Harlem Stage Presents HABANA/HARLEM 6/25-26

By: Jun. 14, 2010

Harlem Stage presents Habana|Harlem, two nights of stellar performances honoring the legacy of cross-cultural collaboration between the capital of Cuba and one of the world's most famous Black communities. The first show, on Friday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m., features New Orleans legend Henry Butler with Osmany Paredes. The second show, on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m., features headliners the Pedro Martinez Project with guest vocalists De'Adre Aziza, Ihsan Maria Isa and Nina Rodriguez. The two programs, co-presented as part of the CareFusion Jazz Festival New York and produced by jazz impresario George Wein, were conceived and created by Neyda Martinez and musical director Onel Mulet.

In addition to being part of the CareFusion Jazz Festival, Habana|Harlem also closes out the Harlem Stage 2009-2010 season.

"We are thrilled to be part of a festival as large and important as CareFusion," says Harlem Stage Executive Director Patricia Cruz, "and we are proud to present two genre-blending shows that highlight the long, rich musical heritage of Cuba and New York. Through our lead support from the JPMorgan/Chase Foundation we bring these shows to our community and to new audiences at a very low cost, while also raising awareness and funding for an urgent, under-discussed issue."

Both performances take place at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue at 135th Street. Tickets for each show are $15, available at www.HarlemStage.org or by calling 212-281-9240 ext. 19 or 20. The two programs include:

Friday June 25
Cultural Fusion: Past, Present and Future
In the tradition of Harlem Stage's Harlem Stride program, Cultural Fusion features a musical dialog between two world-renowned pianists -- New Orleans legend Henry Butler and Cuban sensation Osmany Paredes. The program begins with curated selections from the late 19th century, including pieces from the early jazz period played alongside ragtime, danzones, and habaneras to reveal and celebrate historical parallels. Cultural Fusion is a Habana|Harlem premiere, curated by Onel Mulet. The Harlem Stride program celebrates the legacy of music that emanates from the community and offers a forum for its development.

Saturday, June 26
Uptown Nights at Harlem Stage presents The Pedro Martinez Project featuring guest vocalists De'Adre Aziza, Ihsan Maria Isa, Nina Rodriguez, and DJ Cato.
This second installment of the CareFusion Jazz Festival at Harlem Stage introduces audiences to the singular vision and dynamic energy of Pedro Pablo Martinez's newly formed Pedro Martinez Project. In his new role as bandleader, Martinez (formerly part of the band Yerba Buena) infuses the project with unique Afro-Cuban funk that seamlessly incorporates hip-hop inflections. Uptown Nights at Harlem Stage is a music series designed to recall the days when Harlem was a destination for music patrons interested in "the next big thing."

Major support for Habana|Harlem is provided by Deutsche Bank, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Since its inception, Harlem Stage (formerly Aaron Davis Hall, Inc.) has earned a local, national, and international reputation for world-class programming and commissioning of new works. Established in 1979 as part of The City College of New York, the organization became an independent non-profit in 1983. Harlem Stage has hosted legendary artists such as Harry Belafonte, Max Roach, Bill Cosby, Abbey Lincoln, Maya Angelou, and Tito Puente. Its primary mission is to perpetuate the Harlem's contributions to American culture by presenting and supporting the development of new work and the work of emerging artists, providing educational opportunities to thousands of public school children each year, and connecting programs to the community's rich cultural traditions. Harlem Stage opened its new facility, the landmarked Gatehouse, in October 2006.

Habana|Harlem is an independent label and cultural production company, nurtures the arts and humanities by advancing contemporary artistic innovation, building upon on the legacies of two world-class epicenters of black cultural production. Conceived and produced by Neyda Martinez, with Onel Mulet as co-producer and artistic/musical director, Habana|Harlem supports the work of artists through strategic presentations, distribution, and promotion. Habana|Harlem commemorates a time in American music history when Cuban musicians called Harlem home, and performed alongside African-American musicians, making an indelible mark on American history that continues to inspire and influence artists around the globe.

The CareFusion Jazz Festival New York will be held June 17 - 26, 2010. George Wein and New Festival Productions LLC, produce a ten-day festival that covers the city with concerts. Wein will produce concerts in partnership with some of the city's most unique and culturally significant venues, including the Harlem Stage Gatehouse. Carnegie Hall, SummerStage-Central Park, Barbés, Celebrate Brooklyn! Prospect Park Bandshell, City Winery, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola/Jazz at Lincoln Center, Flushing Town Hall, The Greene Space, The Jazz Gallery, Jazz Standard, Louis Armstrong House Museum, Peter Norton Symphony Space, Le Poisson Rouge, Puppets Jazz Bar, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, SummerStage-Soundview Park, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Zebulon. Most shows at partner venues will be priced between $15 to $20. For complete festival information, visit www.nycjazzfestival.com.