SummerStage at Soundview Park

SummerStage has been entertaining Bronxites all summer with concerts in Soundview Park. A couple of weeks back they hosted GrandWizzard Theodore, & Uptown Vinyl Supreme w/  DJ Perly, The B.O.O.M. (Bronx Organic Orchestra Melinated), and the Boogie Down All-Stars. Check out some photos from the show below:

 

NYC SummerStage - Grand Wizard Theodore - Soundview Park - NYC -

Photograph by Sean Jamar

NYC SummerStage - Grand Wizard Theodore - Soundview Park - NYC -

Photograph by Sean Jamar

DJ Sunny Cheeba - NYC SummerStage - Grand Wizard Theodore - Soun

Photograph by Sean Jamar

 

If you’re interested in checking out one of SummerStage’s free concerts in the city, click here.

 

Bronx Summerstage Calendar — Fat Joe Performs Tonight!

Annual NYC summer staple Summerstage is back this year. Featuring acts including Fat Joe (“Lean Back” is part of the soundtrack to my high school life) , DJ Kool Herc, and even the Metropolitan Opera, the series brings music, film, and dance to Crotona Park and St. Mary’s Park this year.

Check out the full schedule below:

Day

Date

Time

Artist

Park

Boro

Genre

Tuesday

Jul 5

7:00 PM

George Lamond / DJ Lucho

Crotona Park

BX

Music

Wednesday

Jul 6

7:00 PM

Fat Joe / Tony Touch hosted by Lyricist Lounge

Crotona Park

BX

Music

Thursday

Jul 7

7:00 PM

Tribute to Latin Jazz Great Dave Valentin

Crotona Park

BX

Music

Friday

Jul 8

7:00 PM

Nuyorican Poets Cafe: Craig ‘muMs’ Grant’s “A Sucker Emcee”

Crotona Park

BX

Theater

Saturday

Jul 9

7:00 PM

Acrobuffos / Rob & Miss Jane / Sxip’s Hour of Charm / It’s Showtime NYC

Crotona Park

BX

Circus

Sunday

Jul 10

7:00 PM

DJ Kool Herc / Little Shalimar / Screening: Rubble Kings

Crotona Park

BX

Music & Film

Tuesday

Jul 12

7:00 PM

Johnny Rivera / Joan Català

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Music

Wednesday

Jul 13

7:00 PM

Joe Bataan Meets Setenta / Joan Català

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Music

Wednesday

Jul 13

7:00 PM

The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series featuring Michelle Bradley, Kang Wang, Yunpeng Wang, and Dan Saunders

Crotona Park

BX

Music

Thursday

Jul 14

7:00 PM

Tito Rojas

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Music

Friday

Jul 15

7:00 PM

Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue / Screening: We Like It Like That

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Music & Film

Saturday

Jul 16

7:00 PM

Full Circle Souljahs Presents: From The Streets To The Stage/Behind the Groove / Master Class: Kwikstep and Rokafella

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Dance

Sunday

Jul 17

4:00 PM

Legacy Women / Recess Monkey / Music with a Message / Double Dutch Dreamz

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Family

Inspired by Culture? Let City Hall Know!

In its most recent budget proposal, the City Council called for a $40 million increase in arts and culture funding. Our museums, art galleries, music institutions play a crucial role in the fabric of our city; they make New York the amazing world renowned city it is. We’ve unfortunately become used to arts funding being the first thing on the chopping block when there are budget constraints, but this most recent proposal sends the message that arts funding is essential and indispensable.

I recently spoke with Eric Henry, the Director of  Government Relations at The New York Botanical Garden about how the garden would benefit from this increase in city funding. With increased funding from the city, Henry says NYBG would benefit from “operational support jobs, ecological conservation and education” and stressed that “cultural institutions are not just for tourists,[but] for city natives as well.”

Henry also suggested some ways that you can help ensure that cultural institutions such as the New York Botanical Garden receive increased funding from the city including:

  • Sign up for memberships via IDNYC
  • Speak to your local representative
  • Visit NYCInspires.org to share why New York City’s (especially here in the Bronx!) cultural institutions are important to you.
  • Use #NYCInspires when posting about your visits to our wonderful cultural institutions.

nybg fall

 

Highbridge Voices to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Distinguished Concerts International New York invited twenty members of Highbridge Voices, a Bronx organization that provides after school music education, have been chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall. Between Heaven and Earth will take place this Monday, March 7, 2016 at 7 pm. Tickets start at $20.

October 15, 2014: Highbridge Voices in the Bronx, NY.

October 15, 2014: Highbridge Voices in the Bronx, NY.

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.

bronxrisingjuly

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.

 

VENUE

Morris Campus Auditorium

1110 Boston Road, Bronx, NY

*parking available onsite

PRICE

FREE ($5 suggested donation)

PUBLIC CONTACT

718.839.1196

info@bronxmusic.org

 

WEBSITE

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.

 

ARTISTS

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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The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Wynton Marsalis at Woodlawn Cemetery

 

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I love jazz. I don’t have a favorite song or artist, I just love the sound. I have literally spent hours just listening to my jazz station on Pandora. It just puts me in a good mood. So, when I saw that Lincoln Center’s jazz orchestra was performing right here in the Bronx at Woodlawn Cemetery, I knew I had to attend. As a  well-known  final resting place for many famous musicians, the venue was the perfect venue for the show.

Led by the cool, calm, collected (and clever!) Wynton Marsalis, the orchestra kicked off the show with “The Dippermouth Blues.” The instruments were so crisp and clear, it almost sounded like a recording! The orchestra also covered songs from the likes of W.C. Handy, Duke Ellington (who is buried at the cemetery), Miles Davis, Celia Cruz, and Florence Mills. One of my favorite parts of the show was when Ali Jackson covered a Max Roach song. The rhythm of the drums captivated the crowd as it toyed with a steady, rumbling beat and switched to a low, rain-like pitter patter.

This was my first time visiting Woodlawn Cemetery and when I told some of my friends they all pause like “Oh…a cemetery…okay…” but just from the small glimpse I got walking in from the gate to the concert site, was enough to let me know I need to return ASAP. Though the concert was in honor of the cemetery’s 150th anniversary, I hope they consider hosting more live shows, because it’s such a great outdoor space.

 

Bronx Battle of the Boroughs 2014

So I know this post is WAY overdue, but it’s because I moved! Of course, I’m still in the Bronx, but I’ll be sure to give more info in a later post.  Now, onto the good stuff.

Two weeks ago some of the Bronx’s most talented musicians graced the stage of The Greene Space to compete for the winning title to go against the top musician from each borough in the Ultimate Battle in June. This year’s contestants were:  August Hill,Flowfreequan ,Park After Dark,Nando Griffiths and Pure Fyah ,Stef Lebaux ,Bob Gaulke ,Angels in the Chamber ,Tatiana Scott ,Royal Khaoz ,Bryan Durieux Project , and Yurby.

If you read last year’s post, you’ll remember that Flowfreequan and Yurby both competed in last year’s battle.  I think they came back even better this year. And of course, if you missed last month’s Spotlight on Stef Lebaux, you can catch it here. You can watch videos of the show by visiting the Green Space’s website.

A clear fan favorite was Royal Khaoz ( as evidenced, of course by the fact that they won the most votes and will be representing the Bronx in June). As someone who doesn’t really listen to much reggae at all, I was definitely impressed by their charisma, ability to involve the crowd, and of course, their catchy music. I was singing their song way after the show was finished.

Another band that stood out to me was the Bryan Durieux Project. Their song “The Disappearing Act” was soulful and the kind of song that makes you unconsciously sway along. They had a likability factor that the judges picked up on as well.

I could go on and on about every musician, but we’d be here forever! Check out the photos of the show below:

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