Three on 3 Presents – AN AFTERNOON OF ARIAS AND MUSICAL THEATER – October 19th @ 3pm – $10

THREE ON 3 PRESENTS opens its fourth season of bringing live music to Harlem on October 19th at 3pm at Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church (15 Mount Morris Park West – Fifth Avenue). Featuring an AFTERNOON OF ARIAS AND MUSICAL THEATER with Sarah Nelson Craft (mezzo – soprano), Patrice P. Eaton (mezzo-soprano), Heather Hill (soprano), Alison McConekey (soprano), Brittany Robinson (soprano), Brandie Sutton (soprano), Marsha Thompson (soprano), and Kali Wilder (soprano).

THREE ON 3 PRESENTS is the brain child of neighbors, Craig S. Harris, trombonist, and Patricia Pates Eaton, choral conductor, who combined forces to bring live music to the Mount Morris Historic District and the surrounding Harlem community. A series of concerts are held on the third Sunday in each month at 3 PM. The mission of THREE ON THREE PRESENTS is to heighten the level of comprehensive music appreciation in jazz, opera, spoken word and music of the African Diaspora. In addition THREE ON THREE PRESENTS seeks to focus a light on Harlem’s broad musical culture. All concerts will be held at the Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church at 122nd Street at Mount Morris Park West (Fifth Ave.) For further information contact: Patricia Eaton, 212-289-8096 or  Follow us on Facebook: Three on 3 Presents


Poet, playwright and political dissident Amiri Baraka (né Leroi Jones), who died Jan. 9th in Newark at the age of 79, was remembered in fine fashion with an evening of poetry, oratory and performance at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Feb. 8th). Along with speakers too numerous to mention, the long night included short sets by Baraka’s band Blue Ark (with pianist Adegoke Steve Colson) and a trio led by trombonist Craig Harris, who played the kind of music that fueled Baraka – exploratory, expository, transcendent, ever reaching. Harris grew slowly more fervent, pulling the pianist Donald Smith and bassist Calvin Jones behind him and then set a quick rhythm of triplets, which the pianist and bassist picked up on just as quickly. He worked that back into another ebullient theme but it was a slamming, Latin tinged piano solo that drew the most audience response.Following Harris’ solo, when the bassist returned to the triplet theme, it was hard not to think of it as a free march, a freedom march freely improvised for a man whose walk along this particular path had ended. Later,in the midst of a recitation of Baraka’s “Am”, an  incendiary proto-rap revolving around references to John Coltrane and the repeated line “The victory is yours if you want it”, Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets forcefully intoned, “My country ‘tis of thee, land of soprano saxophones and unwritten poems.” It was hard to not think of the lines Baraka will not be writing. (KG) MARCH 2014 | THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD

Celebrating Amiri Baraka’s “Blues People” at 50

In tribute to the 50th anniversary of Amiri Baraka’s Blues People: Negro Music in White America, the concert features the world premiere of Keep Your Razor Sharp, a full-length original musical composition by Craig Harris, tracing the impact of jazz and blues on our culture.  Performed by Craig Harris and Nation of Imagination (Carla Cook and Helga Davis, vocals; Kelvyn Bell, guitar; Adam Klipple, keyboards; Calvin Jones, bass; Tony Lewis, drums; Khalil Bell, percussion), the work parallels the main theme of Baraka’s pioneering book about African American music: the blues continuum and the people who created it. Exploring a rich musical language that evolved and traveled from the Malian and Mississippi deltas to rural plantations and urban projects, the text of Keep Your Razor Sharp incorporates prose from Baraka’s poetic Wise, Why’s, Y’s: The Griot’s Song Djeli Ya.  Amiri Baraka will provide the introduction to this thought-provoking musical journey, commissioned by NJPAC as part of its TD James Moody Democracy Jazz Festival.  November 10th @ 7pm, Newark Museum ~ 49 Washington Street. FREE

50 Years After the Fire ~ Craig Harris in North Adams on 11/10/13

An inspirational evening of new work composed by Craig Harris and based on the turbulent times of the 1960s and the social uprisings and movements of that era. 50 Years After the Fire features MCLA’s award-winning acappella group, the Allegrettos with Craig Harris and Nation of Imagination. November 10th @ 6pm ~ MCLA’s Church Street Center, Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium – $10

Allegrettos study with jazz trombonist Craig Harris

(10/23/2013 – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts News and Events)  It’s Saturday afternoon in the MCLA Church Street Center, and students who belong to the Allegrettos a capella group are rehearsing for an upcoming performance. But it’s not just any performance they’re preparing for, and not just any instructor who’s working with them. Throughout the semester, these students have met with renowned jazz trombonist and composer Craig Harris, a major figure in the jazz avant-garde movement for nearly four decades, as they prepare to premiere some of his newest compositions before he takes them on tour across the world. At 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, the Allegrettos will perform with Harris and his band, Nation of Imagination, as they present several of his latest works. They center on events such as the March on Washington, the Vietnam War protests, and the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and President John F. Kennedy. Their performance will be part of the MCLA Presents! presentation of “50 Years after the Fire,” co-presented with MCLA’s music department and the College’s “Creating Equality” series. It is this fall’s Margaret A. Hart ’35 Scholarship Concert, which raises money to support a scholarship in honor of MCLA’s first student of color. According to Jennifer Crowell, program coordinator for the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), true to the MCLA Presents! mission, the performance will be an authentic collaboration between the artist and the students. Each year, students – including those who study performing arts, such as theater and music – have opportunities to attend master classes taught by artists who perform at MCLA Presents! “The MCLA Presents! series is always rich in combining what’s going on in the performance world with teaching real-life experience and skills in the classroom. This collaboration will be an amazing transformation for the Allegrettos and Craig’s work,” Crowell said. Jenny Beers ’14, an arts management major from Sandwich, Mass., is one of the Allegrettos who has been working with Harris this semester. “Craig has been inspiring for all of us,” she said. “The group responds well to him and listens to the advice he gives us. He has techniques of teaching that the group have not seen before, so we are learning to expand our musical knowledge and skills, which has been wonderful to see. “We are learning to blend our voices and to pay attention to dynamics, as well as rhythm,” Beers continued. “Craig has been great to work with. He is brilliant.” Emily Schiavoni, the Allegrettos’ advisor, said the music the students are working on with Harris is different from the music styles they typically perform. “He brings a jazz, bluesy perspective to the mix. They’re going to be able to use those skills later on when they’re competing or performing. They’re really learning a new style that they’re able to incorporate into the work that they’re doing already, which is really cool, and makes them unique and stand out in a crowd,” Schiavoni explained. “I feel like I have a new insight for this kind of music,” Beers said. “I have never worked so intensely on jazz and R & B. I am learning about this genre and how to use my voice with it.” “To be able to add this to the mix of the skills in their pocket is just phenomenal,” Schiavoni added. “It’s really about having this experience of having this rock star to work with you as a college student.”