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Harlem Arts Fall Preview

By Miles Marshall Lewis

Sage advice for anyone visiting anyplace foreign is to check in with somebody local to the area for a true lay of the land. But what if that newfound land is Harlem? Whether you’re crashing at an Airbnb above 110th Street or a diehard native New Yorker, consider this brief guide an in-the-know indigenous voice to Uptown for the fall season. From the legendary Apollo Theater and the Studio Museum of Harlem across 125th Street to the National Black Theatre and Columbia’s newly erected Lenfest Center, all the events name-checked below come stamped with a native Harlemite seal of approval.

Fictions . The Studio Museum of Harlem. September 14 — January 7. A collection of work from 19 artists of the African diaspora, Fictions includes photography, sculpture, video and drawings spanning the personal, the political, the everyday and the imagined. Following previous emerging-artist exhibitions (Freestyle, Frequency, Flow and Fore), Fictions focuses on the evolution of narratives in contemporary art since 2012.

We Shall Not Be Moved. The Apollo Theater. October 6, 7. Combining jazz, R&B and classical singing, spoken word, contemporary dance and multimedia video, this genre-defying opera plays the Apollo on its way to London’s Hackney Empire. In 1985, Philadelphia police bombed the headquarters of the black liberation outfit MOVE—killing 11 members (including five children) and decimating a neighborhood. We Shall Not Be Moved builds on those tragic events, following five teenagers on the run taking refuge in the former MOVE compound.

Dreamstates and Saul Williams. Harlem Stage. October 6. Shot completely on iPhones by first-time Rwandan-born director Anisia Uzeyman, Dreamstates is a part romance, part travelogue through a unique underground America. Uzeyman’s husband, hip-hop poet emeritus Saul Williams, deejays after a brief performance and post-screening Q&A.

Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version. The Apollo Theater. October 16. Based on the late sci-fi novelist Octavia Butler’s classic Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, musical director Toshi Reagon assembles 20 singers and musicians to bring Butler’s prose to the stage. The resulting Afrofuturistic opera blends 200 years of African American music to tackle race, gender and the future of humankind.

Monkmania: A Centennial Tribute to Thelonious Monk. Harlem Stage. December 1. Known for post-modernizing the jazz legacy of legendary pianist Thelonious Monk into the 21st century, the Monk’estra Ensemble performs arrangements of classic selections. Presented in collaboration with the Manhattan School of Music, Monkmania

NICOLE HENRY at Ginny’s Supper Club

NICOLE HENRY at Ginny’s Supper Club at The Red Rooster – New York, NY. Friday & Saturday, Oct 13 & 14 – 7:30pm & 9:30pm. Reserve your tickets today!

For tickets: Click here

Nicole Henry has established herself as one of the jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance. Ms. Henry’s passionate, soulful voice and heart-felt charisma has earned her a Soul Train Award for “Best Traditional Jazz Performance,” three Top-10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums. Heralded by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, El Pais, Jazz Times, Essence and more, Ms. Henry tells real stories through repertoire from the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz, contemporary standards, blues and originals.

“I had the sense of being in the presence of a pop-soul superwoman whose every gesture and inflection conveyed confidence and mastery…. time and again she invested familiar songs with an extra fillip of conviction and made you reconsider the words.” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“…That predicted time of greatness has arrived. Nicole Henry emerges hands down as this generation’s First Lady of Jazz.” – Sean Martinfield, Huffington Post

TAP HARLEM HARVEST: Culture + Culinary + Craft


Boys and Girls Club of Harlem Autumn in New York Gala

The Stage Play “FLOW Hip Hop and the Church” Featuring AL. B Sure, Kierra Sheard and Hip Hop Reality Star Peter Gunz

The Apollo Presents A New York Premiere Opera WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED