The pianists Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver had very distinct and varied playing styles that led them to be considered two of the most influential pianists and composers in jazz history. They will be celebrated at the 15th anniversary of this tradition with NEA Jazz Masters: The Music of Thelonious Monk & Horace Silver, Nov. 12, in Flushing Town Hall, 8 p.m. (in person and virtual).
The five NEA Jazz Masters performing will include trumpeter Jimmy Owens, pianist Kenny Barron, vocalist Sheila Jordan (as a member of the trio Skeeter, Mitch and Jean, they co-wrote lyrics to music of Charlie Parker. She often refers to Parker as one of her teachers and friend), drummer Billy Hart, and alto saxophonist Donald Harrison. They will be joined by bassist Kenny Davis and special guest artist NEA Jazz Master Barry Harris. The iconic pianist, composer, arranger and educator is America’s closest relationship with bebop. He was influenced by Monk and Bud Powell, learning from them directly, as well as becoming close friends. During the 1970s he and Monk shared the house of Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarte, in Weehawken, New Jersey. The Detroit native conducted music workshop sessions for vocalists and students of piano, saxophone, trumpet and drums. During his weekly sessions I was watching a genius at work. There were at least 50 students at each session—one of those in attendance was his protégé Rodney Kendrick. He was a co-founder of the Jazz Cultural Center in NYC that presented prominent jazz musicians in performance and burning jam sessions. Aside from leading his own incredible bands, Harris has worked with Cannonball Adderley, Hank Mobley, Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, and Coleman Hawkins (a noted extended engagement at the Village Vanguard).
Each one of these NEA Masters, the nation’s highest honor in jazz, are all renowned bandleaders and composers with worldwide recognition. Monk was a major influence on Barron and regardless of his gigs, he will play at least one Monk tune. For this concert he is surely overjoyed. Having these outstanding NEA Jazz Masters on the stage in unison will be no less than magic and a historical moment that will lead to memorable stories for generations to come.
“The late NEA Jazz Master Phil Schaap often talked about spreading the gospel of jazz—and that’s exactly what Jimmy Owens and Flushing Town Hall are doing with this upcoming concert! We are keeping the gospel of jazz alive,” said Clyde Bullard, Flushing Town Hall’s Jazz producer-in-residence.
In-person tickets: $45/$35 members/$20 students
Virtual tickets: $15/$10 members. For tickets visit the website at:
The Jazz Power Initiative (JPI) is an important non-profit organization for jazz music education and performance for young people since its inception in 2003. JPI has been a beacon of inspiration through the media of storytelling, music, theater, dance and visual arts, having educated and mentored over a thousand young people.
Since returning from the COVID-19 lockdown, JPI returned in late summer with its classes and live performances. Their Intergenerational 2 Jazz Power Jam series continues live and in-person Nov.14, (2 p.m.) at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. The Power Jam will showcase vocalist Trineice Robinson in performance with saxophonist Don Braden and the Jazz Power Band, to salute her debut recording, “All Or Nothing.” The Power House Band includes pianist Eli Yamin, bassist Paul Beaudry, and drummer Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax. “Trineice’s vibrant spirit makes you smile and her deep sound resonates to your core,” said Yamin, JPI’s co-founder and managing and artistic director. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, seating at the museum is very limited.
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The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA), in partnership with Lantern Organization and Mega Development, along with the New York City Department of Housing Development and Preservation, plans to bring a new 16,000 square feet Afro Latin Music & Arts Center along with 330 affordable housing units to East Harlem. The project, Timbale Terrace, will construct a new mixed-use development on the east side of Park Avenue between East 118th Street and East 119th Street (formerly a NYPD 25th Precinct parking site) with a performing arts center operated by the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance.
“East Harlem is the community that best represents the mission of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, to use music as an entry point for service to the community and to reflect back to that community the beauty and ingenuity of its citizens,” commented Arturo O’Farrill, founder, artistic director, Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. “Partnering with the City of New York, the Lantern Organization and Mega Development is an opportunity to put theory into daily practice. We are honored to lock arms with these partners and serve the people of East Harlem in a manner designed by their needs. Timbale Terrace will be a place that welcomes all!”
Timbale Terrace will offer housing to low-income families while the Afro Latin Music & Arts Center will provide community programs, music and technical production training, after-school programs, free arts education classes, community event spaces, and live performances.
“ALJA is very excited to be an integral part of the Timbale Terrace development to create a vibrant project that will be a resource for the entire East Harlem community,” said James R. Wacht, president of Sierra Real Estate, ALJA board member and Head of the Education Committee. “This project will allow the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance to expand our performance and educational programming, which currently enriches over 1,000 elementary, middle and high school students in underserved NYC public schools. Our Fat Cat youth ensembles will now have a permanent home that will enable us to attract an even more diverse and talented group of middle and high schoolers. The theater will become the new home for our seven-time, Grammy Award-winning Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra that has been performing at Birdland for the past 25 years.”