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Jonathan Batiste, Greg Thomas and More Set for National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Sept 2013

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem has added a slew of new events with Jonathan Batiste. Below you will find the entire calendar of events for September with three new Jazz Is:Now! additions. The museum is also happy to announce that Greg Thomas will host next Tuesday's "Words on Bird" event accompanied by pianst Chris Pattishall.

All events are free with a minimal suggested donation and located at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem unless noted otherwise.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is located at 104 East 126th Street, Suite 2C, New York, NY 10035. Call 212-348-8300 or visit for more information.

Jazz Is: Now! with Jonathan Batiste

Monday, September 16: Part 1

Monday, September 23: Part 2

Monday, September 30: Part 3

7:00 - 8:30pm

Location: The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

$20 Suggested Donaton

We can give you 88 reasons to join us Monday nights this September and the first two are 1)Jonathan and 2)Batiste. Jonathan's long time series, Jazz Is: Now!, is back and just like his surprising and soul-nourishing music, we don't know where it's going to take us or who's going to join in but it's not to be missed!

We anticipate these events filling up very quickly so stay tuned and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to remain up-to-date on how to reserve a spot.

Tuesday, September 3

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Words on Bird hosted by Greg Thomas with musical guest Chris Pattishall

7:00 - 8:30pm

Location: The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

From a legendary interview with Paul Desmond to an album recorded by Jack Kerouac and Steve Allen, Charlie Parker's life has a rich legacy in the spoken word. In this evening, hosted by journalist Greg Thomas with special guest pianist Chris Pattishall, we explore Bird's famous interviews, his deep influence on the beat generation and invite our friends to share their original or favorite words written on Bird and/or the Bebop era. We welcome you to bring a poem or passage you love as we celebrate Birds literary legacy.

As a journalist, Greg has been published in the Village Voice, Salon, Guardian Observer, The Root, American Legacy, Savoy, and Uptown, among others, including the New York Daily News, for which he was Jazz Columnist for several years. As an editor, he worked with Forbes Media's American Legacy Woman magazine, and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Harlem World magazine. In 1995, the New York Association of Black Journalists honored him as winner of the Critique and Review newspaper award for "Marsalis Trumpets Truth as He Sees It," his review of Marsalis's first book, Sweet Swing Blues on the Road.

He has also worked in front of the camera and behind the scenes in video production. After graduating from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Public Policy and Minor in Music, Greg co-produced and directed several documentaries. In 1990, he was a winner in the Ethnic Expressions category of the Hometown USA Video Festival for "Holistic Health Care in the African American Community." Greg was on-air host and co-producer of two ten episode seasons of Jazz it Up!, an online jazz news and entertainment series with thirty-minute episodes. Jazz it Up! was nominated as finalist in the Outstanding Long Form-Entertainment category for National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences-sponsored Global Media Award.

Tuesday, September 10

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Bird of a Nation: Charlie Parker and Clint Eastwood's Biopic with special guests Jimmy Heath and Robert O'Meally

7:00 - 9:00pm

Location: Maysles Cinema

343 Lenox Avenue between 127th & 128th

Clint Eastwood had the best of intentions when he created his Charlie Parker biopic Bird in 1988. Nonetheless, it perpetuated many of the myths that still dog jazz and its musicians. Parker is reduced to a fun-loving, headed for self-destruction man/child, totally devoid of the intelligence and maturity of the real Parker.

Krin Gabbard, professor of Comparative Literature at SUNY Stony Book, and author of Jammin' At The Margins, a groundbreaking study of jazz and film, will lead a panel as they and the audience react to segments of the Eastwood film.

We are especially honored to have the legendary saxophonist/composer/bandleader Jimmy Heath participating; he knew and played with Charlie Parker. Heath's presence alone makes this a historic evening. Panelists include Jimmy Heath, Robert O'Meally, Loren Schoenberg and Jonathan Scheuer.

Tuesday, September 17

Special Event:

The Savory Concerts: Lester Leaps Again

7:00 - 8:30pm

Location: The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

In 2010, the NJMH acquired (after a 30 year search!) The Savory Collection, comprised of over 1000 recordings taken off the air between 1935 and 1940. New music, never heard since its initial broadcast by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller and Billie Holiday, are among its treasures.

Not content to consign the discovery of this music to the history books and recreation, the NJMH has initiated, with the support of the National Endowment of the Arts, a series of concerts featuring young musicians riffing off of the original recordings, and taking them into the present.

The first of this series is LESTER LEAPS AGAIN, at which a variety of instrumentalists (not just tenor saxophonists) will weave in and out of the never-before-heard Lester Young recordings in the Savory Collection, with an emphasis on establishing their own creativity, not replicating Young's style, though his influence will undoubtedly be hovering. $10 suggested donation.

Thursday, September 26

Harlem Speaks Special Event: Kansas City Comes to Harlem: An Evening with Stanley Crouch and Charlie Parker


Location: MIST Harlem (46 West 116th Street)

Cultural critic, drummer, and MacArthur Genius Award recipient Stanley Crouch has been one of the most outspoken, influential and challenging presences in American culture for over 30 years. His books, essays, newspaper/magazine articles have inspired impassioned discussion and exerted an immense influence, particularly in the sphere of jazz.

Crouch's three-decades plus opus on Charlie Parker has been a legendary work-in-progress until now, and we are honored to present an evening with Mr. Crouch as he shares the historic publication of this major work - Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker - of Americana with NJMH and our extended family (that's YOU!).

Please join us for what will surely be an evening to remember.

"With the straight-ahead timing and the ethereal blowing of a great jazzman, Crouch delivers a scorching set in this first of two volumes of his biography of Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, capturing the downbeats and the up-tempo moments of the great saxophonist's life and music."

-Publishers Weekly July 29, 2013

Friday, September 6

Harlem in the Himalayas

Donny McCaslin


Location: Rubin Museum of Art

(150 West 17th Street)

$20/Door $18/Advance | For more

Donny McCaslin's Sax Quartet project makes its debut at the Rubin featuring world premiere compositions and four saxophone greats: David Binney on alto saxophone, Joel Frahm on soprano/tenor saxophone, Scott Robinson on baritone saxophone, and Donny McCaslin on tenor/soprano saxophone. McCaslin has been called "dart-like and dangerous" by The New York Times.

Thursday, September 12

Parallax Conversation Series

Linda Oh, Kassa Overall and Jonathan Batiste

7:00 - 8:30pm

Location: The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

Parallax: noun- The effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions.

For the 6th installment of our new conversation series we are honored to have the exciting and innovative bassist, Linda Oh, contemporary polymath ( rapper, producer, drummer, singer) Kassa Overall and our very own Artistic-Director-At-Large Jonathan Batiste for an evening of talking, playing, free-styling, debating, asking, answering and who knows what else! Combined, these talented musicians have performed with the likes of Steve Wilson, Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, Vijay Iyer, Das Racist, Ambrose Akinmusire, Chad Smith, Christian McBride and more. Join us as they riff on Charlie Parker and his influence on their music and come see what sparks will fly.

Please RSVP to We will confirm your reservation via email, because we think we may fill up early. We are limiting it to two per reservation max - be sure to state whether it's for one or two. If you do not receive a confirmation email, it means there are no more spaces available.

Friday, September 20

Harlem in the Himalayas

Samuel Torres Group: Forced Displacement


Location: Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th Street

$20/Door $18/Advance | For more information:

Colombian percussionist and composer Samuel Torres, called "at once intelligent, sophisticated, and explosive" by JazzTimes, premieres Forced Displacement, which explores his country's indigenous and Afro-Colombian musical roots and gives voice to the dynamic range of the conga drums supported by a Latin jazz ensemble. Through the rhythmic, melodic, coloristic and harmonic developments of traditional Colombian music, Forced Displacement also explores the different factors of human displacement due to the armed-conflict in Colombia.

Torres' long-standing ensemble includes Cuban drummer Ernesto Simpson and Puerto Rican bassist John Benitez (both of whom have lived and played music in Colombia), Cuban pianist Manuel Valera, and American horn players Michael Rodriguez on trumpet and Joel Frahm on saxophones. Guests include Marshall Gilkes on trombone and Jonathan Gomez on Afro-Colombian percussion.

Tuesday, September 24

Special Event:

The Good Lord Bird: An Evening with James McBride

7:00 - 8:30pm

Location: MIST Harlem-46 West 116th Street

An essential voice on the literary landscape, James McBride's work has illuminated complex issues of race and identity in striking ways. Author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, The Color of Water, McBride will join us for an evening celebrating his highly anticipated new novel The Good Lord Bird. Hailed as a "brilliant romp of a novel" the novel follows the story of a young boy who joins John Brown's antislavery crusade by passing as a girl. Peppered with live music and a discussion with the author, the evening is bound to be fascinating and we hope you'll grab a copy of the book and see us there!

"McBride- with the same flair for historical mining, musicality of voice and outside characterization that made his memoir, "The Color of Water," an instant classic- pulls off his portrait masterfully, like a modern-day Mark Twain: evoking sheer glee with every page."

-The New York Times August 15,2013

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's Visitors Center is open to the public and features an extensive library of all sorts of media, plus brand new collections of photographs, and exhibits. Please come by Monday to Friday from 10AM to 4PM.

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