The Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) celebrates the rich history and creative spirit that defines Bronx music, from jazz, salsa, R&B and hip hop to new sounds coming to life across the borough. Founded by the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), the BMHC is committed to preserving and promoting Bronx music, cultivating Bronx artists, spurring neighborhood revival, and providing free cultural programs for the community.
Fifty years ago, cutting-edge music proliferated in the South Bronx; Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Tito Puente, Machito, the Chantals, and others launched their careers in the Bronx. In the 1970s, as arsons, redlining, and disinvestment decimated the area, a new generation of local innovators – including Grandmaster Flash, Cold Crush Brothers, KRS-ONE, and many others – sparked the hip hop movement. The BMHC was created to restore pride in this legacy and inspire the next generation of Bronx artists. View a map of lost music venues in the Bronx.
Currently, the BMHC’s programming takes place in the BMHC Lab, a storefront incubator in the Crotona East neighborhood, and at venues throughout the Bronx. Guided by the BMHC Music Advisory Board - which includes Grammy winners, music historians, artists and community members - the Lab is a center for incubating new work, cultivating a community of artists, and bringing together audiences to celebrate Bronx music.
Programming includes live music performances, readings, film screenings, educational programs, art installations and music history trolley tours of the neighborhood. Learn more about our upcoming events.
The Lab and the BMHC’s digital home at bronxmusic.org are only the beginning.
In 2014 WHEDco, in partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Development Corporation, and Blue Sea Development Company, will break ground on Bronx Commons, a 361,000 sq. ft. development in the Melrose neighborhood that will house the BMHC’s permanent home. With performance, rehearsal, and archival space, the BMHC will become the hub for celebrating and disseminating the influential musical forms that have roots in the Bronx. More than just a cultural destination, Bronx Commons will be a vital part of the community with 290+ affordable green apartments, live/work space for elder musicians, a rooftop garden, and recreational space.