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Harlem Speaks at The Jazz Museum in Harlem Bill Saxton (July 28th)


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Harlem Speaks Swings into the Summer! Bill Saxton (July 28th) Seleno Clarke (August 11th) Herb Boyd (August 25th)

New York, NY (July 12, 2005) Harlem Speaks continues into the summer with Bill Saxton, the museum's special guest on July 28th. A Harlem native, Saxton’s quartet was a regular at St. Nick's Pub for over a decade, yet has been featured around the world, touring Europe and Africa and across the United States since the 1980s. While in his 20s, he studied woodwinds, arranging and composition at the New England Conservatory, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973. He’s played and recorded with a virtual who's who of jazz, including jazz lights such as: Clark Terry, Clifford Jordan, Charlie Persip, Frank Foster, Tito Puente, Jimmy Ponder, and Bobby Watson. In addition to his superb work as a leader and sideman, Saxton is a top-notch jazz educator; he is an adjunct faculty member of the New School of Social Research, and instructs a clarinet ensemble and teaches music theory to youth on behalf of a music program sponsored by the NYC Housing Authority.

Seleno Clarke, another Harlem jazz treasure, is a living master of the Hammond “B3" organ. On August 11th he will discuss his 40+ years in the music business. In the 60s he played saxophone in all the clubs in the Harlem loop (including the Apollo) and downtown. Clarke and Kenny Dorham were two of the last artists to play the famous Harlem club Minton's Playhouse. Legends like the late Grant Green and stars like George Benson, who produced Clarke's quintet CD, Diversity, have appeared frequently as special guests with his bands. The long list of other players who have played with him also includes Melvin Sparks, Jimmy Ponder, Mark Whitfield and Russell Malone. Clarke hosts an international jam session every Sunday evening from 7:00pm - 12:00am at Harlem's American Legion Hall, and plays on Tuesdays from 7pm-11pm at Perk's Jazz and Supper Club.

Harlem Speaks concludes its summer set of talks on August 25th with Harlem resident Herb Boyd, one of the most tireless writers in all of New York. In addition to serving as National Editor of the online publication The Black World Today, Boyd's byline can be seen on a weekly basis in the Amsterdam News. But in any given month, you can find his jazz reviews in Downbeat, Jazz Times, and other music publications. Boyd’s co-editorship of the anthology Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America was awarded an American Book Award for nonfiction; he is also editor of The Harlem Reader, and author of a biography of Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar in Harlem, as well as We Shall Overcome, a gripping account of the civil rights movement.

The previous Harlem Speaks honoree was filmmaker Jean Bach, who, on June 2nd, gave a fascinating talk about her 60 year career. Of course, much of it focused on the genesis and execution of her film A Great In Harlem, which celebrates the iconic 1958 Esquire photograph taken by Art Kane. Mrs. Bach was personal friends with many of the musicians in the photo. She also recounted in great and fascinating detail her close associations with Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and many other jazz greats. There was also a segment devoted to her role as producer of the Arlene Francis radio show for 25 years, where she also appeared as occasional host. A tireless proselytizer for jazz, Mrs. Bach has been a potent force both behind and in front of the scene for decades, and continues to work her magic. A new edition of A Great Day In Harlem is due out soon. www.a-great-day-in-harlem.com

The Harlem Speaks series is co-produced by the Jazz Museum in Harlem's Executive Director, Loren Schoenberg, and Greg Thomas Associates. Each event takes place at the offices of the Jazz Museum in Harlem, located at 104 East 126th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, from 6:30pm-8:00pm twice a month on Thursdays. As always, the series is free to the public. Please call for reservations: (212) 348-8300.

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