After the pandemic, many New Yorkers could be excited about outdoor shows. And haven’t they done something to remind us how deeply music is anchored in the city’s identity? At the same time, some of the old pillars of the scene remain – and with the clubs fully open, it’s a welcome sight to bring Greenwich Village back to life.
The famous Blue Note reopened on West Third Street last week. From Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 10:30 p.m., Ravi Coltrane plays there with a new quartet whose top-class line-up had come together shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic: Orrin Evans on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums.
Coltrane’s improvisation can be mischievous and dark, sometimes both at the same time. Especially in the last 10 years he has developed his very own musical disposition, which is indebted to his parentage, but independent of it. His quartet will perform at the Blue Note Jazz Festival 2021, which runs until August 15.
On the side of a townhouse near the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Fort Greene Place in Brooklyn, the future site of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art’s sculpture garden, Helina Metaferia recently unveiled the first mural from Not a Monolith, a five-district public art initiative . Metaferia’s piece “Headdress 21” is a towering image of a fellow artist, Wildcat Ebony Brown, crowned by a collage of civil rights images – an ode to black female activism throughout history.
Not a Monolith was organized by Facebook Open Arts in collaboration with We the Culture and ArtBridge to show the heterogeneity of black art. Every month through October, two new works by an emerging artist will be displayed on buildings across the city. Metaferia is expected to install its second mural in the Dream Yard in the Bronx over the next week. In the coming months you can expect pieces by Glori J. Tuitt, Jeff Kasper, Dana Robinson and Paul Deo. As each mural is revealed, its location will be added to a map on art-bridge.org.
From Martians to Malcolm X
When New York cinemas reopened in March, the Museum of Modern Art kept its auditoriums closed. That changed quietly on Wednesday when MoMA saw Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” in his series Wynn Thomas, Production Designer. The retrospective honors a craftsman who is perhaps best known for his longstanding collaboration with Spike Lee, a partnership that began with “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986) and continued from “Da 5 Bloods” (2020).
“Mars Attacks!” will be shown again on Thursdays and Fridays at 3 p.m. and offers the chance to see how Thomas mixed the kitsch of the flying saucers of the 1950s and 1960s into Burton’s pastiche. The series will be in the theater with Lee’s “Malcolm X” (Wednesday and 1st. Other titles (“Do the Right Thing”, “Crooklyn”) are or will be available for streaming to members on the MoMA website.
Pride Month may be coming to an end, but the pursuit of equality continues. This weekend offers opportunities for young LGBTQ nerds to celebrate their identities – and their differences.
Join The Times theater reporter Michael Paulson in conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda, see a performance of Shakespeare in the Park, and more as we explore the signs of hope in a changed city. The “Offstage” series has been accompanying the theater through a shutdown for a year. Now let’s look at his recovery.
On Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Youth Pride, a free virtual event, features pre-recorded presentations for teens by singers, rappers, dancers, DJs, and community activists. The program, hosted by Amber Whittington and Jorge Wright (aka Gitoo), is streamed nationwide on NYC Pride’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. (RSVP is recommended.)
Among the many attendees are Kat Cunning, who sings a new single “Boys”; Tarriona Ball, leader of Tank and the Bangas, holds a poem; and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performing “The Hunt”.
For younger children, LGBTQ members of the Story Pirates present their improv talents on Friday at 7 p.m. During this free live streaming zoom edition of the show “Story Creation Zone” (registration on the troupe’s website), actors little viewers themselves weave ideas into a music-filled – and proud – story.
Corporate wakeness, toasted
You’ve probably seen New Yorkers display an abundance of rainbow flags and memes lately in celebration of Pride Month. But what about corporations? Aren’t they people too?
Jes Tom and Tessa Skara honor the contributions of multinational corporations with “The Favorites Presents: Corporate Pride”. The comedy and drag show not only pokes fun at how companies bend over backwards to tailor their marketing to civil rights advocates, but it also serves as an introduction to The Favorites, a new podcast series by Tom and Skara. Larry Owens, Celeste Yim, Jay Jurden, Irene Tu and the Illustrious Pearl join the comedians.
Corporate Pride begins on Sunday at 8 p.m. at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Tickets are $ 15 and are available from Eventbrite. Proof of vaccination is required to enter the club.
SEAN L. McCARTHY