For over a century, Harlem, NY has been one of America’s most famous and historic communities and the subject matter of books, movies, poetry, TV shows, and songs.
These days, it’s being celebrated in a new manner.
The Harlem Connection radio program launched in November 2020. The “weekly love letter to Harlem” showcases the people and the sounds that established and maintained Harlem as a cultural mecca. It is produced and hosted by a trio of “conductors” (DJ Black Icon 1, MamaSoul and The L.A.W.) who clearly love playing music from multiple genres and different eras and then revealing how the artists––somehow––connect to Harlem. Episodes highlight Harlem’s connections to household names and also to locals the conductors feel should be lauded.
Most episodes are centered around specific themes like “The Harlem Love Dis-Connection,” where they offered songs to avoid playing on Valentine’s Day or “The Harlem Connection gets Olympian” episode, where the conductors played a decades-spanning array of music with Olympic-participating countries or sports activities in the song titles (Ex: “Funkin’ for Jamaica” and “Jump for My Love”) along with an interview with New York Amsterdam News Sports Editor Jaime C. Harris.
In August, The Harlem Connection focuses on the 47th annual Harlem Week Festival.
Every year during Harlem Week, Manhattan vibrates to an uptown frequency as New Yorkers from all boroughs and beyond, and domestic and international visitors, gather to celebrate the greatness of Harlem through food, art, conversations and performances; so, it is fitting that a radio show all about Harlem would join in the celebration.
“The Harlem Connection to Harlem Week (Part 1)” episode is available for listening on demand via WBAI.org/archive.
The Harlem Connection Conductors and Harlem Heritage Tours & Cultural Center are also presenting a “Harlem Week at Home Dance Party” which is available on demand via www.HARLEMWEEK.com. There “ain’t no party like an Uptown party,” and the hook of this one is that every song The Harlem Connection Conductors play at this party will be by an artist that has performed on a Harlem Week stage.
And on Friday, August 13, “The Harlem Connection to Harlem Week (Part 2)” episode will air at 10 p.m. on 99.5FM (in NYC) and on www.WBAI.org/listen-live (worldwide). “The Harlem Connection to HARLEM WEEK (Part 2)” episode will repeat on HARLEM DAY, Sunday, August 15, at 3 a.m. and will then be available on demand via WBAI.org/archive.
The Harlem Connection airs Fridays at 10 p.m. and all past episodes of The Harlem Connection are available via WBAI.org/archive.
The Harlem Connection generally airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on 99.5FM (in the New York City area) and via WBAI.org/listen-live (worldwide). WBAI is a listener-supported radio station. As a member of the Pacifica chain of radio stations, it provides a vast array of original programming to listeners in the Metropolitan New York City region and worldwide. From a programming standpoint, WBAI is definitely not “easy-listening.” We are charged with the responsibility to provide radio that informs, educates and entertains New York with a critical approach to politics, art, music, literature, health, and culture. WBAI provides a truly unique voice to New York City and its environs––and now, live online. Past episodes of The Harlem Connection are available via WBAI.org/archive.
Harlem Heritage Tours began conducting authentic walking, gospel, jazz/music, art, food, and bus tours in 1998 with the idea of utilizing the industry of tourism as a way preserving the heritage of Harlem as well as contributing to the development of the local economy. What makes Harlem Heritage Tours different is that all our tours are conducted by those who were actually born and raised and still live in the community. Because we are constantly on the Harlem streets, we know who’s who and what’s really happening; therefore, it’s easy for us to create interactive experiences between our guests and the local community. Come with us and experience REAL HARLEM via the lenses of true locals. www.harlemheritage.com.