Homeless Women’s Non-Profit Plans Office Space In Harlem, 13 West 118th Street

118 streetHomeless women’s non-profit WIN (Women in Need) has a new office building in the works at 13 West 118th Street in central Harlem.

New building applications were filed today for four stories of community facility space at the site, which sits mid-block between Lenox and 5th Avenues. Plans call for a lobby and office space on the first floor, more offices on the second and third floors, and a conference room on the fourth.

The cellar will host a staff lounge, storage, more offices and a kitchen. There will be plenty of outdoor space, between a patio on the ground floor and terraces on the third and fourth floors. Designed by OCV Architects, the building will stand 44 feet tall and include 15,945 square feet of interior space.

Children’s Aid Society owns the property, which is currently a community garden, and runs kids’ programs in the apartment building next door, known as the Dunlevy Millbank Center. Alteration permits have also been filed to add a sixth floor and one more apartment to that building, 17 West 118th Street.

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Make Music New York

2015 Make Music New York PosterLast year, on the summer solstice, Make Music New York organized one of the biggest musical events in the city’s history: over 1,350 free outdoor concerts in an incredible array of genres and locations. Thousands of musicians entertained New Yorkers on sidewalks, streets, parks, and gardens throughout all five boroughs of NYC in “an eleven-hour escapade of musical creativity” (The New Yorker).

This year, Make Music New York returns on Sunday, June 21st, 2015 — and it promises to be the biggest and best yet.

Enroll in the free program today, and Make Music New York will coordinate your concert with others in the neighborhood, secure all necessary permits, and promote your event through Metro New York, WQXR, and WNYC. From an acoustic sidewalk setup to a full-scale amplified block party, plenty of options are available.

To get started, just go to makemusicny.org/participate. All concert arrangements must be finalized by April 29th.

Questions? Email help@makemusicny.org.

Melissa Slocum & Collective Perspective – Harlem Afternoon Jazz Series

Melissa SlocumBassist Melissa Slocum has been performing worldwide since 1982, and worked with such legends as Art Blakey, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis, Woody Shaw and Hank Jones. Comfortable in genres ranging from duo to big band, traditional to avant garde, she performed and recorded with Charli Persip and Superband, Ralph Peterson and the Fo’tet, Avery Brooks with Craig Harris, Howard Johnson and Gravity, Dakota Staton, Kevin Mahogany, the Firey String Sistas, and the all woman big band DIVA, among many others. Television appearances include Newport Jazz Festival 1999, Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary Gala, BET Interview, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN with the Kevin Mahogany Quintet and CBS News with Lionel Hampton. Ms. Slocum holds a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the Manhattan School of Music. Come one, come all, bring a guest, and hang loose. This is going to be epic!

Jason Marshall – Saxophone
Carlton Holmes – Piano
JT Lewis – Drums
Melissa Slocum -Bass

Date: March 31, 2015

1st set: Noon – 12:45pm (15-min break) 2nd set: 1:00 – 1:45pm

House doors open at 11:30am

Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church
59 West 137th Street

Price: $15

Kali. Z. Fasteau – World Jazz Quartet – Harlem Afternoon Jazz Series

Kali. Z. Fasteau

Kali. Z. Fasteau

From a musical family, Kali. Z. Fasteau played piano, cello, flute, and sang since early childhood in Paris and New York. Specializing in spontaneous composition, she performs on nai, kaval and shakuhachi flutes, voice, piano, drum set, viola, mizmar, soprano sax, sanza, and cello. She studied the music of Asia, Africa, 20th Century Europe and Jazz, and traveled for 14 years, living in India, Turkey, Nepal, Morocco, Senegal, Congo, Italy, Holland, France, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Zimbabwe, Mali, Niger, Yugoslavia, Germany, Greece, Haiti and America, performing in music festivals, concerts, and on national radio, TV, and film soundtracks. Kali. Z recorded 20 albums as a leader, and formulated her theory of spontaneous composition, entitled “The Tao of Music” in 1974, which is published in music journals internationally in five languages. Come one, come all, bring a guest, and hang loose. This is going to be epic!


Kali. Z. Fasteau – Piano, Voice, Nai Flutes, Mizmar, Percussion

L. Mixashawn Rozie – Soprano & Tenor Saxophones, Flutes, Djembe

Hilliard Greene – Contrabass

Ron McBee – Percussion

Date: March 24, 2015

1st set: Noon – 12:45pm (15-min break) 2nd set: 1:00 – 1:45pm

House doors open at 11:30am


Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church

59 West 137th Street, New York, NY

Price: $15


Beaches Coming to the East River Under Harlem Nonprofit’s Redesign

East River Esplanade

East River Esplanade

East Harlem — A beach on 60th Street, a boat launch on 96th Street, a cove on 107th Street and a waterfront park above the FDR Drive on 111th Street, these are some of the ways a nonprofit wants to change the East River Esplanade.

Citivas, a nonprofit that promotes quality of life issues in the Upper East Side and East Harlem, released an 8-month study on how to develop the East River Esplanade Thursday evening.

“It feels wonderful [to complete the study],” said Civitas Executive Director Emma Bologna. “The community was so involved in the process and we have had a great outpouring of support.”

The announcement comes days after State Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez released his “Tale of Two Rivers” report that explored ways of developing the narrow waterfront space between the FDR and East River.

Rodriguez’s office and Civitas worked together on their studies. While the assemblyman focused on policy, the nonprofit focused on design and feasibility, Bologna said.

Civitas has already started working on making its recommendations happen, Bologna added.

The nonprofit has partnered up with the New York Harbor School to study the environmental benefits of building up the shoreline between 96th and 115th streets, it announced Thursday evening.

Expanding the shoreline would not only bring life to the area but also help protect it from future floods, according to the report.

Additionally, Civitas is developing plans and a cost estimate analysis for temporarily reopening Pier 107 to the public and creating a boat storage facility on vacant land under the FDR Drive at 96th Street.

Civitas’ study also outlines long-term projects that would dramatically change the look of the East River Esplanade.

Those plans include reconstructing Pier 107 into a large multi-use cove-like structure that sticks out into the East River and turning the pedestrian bridge that connects Thomas Jefferson Park to the Esplanade into a land bridge that is integrated with the two parks.

“I definitely think this is the start of something special,” Bologna said. “If we all work on this together we can create an amazing waterfront park.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who hosted the unveiling of the study, lauded Councilman Ben Kallos and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for securing $35 million for immediate repairs.

But more needs to be done to bring the East River Esplanade up to par with waterfront parks on the west side, she said.

“I know to the credit of the mayor he put in some money but we need much more,” she said. “It’s small steps, that’s how it starts.”

By Gustavo Solis on February 6, 2015 3:23pm

Brown Butterfly

Brown Butterfly 021515-page-2TimeTHREE ON 3 PRESENTS Craig Harris’ tribute to Muhammad Ali with the music from the award-winning multimedia work, BROWN BUTTERFLY. Featuring Craig Harris (trombone), Jay Rodriguez (reeds), Franz Hackl (trumpet), Adam Klipple (keyboard), and Kahlil Kwame Bell (drums). Based on the legacy and exquisite physical gestures of Muhammad Ali, trombonist Craig Harris celebrates the essence and spirit of Ali through a contemporary musical composition that transposes the boxer’s physical language into a rich, vibrant, notated score. Rhythms shadow Ali’s footwork, melodies sing the song of his jab, and harmonies display the power of his combinations.

“Mr. Harris is known for his precise and sensitive melding of musical styles. His score is a robust wonder, a rainbow of world music, jazz, blues and popular period music.”          Jennifer Dunning, New York Times 

This is going to be epic!

Mt. Morris Acsension Presbyterian Church
15 Mount Morris Park West
New York, NY 10027

February 15, 2015

Time: 3PM

Jay Rodriguez and Sound – Harlem Afternoon Jazz Series

Jay Rodriguez Jay Rodriguez is a Grammy-nominated Saxophonist, Flautist, Clarinetist, Film Composer, Producer and Arranger. He studied under a full scholarship at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, co-founded by Arnie Lawrence, who said, “Mr. Rodriguez is more than a musician. He is a visionary… and a true light to hear and see.” Jay is the consummate artist; his resume reads like a Who’s Who of the music world. He has performed, produced recorded and/or arranged for artists like Elvis Costello, Roy Hargrove, Bobby Sanabria, Musiq Soulchild, Natalie Cole, Melissa Manchester, Patti Labelle, Arturo O Farrill, Bernie Worrell, The Mingus Big Band, Al Macdowell, Kenny Barron, Mongo Santamaria, The Gil Evans Band, Celia Cruz, Doc Cheatham, Miles Davis, and Prince amongst many. He has taught/lectured all over the world including the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, Berlin, Estonia, Japan, University of Cairo, Uninorte in Colombia and Unam in Mexico. Jay has been a guest on the Jimmy Fallon Show with The Roots as a soloist for English sensation singer/songwriter Michael Kiwanuka and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. Jay co-founded the NYC phenomenon, the Groove Collective, which influenced many modern hip hop and dance music bands.


Jay Rodriguez – Reeds

Preston Fulwood – Piano

Ronnie Burrage – Drums

Melissa Slocum – Acoustic Bass

December 30, 2014

Tickets: $15

1st set: Noon – 12:45pm (15-min break) 2nd set: 1:00 – 1:45pm

House doors open at 11:30am

Franz Hackl IDO Quartet – Harlem Afternoon Jazz Series

Franz HacklFranz Hackl, trumpeter, composer and brass instrument maker is founder and artistic director of the Outreach Orchestra, Festival and Academy and leads his own group, Franz Hackl’s IDO Quartet His feed – forward approach, building on traditions and looking beyond the fashionable trend leads to his distinctive style. As a trumpet player Franz has toured the international festival circuit and concert halls for over twenty years and performed in renown Jazz clubs like the Jazz Standard (as a leader), Blue Note, Birdland and Sweet Basil to name a few. As a composer Franz was commissioned to write original music for the “Year of the Mountains” launch event at the United Nations for the opening of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, and has composed for numerous festivals and ensembles such as Tiroler Festspiele, Europ. Forum Alpbach, Klangspuren, Festival der Regionen and the Absolute Ensemble.


Franz Hackl – Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Adam Holzman – Piano

Fred Cash – Bass

Kim Plainfield – Drums

December 16, 2014

Price: $15


1st set: Noon – 12:45pm (15-min break) 2nd set: 1:00 – 1:45pm

House doors open at 11:30am


What’s next for Harlem’s Assembly member Keith Wright?

New York State Assembly member Keith Wright (D-70) has a slew of options if he decides to seek higher political office, uptown politicos said, whether that’s running for Congress, becoming the New York County clerk, or speaker of the State Assembly.

The 59-year-old Wright has been in the State Assembly since 1992, and has long been rumored as a possible successor to Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) in 2016. He is also the chair of the Manhattan Democratic Party, and a fixture in Harlem politics.

keithwrightWright may be waiting to become speaker of the State Assembly—former Gov. David Paterson said in an Oct. 17 Gotham Gazette article, “He is in line for other opportunities – I think he’d do very well as Speaker.”

But a New York Post article published the same day quoted sources close to Wright saying he was considering leaving politics altogether and becoming the New York County clerk.

Community Board 9 member Daniel Marks Cohen said that if the Democrats recapture Congress, running for federal office might become more attractive to Wright.

“He’s got a great leadership position in Albany right now,” Cohen said, citing his position as chair of the Committee on Housing. “That would be a lot to give up to be in the minority in Congress.”

Neither Wright nor his staff responded to multiple requests for an interview.

If he decides to run, Wright would likely face tough competition in a rapidly changing 13th Congressional District. Still, two-time challenger State Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-31), armed with a new Hispanic majority in the district, came within 2 and 4 percent of unseating Rangel in the 2012 and 2014 Democratic primaries, respectively.

Rangel’s impending retirement after 46 years in Congress could lead to a crowded field for his seat in 2016. Other rumored potential candidates include Espaillat; State Sen. Bill Perkins (D-30); the Rev. Michael Walrond, who also challenged Rangel in the 2014 Democratic primary; and former City Council member Robert Jackson.

“If Rangel does retire … it creates this kind of flux that hasn’t existed in a long time,” political strategist Richard Fife said, adding that Wright should consider seizing the opportunity to run for an open congressional seat.

“Wright could be a strong candidate because he’s built a record, and people know that,” Fife added.

“I think he would love to be in Congress for a lot of reasons,” Curtis Arluck, a district leader of the Broadway Democrats Club, said of Wright. “But it would be a difficult race to win against Sen. Espaillat.”

Continue Reading

By Aaron Fisher


Spectator Staff Writer
November 13, 2014, 4:56am

Harlem Gets in the Swing

dancingThe Lindy Hop era originated during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, and it’s still going strong today. On Tuesdays, The Harlem Swing Dance Society brings back the lively dance with its weekly swing classes and other events.

The non-profit organization was created during the summer of 2010. Program coordinator Barbara Jones made clear the purpose of this program for the community.

“The Harlem Swing Dance Society is dedicated to provide quality services to all who want to be a part in spearheading the impact of Harlem’s dance art legacy of the Lindy Hop,” explains Jones.

Savoy Ballroom legend Sonny Allen leads the class through the basic steps of swing. He remains one of a small number of dancers who can still interpret the swing style dance.

“The most important thing [is to] listen to the music,” says Allen as dancers from his beginner class prep on a recent Tuesday. Allen’s vivacious energy lightened the mood and gave participants a relaxed vibe as they danced together.

Participant Ronald Freeman says he signed up for swing classes to try something new.

“[It was] something to stimulate me socially,” says Freeman, 53. “Also to improve my dancing technique. The instructor is very attentive; the environment is very nice and accessible.”

The Harlem Swing Dance Society holds classes at the Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center located at 34 W. 134th Street between Lenox and Fifth avenues on Tuesday at 7 PM. For $7 you can indulge in Harlem culture by learning a classic dance craze.

Check the group’s Facebook page for information and other events.

Taylor Coleman | 9/26/2014, 11:53 a.m.