Harlem Stage Announces 2018 Spring Season
Harlem Stage, the legendary uptown venue that for over 30 years has promoted the creative legacy of Harlem and artists of color from around the corner and across the globe, is proud to present its Spring 2018 season of performances. The season is curated by Monique Martin, newly appointed Director of Programming for Harlem Stage and features artists who #Disrupt, and take creative risk. They reflect the times via a range of artistic genres, offering audiences the chance to experience legendary performers and rising stars.
On January 16, join Harlem Stage for a special winter benefit performance. This intimate evening will feature jazz icon Dee Dee Bridgewater and singing sensation Wé McDonald, of The Voice fame, as they pay tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald in honor of her centennial. Wé McDonald will be accompanied by organ and piano prodigy, Matthew Whitaker.
Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah's Stretch Music Residency is in its second year at Harlem Stage and this season the venue and will present the 2nd annual Stretch Music Festival, a FREE Stretch Music Intensive, along with a film screening and conversation series. The second year of the Stretch Music festival features Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and his band along with musicians who push the boundaries of form as they reach back into the past creating bridges to right now. Rhythms such as Kassa Soro from the North East Highlands of Guinea, that predate the transatlantic slave trade as well as Salsa, Son and Swing which came after those rhythms, can be heard on Blues, Funk, Trap, Hip Hop and Stretch Music. In this Festival you will hear a complete reevaluation of these cultures with the intent of building new bridges, new landscapes and new forms. This year's festival will feature bands led by The Curtis Brothers, Max Moran and Neospectric, Lawrence Fields, Kris Funn and special surprise guests.
Additional musical highlights include "Lyric of Love: An Evening of Music, Poetry, Power & Magic" featuring Rhonda Ross and Rodney Kendrick in their first full USA concert together in 15 years. Join them as they celebrate love in all its dimensions with new music and songs from their respective releases "In Case You Didn't Know" and "The Colors of Rhythm."
Vocalist Candice Hoyes, a storyteller of vast range and personality and two-time Bessie and Princess Grace Award winning tap dancer and choreographer Dormeshia Sumbry-Edward, will debut a night of music and dance inspired by the life of Lena Horne. "Lena Horne at 100," will offer a melodic journey through Horne's seven decade career, accenting the bravery and vulnerability that make Horne's legacy utterly modern.
Later in the season, vocalist and composer Imani Uzuri will present "Hush Arbor (The Opera)," a mercurial musical meditation exploring themes of death, rebirth, impermanence and transcendence. The contemporary chamber opera is inspired by hidden gathering places called "hush arbors" created by enslaved African Americans in wooded areas in the South to secretly worship, commune and strategize rebellion. The concert will feature polyphonic singing, instrumental rumblings and poetic text. Major support for the early development of WaterWorks artist Imani Uzuri's Hush Arbor has been provided by the MAP FUND, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This year for their signature series Uptown Nights, Harlem Stage has partnered with the National Black Theatre to celebrate the contributions of Black women pioneers from the Civil Rights and Black Arts movements with "Mothers of the Movements." This two-part series pays tribute to iconic women, including Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, Abbey Lincoln, and Ella Baker. Longtime Lincoln collaborator, Marc Cary will re-imagine the seminal album, "We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite," with Terri Lyne Carrington, Reggie Workman, Sameer Gupta, Edmar Colón, and surprise guests. "Mothers of the Movements" is presented in collaboration with Carnegie Hall Festivals, The '60s: The Years That Changed America, a citywide festival January 14 - March 24, 2018.
Dance enthusiasts can enjoy the return of Harlem Stage's signature dance series E-Moves. E-Moves presents four contemporary and innovative African choreographers who have been commissioned to create or re-imagine new work that is culturally referential, arresting and fresh. Adaku Utah, Lacina Coulibaly, Ousmane Wiles and Nora Chipamire wrestle with questions that push the boundaries of what it means to be African in America now.
There are also several Dance Parties, including, Harlem's own "The Shed Open Jam," hosted by Grammy award winning musician/engineer Anu~Sun and featuring Sundae Sermon's DJ Stormin' Norman and DJ Luna, who come to Harlem Stage for a special Grammy week edition. Later, "Swing Out!: A DJ Dance Party!," offers a Swing dance/lindy hop edition featuring vocalist Charles Turner III & Uptown Swing. In tribute to Harlem's own famed Swing dancers Frankie Manning, and Norma Miller, join us for a swinging party to a live band and DJ and dance class lead by Traci Bartlow and Samuel Coleman.
Special FREE performances span the world of theater and music this spring season.
Repertorio Español's "LA CANCIÓN THE MUSICAL." "La Canción" is the humorous and refreshing story of Rafa, a young man from The Bronx with a passion for music. Rafa tells his story through an amalgam of musical genres from Rap to tropical tunes like Salsa, Merengue and Bachata."
The Stretch Music Intensive" is a FREE immersive workshop for all music students, lovers of music, and emerging musicians. Join Edison Award-winning and Grammy-nominated trumpeter, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and his incredible ensemble, as part of The Stretch Music Residency with today's most creative improvisers.
On April 4, join Harlem Stage for a FREE musical, visual and movement celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King as a civil-rights leader and humanitarian, on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
Later in the season, NEA Jazz Master Dr. Lonnie Smith will present a memorable FREE jazz performance "HARLEM Stride Jazz Now." With a career spanning over five decades, Smith stands as the preeminent Hammond B-3 organist in jazz today. He has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual "Who's Who" of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Presented in collaboration with Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concerts.
To close out the Spring 2018 season, join Harlem Stage for a FREE screening of "A Luv Tale,"an edgy romantic comedy set in culturally rich and historic Harlem. The film examines friendship between four beautiful and cultural lesbians of color navigating their complex lives through a world of art, music, consciousness and love. This special Pride program is part film screening, part conversation and part uptown hang.
Patricia Cruz, Executive Director, said "I welcome Harlem residents, New Yorkers, and visitors to join us at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse for this fresh and special spring season, which offers a diverse, unique array of artists and genres."
Monique Martin, Director of Programming, said "The season's theme of #Disrupters will offer performances from pioneering American artists and contemporary artists from across Africa, as Harlem Stage continues to identify, support and celebrate visionary artists of color. We will offer tributes to legendary, bygone but transcendent, African American artists like Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald, and to the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King on the 50th anniversary of his assassination."
Box Office Location: Harlem Stage Gatehouse (150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street, Manhattan).
Box Office Hours: Regular box office hours are 10AM-3PM Monday through Friday, except on performance days when the box office remains open until one hour after the start of the performance.
By Phone: 212.281.9240 ext. 19
Harlem Stage is the performing arts center that bridges Harlem's cultural legacy to contemporary artists of color and dares to provide the artistic freedom that gives birth to new ideas. For over 30 years Harlem Stage has been one of the nation's leading arts organizations, achieving this distinction through its work with artists of color and by facilitating a productive engagement with the communities it serves through the performing arts. With a long-standing tradition of supporting artists and organizations around the corner and across the globe, Harlem Stage boasts such legendary artists as Harry Belafonte, Max Roach, Sekou Sundiata, Abbey Lincoln, Sonia Sanchez, Eddie Palmieri, Maya Angelou and Tito Puente, as well as contemporary artists like Bill T. Jones, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Tamar-kali, Vijay Iyer, Mike Ladd, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jason Moran, José James, Nona Hendryx and more. Its education program each year provides over 1,000 New York City children with introduction and access to the rich diversity, excitement and inspiration of the performing arts. In 2006, Harlem Stage opened the landmarked, award-winning Harlem Stage Gatehouse. This once abandoned space, originally a pivotal source for distributing fresh water to New York City, is now a vital source of creativity, ideas and culture. Harlem Stage is a winner of the William Dawson Award for Programming Excellence and Sustained Achievement in Programming (Association of Performing Arts Presenters).
Full Season Below:
Ella! A centennial celebration
Tuesday, January 16
Join us for an intimate evening as jazz icon Dee Dee Bridgewater and singing sensation Wé McDonald, of The Voice fame pay homage to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald in an evening of song in honor of her centennial celebration. Wé McDonald will be accompanied by organ and piano prodigy, Matthew Whitaker.
The Shed All-Stars Grammy Week Edition: A DJ Dance Party & Jam Session!
Saturday January 27
Get up, Get Down, Go In, Get Live! Harlem's own The Shed Open Jam, hosted by Grammy award winning musician/engineer Anu~Sun come to Harlem Stage for a special Grammy Week Edition. Ranked one of New York City's Top 5 Jam Sessions, this bi-weekly event provides a taste of the New Renaissance happening in Harlem and has come to be a launch pad for emerging talent. You never know who will roll through on the mic, turntables or bandstand. DJ Luna and Sundae Sermon's Stormin' Norman spin.
Repertorio Español - LA CANCIÓN THE MUSICAL
Friday, February 2
Tickets: FREE with RSVP
Original Songs by VICO C.
Written by Cándido Tirado | Directed by Edward Torres
"La canción" is the humorous and refreshing story of Rafa, a young man from The Bronx with a passion for music. One night, Rafa dreams of a song he has never heard before and when he awakens he inexplicably knows the lyrics to the song. Captivated by this song and with a desire to adapt it to urban music, Rafa embarks on a quest to find its author, but in his search unexpectedly discovers the truth about his origins. In this new musical, Rafa tells his story through an amalgam of musical genres from Rap to tropical tunes like Salsa, Merengue and Bachata.
"'La Canción' is an exhilarating theatrical experience, quite literally unlike anything else that has played in the US. Featuring wonderful performances and vibrant choreography, not to mention some of Vico C. 's most accomplished songs..." - StageBuddy
This performance is sponsored by Council Member Mark Levine and the Cultural Immigrant Initiative. This program is supported, in part by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the New York City Council.
Lyric of Love: An Evening of Music, Poetry, Power & Magic
Wednesday, February 14
Rhonda Ross and Rodney Kendrick celebrate love in all its dimensions in their first full USA concert together in 15 years! Sharing new music as well as songs from their respective release(s) "In Case You Didn't Know" and "The Colors of Rhythm," the Harlem based duo will inspire through music and their obvious passion for their art, community, activism and each other. Together Rhonda and Rodney draw the audience into their love affair.
International Social-Artist, Singer-songwriter, Rhonda Ross, explores questions of race, gender, power and spirituality through her art. She uses her fierce and heart-felt music to examine the society in which she lives. Ross' music lives in the gap between jazz, funk and gospel while her lyrics delve into life's biggest questions and answers.
Pianist-composer, Rodney Kendrick, is that rare breed of pianist - old school in his percussive, abruptly rhythmic approach, yet ultimately contemporary and responsive to the current moment. Strongly influenced by Thelonious Monk, Rodney's sound integrates all genres of the African Diaspora.
Lena Horne at 100 featuring Candice Hoyes and Dormeshia Sumbrey-Edwards
Tuesday, March 6
Vocalist Candice Hoyes, a storyteller of vast range and personality, debuts a night of music inspired by the life of Lena Horne. With her all-star ensemble, Hoyes shares a melodic journey through Horne's seven decade career, accenting the bravery and vulnerability that make Horne's legacy utterly modern. Candice Hoyes draws from rare cinema, musical theater, jazz and soul for an evocative dramatic experience.
Tap Dancer and choreographer Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, a two-time Bessie and Princess Grace Award winner, draws from her extensive Broadway and film experience to create a celebration of Horne's early years as a Cotton Club dancer. Sumbrey-Edwards, who is known for her elegance and grace, harkens to a time of segregation that brought patrons uptown to Harlem in droves in what we now know as the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance.
Uptown Nights: Mothers of the Movements
Friday March 9
Harlem Stage and the National Black Theatre celebrate the contributions of Black women pioneers from the Civil Rights and Black Arts movements withMothers of the Movements. This two-part series pays tribute to iconic women, including Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, Abbey Lincoln, and Ella Baker. At Harlem Stage, longtime Lincoln collaborator, Marc Cary re-imagines the seminal album, "We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite," with Terri Lyne Carrington, Reggie Workman, Sameer Gupta, Edmar Colón, and surprise guests.
Mothers of the Movements is presented in partnership with the National Black Theater. On March 12, NBT will present The Black Woman: She Does Exist as part of this series. Learn more at nationalblacktheater.org.
Presented in collaboration with Carnegie Hall Festivals, The '60s: The Years that Changed America, a citywide festival January 14 - March 24, 2018
Hush Arbor (The Opera): A Work-in-Progress Concert
Tuesday. March 27
Vocalist and composer Imani Uzuri has created a mercurial musical meditation exploring themes of death, rebirth, impermanence and transcendence.
This contemporary chamber opera, commissioned by Harlem Stage is inspired by hidden gathering places called "hush arbors" created by enslaved African Americans in wooded areas in the South to secretly worship, commune and strategize rebellion. The work features polyphonic singing, instrumental rumblings, poetic text and will consider the notion of the need for communion as a strategy towards deeper understanding and transformation of our human condition.
This work-in-progress concert (featuring strings, voices, piano, flute, tambourine and guitars) will be followed by a conversation between composer Imani Uzuri and scholar Matthew D. Morrison, PhD.
Major support for the early development of WaterWorks artist Imani Uzuri's Hush Arbor has been provided by the MAP FUND, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Stretch Music Residency with Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
CHRISTIAN SCOTT ATUNDE ADJUAH'S STRETCH MUSIC RESIDENCY CONTINUES
Harlem Stage continues its partnership with Edison Award-winning and Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah to re-establish jazz as a social music through the Stretch Music Residency. This second year of Adjuah's residency will feature the 2nd annual Stretch Music Festival and Stretch Music Intensive in addition to kicking off an exciting series of humanities and online engagement activities.
The Stretch Music Residency is organized by Harlem Stage in partnership with Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America through its Residency Endowment Fund.
The Stretch Music Residency is a part of Harlem Stage's WaterWorks program. WaterWorks is supported by Ford Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lambent Foundation, SHS Foundation and Bob and Eileen Gilman Family Foundation.
Stretch Music Festival artists are supported by Jerome Foundation.
Stretch Music Intensive
Tuesday, March 27
Tickets: FREE w/ RSVP
Calling all music students, lovers of music and emerging musicians. Join us for a FREE immersive workshop with Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and his incredible ensemble as part of the Stretch Music Residency with today's most creative improvisers and learn about the Stretch Music App.
Hosted by Manhattan School of Music.
Manhattan School of Music 120 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027 - Bossi-Comelli Studio
Stretch Music X Film
Wednesday, March 28
Join us for a screening of award-winning screenwriter and director Kiel Adrian Scott's, new short film "Samaria". The film explores themes of identity and representation as we examine the intersection of jazz and film.
Samaria is the story of Rosary, a young woman, in desperate need of kindness, torn between the worlds of the haves and the have-nots. Following a devastating natural disaster, Rosary, a now homeless white-collar worker, must hide her indigence from those she works for and her employment from those she lives with, withholding who and what she is to survive.
The screening will be followed by a discussion between Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, who composed the music for the film, and Samora Pinderhughes; composer of "Whose Streets," the award-winning film directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis.
Jazz Then and Now
Thursday, March 29
Jazz Then and Now is a conversation series, presented as part of the Stretch Music Residency that brings together innovative thought leaders in the field in dialogue on the history, the present and the future of jazz.
Ethnomusicologist Fredara Hadley PhD. will moderate what promises to be a rich conversation between Christian Scott aTunde Adjua and Stefon Harris (Associate Dean and Director of the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts Program.
The conversation will be preceded by a performance by the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts Program.
Uptown Nights: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah presents The Stretch Music Festival
Friday March 30 & Saturday March 31
The second year of the Stretch Music festival features Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and his band along with musicians who push the boundaries of form as they reach back into the past creating bridges to right now. Rhythms such as Kassa Soro from Mali, that predate the transatlantic slave trade as well as Salsa and Son which came after can be found in Blues, Funk, Trap, Hip Hop and Stretch Music. Ancestral recall of the bata, dun and djembe drums show up. New forms created from these rhythmic bridges inform the future of jazz music in all of its complexity.
This year's festival will feature bands led by The Curtis Brothers, Max Moran and Neospectric, Lawrence Fields, Kris Funn and special surprise guests.
This work was supported by a Building Demand for the Arts implementation grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Ascension: A Lifting of Dr. Martin Luther King's Legacy on the 50th Anniversary of his Assassination
Wednesday, April 4
Tickets: FREE with RSVP
On April 4, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, an event that sent shock waves reverberating across the globe. A Baptist minister and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King had led the civil rights movement since the mid-1950s, using a combination of impassioned speeches and nonviolent protests to fight segregation and achieve significant civil-rights advances for African Americans and inspiring seekers of justice and equality across the country and the world.
Where are we now? Join us for a musical, visual and movement celebration of a fearless leader.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Return of 2 Dick Willie
Saturday, April 28
Danny Simmons debuts his latest volume of poetry and artwork The Return of 2 Dick Willie in a unique evening of music, poetry and visual art. He is joined by legendary guitarist Vernon Reid and poet Ursula Rucker along with special guest musicians and spoken word artists. Writer and activist Asha Bandele hosts.
"Equally ferocious and genius with his sensually lush artwork, Danny Simmons is a consummate poet and his alter ego is here to check our egos, kickin' brand new flava in our mind's ear while loving us with our foibles, boils, blemishes, crusty eyelashes, contradictions, and all." Author, Tony Medina.
Wednesday-Saturday, May 2-5
Four contemporary African choreographers have been commissioned to create, or re-imagine, new work across the spectrum of contemporary idioms. The emergence of artists from the continent of Africa who are first or second generation American or transnational is expanding the field of modern dance.E-Moves 19 presents innovative artists that will create culturally referential work which is contemporary, arresting and fresh. Adaku Utah, Lacina Coulibaly, Ousmane Wiles and Nora Chipamire wrestle with questions that push the boundaries of what it means to be African in America now.
Swing Out!: A DJ Dance Party!
Saturday, May 12
3:00pm - 8:00pm
Get up, Get Down, Swing Out, Fly Free! In this Swing dance/Lindy Hop edition of our DJ Dance Party series, vocalist Charles Turner III & Uptown Swing reinterpret classics that will keep you groovin' and new music to move your soul. In tribute to Harlem's own famed Swing Dancers Frankie Manning and Norma Miller, join us for a swinging party to live music, DJ sets and dance class lead by Traci Bartlow and Samuel Coleman.
HARLEM Stride Jazz Now
Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith
Thursday, May 17
Tickets: FREE with RSVP
NEA Jazz Master Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. With a career spanning over five decades, Smith stands as the preeminent Hammond B-3 organist in jazz today. He has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual "Who's Who" of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a "Legend," a "Living Musical Icon," and as the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. Jazz Times describes him as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!"
Presented in collaboration with Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concerts.
Monday, May 21
Our annual Spring Gala is a celebration of the #DISRUPTERS: Artists as Activists, Creators, and Catalysts that you won't want to miss. The evening will include amazing performances lead by Musical Director, Terri Lynn Carrington. We will celebrate our honorees and our continued mission to provide opportunity, to commission and to support the works of the visionary artists of color who grace our stage each year.
A LUV TALE: The Series & The Film
Saturday, June 9
3:00pm - 8:00pm
Tickets: FREE with RSVP
Set in culturally rich and historic Harlem, A LUV TALE is an edgy romantic comedy and digital series that examines friendship between four beautiful and cultural lesbians of color navigating their complex lives through a world of art, music, consciousness and love. This special Pride program is part film screening, part conversation and part uptown hang.
Presented in partnership with Gatepass Entertainment and with support from Harlem Pride and New York Black Pride.