Add a few complex chords progressions and improvisation to your lunchtime schedule this June. This summer lunchtime jazz series is guaranteed to make you bop and groove. In partnership with the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, Jazz Foundation of America, and Brooklyn for All.
Vocalist, producer, actor / director, and Banana Puddin’ Jazz impresario Rome Neal originally came into the jazz community via his role in the one-man Laurence Holder play Monk. Researching the role, Neal became a regular at jam sessions. He soon went on to found the Banana Puddin’ Jazz series in 2003, at the legendary Nuyorican Poets’s Cafe. Twenty years later, Neal is a fixture in NYC jazz, as revered for his showmanship as for his famous banana pudding.
A Brooklyn jazz mainstay, tenor saxophonist Gene Ghee has led groups, taught in schools, and lit up the stage for several decades, while appearing on recordings by Julius Hemphill, Stevie Wonder, T.S. Monk, and Muhal Richard Abrams.
Master percussionist Chief Baba Neil Clarke, born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, has been involved with traditional African drumming and percussive arts for more than half a century. Best known for his many years playing in Randy Weston’s African Rhythms group, he has also had long musical relationships with Harry Belafonte, Dianne Reeves, Miriam Makeba and Onaje Allan Gumbs, while making significant contributions as a bandleader and educator. His Trio Plus project draws on his vast experience in jazz while centering music from the Caribbean.
A soulful song interpreter admired among her musician peers, Patsy Grant has long been an inspiration to those in the know. Cherished in the Brooklyn jazz world for her many spirited performances at spots like Brownstone Jazz and 966, she always brings wonderful musicians and builds a rapport with each audience.