HARLEM — Craig Harris likes to invite strangers into his home.
On Thursday, he had a little over a dozen people in his living room listening to his friends play jazz music. He and his neighbors on Mount Morris Park West plan to have similar gatherings once a month.
“This is the perfect place for music,” he said of his brownstone across the street from Marcus Garvey Park. “You get the music from the street, you see the music in the people.”
Harris, a trombonist who has traveled the world playing jazz, teamed up with a local touring company to give people visiting Harlem an authentic experience. It’s important to preserve a little bit of history amid the tide of gentrification, he said.
“We want to spread the culture of our neighborhood,” said Harris, who moved to Harlem in the ’60s. “We’ve seen the neighborhood change and the change is very beautiful, but we cannot forget our culture. It’s what builds this whole neighborhood. It’s about the writers, the poets, the musicians, the dancers.”
He also wants to give musicians a chance to show off. Instead of playing at an established club, where they are expected to play a certain way, they can come to his house and experiment, he said.
By Gustavo Solis | September 9, 2015 11:58am