The vocalist Tamm E. Hunt, whose reputation was in full gear during the days when St. Nick’s Pub was the hottest little Harlem jazz spot in all of New City, will perform at Cecil’s Steak House (210 West 118th Street) on June 24, at 7 p.m.

Hunt’s repertoire will take you high on uptempo jazz standards and smooth ballads will touch your soul. Since relocating from her long-time residence in Harlem, she doesn’t get back to the city often so this will be a wonderful homecoming for her many fans. She will also introduce some new material she’s been working on. Visit the website:

We pay tribute to the New Amsterdam Music Association (NAMA), located at 107 West 130th St., as we celebrate June as Black Music Appreciation Month. The organization was chartered in 1905; musicians from the circus, vaudeville, minstrel and tent shows found their way to this new outlet which served as the Negro musicians union, orchestrated by musician, composer, bandleader, arranger and as a lieutenant led the 369th Infantry Regiment (the Harlem Hellfighters) during WWI. The brownstone purchased on June 26, 1922, served as a union hall, where musicians could often find gigs and big tours. The upstairs floors served as boarding rooms for out of town musicians. Musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller and other noted musicians often stayed there, as well as practiced. The downstairs dining room and kitchen often was the site of big dinner dances and fundraisers.
On June 25 NAMA will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a special gala at Harlem School of the Arts The Herb Alpert Center (645 St. Nicholas Ave.), 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The funds raised will be used to help restore the building to its original state, where practice rooms or boarding rooms and major events can once again take place. Over the last 100 years the building has been in need of repairs although today the members of the organization under its president Imani C. Scott continue to present weekly jam sessions and other special events.

“It is very important that those of us of serious Black consciousness and awareness support our institutions in our communities and the world that keep the various and beautiful aspects of our culture alive,” stated Lamon Fenner, board member and producer of Lamon’s Jazz Break at Eight, WHCR, Sunday evenings.

The only other original Negro union still in existence and operating is the Mutual Musicians Foundation which was originally Local 627 founded in 1917, in Kansas City. The organization like NAMA continues its original jam sessions where Charlie Parker kept the house ablaze.

For tickets ($100 and $50 for members) to the NAMA gala visit their website at or call 212-281-1350.

The 21st annual River to River Festival will feature Craig Harris: “BREATHE,” on June 25 at 4 p.m. (enter from River Terrace near Chambers Street). This is one of the largest FREE festivals in New York City (Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City).

“BREATHE,” the concept of trombonist, composer Harris, makes a sonic statement in response to the long-term ongoing to-the-minute injustices upon Black people in America. It is offered to support the community in staying resilient and persistent in fighting for justice. The large ensemble conducted by Harris consists of 14 brass musicians and six percussionists.

Harris comes from a tradition of using art as a cultural facilitator to help promote social change. Since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, followed by the killing of Eric Garner in New York, he has been paying attention to the concept of breathing, which took on new meaning in the context of both COVID-19’s disproportionate effect on the Black community and the murder of George Floyd in police custody which was seen around the world. All of these injustices represent “BREATHE.”

This year’s Blue Note Jazz Festival features a host of varied configurations that are never heard of in the jazz community. One such concert presented the rapper and producer Rakim with guest saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane at Manhattan’s Sony Hall. Before Rakim came along most rappers were basically improvising with rhyming phrases. Rakim wrote more intricate lyrics with clever metaphors. He is credited with being the inventor of the flow. The Hall was sold out standing room only or dancing room only, the choice was yours to make. It was a rappers’ delight crowd, very dark room, Technician the DJ playing very loud. Didn’t see anyone from the jazz community, although the saxophonist Kenny Garrett, who had just completed his stint as part of the festival, was sitting down front taking it all in. The young composer and violinist Majid Khaliq was hanging with me. He was thrilled—Rakim, he says, was one of his favorite rappers. He grew up with hip hop and was totally in although he plays a multitude of jazz with his own unique mix of classical and hip hop.

The show started 30-40 minutes late but the audience didn’t seem to mind as they were being entertained by Technician the DJ playing Rahim’s old-school hits. Once he hit the stage it was on. He treated his many fans and introduced me to some of his hits from his days as the duo Eric B. & Rakim rhymes like “I Ain’t No Joke,” “Paid in Full,” and “Guess Who’s Back.” Now, with the audience totally in the groove, Rahim introduced “jazz great Ravi Coltrane.” The two kicked “Don’t Sweat the Technician,” one of Rakim’s hits. He gave Coltrane a long solo and his soprano saxophone was on high blast, he was in another stratosphere. Rahim took him out of the jazz zone and they were kicking. Rakim went into another zone, the rap cat was in a jazz zone. “Dam Ravi got me scattin’, I may have to go back in the studio with him and get down on some real sh….,” said Rakim. “This is hip hop meets jazz. It all starts with a bassline.”

On June 21-26 the Blue Note Jazz Festival will present the unique trio of NEA Jazz Masters bassist Dave Holland and pianist Kenny Barron featuring drummer Jonathan Blake. Jazz. With this trio the skies are open to infinity. With Holland, an alumnus of the Miles Davis and renowned leader, along with Barron, one of the most influential pianists in jazz and Blake, who can play anything with anybody. The trio will perform two shows each night at the Blue Note Jazz club (131 West 3rd Street). On June 22 catch Big Bad VooDoo Daddy (their repertoire revitalizing swing music) at Sony Hall, one show at 8 p.m. On June 23 Sony Hall presents Cuban singer and songwriter Isaac Delgado with his new project Con Tumbao featuring pianist Oscar Henandez, bassist and vocalist Alain Perez, congas and percussionist Pedrito Martinez, trombonist Conrad Herwig and more. This is a Latino Salsa, Cuban rhythms jazz, heavy percussion big brass sound be ready to move.

New York stand and shout—the NEA Jazz Master, composer, innovator saxophonist Charles Lloyd graces the Sony Hall stage on June 26. His interpretation of jazz is illusively private but addictive. One show only at 7:30 p.m.

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