Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam concerts
2023 Jazz Power Community Artist-in-Residence

Nikara Warren
Annette A. Aguilar

New York City, March 1, 2023 – Jazz Power Initiative, an Inwood-based non-profit organization founded in 2003 with the mission of transforming lives through jazz music performance and arts education, celebrates Women’s History Month throughout March 2023, featuring the extraordinary talents of two exceptional musicians. Nikara Warren, vibraphonist, composer, arranger, and educator, joins JPI’s acclaimed monthly concert series, Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam with performances from Ms. Warren’s debut album, “Scenes From Black Wall Street,” on March 19 at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center in Washington Heights, and on March 23 at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.  

During March, Jazz Power’s 2023 Community Artist-in-Residence, Annette A. Aguilar, Latin Jazz percussionist, bandleader, and educator, leads a series of Uptown community workshops and performances.  On March 24, Ms. Aguilar is the musical director of the Jazz Power youth performance, “Why  We Matter, A Rhythmic Story of Life, Relationships, and the Influential Women That Raise Us,” at PS4/Duke Ellington School in Washington Heights, written and directed by PS4 educator Jose Cantu based on a story developed with JPI, and performed by local Northern Manhattan elementary school students. On March 27, Ms. Aguilar leads Jazz Power’s community drumming workshop followed by “Descarga (Jam),” with her trio at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Inwood. On March 25, Annette A. Aguilar will also headline with her band, StringBeans, presented at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture at Hostos Community College’s Women In Latin Jazz Festival.

“Jazz Power Initiative has strived for diversity, equity, and inclusion since our founding in 2003 and featuring women in our performances and girls in our youth education activities has always been at the forefront of our programs. We are fortunate to draw strength and joy from many long-standing collaborations with exceptional women in jazz and are thrilled to present Nikara Warren, a rising artistic leader of her generation, and Annette A. Aguilar, a veteran band leader and educator, who has been a passionate and tireless organizer of culture in our beloved uptown community of Inwood and Washington Heights for many years.” Dr. Eli Yamin, Founder, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz Power Initiative

Vibraphonist, composer, arranger, and educator Nikara Warren is a true Brooklynite. Born and bred in the eclectic and electric enclave, her family, her friends, her band, and her musical pedigree is a microcosm of the county at large. Her grandfather is world-renowned jazz pianist Kenny Barron, and she’s the daughter of a half-Trinidadian soca/dancehall lover father, and a classic 1990s “Brooklyn ‘Round the Way” girl mother. Nikara is taking vibes to the people with her infectious compositional sense, her post-modern patchwork of influences and cultural signposts, and her fearless musicality. Her bold quest comes from being well-versed in the vibraphone lineage, but seeking to adventure beyond it. Her debut album, Black Wall Street, represents a convergence of Nikara’s personal, cultural, familial, and musical journeys. Here, she explores abstract sound-collage, hip-hop, jazz, neo-soul, Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and more. The through line here being for Nikara it’s all dance music. Her vision is cohesive but eclectic—just like how people’s identities are a product of their various heritages and associations.

Annette A. Aguilar, multi-percussionist, recording artist, producer, and bandleader, was born in San Francisco into a family from Nicaragua and currently resides in New York City. She began playing music at the age of 11 and by the time she turned 16, she was sitting in and performing with renowned Latin artists Santana, Cal Tjader, and Sheila E. She has led her Latin Brazilian Jazz group Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans since 1992, and has released three albums to wide acclaim. The band toured three times as Latin Jazz Ambassadors for the U.S. Department of State performing and teaching in South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar including a performance for the president. Aguilar has also toured and shared the stage with many top New York City Pop, Jazz, and Latin groups including Darlene Love, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Tito Puente, The Grateful Dead,  Mose Allison, Toshi Reagon, Bernice Johnson Reagon and currently with Arturo O’Farrill BronX BandA. She has worked on award-winning Broadway shows including Paul Simon’s “The Capeman,” Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights.” Aguilar earned a Bachelor’s in music performance from San Francisco State University, a Master’s in Performance from Manhattan School of Music, and a Master’s in Music Education at Lehman College, City College of New York. Ms. Aguilar has always been involved in nurturing the next generation of musicians and ran a music program for youth in the South Bronx for twenty years in addition to serving on the faculties of Jazz Power Initiative, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, and Lehman College. In 2015, Aguilar was honored by being included in a large mural honoring Latin Jazz musicians from San Francisco and veteran broadcaster Chata Gutierrez. The mural is located in the historic Mission District on 24th Street and South Van Ness.

For listings, please see below:

Jazz Power Initiative Celebrates Women’s History Month – March 2023


March 19, 2023, at 2pm
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, 58 W. 129th Street, New York, 10027

March 23, 2023, at 7pm
Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center, 530 W. 166th Street, New York, 10032

“WHY WE MATTER, A RHYTHMIC STORY OF LIFE, RELATIONSHIPS, AND THE INFLUENTIAL WOMEN THAT RAISE US,” written and directed by Jose Cantu with musical direction by Annette A. Aguilar

March 24, 2023, at 5 pm
PS4/Duke Ellington School, 500 W. 160th Street, New York, 10032

ANNETTE A. AGUILAR AND STRINGBEANS, Latin Jazz, Brazilian and Salsa Celebrating The Women In Latin Jazz Festival, Featuring Camille Thurman, tenor sax, Ariacne Trujillo, piano, Catarina De Santos voice/percussion, Katherine Jimenez, dance

March 25, 2023, at 8pm
Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, 10451

DRUM WORKSHOP AND DESCARGA with Annette A. Aguilar, Jazz Power Initiative Community Artist-in-Residence

March 27, 2023, at 6:15pm
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 20 Cumming Street, New York, 10034

For National Jazz Museum in Harlem concerts: Suggested donation – General $10, Students/Seniors $5; for events at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center and PS4: No charge for admission.

Jazz Power Initiative presents a plethora of cross-cultural and multidisciplinary professional and emerging jazz artists, with a featured guest every month offering a complete set of new work and jazz standards; the audience is then invited to join in and “jam,” bringing together artists, community members and general audiences of all ages, “to experience the power of jazz, community, and swing!” Since 2017, our 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, Antoinette Montague, and 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, Zaid Nasser, Lakecia Benjamin, and Chris Byars; trumpeters James Zollar, E.J. Allen, and Steven Oquendo; trombonist Ray Anderson; tuba player Bob Stewart; guitarists Bruce Edwards and Tom Dempsey; bassists Jennifer Vincent, Melissa Slocum, Lonnie Plaxico, Endea Owens, Elias Bailey, and Ruben Rodriguez; percussionists Mayra Casales, Chembo Corniel Jr. and Annette A. Aguilar; drummers David F. Gibson and Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax; and choreographers/dancers Mickey Davidson, Shireen Dickson, Max Pollak and Ximena Salgado. 

Our Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam series is produced by Jazz Power Initiative 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 and Miranda Family Fund; Mosaic Network and 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 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 our Managing and Artistic Director, Eli Yamin, and highly experienced teaching artists who are award-winning jazz, theater and dance professionals, we also offer 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 our extended outreach to students in under-served New York City public schools in Northern Manhattan, we currently engage hundreds of students and their teachers annually, and provide after-school instruction, mainly in Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood (where our offices are located) and the Bronx. Our programs include after-school youth workshops at the United Palace; our twice-monthly Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center; local community senior center workshops, and our 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 the preservation and celebration of the jazz history of Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. With the vision to make jazz accessible to everyone, it is a living, evolving museum for the community, a center for jazz, and a place in Harlem where visitors gather to enjoy its history and music, and artists come to play, rehearse, and create – or just drop-in, even when no one else is there, to be in the same space that so many others have shared.
Photos: Nikara Warren by Shervin Lainez, Annette A. Aguilar by Tony Graves

Media Contact:
Arlene Rodriguez Martinez
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