Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance was an unrivaled period of brilliance in both profound intelligent expression and preeminent entertainment. Created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Harlem 100 captures the sights and sounds of Harlem when legendary artists such as Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, and Billie Holiday made the neighborhood the nexus of African American culture. This multimedia performance presents musicians and dancers in a modern variety show hosted by Michael Mwenso, and pays homage to the acts made famous in the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club, and other celebrated venues of the Harlem Renaissance. Harlem 100 celebrates one of the most influential artistic movements of our country and gives insight into Harlem then and now.
Mwenso & the Shakes
Immigrating from Sierra Leone, London, South Africa, Greenwich Village, Madagascar, France, Jamaica, and Hawaii, Mwenso & the Shakes command jazz and blues expression through African and Afro American music for an electrifying show The New York Times calls “intense, prowling, and ebullient.”
“Brianna Thomas is the complete package… she exhibits emotional depth, to-die-for scat skills, incredible pitch control and shading, soulful bearing, and great range” (All About Jazz). With a healthy serving of sass, coyness, and soul, Thomas “may be the best young straight-ahead jazz singer of her generation” (The Wall Street Journal).
Michela Marino Lerman
Michela Marino Lerman is a globally sought-after tap dance artist. The Huffington Post has called her a “hurricane of rhythm,” and The New York Times has described her dancing as “flashes of brilliance.”
Young South African jazz vocalist Vuyo Sotashe is making his mark in the New York jazz scene. He won the very first Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival Vocal Competition, the Audience Prize Award at the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition, and was the very first male vocalist ever to place in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocal competition’s finals.