Harlem Stage Announces Spring 2012 Season, Kicks Off 2/10

Harlem Stage Announces Spring 2012 Season, Kicks Off 2/10

Harlem Stage has announced its Spring 2012 schedule, which includes tributes to jazz giant Cecil Taylor and modern legends A Tribe Called Quest, as well as barrier-busting works in music, dance and film. The season’s lineup glorifies Harlem’s cultural heritage while celebrating its future and highlighting issues of interest from the Black and Latin Diaspora.

Among this season’s featured musicians: veteran jazz/funk drummer Terri Lyne Carrington with an impressive all-star female lineup that includes funk/soul icon Nona Hendryx and gospel/jazz singer Lizz Wright (whose Fellowship album was named DownBeat magazine’s 2011 “Beyond Album of the Year”); and José James, Downbeat’s 2011 “Rising Star Male Vocalist” who has been called “a jazz singer for the hip-hop generation.” Also, Afro-punk queen Tamar-kali and powerhouse pianist Vijay Iyer (Downbeat’s 2011 “Rising Star Jazz Group” winner) return to the Harlem Stage Gatehouse following recent acclaimed and sold-out shows there.

In dance, evolving choreographers Souleymane Badolo and Sheetal Ghandi anchor the annual E-Moves festival of new and rising dancemakers. In film, award-winning filmmaker Byron Hurt previews a sure-to-be-controversial documentary film about the tradition of soul food.

With more than 25 events this spring, Harlem Stage continues a tradition of presenting art that challenges audiences to expand their worldviews and create change – including the acclaimed nightlife series Uptown Nights at Harlem Stage that reimagines the time when Harlem was the destination for music audiences seeking the next big thing, the Harlem Stride series that pushes forward the discipline of jazz, and Harlem Stage on Screen, a season-long film series partnership with Black Documentary Collective (BDC) and Media that Matters/Arts Engine, Inc. (MTM)

Season highlights include (more details below):

· Honey-soaked baritone José James, fresh from a series of sold-out concerts across the city, presents the first live performance of all-new material from his upcoming album No Beginning, No End (Feb.10-11)
· Parties, performances and panels that celebrate the impact, importance and influence of legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest (March 1-3);
· Award-winning filmmaker Byron Hurt’s new Soul Food Junkies, which explores the tradition, and the health effects, of time-honored soul food, presented with BDC (April 11);
· Emerging and evolving dance artists sharing the stage in the 13th season of the acclaimed annual E-Moves dance festival (April 20-28);
· Harlem Stage’s 2012 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival contribution spotlights jazz visionary Cecil Taylor, including a performance by the legend himself (May 8, 9 and 17);
· Terri Lyne Carrington’s “The Mosaic Project,” nominated for a 2012 “Best Jazz Vocal Album” Grammy Award, is an all-star celebration of women in jazz (May 10); and
· The dynamic range of punk, funk, and soul singer (also composer/arranger) Tamar-Kali is on display for a three-night run with one-of-a-kind sets and guest performers (June 7-9)

Harlem Stage also presents Uptown Open, a monthly open-mic series for and by teens that features young poets, emcees, scholars, and activists sharing their voices, art, and opinions in an after-school safe space. Open to all, the series hits the Gatehouse stage every third Thursday from 5-7pm

“Our new season inspires in so many ways,” says Harlem Stage Executive Director Patricia Cruz. “As our 30th anniversary approaches, I’m thrilled about the caliber of talent we continue to support, and the range of nationalities and cultures they represent - from around the corner to across the globe.”

SEASON SCHEDULE
The full Harlem Stage Spring 2012 season is listed below – organized by date under each discipline. More information is available at www.HarlemStage.org

MUSIC

Fri & Sat, Feb 10 - 11
José James
7:30p & 9:30p (two sets) at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $25
Blending soul, jazz, hip-hop, and experimental music, James combines historical jazz and today’s modern urban sound. Voted Downbeat’s 2011 “Rising Star Male Vocalist and touted as “a jazz singer for the hip-hop generation,” James returns to Harlem Stage for part of Harlem Stage’s Uptown Nights series.

Thu, March 1 – Sat, March 3
A Tribe Called Quest: Innovation and Legacies – A Movement in Four Parts (details below)
As one of hip-hop’s most legendary, beloved and revered groups, A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ) transformed the sound of hip-hop. With its signature jazz-infused, bass-heavy soundscapes, eclectic sampling and Afrocentric lyrics, ATCQ paved the way for future generations to be unapologetic about creative expression. Harlem Stage pays tribute with a series of live performances, and humanities and dance events that celebrate their music and influence.

Thu, March 1
Movement 1 – Footprints: A Discussion on the Innovation and Impact of A Tribe Called Quest
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: Free
Artists, scholars, and journalists discuss ATCQ’s musical and cultural legacy.

Fri, March 2
Movement 2 – Excursions: A Tribe Called Quest Tribute, featuring The Revive Da Live Big Band with special guests
7:30p at Aaron Davis Hall, 138 Convent Avenue (opposite the Gatehouse);
Tickets: $25 (package price with SPIT after-party at Harlem Stage Gatehouse – details below)
Igmar Thomas leads the Revive Da Live Big Band as they highlight works from ATCQ’s influential discography: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm; The Low End Theory; Midnight Marauders; Beats, Rhymes and Life; and The Love Movement. Part of Harlem Stage’s Uptown Nights series, presented in collaboration with Revive Music.

Fri, March 2
Movement 3 – SPIT (SPEAKIN' IN TONGUES): Music of (and inspired by) The Native Tongues
9:30p at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10/ $5 with Excursions ticket
DJ Cosi headlines the tribute after-party SPIT (Speakin’ In Tongues), celebrating the music created by the legendary Native Tongues collective (which comprised the groups De La Soul, The Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Leaders of the New School, Black Sheep, individual artists Monie Love and Queen Latifah, and more) which revolutionized hip-hop and defined its golden age. Part of Harlem Stage’s Uptown Nights series.

Sat, March 3
Movement 4 – Beats, Rhymes and Beyond: The J. Dilla Ensemble
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $15
As it revolutionized hip-hop production, A Tribe Called Quest also paved the way for the next generation of producers, one of whom was James Dewitt Yancey, better known as J. Dilla, Dilla’s studio technique put him among most influential hip-hop producers of all time. His credits include tracks on ATCQ’s Beats, Rhymes and Life and The Love Movement, as well as compositions for Q-Tip, Erykah Badu, Common, the Pharcyde, De La Soul, his own group Slum Village, and countless others. Even though Dilla passed away in 2006, he created groundbreaking music that drew inspiration from jazz, rock, soul and everything between. Berklee College of Music’s highly acclaimed The J. Dilla Ensemble pays tribute to his life and musical legacy. Part of Harlem Stage’s Uptown Nights series; Presented in collaboration with Revive Music.

Thu, March 29
Eva Ayllon
7:30p at Aaron Davis Hall, 138 Convent Avenue (opposite the Gatehouse);
Tickets: Free
Eva Ayllon has been committed to expanding musical boundaries and broadening awareness of Afro-Peruvian culture for decades. Dubbed “The Tina Turner of Peru” by the Los Angeles Times, Ayllon has performed to sold-out houses across the globe, produced more than 20 records, and was a three-time Latin Grammy Award nominee. Her latest release, Eva Ayllon Celebra 40 Años Cantandole Al Peru, is a compilation of greatest hits that revisits the musical styles she mastered over four decades. Part of the Harlem Stride series; a Neighborhood Concert presented with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.

Tue & Wed, May 8-9;
Celebrating Cecil: A Tribute to Club Harlem
8p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10
A trio of today’s most celebrated pianists honor the uncompromising creative force of Cecil Taylor and the club he played in, Club Harlem, in two evenings of solo and duet work that is part of the 2012 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival. Vijay Iyer, Amina Claudine Myers and Craig Taborn join creative forces for a mix of solo piano and duets that will inspire and surprise. The Gatehouse adopts a cabaret vibe just for this event, with tables surrounding a center platform with two pianos. Part of Harlem Stage’s Harlem Stride series; presented in partnership with Issue Project Room.

Tue, May 8 and Fri, May 11
Blazing Tongues: The Singers & Writers of Lenox Lounge
7p at Lenox Lounge (288 Malcolm X Boulevard)
Tickets: $10 plus two-drink minimum
The historic Lenox Lounge has been a Harlem mainstay since 1939, serving as the backdrop for jazz legends Billie Holiday, MiLes Davis, and John Coltrane. Also known as the Zebra Room and said to be a hangout for Malcolm X, the club also was frequented by Harlem Renaissance writers James Baldwin and Langston Hughes. Following two sold-out nights at last year’s Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, Harlem Stage retakes the Lounge, producing two programs in tribute to the vocal and literary greats of the day. Tuesday night’s program celebrates Ella Fitzgerald and writer Paule Marshall, with Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch and others to be announced. Friday night focuses on Johnny Hartman’s cool baritone as interpreted by Harlem’s own Gregory Generet, as well as writer Ralph Ellison’s Living with Music featuring artists to be announced later. Part of the 2012 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival.

Thu, May 10
The Mosaic Project
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10
Terri Lyne Carrington and some of today's best female instrumentalists and vocalists -- Nir Felder, Tia Fuller, Nona Hendryx, Ingrid Jensen, Helen Sung and Lizz Wright among others --come together in a cross-generational, cross-cultural musical conversation celebrating the legacy of female jazz artists. Part of Harlem Stage’s Harlem Stride series.

Sat, May 12
Tribute to Club Havana San Juan with the Havana San Juan Orchestra led by Louis Bauzo
8p and 10p (two sets) at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10
Named for the Harlem nightclub that hosted Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra and Celia Cruz, and performing the music of Machito, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto and others, the Havana San Juan Orchestra brings audiences back to the era of Latin music in New York City when Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants merged their musical styles - Afro-Cuban, mambo, rumba, cha-cha, and more. Part of Harlem Stage’s Harlem Stride series.

Thu, May 17
Cecil Taylor: An Intimate Evening
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $45
One of the true jazz geniuses of the last 100 years, the renowned, indomitable and indefatigable Cecil Taylor holds court for a special one-night-only performance. Part of Harlem Stage’s Harlem Stride series; presented in partnership with Issue Project Room.

Thu, June 7 – Sat, June 9
Tamar-kali: Voices
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $20
A rare talent who stops audiences in their tracks, this powerhouse of punk, funk and soul headlines a special three-night event at Harlem Stage. Tamar-kali’s brilliantly varied compositions are matched by a voice that can be smooth, cool and gentle one minute, searing and sassy the next. Harlem Stage presents three voices of Tamar-kali, each of which resounds through the Gatehouse with special guests and special settings fit for an astounding talent. Part of Harlem Stage’s Uptown Nights series, and presented in partnership with Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University and the Columbia Harlem Jazz Project.

DANCE

Fri-Sat, April 20-21 & Fri-Sat, April 27-28
E-Moves 13
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $20
Harlem Stage’s critically-acclaimed dance series, now in its 13th season, spotlights the future of the form with exciting young dancemakers in two programs featuring short works by emerging artists as well as extended works by evolving choreographers. This year’s evolving artists, Sheetal Gandhi and Souleymane Badolo, signify an international direction in contemporary dance, with Badolo representing the West African country Burkina Faso, and Gandhi (a first-generation Indian-American) exploring a generation that crossed cultures and oceans to navigate new demands in America. The emerging choreographers comprise an array of exciting styles. They include Franklin Diaz, Marjani Forté, Nikki Hefko, Jenni Hong, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Daisuke Omiya, Leslie Parker, and Simone Sobers.

FILM

Wed, Feb 15
Feature Film: More Than a Month, Shukree Tilghman, director/producer
Short film: A Loud Color, Brent Joseph, director
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10
More Than A Month follows African-American filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. On his challenging and often comedic journey, the film examines race and power in a so-called “post-racial” America, asking the question: What does it mean that we have a Black History Month and what would it mean if we didn’t? In A Loud Color, Louis Harding tours his post-Katrina New Orleans neighborhood, recounting the notable contributions African-Americans made to the New Orleans culture and examining the long road ahead. Films followed by a Q&A and reception. Part of the Harlem Stage on Screen series. Presented in partnership with Black Documentary Collective (BDC); short films presented in association with BDC and Media That Matters/Arts Engine (MTM).

Wed, March 14
Feature Film: Weightless, Faith Pennick, director
Short Films: Little Brother: The Street, Nicole Franklin and Walking Home, Nuala Cabral, director
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10
Fat girls rule the water in Weightless, a documentary film about a scuba diving camp for plus-size women, created by psychologist and certified scuba diver and instructor Liz Nickels after her own experience feeling ostracized because of her size. Little Brother: The Street is from a series of short films featuring young African-American boys sharing their thoughts on love. This chapter accompanies young men on walks home from school in Chicago’s inner city. Walking Home is an anti-street-harassment film. The films are followed by a Q&A and reception. Part of Harlem Stage on Screen; presented in partnership with BDC; short films presented in association with MTM/Arts Engine

Wed, April 11
Feature Film: Soul Food Junkies, Byron Hurt, director
Short Film: Food Justice: A Growing Movement, Martina Brimner and Zora Tucker, directors;
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10
Soul Food Junkies explores the history and social significance of soul food, its connection to black cultural identity, and its larger impact -- good and bad -- on American cuisine. Here, "junkies" refers to lovers of soul food despite its known health consequences. But the film does not denigrate soul food; Soul Food Junkies is a launching pad for a larger discussion about the eating habits of people of color. Food Justice: A Growing Movement is a short film that explores access to quality local food in several California communities. The films are followed by a Q&A and reception. Part of Harlem Stage on Screen. Presented in partnership with BDC; short film presented in association with MTM/Arts Engine.

Wed, May 23
Feature Film: 125 Franco’s Blvd., Sia Nyorkor and Jacob Templin, directors
Short Film: Eyes on the Fair Use of the Prize, Jacob Caggiano, director
7:30p at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10
The winner of the 2011 Harlem Spotlight Award from the Harlem International Film Festival, 125 Franco’s Blvd. profiles Franco the Great, who has been painting murals on the storefront roll-down gates of Harlem's 125th Street for 40 years, before legislation threatened to remove these gates entirely. The film asks: Who will step up and preserve Franco's art? Eyes On The Fair Use Of The Prize explores the push-pull issue of copyright abuse vs. Fair Use. Learn how much is at stake when vital films are pulled from public discourse. The films are followed by a Q&A and reception. Part of Harlem Stage on Screen. Presented in partnership with BDC; short films presented in association with MTM/Arts Engine presented in partnership with Black Documentary Collective; short films presented in association with Media That Matters/Arts Engine.

Wed, June 20
Feature Film: Home: The Great Migration of the 21st Century, Naimah Fuller, director
Short Films: A Shadow From The Lynching Tree, Carvin Eison director, and The Next Wave, Jennifer Redsearn and Tim Metzger, directors
7:30 pm, at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St)
Tickets: $10
Five years in the making, Home: The Great Migration of the 21st Century examines the factors behind African-Americans reverse-migration -- the move to leave major northern cities and relocate to the American South. Fuller connects the historical dots between this current New Great Migration and the Great Migration of the 20th century, when Blacks fled Jim Crow laws in the south. BDC’s A Shadow from the Lynching Tree is an arresting short that revisits a bleak and violent chapter in American history during which record numbers of African-Americans were terrorized and lynched in the name of white racial supremacy. Set to the hip-hop stylings of The Roots, the film juxtaposes pulsating rhythm and provocative lyrics with contemporary and historical documentary imagery and narrative techniques. The Next Wave recounts the struggle of Carteret islanders to relocate as the world’s first climate-change refugees. The films are followed by a Q&A and reception. Part of Harlem Stage on Screen; presented in partnership with BDC; short films presented in association with MTM/Arts Engine.

TICKETS
Ticket prices range from free to $45. Seats at free performances must be reserved in advance. Ticket purchases and reservations can be made online at www.HarlemStage.org or by calling the box office at 212-281-9240, ext.19 or 20.

SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS
Harlem Stage gratefully acknowledges support from the following sponsors: Harlem Stage on Screen series receives support from HBO and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. The Harlem Stage Partners program receives public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. The Inside/Out program receives leadership support from the Ford Foundation. Time Warner is the Lead Sponsor of WaterWorks, which also receives major support from the Harlem Stage Commissioning Circle, The Lambent Foundation Fund of the Tides Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Harlem Stride receives public support from the National Endowment for the Arts. E-Moves receives public funds from the New York State Council for the Arts. Dance at Harlem Stage is supported by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance Foundation. The Fund for New Work receives major support from the Jerome Foundation. The Harlem Stage Family Series receives major support from the MetLife Foundation. The Harlem Stage Education Programs receive major support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, with additional support from Consolidated Edison, the Jane and Tad Shepard Family Foundation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Harlem Stage’s Spring 2012 season partners include Black Documentary Collective, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, Media That Matters/Arts Engine, Revive Da Live, and Urban Word NYC.