On the final Friday in October, I met up with Lorey Hayes, a Broadway, film and television actress, who is also a director and an award-winning playwright, in Harlem at the Manhattan School of Music, for a spectacular concert tribute featuring MSM’s Grammy®-nominated Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, led by the renowned percussionist Bobby Sanabria, and featuring the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award Honoree, the legendary Cuban-born conguero, Candido. The evening was a celebration of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, with The Orchestra kicking off a year-long “Harlem Nights” Concert Series with “Harlem Hothouses” saluting the venues such as the Apollo and the Savoy where Jazz flourished, and we were all dancing in the aisles during the encore.
Plays by Pearl Cleage, Regina Taylor, France-Luce Benson, Christine Jean Chambers, Naveen Bahar Choudhury, Philana Omorotionmwan, Desi Moreno-Penson, Bridgette Wimberly and Cori Thomas are featured in The River Crosses Rivers II: 9 Short Plays by Women of Color, presented by Ensemble Studio Theatre/Going to the River from September 14 – October 2, 2011 in New York.
Lia Chang: Sidney Poitier, Ntozake Shange, Ruby Dee, Alicia Keys, Mayor David Dinkins, Imhotep Gary Byrd, George Faison, Amiri Baraka, Rev. Malcolm Boyd, Elizabeth McCann, Carla Pinza, Terrie Williams, National Black Theatre and Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin will be feted at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Gala at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on Sunday, May 22, 2011.