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Harlem Stage Announces 2014 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival Lineup; Kicks Off 5/4

When the Harlem Renaissance was in vogue at the dawn of the 20th Century, the jazz clubs around Jungle Alley, between Lenox and Seventh Avenue - The Savoy Ballroom, Small's Paradise, Minton's Playhouse, Clark Monroe's Uptown House, The Ubangi Club, Park Palace, Connie's Inn, and others - were the place to be. These immortal nightclubs, concert halls, cabarets, speakeasies and ballrooms, will be channeled and showcased May 4 - 10 at the Fourth Annual Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival. A week-long, multi-venue partnership with the Apollo Theater, Harlem Stage and Jazzmobile, in collaboration with Colum­bia Uni­versity, the festival revives the spirits and sounds of Harlem's historic jazz venues with swinging live performances, jam sessions, informative panel discussions, dance parties, films and more.

Highlights of the 2014 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival include:

  • The Apollo Theater presents Arturo O'Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and the world premiere of the Afro Latin Jazz Suite commissioned by the Apollo Theater. O'Farrill recasts his father, Chico O'Farrill's, Afro Cuban Jazz Suite with a new generation of jazz masters, marking the 65th anniversary of this watershed work. Rounding out this red-hot program is a new composition by Arturo O'Farrill honoring Randy Weston and a selection of ALJO repertory works showcasing the 18-member orchestra's virtuosity and breadth. The evening also includes special guests, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Freddy "Huevito" Lobatón, Café and Randy Weston with Billy Harper and Lewis Nash. (May 10)
  • Harlem Stage presents The Vijay Iyer Trio featuring Stephen Crump and Marcus Gilmore paying homage to the Capitol Palace, in collaboration with the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series. Labeled "brilliantly eclectic" by The New Yorker, and voted "Jazz Group of the Year" in 2012 by Downbeat magazine, the extravagantly talented trio has reached the pinnacle of the jazz world. The combo's inventive performance features complex, rhythmically exciting compositions alongside reinvented classics, and immerses the audience in harmonic, thundering melodies. (May 9)
  • Jazzmobile presents a four-night tribute to Minton's Playhouse with Legends on the Bandstand: Late Night Jams at the recently-opened Minton's and Ginny's Supper Club at Red Rooster featuring Antonio Hart, Christian Sands, TS Monk, and Charenee Wade. (May 5-7, 9)
  • The Apollo Theater gets into the groove with Showman's Jazz Club for five nights to present Nathan Lucas, Kimberly Thompson, Jazmyn, Fred McFarlane, and Claudia Hayden. (May 6-10)
  • Harlem Stage presents one of jazz's most unique talents, Christian aTunde Adjuah Double Quartet's "Stretch Music." The performance introduces three completely new brass instruments, and extends the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic conventions of jazz to encompass a multitude of musical forms, languages and cultures. (May 8)
  • Salute the Home of the Happy Feet when Jazzmobile presents Hopping at the Savoy Dance Party: Celebrating Frankie Manning's 100th Birthday with the Harlem Renaissance Band at MIST Harlem. (May 10)

Columbia University again collaborates with the three partners to bring humanities programming to the Festival. Tipping a hat to Gladys Bentley's gender bending at The Ubangi Club, Connie's Inn and the Clam House, one panel on "Gender and Identity in Jazz Music" will focus on jazz and its impact on these issues. Next panel, "The Key to the Language: James Baldwin and His Muse" will present Columbia faculty in a conversation on how the music of Harlem shaped Baldwin's writing, as part of the Year of James Baldwin celebration. Columbia University School of the Arts is also collaborating with Abyssinian Baptist Church in presenting Jazz Vespers. Abyssinian, 'the church of jazz musicians," will feature Brianna Thomas, showcasing the spiritual dimensions of jazz.

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