It is not surprising the octogenarian pianist and composer Joanne Brackeen will pay tribute to Sunday Serenade’s pianists and composers Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor. In addition to her complex compositions, she has written intricate, rhythmically daring compositions in a wide stylistic range.
On Aug. 8, the NEA Jazz Master will pay tribute to the two nonconformist pianists at the Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd Street. Her abled quartet will feature alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, drummer Victor Jones and bassist Boris Koslov.
Brackeen began her career with notables like Paul Chambers, Sonny Stitt and Woody Shaw. She joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1969, becoming the first and only female member of the group, where she remained until 1972. As a leader, members of her band have included saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, bassist Eddie Gomez, Branford Marsalis, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Billy Hart, trumpeters Michael Brecker and Terence Blanchard.
For reservations call VTY Jazz Arts 917-882-9539.
“RELIEF” is the LP, CD and digital album benefiting the Jazz Foundation of America’s COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund. It features the all-star cast of Herbie Hancock, Jon Batiste, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, IRMA and LEO (Esperanza Spalding & Leo Genovese), Cécile McLorin Salvant, Charles Lloyd, Hiromi, Kenny Garrett and other jazz greats. “Sweet Lorraine” by Jon Batiste, the first single from “Relief” is available now.
A consortium of major jazz labels; Blue Note Records, Concord Music Group, Mack Avenue Music Group, Nonesuch Records, Universal Music Group, the Verve Label Group, and Warner Music Group have joined forces for “Relief,” a compilation of previously unreleased music to be issued on Sept. 24. This unprecedented project continues the non-profit Jazz Foundation of America’s ongoing efforts to aid musicians affected by the international shutdown of venues and other performance opportunities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
All net proceeds from the package, comprising studio and live tracks will benefit the JFA’s COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund, established in the Spring of 2020 after the pandemic slammed the music industry to a sudden halt.
JFA executive director Joe Petrucelli says, “The Jazz Foundation of America deeply appreciates the artists, songwriters and label teams who contributed to this project with such compassion and generosity. As pandemic restrictions continue to lift, we recognize that musicians will face a particularly lengthy recovery. They were among the first to be hit by the effects of the crisis and will be among the last to achieve a true sense of normalcy or stability. We and our partners are here for the long haul.”
Based on the impact of COVID-19, this year’s HARLEM WEEK 2021 has been “Reimagined” into an eight-day “Virtual & Live” event (Aug. 6-Aug. 15). This original one-day event in 1974 multiplied to a month-long international festival. In its 47 years the festival has become an international affair attracting millions from the community to Australia. This year’s theme is “Rebirth, Rebuild and Rejoice.”
On Aug. 6, HW kicks off “Honoring Our Seniors” with live and virtual components. Events taking place on site at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building include information on public safety, healthy eating, and health testing. Virtual programming viewed on HARLEMWEEK.com includes the Demystifying Technology panel that will be presented in two parts. Part One from CITI (Citibank) is focused on telebanking. The other portion will be presented by Clayton Banks, co-founder of Silicon Harlem, themed “Tele-Everything.” And the Senior Hat Fashion Show with designs by Evetta Petty and Lady Irene Furs by Irene Gandy.
On Aug. 8, “A Great Day in Harlem” 12 p.m.-7 p.m. (at Grant’s Tomb, 122nd St. and Riverside Drive) is the first major public outdoor hybrid virtual/live event. The HW at Home Dance Party takes place every day of HARLEM WEEK virtually and features DJ’s playing all styles of music from R&B to soul to Reggae for people to dance to at home while they watch and listen on HarlemWeek.com
Get vaccinated at vaccination stations and at 3 p.m. settle in for live performances from the stage paying tribute to the late legendary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Lloyd Price, the Gospel Caravan, the Harlem Music Festival All-Star Band led by “Music Director to the Stars” Ray Chew. The gospel singer and songwriter Hezekiah Walker, a Japanese Gospel Choir and others will be featured during the Gospel Caravan.
“Respecting Our Children” is two fun-filled days on Aug. 14 and 15 (12 p.m.-5 p.m.) at Howard Bennett Playground (West 135th St. between Malcolm X Blvd & 5th Ave.). Kids 5 to 12 years old and their family members will enjoy storytelling, children’s entertainment (performances showcasing tap dancers), arts & crafts, double dutch competitions, face painting, and technology information. The Trebek family has supported the Spelling Bee as a sponsor over the last few years. Alex Trebek’s son Matthew, who owns Harlem Restaurants Oso and Lucille’s (and lives in Harlem) has served as a judge of the Spelling Bee. With the passing of Alex Trebek a few months ago HARLEM WEEK felt that it would be a fitting tribute to his legacy to name the spelling bee in his honor. Children from 1st – 5th grade. (Aug. 14 3 p.m.–5 p.m. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 135th St. & Malcolm X Blvd.).
“Summer in the City” (1 p.m.-6 p.m.) is in full swing (West 135th Street from St. Nicholas Avenue to Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.) it is the second largest day of events with performances from local, national and international artists, Harlem Broadway Row, the adult urban fashion show (designers Edwing D’Angelo, Marcellus Walters, Barron Wise among others) vaccination and health testing stations.
HARLEM DAY, Aug. 15, is the explosive culmination of HARLEM WEEK (1 p.m.–7 p.m.) West 135th St. from St. Nicholas Avenue to Malcolm X Blvd. Featuring two stages of entertainment, Sundae Sermon, vaccination stations, the back-to-school fashion show (designers Luckner Dompierre and Brickface Clothing), the Harlem Health Village, Harlem Broadway Row (Day 2), Performances from Broadway productions including MJ The Musical, Lackawanna Blues, Girl From The North Country, Tina, The Musical, and more.
For a complete schedule of HARLEM WEEK visit the website harlemweek.com.