Credit: Dmitry Scherbie New York (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Billy_Harper_photo_2.jpg), „Billy Harper photo 2“, https://creativecommons.org/licen

It’s time for another Sunday Serenade at the Cutting Room (44 East 32nd Street) on June 13, 4 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. There is no livestream; these performances are up-close live and in-person. Live music is back with tenor saxophonist Billy Harper Quintet.

Harper has a distinct sound that doesn’t let go, it holds on and becomes a part of its listeners. His improvisational notes flow with lively rhythms of uplifting spiritual tones that will move you to the edge of your seat. He is an outstanding tenor saxophonist who gets better with each performance.

“My feeling is that music should have a purpose. In the past, it always has been used for healing and uplifting and meditation. And that’s the way I see my music,” said Harper. “I’ve had people come up after a program to tell me that they felt a spiritual healing from the music. When that happens, I feel we’re fulfilling what we’re supposed to do. If people are entertained, that’s ok too but I certainly see a purpose in my music beyond that.”

Harper’s abled musicians will include all-around trumpeter/composer and bandleader Freddie Hendrix, pianist Francesca Tanksley, bassist Corcoran Holt and drummer Aaron Scott.

The VTY Arts concert last month was sold out so reservations are suggested; call 917-882-9539.

As the pandemic loosens its horrific grip Harlem’s Calabar Gallery (2504 Frederick Douglass Blvd.) is set for its second exhibition: Margaret Vendryes: The African Diva, opening the weekend of June 5 and 6 (1 p.m. – 6 p.m.) and continuing to July 13 (social distancing and CDC guidelines will be in place).

Vendryes is an art historian, visual artist, and curator. Among several honors, Vendryes was an American Association of University Women Fellow and a Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 2008, University Press of Mississippi published Vendryes’ book “Barthé, A Life in Sculpture,” the first comprehensive monograph on the late African American sculptor Richmond Barthé.

The African Diva Project is a multimedia body of work that reveals Vendryes’ engagement with African art and aesthetics and its intersection with Black celebrities and visual culture. Think of her

work in terms of a Miles Davis album preferably “Miles in the Sky,” swinging in harmonic modes that never bore. The Project began in 2005 and has grown to over 75 works of art including paintings on canvas and paper, digital compositions, collage, interactive installation, and outdoor art exhibitions. Vendryes is currently a professor of art history, performing and fine arts and director of the Fine Arts Gallery at York College, City University of New York.

There is an Artist Talk scheduled for June 10 at 2 p.m. It will be both live and virtual on Facebook. The panel will include Hollis King, formerly of Verve Music/Universal Music, now the creative director of the Billie in Brooklyn who will talk about album covers with Vendryes. The second Artist Talk will take place June 24 at 6 p.m. with Mikhaile Solomon on a panel to talk about Vendryes’ work; this will also be live and virtual on Facebook.

You can register for both events, exhibition and panels by email at info@calabargallery.com.

How do you categorize Lisa Fischer who has been on the frontline as lead back-up vocalist for such icons as Sting, Luther Vandross and Tina Turner, and toured with The Rolling Stones (from 1989 to 2015). Answer you don’t, you just sit back and get lost in her multi-faceted exuberance as she effortlessly crosses the genres of pop, soul, r&b, rock and gospel with a few notes in between. The Grammy award winner will be featuring the pianist and composer Taylor Eigsti who has been called on to play with everyone from Dave Brubeck, Ambrose Akinmusire, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Diane Schuur and McCoy Tyner.

There will be two shows each night June 4 and 5 at the Keystone Korner in Baltimore. Can’t make Baltimore don’t fret, you can watch via live streaming. During the pandemic jazz clubs, like all live entertainment venues, were closed. Out of necessity venues adjusted and perfected their live streaming techniques. As owner Todd Barkan noted, “Our live streaming will continue along with our live audience performances.” To purchase live stream tickets or live performances visit the website keystonekornerbaltimore.com.


On June 8, the Nuyorican Poets Café will present A Father’s Worth in Words: A Tribute to Black Fathers at 8 p.m. It will be a night of powerful poetry to represent the strong Black fathers who have paved the course for their children, as well as America.

Poets featured during the evening will include Kraal “Kayo” Charles, Paul Mcintosh, Suzen Baraka, Hayden Greene, Tarishi “Midnight” Shuler, Advocate of Wordz, Ramya Ramana, Tahani Salah and David “D-Black” Roberts, with special Guest Wé McDonald “The Voice” and the elder of revolutionary poetry Abiodun Oyewole, co-founder and member of the Last Poets.

Tickets are free and performances will be streamed live, no live audience. For a link to performances please visit the website nurorican.org.