This Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 4 pm, the Bronx Music Heritage Center will be hosting a tribute to Bronxite and jazz legend Bertha Hope. Check out the details below:
The Bronx Music Heritage Center honors jazz pianist Bertha Hope, who lived on Lyman Place with be-bop legends Elmo Hope and Thelonious Monk, and formed the all-woman Jazzberry Jam. Join Grammy-nominated host Bobby Sanabria in the landmarked
Morris High School auditorium, in the heart of Morrisania—a celebrated jazz mecca of the Bronx. Featuring a performance by the Bertha Hope Quintet with special guest Antoinette Montague and interview by internationally-acclaimed pianist Valerie Capers.
Morris Campus Auditorium
1110 Boston Road, Bronx, NY
*parking available onsite
FREE ($5 suggested donation)
ABOUT BERTHA HOPE
Jazz pianist Bertha Hope was born on November 8, 1936, to Corinne Meaux and Henry Rosemond. Raised in western Los Angeles, California, Hope-Booker attended Manual Arts High School. As a youth, Bertha played music with and learned from other young musicians in her neighborhood. Some of them became famous later, including Richie Powell and Elmo Hope, the latter becoming her husband in 1957. Bertha studied piano at Los Angeles Community College and later received her B.A. degree in Early Childhood Education from Antioch College.
She moved with Elmo Hope to the Bronx, New York, where she worked at a telephone company during the day while performing at night. After her husband’s passing in 1967, she continued to present his music and remained an active force in the New York jazz scene. Bertha served as an artist-in-residence under the auspices of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and through this program, she performed in statewide New Jersey music workshops with Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Foster, Nat Adderley and Philly Joe Jones.
She has worked extensively over the years to transcribe many of the Elmo Hope compositions so that they can be performed and in addition, pay tribute to one of “be- bop’s” underrated contributors. Bertha later married Walter Booker, Jr., and the two worked to keep the music of Elmo Hope alive through her tribute ensemble called ELMOllenium. ELMOllennium featured Walter Booker (bass), Leroy Williams (drums), Virgil Jones (tr), Charles Davis (ts), Roni Ben-Hur (g), Amy London (guest vocalist). She also plays with another group which she co-founded, the all-female Jazzberry Jam. In addition, She is the leader of The Bertha Hope Trio, which includes Walter Booker and Jimmy Cobb and which has toured extensively throughout Japan. She is an active force in improvised music, as well as a composer and arranger with several recordings under her name, including In Search of Hope and Elmo’s Fire (Steeplechase); Between Two Kings (Minor Records) and her latest on the Reservoir label, Nothin’ But Love.
Bertha has also taught an advanced jazz ensemble at The Lucy Moses School and an Introduction to Jazz program at Washington Irving High School in New York City, which was sponsored by Bette Midler.
ABOUT MORRIS HIGH SCHOOL
Morris High School is part of the Morris High School Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historical Landmarks. Founded in 1897, it was the first high school built in the Bronx and one of the original New York City Public High Schools. Originally named Peter Cooper High School, the name was changed to Morris in honor of Bronxite Gouverneur Morris, a signer of the Articles of Confederation and considered the primary author of the preamble of the Constitution. The campus served as Morris High School until 2001, when it was divided into five separate schools: Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies; Bronx Leadership Academy II; Bronx International High School; School of Excellence; and High School for Violin and Dance.
Morris High School was a musical haven for many students over the years, spawning many groups such as the Chords, particularly during the doo-wop era. The area around the school, especially Boston Road, was once a jazz mecca with dozens of clubs where music was played nightly by greats such as Thelonious Monk, Elmo, and Bertha. Notable alumni of the school include United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, United States Attorney Benito Romano, comedian Milton Berle, and dancer Arthur Murray.
The building is a collegiate Gothic Revival structure designed by C.B.J. Snyder and completed in 1904. The auditorium, now named Duncan Hall, contains elaborate Gothic plasterwork, steel-ribbed vaults set within Tudor arches, stained-glass windows, and a pipe organ facade. It is decorated with several murals, most prominently the French artist August Gorguet’s monumental 1926 World War I memorial entitled After Conflict Comes Peace. In 1982, the auditorium interior was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Honoring acclaimed jazz pianist Bertha Hope
Featuring a performance by the Bertha Hope Quintet, with a newly composed piece by Ms. Hope:
Bertha Hope, piano
Kim Clarke, Bass
Lucianna Padmore, drums
Jura Pukl, tenor sax
Angelisha Rodgers, trumpet
With special guest Antoinette Montague
Hosted by multi-Grammy-nominee Bobby Sanabria
On-stage interview by pianist Valerie Capers