Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam
Fall season is in full swing
now at two Uptown Manhattan locations
Zah! Ensemble and Eli Yamin at the Bank Street Fall Fair (Photo by Jim Cummins/JPI)
New York City, December 28, 2022 – In December, Jazz Power Initiative celebrates Dr. Barry Harris (1929-2021), the Internationally renowned jazz pianist, composer, educator, community builder and keeper of the bebop flame. Dr. Harris profoundly inspired Jazz Power Initiative since its founding in 2003 as The Jazz Drama Program and we were fortunate to officially honor him during his lifetime, have him visit our program and offer us ongoing guidance and encouragement. This program celebrates his legacy and our connection to it with an intergenerational group performing his vocal arrangements and compositions including Autumn in New York, Conception, and Nascimento.
Dr. Harris, was born in Detroit and moved to New York in the 1950’s where he became a prolific performer and recording artist including collaborations with Cannonball Adderley, Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, and Illinois Jacquet. He founded the Jazz Cultural Theatre in the 1980’s and became the most prominent bebop exponent in the late 20th and early 21st century. He had a close relationship with pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and is the recipient of the 1989 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award as well as honorary doctorate degrees from Northwestern University, Lewis College of Business and the Manhattan School of Music. His recordings and teaching are widely available online including a series of teaching videos he recorded for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy with Jazz Power Initiative‘s own Dr. Eli Yamin.
Dr. Harris will always be remembered as an extraordinary leader in our community, and we are honored to celebrate him in December with the help of longtime friend and collaborator, conductor and pianist Phil Bingham, internationally known bassist and fellow Barry Harris disciple Ari Roland, and JPI’s young professional group, Zah! Ensemble and Eli Yamin.
Jazz Power Initiative (a d/b/a of The Jazz Drama Program) launched their monthly series in 2017 in partnership with and held at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, with their first house band composed of internationally recognized jazz artists, including saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, bassist Endea Owens, and vibraphonist and percussionist Eli Fountain, hosted and led by their Managing and Artistic Director, Eli Yamin, on piano.
Since 2017, their Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam has presented over 80 professional and emerging artists, and has welcomed over 200 “jammers” to participate. Featured artists include vocalists Catherine Russell, Charenee Wade, Ariacne Trujillo, Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson of Sweet Honey in the Rock; pianists Nicki Denner and Eli Yamin; violinist Curtis Stewart; clarinetist Evan Christopher; saxophonists Knoel Scott, Claire Daly, Jon Irabagon and Chris Byars; trumpeters James Zollar, E.J. Allen, and Steven Oquendo; trombonist Ray Anderson; guitarists Bruce Edwards and Tom Dempsey; bassists Jennifer Vincent, Melissa Slocum, Lonnie Plaxico, and Ruben Rodriguez; percussionists Mayra Casales, Chembo Corniel Jr. and Annette A. Aguilar; drummers David F. Gibson and Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax; and dancers Mickey Davidson, Shireen Dickson, Max Pollak and Ximena Salgado.
The success of their intergenerational “Jam” concert series has prompted their further collaborations with prominent local organizations and venues such as Jazzmobile in Harlem and The Hispanic Society Museum & Library in Washington Heights. This year they presented their first Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam Festival in June 2022, featuring 52 professional artists and 42 students in a series of four concerts at four Northern Manhattan venues.
Jazz Power Initiative is now expanding their monthly jam series to be presented at two Uptown Manhattan locations, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and their newest partner venue, Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center in Washington Heights. Concerts are presented monthly on the third Sunday at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and on the third Thursday at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center, with high-quality jazz music for neighbors and visitors to enjoy and participate in a family-friendly environment.
The artistic line-up and schedule for the Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam fall season is:
NOVEMBER 17th 7-8:30 PM at Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center
NOVEMBER 20TH 2-4 PM at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem
“Here’s to the Ladies Who Swing and Bling” saluting iconic singers from Carrie Smith to Etta Jones featuring vocalist Antoinette Montague, Jazz Women to the Rescue, with Eli Yamin, piano, Melissa Slocum, bass and Darrell Smith, drums and special guests Claire Daly, baritone sax; Annette A. Aguilar, percussion, and Joie St. Hubert, vocals.
DECEMBER 15th 7-8:30 PM at Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center
DECEMBER 18th 2-4 PM the National Jazz Museum in Harlem
“Barry Harris Birthday Celebration ” presenting vocal arrangements by the master pianist and educator, to celebrate the late, great Barry Harris, featuring Zah! Ensemble, Jazz Power Initiative’s young professional vocal ensemble with special guest pianist and conductor, Phil Bingham, with Eli Yamin, piano and Jordan Carr, drums – and more surprise guests.
National Jazz Museum in Harlem, 58 W 129th St, New York, NY 10027 – Suggested Donation: General $10, Students/Seniors $5
Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center, 530 W 166th St, New York, NY 10032 – No charge for admission
Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam is produced by Jazz Power Initiative, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 2003, and is made possible in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; the Howard Gilman Foundation; the Hispanic Federation; the Mosaic Network & Fund at the New York Community Trust; the National Jazz Museum in Harlem; Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York and the New York City Department of Youth & Community Development; LaGuardia Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts; and Jazz Power Initiative’s individual donors.
Jazz Power Initiative is a community-based performing arts and educational non-profit organization, founded in 2003. Jazz Power serves thousands of New Yorkers and visitors annually – students, teachers, artists, seniors and general audiences, ages 8-80+, to build more creative and inclusive communities. Led by Managing and Artistic Director, Eli Yamin, and highly experienced teaching artists who are award-winning jazz, theater and dance professionals, JPI also offers multidisciplinary training, scholarships and performance opportunities to New York City youth, ages 8-22, from every economic and social milieu at low or no cost to families. With extended outreach to students in under-served New York City public schools in Northern Manhattan, JPI currently engages hundreds of students and their teachers annually, providing after-school instruction mainly in Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood (where JPI’s offices are located) and the Bronx. Their programs include after-school youth workshops at the United Palace; their monthly Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center; local community senior center workshops, and their annual Jazz Power Institute at Lehman College (CUNY) for artists and educators.
Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center is a multi-disciplinary arts center in Washington Heights that showcases contemporary and classical Dominican and Latin American art, dance and music. Intergenerational learning, transnational and cross-cultural activities are the philosophical guidepost of the Center. Lessons and workshops in computer, arts making, popular and traditional dances and Afro-Latin percussion, as well as literary conferences, music and theatrical performances are provided free of charge. In addition, the Cultural Center is home to a state-of-the-art computer lab funded by Charter Communications.
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is a museum dedicated to preservation and celebration of the jazz history of Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. Their vision is to make jazz accessible to everyone on the planet. They are a living, evolving museum for the people, center for jazz and a place in Harlem where visitors gather to enjoy history and music, and where artists come to play, rehearse, create or drop-in, even when no one else is there, just to be in the space that so many others have passed through.
Janny Gonzalez Velasquez