Hilliard Greene Trio featuring Queen Esther Harlem Afternoon Jazz Series Greater Calvary Baptist Church 43-55 W. 124th St. (between Malcolm X Blvd & Marcus Garvey Park harlemjazzboxx.com Every Tuesday afternoon and Friday evening Harlem play’s host to some of today’s most talented jazz musicians and history’s greatest jazz music in a musical tribute of epic proportions. Concertgoers will spend each Tuesday afternoon or Friday evening surrounded by the cool vibrations of jazz as they are soothed and invigorated by seemingly magical strings and horns. This is an event for all of the senses, and it is meant to be both mentally and spiritually up lifting. Tuesday Afternoon: There are two sets — 1st set: Noon – 12:45pm (15-min break) 2nd set: 1:00 – 1:45. The house doors open at 11:30 a.m. Each year thousands of visitors and tourists flock to Harlem club’s seeking to experience and hear the soulful music that Harlem has come to be known for. No more waiting for the lights to go down or paying a hefty price to enjoy the soulful immortal sounds and rhythms of Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis (to name just a few). Their voices and music live on throughout the city as performers pay tribute to these greats every day. Harlem Jazz Series mission is to preserve, promote and perpetuate the music which is indigenous to North America: blues, jazz, gospel and all genres which derive from our African American heritage.
Singer Meets Saxophonist Christopher McBride featuring Queen Esther Mintons Harlem 206 W. 118th St. Sunday, July 29th Two sets — 7:30pm and 9pm Doors open at 6pm! For reservations, click here. Superb alto saxophonist Christopher McBride has been slowly but steadily turning heads with his ubiquitous work as an invaluable sideman since the mid-aughts. Now Christopher is gaining respect amongst fans, critics and his peers as one of the most versatile musicians in the world. His 2012 debut album Quatuor de Force certainly establishes his ability to front a group and write his own soulful, melodically indelible tunes. Applauded for his ability to play in all musical situations, McBride has the ability to unleash a fiery attack and serrated tone, but on his recent album he explores a more measured, mellow sound heavily influenced by contemporary R&B—with a strong shot of Cannonball Adderley’s post-bop sensuality–but his improvising is very rigorous and cogent. From 1935 – 1939, as the rest of the world waltzed their way through The Great Depression or lindy hopped to big bands, Miss Holiday recorded over 120 sides with some of the best soloists of the decade, including Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, Roy Eldridge, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Cozy Cole, Jo Jones, Artie Shaw, Benny Morton and many, many more. It was John Hammond – record producer, civil rights activist, music critic and aristocrat – who co-organized the very first “sing-swing” session in July 1935 with Teddy Wilson as bandleader when Miss Holiday was merely 20 years old. Armed with her new recording contract for Brunswick […]
Queen Esther Sings Billie Holiday: The Rare Sides Saturday, April 7th — TWO SETS 7:30pm & 9:30pm Minton’s Harlem 206 W. 118th St. 212 243 2222 Musicians: Hilliard Greene, double bass Patience Higgins, tenor sax Dan Rosengard, piano Warren Smith, drums Queen Esther pays tribute to Lady Day on her 1o3rd birthday with a suite of rare sides, reimagined performances, stories and soundbites to offer her take on what most critics consider to the greatest jazz vocalist of the 20th century. A versatile and charismatic performer with a four octave range, not to mention the Grand Prize winner of the 2008 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, Queen Esther continues to perform internationally with her mentor harmelodic guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer in various projects, including his iconic free jazz group Odyssey, as she forges her own sonic path with her jazz collective and her Black Americana outfit The Blue Crowns. Released in 2015, her critically acclaimed album The Other Side – “…the most exciting Afro-Americana album of the year.” (Paste) – is garnering airplay worldwide. Recent performance highlights include: Under The Cherry Parade in a Day (You Sexy MF):Burnt Sugar Arkestra Freaks Prince’s Post Purple Rain Songbook at The David Rubenstein Atrium/Lincoln Center; Hot Jazz Age: From the First Jazz Recording to the Dawn of Swing at Dizzy’s/Lincoln Center; the afterparty for Jason and Alicia Hall Moran’s Forever Gershwin at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; and the 12th bi-annual Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island.
Queen Esther’s work is featured at CTH’s Playwright’s Playground! The Classical Theater of Harlem Presents: Playwright’s Playground Monday, June 6th 6:30pm – 9pm The Dwyer Cultural Center 258 St. Nicholas Ave. For more info: 347-688-6304 A scene from Queen Esther’s latest full-length play currently in utero — an as-of-yet unnamed serio-comic romp about white fragility — will be read at The Classical Theater of Harlem’s Playwrights Playground Cold Reading Series. To RSVP, click here. Selected playwrights submit 10-12 pages of a new work in the early stages of development. Actors are cast on the spot and perform a cold reading, followed by a moderated audience feedback session. In addition to serving the development of new work, these readings give audiences a sneak peek into how new plays are created.
Queen Esther sings Billie Holiday: The Rare Sides Minton’s 206 W. 118th St. February 12th at 7:30pm & 9:45pm Her Trio: Jeremy Bacon, piano Shawn Baltazor, drums Noah Jackson, double bass Queen Esther sings Billie Holiday’s rare sides at Minton’s with her trio, in an elegant intimate setting for lovers and listeners alike. Culled from her much lauded residency last spring that celebrated Lady Day’s centennial, the lost classics span Miss Holiday’s entire career. These songs will give much insight into the life of what many consider to be the greatest jazz singer of the 20th century. To celebrate Valentine’s Day in style, Harlem’s iconic jazz hotspot Minton’s will host a series of dinner events which includes a four course prix fixe meal curated by Executive Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson. There are two seatings to choose from each night. To reserve your Valentine’s Day Weekend table, click here or call 212 243 2222.