Did You Catch Our Bronx Hip Hop Legends in Macklemore’s New Music Video?

After a brief hiatus, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are back with their latest single “Downtown.” The best part about this news is that it features Bronx hip hop legends Grandmaster Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz.

Read more about the collaboration from Windows of Hip Hop below:

Grandmaster Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz have been active board members of Windows of Hip Hop since it’s inception in 2012. Windows of Hip Hop (WoHH) is a non profit, Bronx based economic development project promoting the educational, communal, and historical perspective of Hip Hop. The ultimate goal is to create a state of the art, fully interactive, educational institution dedicated to Hip Hop in the Bronx. Melle Mel is excited to see the progress of the organization’s mission.  “The people of the Bronx thought that Windows of Hip Hop and us [the pioneers] opening up an academic center in the Bronx was important. It’s befitting that the people of the Bronx benefit from it the most and spearhead it- that’s why I’m 100% behind it and it’s what we are going to do.”
The organizations founder, Melissa Libran, is ecstatic that Macklemore has acknowledged the history of hip hopand chosen to bridge the gap between the pioneers of the genre and mainstream music. “These past three years have been an amazing experience building the Windows of Hip Hop (WoHH) brand and programs alongside the great architects of Hip Hop and the WOHH team.  We are very excited about the project and we will be revealing soon our newest initiative with Grand Master Melle Mel and Grand Master Caz along side other great hip hoplegends. Congrats to Macklemore and the pioneers featured on this track.”

Check out the video below!


Silent Disco Comes to the Bronx August 30th

I can’t event tell you how many full choreographed dances I have done in the privacy of my home throughout my life. There’s just something about jamming out with the music on full blast in your headphones. Maybe you’ll break out some of your awesome moves at Lincoln Center Local’s upcoming Silent Disco in Woodlawn Cemetery. Now, if your first thought was ‘Um, literally dancing on people’s graves, though?’ don’t fret. Woodlawn Cemetery has lots of beautiful green space that’s not over anyone’s dead body. I promise.

For those who are unfamiliar, a silent disco is a dance party, but instead of music blaring out of stereos, it’s blaring out of individual headphones and partygoers have the option to listen to different stations. So everyone is literally dancing to the beat of a different drummer.

Here are the details:

Where:  Woodlawn Cemetery (Fairview Lawn)  Jerome Avenue Entrance, Jerome Avenue and Bainbridge Avenue

Closest subway: 4 at Woodlawn

When: Sunday, August 30, 2015; Doors open at 4 pm

Cost: FREE

Other Things to Note: No bags are allowed on the dance floor, so leave them at home.

No alcohol is allowed, so keep your flasks and to go bottles at home.

While headphones are free to borrow, you need an ID or credit card to borrow them.

BronxNoise Festival Showcases Independent Music

This Saturday, the BronxNoise Music Festival was held at the Andrew Freedman Home. Featuring singers and musicians from all over, the space was filled with support and appreciation for everyone’s (AMAZING!) talents. It was such a beautiful sight to see and a wonderful way to spend a Saturday night right here in the Bronx. Shout out to Yurby for putting it together!

Below are just a few pictures I took during the show:

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This Sunday, 7/19 – Learn about the Bronx’s Jewish Roots at the Bronx Music Heritage Center

This Sunday, July 19, the Bronx Music Heritage Center Lab‘s Bronx Rising! event focuses on the exploration and celebration of the Bronx’s Jewish roots with a screening of the 2012 film Hava Nagila, a Hora dance lesson, and  a performance by Zion80, a band that plays Jewish music infused with Afrobeat funk.

BMHC is located at 1303 Louis Nine Blvd. and the festivities begin at 4 pm.


Image via BMHC

Tribute to Bronx Living Legend Bertha Hope This Sunday! 10/26

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)







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.



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


Battle of the Boroughs 2014: The Ultimate Battle

WNYC & The Greene Space’s Battle of the Boroughs has come to be one of my favorite events to attend. A blend of great original music and borough pride, it’s a show you’ve got to see. The Ultimate Battle is best of all because of the prizes at stake and the healthy competitive air to see which borough is voted the best. Sadly, Manhattan won again this year, but I am happy to report that all of the musicians that performed were all worthy of winning the ultimate battle.

As mentioned in my post on the Bronx battle , Royal Khaoz, an AMAZING reggae fusion band represented the Bronx with a suave and energetic performance. They perform in various locations throughout the city and trust me when I tell you it’s well worth it to travel downtown to see them.

5J Barrow represented Manhattan and had such strong chemistry between its band members. You could tell they were genuinely having fun and could communicate just by looking at each other. Their performance was high energy and a great way to start the show off.

From Staten Island, Leila Hegazy gave us a soulful performance as she masterfully tapped away at the keys of the piano. She also happens to be a close friend of one of my coworkers, so that was cool, too.

Out of Queens came Annika, a talented singer-songwriter who just finished up her junior year of high school. She made me regret the many (MANY) hours I spent sleeping when I was that age.

From Brooklyn, came the funky Hey Lady. Another high energy group with great chemistry, Hey Lady’s music had audience members swaying in their seats and clapping their hands.

Check out the slideshow below for photos of the performers.


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Party all summer long to celebrate Fania Records’ 50th Anniversary!

There’s no excuse to be bored in NYC- especially in the summer. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Fania Records teamed up with Summerstage and Remezcla to put on free shows in all five boroughs this summer. Check out the line up for the Bronx and Washington Heights below:


SummerStage Events:

  • June 24 – The New Swing Sextet at Crotona Park
  • July 8– Tony Vega at Saint Mary’s
  • July 9 – Jose Alberto “El Canario” at Saint Mary’s
  • July 10 – Domingo Quinones at Saint Mary’s
  • July 11 – Ballet Hispanico’s second company, BHdos at Saint Mary’s Park


Armada Fania Events:

APT 78 (4447 Broadway, Washington Heights)

  • June 26: DJ Christian Mártir & Guest, Sucio Smash
  • June 28: Dura (Radio Buschwick), Bio Ritmo with DJs Christian Martir, E’s E, and Monk-One
  • July 10: Uptown Jazz Festival at Ft. Tryon park (5PM-8PM) Performance by Mobius Collective
  • July 10: Pa’lante NYC (Uptown Jazz Festival After party)
  • August 28: Pa’Lante NYC with guest DJ Christian Mártir  + Guest