Ongoing Series

  • Afro-Cuban BeatWhile covering New York’s jazz scene for the Wall Street Journal and other publications, Larry Blumenfeld’s working beat increasingly focuses on Afro-Cuban rhythms and traditions, often as expressed in unexpected ways. Through conversations and listening sessions with some of New York’s prominent jazz innovators, Blumenfeld (whose previous museum programs focused on New Orleans) will explore how Cuban musicians have developed their voices in New York City, how musicians raised here have been drawn to Cuban traditions, and how a rich legacy of cross-cultural collaboration has flowered anew.read more
  • Beyond CategoryInspired by the vibrations set in motion by Duke Ellington and others, this series examines those musicians whose music resists labels and speaks to current generations while honoring the legacy of previous generations.read more
  • Harlem Four WallsHarlem: Four Walls explores the sounds that originated in Harlem a century ago and traces them to 2016. A combination of music, film, expert commentary and audience interaction make this something unique to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and our passionately curious audience.read more
  • Harlem SpeaksThe Museum's oral history initiative, Harlem Speaks, is an interview series with musicians, authors, and other individuals who reflect on Harlem's rich history of jazz. read more
  • Jazz For Curious ListenersThis weekly evening program takes an in-depth look at jazz through conversations, lecture-demonstrations, film screenings, and interviews. The series explores jazz from multiple perspectives, uncovering surprising new insights and perspectives on the past, present and future of jazz. Programs are as diverse as an exploration of the Harlem Renaissance, a discussion of Clint Eastwood's Bird, and Desert Island Disc listening sessions, among many others.read more
  • PAST: Parallax Conversation SeriesThe term "parallax" is defined as “the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions.” In this series we reveal the jazz process and philosophy by having two fascinating people from different fields or perspectives discuss a specific topic. Pairings have included a kora player and tap dancer discussing storytelling, an Israeli trumpet player and Spanish Flamenco singer exploring the Arab roots to their music and a farmer's market CEO with a percussionist analyzing the connections between food and jazz. These conversations expand the idea of what jazz is and how it relates to all aspects of our lives. read more
  • PAST: Savory ConcertsThis NEA-supported concert series features contemporary artists re-imagining the treasures of The Savory Collection. The performances weave in and out of live music and original recordings of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and countless others! read more
  • PAST: Rubin Museum of Art, Harlem in the HimalayasThe Harlem in the Himalayas concert series is produced in partnership with The Rubin Museum of Art, fusing jazz with the visual arts as musicians integrate art from the Rubin's collection into their performance. Harlem in the Himalayas supports jazz artists to present their music to diverse audiences in an innovative context. During the concert, each artist in the series responds musically to an artwork they have selected from the museum’s collection of Himalayan art, via composition or improvisation. This pairing supports the culturally cosmopolitan explorations already inherent in jazz, and creates a window for the audience into the musician’s creative process. The audience is invited to join a post-show gallery tour, led by a museum guide, which features the chosen artwork.read more
  • PAST: Jazz Is: Now!Jazz Is: Now! is an educational/interactive presentation that has evolved into a tremendously successful and totally original series headed by NJMH Artistic Director-at-Large Jonathan Batiste. Audience members participate throughout the evening, playing, singing, dancing, and actually directing the music. We never know who or what to expect. Surprise guests have included Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lenny Kravitz, members of the Stay Human Band and more! read more
  • Saturday Sessionsread more
  • Jazz Gallery Mentorship SeriesThe Jazz Gallery serves as an international cultural center where the youngest generation of emerging professional jazz musicians are nurtured with opportunities to collaborate with their peers, discover and refine their creativity, and perform in front of eager audiences. Through residencies, workshops and exhibitions, we provide a platform for artists to discover their unique voice and a home for established musicians to continue to experiment and grow. Together with The National Jazz Museum in Harlem and The Jazz Gallery, artists and audiences come together from around the world to explore new creative ideas, collaborate and celebrate jazz as a dynamic art form that reflects our ever-changing world.read more
  • PAST: Albert Murray, 20th Century American GeniusIn honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great author and thinker Albert Murray, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem proudly presents Albert Murray: 20th Century American Genius. Murray’s dynamic aesthetic philosophy is presented in 12 books from 1970 to 2004, and is the foundation of Jazz At Lincoln Center, the world’s largest jazz organization. Through conversations and screenings of rare film footage, the series will discuss Murray’s extensive body of work, and his influence on generations of artists, writers, intellectuals and critics. Culture writer Greg Thomas will curate and moderate the series. read more
  • PAST: Classic RecordingsThere is a handful of classic albums that continues to usher young people in to the wonders of jazz. These albums also unfold in new ways to those who have enjoyed them for decades. Join the Museum’s Founding Director and Senior Scholar Loren Schoenberg, a GRAMMY Award- winning author and saxophonist, for new insights into what makes the music continue to excite. read more
  • PAST: Desert Island DiscsIn the fall of 2015, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem debuted its version of Desert Island Discs. It’s modeled on an iconic BBC radio show, extant since 1942, which invites eminences from various walks of life to choose—and discuss—the eight records they would bring for a stay on the apocryphal desert island. For the Jazz Museum’s expanded version, the presenters are jazz musicians, who will present a cohort of music, of any genre, that was essential in the formation and evolution of their musical personality.read more
  • PAST: Harlem Stride CelebrationHarlem Stride piano was the first step beyond Ragtime that brought improvisation and rhythmic excitement to the living rooms, nightclubs and dance halls of Harlem. Join us as we celebrate the re-opening of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem with this landmark series. Host Ethan Iverson, best known as one-third of the postmodern jazz trio The Bad Plus, is a jazz pianist and historian as well as a big fan of stride piano. For this intimate series, Iverson will discuss the history of stride, play recordings, and demonstrate at the keyboard. All ages are welcome. read more
  • PAST: Jazz and Contemporary CultureThe blues and jazz are considered foundational to the development of most American musical genres in the 20th century, from gospel to R&B, Rock’n’Roll and even hip hop. Max Roach famously said that bebop and hip hop come from the same continuum of young black artists making something out of very little.read more
  • PAST: Jazz from an African PerspectiveThis performance and conversation series curated and hosted by saxophonist Sam Newsome takes an in-depth look at African-inspired jazz and jazz musicians who create from an African sensibility. The series will feature scholars, writers and musicians presenting thought provoking talks and innovative musical performances. Join us as we celebrate the re-opening of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem with this landmark series.read more
  • PAST: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, DeepJoin the Museum’s Co-Artistic Director and GRAMMY Award-winning bassist/bandleader Christian McBride for a three-part series exploring the many innovations of alto saxophonist and bandleader Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. McBride’s depth of knowledge and passion for Adderley will give visitors access to stories, rare recordings and insights into one of the most significant musicians in jazz.read more
  • PAST: Mies and Miles, Design and Architecture in MusicIn this four-part program with music and visual illustrations, Tim Porter on mandolin will be joined by guitarist Joe Selly and bassist Don Byron and Harvie S. The trio will explore concepts, principles and elements common to both the design of physical objects, like the architecture of Mies van der Rohe, and the structure of music such as that of Miles Davis. With its principal musical focus on jazz, the program will examine how elements such as space, time, color, contrast, texture, shape, motion, proportionality and perspective are similarly conveyed, and how artistic and historical periods influence similar aesthetic expressions in diverse fields. read more
  • Move and Grooveread more