You must not miss 2013 Soul Train Awards winner Nicole Henry at Ginny’s Supper Club this weekend, September 25th & 26th. Ms. Henry will light up the room with her pristine, soulful expression, and her always swinging band. Her rendition of Bill Withers’ “Use Me” is one of my favorites.
Get your tickets, catch one or more of the shows and let me know what you think!
AtlasObscura.com is “an online compendium of the world’s wonders. In addition to the website we regularly host unique lectures, behind the scenes tours and highly-stylized cocktail galas in unusual places with the hopes of encouraging exploration and discovery amongst our members while sharing these very special historic gems.”
Harlem is on their radar. For example:
There was a recent evening of “high-end historic” cocktails and jazz in the crypt of the Church of the Intercession of Harlem. The crypt has been described as an “eerie underground crypt” and is adjacent to the sprawling Trinity Cemetery.Attendees included Joining them were Loren Schoenberg from the National Jazz Museum and stride pianist Jesse Gelber and the Lucky Chops Brass Band.
Collyer Brothers Park is a small pocket park in Harlem, providing a temporary reprieve from the surrounding urban sprawl. But visitors taking a break on one of the park’s benches may be surprised to know that the park only exists because of (click here to read more…)
Sylvan Terrace, now a residential community and popular film set location, this property was originally part of the Morris-Jumel Mansion estate. The property was divided, and the Sylvan Terrace was built in 1882 by James E. Ray. The road between the 20 (click here to read more…)
If you have obscure Harlem gems you’d like to share tag them as #HarlemObscura and share them on our social media channels or as comments to this piece, and we will feature them.
Daniel Asbury Mixon from Harlem, New York City is an American jazz Pianist.
Currently you can hear him at the newly revised and highly sought upon Jazz Supper Club Minton’s in Harlem.
A prolific piano virtuoso who has performed in the U. S. and Internationally, Daniel Asbury Mixon was born on August 19, 1949 in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up in a musical household he was influenced by his mother and grandparents beginning his early artistic expression at the age of 3. He studied and performed as a tap dancer at the Ruth Williams Dance Studio and even then was known as “The Show Stopper.” Danny attended the High School of Performing Arts with dance as his major.
During an afternoon outing at the Apollo Theatre with his grandfather Danny was inspired by the jazz musicians he heard. It was then that he decided that he would like to be a pianist and he never once looked back.
In May of 2004 Danny was one of the first musicians to be honored by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in a series entitled “Harlem Speaks,” which resulted in an invitation to the White House for Black Music Month on June 22nd.
Danny’s greatest joy is performing, composing, and arranging for his own group “The Danny Mixon Trio or Quartet,” Danny is currently the Musical Director at Minton’s.
This kind of talent doesn’t grow on trees. Danny Mixon and all of the jazz musicians at Minton’s are what makes Harlem so great. If you have not yet visited Minton’s Supper Club in Harlem, and you are a lover of good food and REAL JAZZ, we highly recommend it. See our previous write up on Minton’s Supper Club, “Harlem’s Opening Night at Minton’s“
We were recently introduced to an extraordinary talent, the globally successful Azania from Sierre Leone, West Africa who now lives right here in our beloved Harlem. If you want to experience a truly gifted vocalist, you can come to see Azania in the flesh at the APOLLO this Saturday, April 5th at 10 pm. She will be performing at the Apollo Music Café a variety of soulful originals (visit her website and iTunes link below) along with music from her new album to be released this year. The Opening Acts: Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew will begin the show.
Tickets are still on sale but going fast. For ticket information and to read more about Azania please see her Press Release below. See you this Saturday night at the show!
~ ~ ~ PRESS RELEASE: AZANIA
INTERNATIONAL SOUL SONGSTRESS AZANIA LIGHTS UP THE APOLLO MUSIC CAFE!
New York, NY
Tickets are now on sale for Azania’s highly anticipated concert at the Apollo Music Cafe on Saturday, April 5th at 10:00pm at 253 West 125th St. in New York City. She’s headlining in the Apollo’s Africa Now! festival. Azania’s award-winning and powerful voice has been described as a mixture of Whitney Houston, Adele and Rachelle Ferrell, that moves her audiences to tears and brings them to their feet uplifted by her energy and joyful spirit. Her rich music is a blend of soul, jazz and funk interlaced with beautiful ballads, and her meaningful lyrics carry insightful messages.
Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, Azania has been lighting up stages in Europe, the U.S., Africa and Asia for over 15 years. She has been invited to sing in legendary venues, such as the Blue Note jazz club in New York, as well as in world-renown music festivals such as Montreux Jazz, and has entertained the Presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Malawi.
This concert will feature songs from her highly-acclaimed album, “Rising”, as well as new songs to be released this year on her next album. She will be accompanied by: Shawn Whitley (bass), Justin Mathews (guitar), Lucianna Padmore (drums), Yeissonn Villamar (keyboards), and Gbianka Kotee & Staren Soanes (vocals).
James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford (June 6, 1902 – July 12, 1947) was an American Jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader in the swing era.
Jimmie Lunceford is the odd man out in jazz history. This bandleader made no waves with his musicianship – his preferred instrument was the conductor’s baton – and he possessed neither the elegance of Ellington nor the hipster hauteur of Calloway. But Lunceford knew how to entertain an audience, and he led one of the finest jazz bands of the 1930s. When Lunceford’s ensemble took a booking at the Cotton Club, following in the footsteps of Cab and the Duke, dancers would hardly have missed a beat. “Harlem Shout” demonstrates the core virtues of this orchestra: its swinging riff-based charts, its hot and polished section work, and (another calling card of Lunceford’s bands) high-note trumpet theatrics, provided here by Paul Webster. Like a hearty band of soldiers, this ensemble always maintained discipline under fire, and there was inevitably plenty of hot stuff around when folks like Sy Oliver and Eddie Durham were handing out the parts. Perhaps if Lunceford had lived longer – he died, reportedly of a heart attack (although under suspicious circumstances), at age 45 – he might have been fêted as elder statesman of jazz. But, as it stands, he is little more than a half-remembered name for most younger jazz fans. Tis pity, ’cause this band was sublime. Reviewer Credit: Ted Gioia
Read Wikipedia on Jimmie Lunceford stating rumors about his death (suspicious circumstances) that he was actually poisoned in Seaside, Oregon by a restaurant owner.
Tain’t What You Do – Jimmie Lunceford
Jimmie Lunceford and His Dance Orchestra 1936 (LIVE)
The one and only Etta James. It is sad to think we have just only recently lost Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins) on January 20, 2012. She was born January 25, 1938 and she died five days before her birthday on which she would have been 74 years old. James was known as an American singer-songwriter. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, jazz, R&B, soul, rock and gospel. Whenever anyone thinks of the jazz classic “At Last” they think of Etta James. Etta’s version as compared to versions by other jazz singers, belonged to her.
James was married to her husband Artis Mills, whom she married in 1969. They had two sons, Donto and Sametto. Both started performing with their mother — Donto played drums at Montreux in 1993, and Sametto played bass guitar circa 2003 with his mom. Etta James battled with Heroin addiction for years and her husband Mr. Mills served a 10-year prison sentence for heroin possession.
From 1989, James received over 30 awards and recognitions from eight different organizations, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which organizes the Grammys.
Now perhaps more trendy than ever Etta James is a “cult hero” with producers and remixers waiting in line to remix her legendary sound and style. We continue to hear her though samples in rap, hip hop, electronic and pop music of today. Her legacy lives on through blues and jazz singers in clubs worldwide honoring her sound. Here she is singing “At Last” as only she could. And the second video is of a young Etta James singing “Got A Hold On Me.”
At Last (live) [VIDEO] – Etta James
Somethings Got A Hold On Me (Live) [VIDEO] – Etta James
Available now for download on iTunes Blue Skies (Vol. 2). A smooth blend of classic jazz with new remixes that will get your party started right. This FREE DOWNLOAD is a continuation of Blue Skies (Vol. 1) which is also available on iTunes Podcasts. Play them back to back for a solid 3 hours of jazz classics and remixes of all different kinds of styles including some rare remixes. GREAT for a cocktail party or just chilling at home. These were made available to several restaurants / bars locally here in Harlem (including Harlem Food Bar earlier last month) but now you can download them both for your enjoyment. (Any other restaurants/bars that are interested in advanced future podcasts, please contact us at HarlemCondoLife@gmail.comHarlemCondoLife.com.)
Click on link below to download Blue Skies Vol.2 podcast and to see the playlist. Enjoy!
It’s been awhile since our last podcast but we are happy to say that Blue Skies (Vol. 1) is now ready for FREE DOWNLOAD on iTunes for your listening pleasure. On this mix you can expect to hear a few modern day remixers from trap to club mixed together with old jazz classics. Including a spoken word intro from “Lady Sings The Blues” soundtrack, the Billie Holiday story. Also a spoken word jazz remix of Ursula Rucker and a beautiful track by Meshell Ndegeocello – Four Women (Pour use ame souveraine) – a dedication to Nina Simone.
See the full playlist below. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, a martini or glass of wine and enjoy some classic jazz with new remixes that will get your party started right.
1. Intro – Billie Sneaks Into Dean & Dean’s / Swingin’ Uptown
2. Ain’t Nobody’s Business – Billie Holiday
3. God Bless The Child (Remix Edit) – Billie Holiday
4. Corcovado (TOKiMONSTA Remix) Getz & Gilberto
5. Supa Sista (Society Nu’mericana Jazz Mix) – Ursula Rucker
6. Georgia On My Mind (Brown Stone Mix) – Ray Charles
7. I Love…Dub (Edit) – Funky DL
8. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (DJ Carnage & Victor Niglio Mix) – Dinah Washington
9. Bei mir bist du schon (Dub) – Waldeck
10. Avenue du Gare (Martini Dub Mix) – Tape Five
11. Four Women (Dedication to Nina Simone) – Meshell Ndegeocello
12. Blue Skies (Maya Jane Coles Mix) – Ella Fitzgerald
13. My Man – Billie Holiday
14. My Man (Toro Y Moi Dub Mix) – Billie Holiday
15. So Nice (Summer Samba) (Azari & Ill Mix) – Astrud Gilberto
16. Haunted Town (Remix Edit) – Lena Horne
17. Bodysnatchin’ (On the Isle) – Rubberoom
18. Right Here – DJ Mitsu
19. Fly Me To The Moon (Kaskade Remix) – Astrud Gilberto
20. Tequila (Pistel Remix) – The Champs
21. Mama Guela (STUHR Remix) – Tito Rodriguez
22. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Zeds Dead Remix) – Nina Simone
23. Feeling Good (Bassnectar Dub Edit) – Nina Simone
24. All Night – Billa Quase
25. Just Move (Remix Edit) – Uneeq
King of the stride, Fats Waller was a colorful comedic personality and jazz legend in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Waller was an influential pianist, composer, singer and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano. His best-known compositions, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1984 and 1999.
Fats Waller (Thomas Wright Waller), was born in New York City in 1904. He started playing piano when he was six and by the age of fourteen he was playing the organ at Harlem’s Lincoln Theater. Within twelve months he had written his first rag (ragtime) song.
By the age of fifteen he became a professional pianist, overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, working in cabarets and theaters. Waller went on to become one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in his homeland and in Europe. He was also a prolific songwriter and many songs he wrote or co-wrote are still popular, such as “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Squeeze Me”.
He enjoyed success touring the United Kingdom and Ireland in the 1930s. He appeared in one of the first BBC television broadcasts. While in Britain, Waller also recorded a number of songs for EMI. He appeared in several feature films and short subject films, most notably Stormy Weather which you can view a video clip of below. It was released in 1943 just months before his death.
Multi-talented Waller performed Bach organ pieces for small groups on occasion. Waller influenced many pre-bop jazz pianists; Count Basie and ErrollGarner have both reanimated his hit songs (notably, “Ain’t Misbehavin'”). In addition to his playing, Waller was known for his many quips during his performances.
Between 1926 and the end of 1927, Waller recorded a series of pipe organ solo records. These represent the first time syncopated jazz compositions were ever performed on a full-sized church organ.
His final recording session was with an interracial group in Detroit, Michigan in 1943, that included trumpeter Don Hirleman. Waller was returning to New York City from Los Angeles, after the smash success of Stormy Weather, and after a successful engagement at the Zanzibar Room, during which he had fallen ill. He contracted pneumonia on a cross-country train trip near Kansas City, Missouri, where he died on December 15, 1943. Coincidentally, as the train with the body of Waller stopped in Kansas City, so stopped a train with his dear friend Louis Armstrong on board. Coincidence or providential?
More than 4,000 people attended his funeral in Harlem at the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., delivered the eulogy, and said that Fats Waller “always played to a packed house.”
I highly recommend FATS WALLER “compilation” on iTunes. CLICK ON PHOTO
ESSENCE.com’s “New and Next” column spotlights the brightest new talents Essence thinks we should know.
New and Next recently featured jazz and soul singer and Harlem resident Azania. Born in Sierra Leone, West Africa but raised in Geneva, Switzerland, the classically-trained singer’s sound takes from her multi-cultural background—she calls it a “mix of 70s soul, some gospel and some jazz.”
Azania (pronounced Azanya) was born in Boston but grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, where her mother worked for the United Nations. She started singing professionally at the age of fourteen working with many different bands traveling Europe. She won the French TV competition, ‘Graines de Star,” an American Idol-style show, and was heralded as “the next Whitney Houston.” Later, Azania decided to make her way to the US two years ago. “The US is the ultimate challenge, and the biggest market. I love the spirit here.”
Azania is also very involved in All As One (allasone.org), a Sierra Leonean charity that is dedicated to providing the orphaned children of Sierra Leone a loving home, medical care, and schooling. AAO provides shelter, medical care, education, meals, clothes, social activities and love for the children. A dollar a day can literally save a child’s life.
Her advice for aspiring musicians is “No matter what your circumstances or problems are, instead of worrying about what’s wrong in your life and your challenges, focus your energy on what you do have, be deeply grateful for it and do the best you can with those things to move forward.”
Recording artist and producer Jeremiah Abiah who has worked with Azania’s says: “Azania has quickly garnered the kind of tenacity one needs to be successful here. Not only is she beautiful but she is a talented songstress aiming to make a difference.”