African-American History Month: The Power of Music

Posted by: yetheart, January 20, 2017 1:22 pm
Blog Image: 
Morris Mills

Whether it’s hip hop, jazz, rhythm and blues, or rock n' roll, music has played a central role in the lives of people of African descent in the Americas. It's been used to convey messages (sometimes in secret), create empathy, share and record history, and much more.

In honor of African-American History Month, Queens Library’s Culture Connection will host four special events at Central Library in Jamaica showcasing the diversity of music in the African-American and African diasporic experience.

Be sure to get your free tickets for these great concerts!





Afro-Cuban Jazz Pianist, Composer, Arranger, and Music Visionary Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé
Saturday, January 21
2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

We’re starting African-American History Month a little early with this concert featuring one of our favorite artists. With a decade of experience and success in the international jazz community, Havana native Dayramir Gonzalez is ready to take New York City by storm. In 2009, Dayramir became the first Cuban national to receive a full scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston. In 2012, he was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall as part of their Voices of Latin America series. He is building his legacy in America and fast becoming a leader in the Afro-Cuban jazz community. Dayramir will be joined by singer (and fellow Berklee graduate) Eleni Arapoglou. All the seats for this performance have been reserved, but we will have a stand-by line in case of no-shows. This program was made possible with the support of Time Warner.


Are You Hep To the Jive? Jazz and Literature in the Harlem Renaissance
Saturday, February 4
2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This event will feature both an author talk and a live concert. Queens resident Joe Okonkwo will discuss his debut novel, Jazz Moon, an evocative story of emotional and artistic awakening set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz Age Paris. Joe will select songs from the Harlem Renaissance that award-winning pianist Hila Kulik will bring to life, and guest vocalist Candice Hoyes will perform jazz standards from the era. There will also be a Q&A session, and a book sale and signing for Jazz Moon.


Morris Mills Live—Purple: The Expression of Prince
Saturday, February 11
3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Morris Mills is a multi-talented Los Angeles model, musician, singer, and songwriter. He is the music composer for the upcoming 2017 New York Fashion Week runway show "Tête-à-Tête by Honee." He's toured nationally and opened for such artists as Jon B. and George Clinton. Morris returns to New York with this exclusive live show celebrating the legacy of the Minneapolis Sound and its most famous disciple, the recently (and dearly) departed rock superstar Prince.


New Cuban Masters: The Power of Changó—Expressions of Santeria through Music and Dance
Monday, February 27
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

New Cuban Masters is a project created by Queens Library and trumpeter/bandleader Kalí Rodríguez-Peña to expose the works of established and lesser-known Cuban artists from around the world to our audiences. Our latest New Cuban Masters event will serve as the world premiere of Carlos dos Santos, Jr. and Kalí Rodríguez-Peña's music-and-dance collaboration exploring the religion of Santeria and its role in the lives of people in the Caribbean and the Americas. Carlos is a world-renowned dancer, choreographer, and teacher who has performed with major Brazilian and U.S. dance companies, including the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Grupo Salto, Bale Folclorico da Bahia, Bale Teatro Castro Alves, and DanceBrazil. This program was made possible with the support of Time Warner.