WHEDco unveils the new Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) Laboratory at 1:00pm on Friday, April 13, 2012. The BMHC Lab is a 1,400 square-foot performance, gallery and retail space where Bronx artists can innovate and showcase their work, even before the permanent BMHC building is built. BMHC Music Advisory Board members and Hip Hop duo, Reph Star and Patty Dukes of Circa '95 are inaugurating and curating the BMHC Lab with the Circa '95 Pop-Up Shop, a community art shop/gallery space that exhibits traditionally underrepresented urban artistic works and uses the arts to transform communities. Dedicated to supporting new upcoming and established artists, the Circa '95 Pop-Up Shop at the BMHC Lab will feature music, workshops and events for kids and adults, and will create a community for artisans to share their experiences, hone their craft and access new opportunities.
Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00 to 6:00pm
Saturdays from 1:00 to 7:00pm
View a complete calendar of events.
1303 Louis Nine Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10459
(Take the 2 or 5 trains to Freeman Street
WHEDco welcomes Rev. Richard Griffiths of the Bronx Bethany Community Corporation in the North East Bronx to BMHC's Music Advisory Board. An accomplished pianist and percussionist, Richard has spent years dedicated to serving young people and families in the Bronx through academically rich arts-based programming, ministry, counseling and his two other loves, basketball and running. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management (Marketing) and a Master of Arts degree from Alliance Theological Seminary.
Join us on May 18th for a FREE classical concert tribute honoring Bronx Community Living Legend, Kenneth Edwards, long-time violinist and teaching artist in the Bronx at PS/MS 218. A Juilliard-trained musician, Kenneth has passed on his love of classical music to hundreds of Bronx students and their families for over a decade. When he's not teaching in the BMHC After School Program run by WHEDco, he performs with Bronx Symphony Orchestra and other groups.
In collaboration with the Bronx River Arts Center, the BMHC hosted two events to discuss the impact of culture, society and music on Bronx communities. Events featured stimulating discussions by Bill Aguado, BMHC Consultant and Founder of the Bronx Council on the Arts; Bobby Sanabria, Grammy nominee, bandleader and educator; and Steven Sapp and Mildred Ruiz Sapp of UniVerses.
BMHC Consultant Bill Aguado and artist Hatuey Ramos-Fermin moderated the first Shifting Communities roundtable covering 30 years of Latin Jazz in the Bronx with guests: Elena Martinez, folklorist; Bobby Sanabria, multi-nominated Grammy bandleader, drummer and educator; Michael Max Knobbe, Executive Director of BronxNet; Angel R. Rodriguez, Sr., musician, arranger and Bronx Living Legends producer; and Al Quiñones, producer of 53 ark Music Series. Participants discussed the role of demographic shifts in the Bronx and how the social and economic climate shaped the Latin Jazz landscape. More than 30 community members also got to enjoy Ramos-Fermin's art installation, celebrating Casa Amadeo, a South Bronx record shop and cultural cornerstone in a changing community.
The Shifting Communities roundtables continued with a full-bodied discussion of the history of Hip Hop in the Bronx with Bill Aguado, moderator; Patty Dukes and Reph Starr of Circa '95; Steven Sapp and Mildred Ruiz Sapp of UniVerses; Fred Ones; Jane Gabriels of Pepatien; and Rokafella of Full Circle Dance. With bodies of work firmly centered on cultural and social justice, each panelist reflected on current commercial hip hop and the role of women in the industry. Nearly 40 attendees, including a group of students from WHEDco's BMHC After School Program, attended the roundtable.
WHEDco revived the Bronx Living Legends tribute series to honor two Bronx music heroes. Original Bronx Living Legends curator, Angel R. Rodriguez, Sr., produced tribute concerts for Eugene "Gene" Golden and Gilberto "Pulpo" Colon, Jr.
The BMHC-sponsored Bronx Living Legends series kicked off with Eugene "Gene" Golden, a Bronx drummer who mastered Afro-Cuban and Yoruba traditions with a fusion of popular drumming styles. Gene still drums and is dedicated to passing on these musical traditions, teaching a weekly drumming class for 4-8 year-olds. A key member of several local music groups, Gene filled the 100-seat Pregones Theater with musicians and community members he has worked with over the years. After Angel R. Rodriguez, Sr.'s insightful onstage interview with the artist, the concer proceeded. Guests were treated to the added thrill of watching and listening to many of Gene's friends and musicians, who jumped on stage to sling, drum and dance, exuberantly paying homage to the life and career of this Bronx music hero.
BMHC next conferred the honor of Bronx Living Legend on Gilberto "Pulpo" Colon, Jr., a Latin Jazz pianist well known for his 16 years of playing in Hector Lavoe's orchestra in which they produced the platinum album, "Comedia." Pulpo's love for music was sparked in his Bronx elementary school and fostered while he was hanging coats in his mother's South Bronx bar. Pulpo still plays and tours with his band, "La Ensalada de Pulpo." He has also taught music to hundreds of young people in the Bronx and Harlem over the past 16 years. There were no empty seats in the house on the night of November 19th; Pulpo's peers, fans and family filled the 400-seat theater at the Hostos Center for the Performing Arts, event co-sponsor. Besides Pulpo's performance, one of the night's many highlights was his mother's surprise trip from Puerto Rico to see him receive his award.
The BMHC collaborated with Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, the Celia Cruz High School of Music, City Lore and the Friends of the Woodlawn Cemetery to co-host two events, celebrating the life of Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz.
Over 150 people converged on the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx on a sunny Sunday afternoon to hear a rousing performance by the Celia Cruz High School of Music Latin Jazz in the Woolworth Chapel. A panel discussion of Celia's life in Cuba moderated by Grammy nominated BMHC Music Advisory Board member, Bobby Sanabria, drew excited questions from the audience. Panelists, Jazz Master Cándido Camero and Celia's manager, Richie Bonilla, were only too eager to answer. The day closed with a tour of the Celia Cruz mausoleum led by Brian Sahd of Woodlawn Cemetery, where the singer is interred.
Co-sponsored with the Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education on the eve of Celia Cruz's birthday, BMHC's second in the ¡Azucar! series featured a lively panel discussion with filmmaker, Leon Gast; Celia's longtime hairdresser, Ruth Sanchez; and Bronx researcher, Dr. Licia Fiol-Matta. The panel, moderated by BMHC Music Advisory Board member and folklorist Elena Martinez, covered Celia's life while she was in New York City, specifically playing clubs in the Bronx, and how her image developed in the public eye. Over 100 people attended the panel discussion, several with a personal connection to Celia and her legacy. The panel was followed by the opening of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte's photography exhibition, "Presenting Celia Cruz," which included some of Celia's costumes, clothing, portraits and other artifacts.
The BMHC and Art Connects New York co-sponsored the opening of a 15-piece art installation at WHEDco's historic Urban Horizons building in Morrisania in the South Bronx. The event featured live music by Kenneth Edwards, a Juilliard-trained violinist and Bronx music educator in WHEDco's BMHC After School Program. Curated by Art Connects New York, all pieces in the "Between the Lines" exhibit were generously donated by NYC artists to beautify the building for tenants and community members. Themes of movement, hope and opportunity in the paintings, drawings, photography and murals were echoed in the classical compositions - Bach and others - played, mesmerizing the 40 tenants, community members and artists who attended.
WHEDco launched the Bronx Music Heritage Center Event Series with an open-air concert by Grammy Award-winning Bronx flautist, Dave Valentín and his Latin Jazz band on June 4, 2011, co-sponsored by the Bronx Council on the Arts. Nearly 500 community members filled the streets with music, dancing, singing, visual art and fitness activities over the three-day Bronx Summer Walks on 167th Street event, which also featured a children's orchestra.