Winter Serenades Presents: The Joint Is Jumpin’: Songs of the Harlem Renaissance A Harlem Renaissance Centenary Celebration

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Brockport celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance with a special Winter Serenades performance on Sunday February 18.  Michael Lasser, well known for his 40 years on Public Radio hosting the always interesting weekly Fascinatin’ Rhythm program, brings New York’s 1920’s and 30’s uptown cultural history to life.

Rochester singers Connie Fredericks-Malone and Reuben J. Tapp, with pianist Alan Jones, present a lively and informative program of music from the period.  A reception follows the 3:00 performance at historic St.Luke’s Episcopal Church at Main and State Streets.  No tickets required- the performance is free, provided through generous donations from the Brockport community.

Lasser talks about the Harlem Renaissance – How would African Americans win acceptance even though they had fought bravely in a war? They had tried education and politics, and failed. Now they would try culture—literature, painting, modern dance, and more. And then a new, more raffish side of things emerged. Whites flocked to Harlem nightclubs like the Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington and Fats Waller provided the songs, and Louis Armstrong and Ethel Waters the vocals. Everybody was “misbehavin’!”

Serenades committee members Terry Carbone and Jacquie Davis attended a performance of the program last summer and were so excited that they insisted on including it in Brockport’s 2024 winter series.   The program is a perfect way for the community to recognize and celebrate the Harlem Renaissance 100th anniversary.

Winter Serenades concludes on March 3 with another favorite– singer/musician, Chris Wilson.

The programs are livestreamed by St Luke’s – see the website stlukesbrockport.org for the streaming link.  The Village of Brockport app has a convenient link to events and special announcements – watch there for reminders and weather updates.   Information is always available at www.brockportny.org and 585-637-5300.