the legendary bebop pianist, arranger and educator Barry Harris will give us an unconscious magical jazz moment that only he can deliver. Harris collaborated with Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, Yusef Lateef and Hank Mobley through performances and recordings. During the late 1960s the Detroit native performed extensively with Coleman Hawkins at the Village Vanguard.

On July 26, Charenee Wade the only vocalist, who swings with the hip awareness of Abbey Lincoln and boldness of Nina Simone will perform. Shows are 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. in July and 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in August.

For the schedule and updates go to ‘; or call the SUMMERFEST hotline at 212.866.3616.

The main festival that tops the East Coast jazz charts is the Newport Jazz Festival being held this year Aug. 2-4 at Fort Adams in Newport, RI and Aug. 2 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The festival was established in 1954 by Elaine Lorillard. She and husband Louis Lorillard hired George Wein to organize the first festival and bring jazz to Rhode Island. Since that time the most established and emerging musicians have performed. Some artists on the 1956, July 5-7 roster included; Count Basie & His Orchestra, Charles Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Anita O’Day, Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars, the Dave Brubeck Quartet and Toshiko Akiyoshi.

This 2019 festival will feature NEA Jazz Master, multiGrammy award and Oscar winner pianist, composer Herbie Hancock who has appeared at Newport with the Miles Davis quintet that redefined jazz music. On this festival outing as the Artist-in-Residence he will be joined by the festival’s artistic director, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. Another Miles alumni of that great quintet was bassist Ron Carter, who will be performing with his trio.

Jon Batiste & Friends will also appear. There are entirely too many artists to name but here are a few of my top picks; the vocalists Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Memphis Soulphony, Buika the Spanish singer poet, composer and music producer (who has a cult following much larger and international but similar to Amy Winehouse and the French singer Édith Piaf). Her music influences range from jazz and flamenco to soul and African polyrhythm. During an interview with her two years ago at South Africa’s Joy of Jazz Festival, Buika said, “I see it as music, good music without any categories.”

Gary Bartz 50-year anniversary of “Another Earth” featuring Ravi Coltrane with special guest trumpeter Charles Tolliver (produced by Revive Music); Ravi Coltrane/David Virelles (another incredible young pianist from Cuba), his combination of classical music studied in Cuba, African melodies and NYC avant-garde culture will make for an exciting duo; Marika Hughes The New String Quartet (the cellist always swings her audiences to the edge of the river with infused rock, classical, jazz and whatever else she and the strings invoke). Whenever the saxophonist/clarinetist, composer, and visual artist Matana Roberts is performing it is my mission to be there. She takes you into the deep deep waters, she is a satirist, who takes time out for political commentary.

Joel Ross, the vibraphonist from Chicago is a force to any band he plays with. For this Newport date he steps in with his newly formed band “Good Vibes” and with a new debut release by the same name. The drummer Billy Hart now in jazz legend territory will appear with his long standing quartet; saxophonist Mark Turner, pianist Ethan Iverson, and bassist Ben Street.

There is a lot of talk about saxophonist, composer Kamasi Washington; for me he has that Sun Ra Arkestra vibe. The Arkestra will also be there and the inclusion of the hip-hop philosopher Common just solidifies that words of hard truth will be swinging through the house. The saxophonist Marcus Strickland and Twi-Life are always working on something captivating.

For a complete schedule and tickets on the Newport Jazz Festival log on to