HARLEM — The third-annual Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival returns to the neighborhood's jazz sanctuaries this May, in a six-day homage to historic clubs that are still swinging today.
“While it’s a nostalgic look back at the greatness of the past, this festival’s pulse is the present, showcasing an array of today’s top and emerging talent and showing that what’s happening right now in Harlem really is where it’s at,” the event’s website reads.
In addition to the Apollo Theater, this year’s festival will include classic venues like the Alhambra Ballroom, a dance hall that's more than 100 years old and once pulsed with the sounds of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington.
It also features Showman’s Jazz Club, a small space wedged next to the Apollo Theater, where performers from the famed theater used to liquor-up. Other venues include Ginny’s Supper Club at Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster restaurant, Harlem Stage Theater and Columbia Teacher’s College's Cowin Center.
The festival will begin with Jimmy Heath and Stanley Crouch at Ginny’s Supper Club, opening for six days of performers like Lakecia Benjamin & Soul Squad, Junior Mance, Paul West, Rashaan Carter, Antonio Hart, Christian Sands, Cab Calloway Orchestra. Other events will include a jam session open to the public and a lecture at Columbia University on the history of jazz in Harlem.
The Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, a joint production of Apollo Theater, Harlem Stage and Jazzmobile, runs from May 6 - 11. Tickets for the shows generally go for $10, though some events are free. For more information visit the website.