5 Hour Outdoor Event in Harlem Celebrates Black Bodies and Minds
HARLEM STAGE PRESENTS SERIES OF EVENTS CENTERED ON MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH’S BLACK JOY IN THE HOUR OF CHAOS, JUNE 17 & 18
Free Outdoor Performance on 125th Street Celebrates Black Joy
Presented in Partnership with Harlem Arts Alliance, NYS State Office of General Services and Studio Museum in Harlem in Celebration of Juneteenth
Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos is a cycle of musical, dance and spoken word poetry performances that evoke “black joy.” Invoking the history of Harlem, the legacy of hip-hop, the Great Migration, New Orleans ‘second line’ parades and contemporary racial politics, Joseph has composed a vibrant and participatory performance that activates and engages community, congregating regularly under a parachute-turned-revival-tent for moments of intimate performance and celebration. Harlem Stage is pleased to present a series of events centered on Joseph’s uplifting cycle.
The events begin on Friday, June 17 at 7pm, when Harlem Stage and Jooksi will present a participant driven listening session exploring the singular and intersecting themes of blackness, joy and chaos found in Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos. On Saturday, June 18 there will be a free outdoor performance from 12–5pm and festivities continue Saturday evening, beginning at 8pm, with an After Party at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse.
Presented in partnership with Harlem Arts Alliance, NYS State Office of General Services and Studio Museum in Harlem, Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos is a five-hour, free, outdoor performance that celebrates black joy. Originally commissioned as part of Creative Time and Central Park Conservancy’s 2015 public art exhibition Drifting into Daylight: Art in Central Park, Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos comes to Harlem for an incredible afternoon of performance and community engagement in celebration of Juneteenth. The outdoor event features performances by Javier Madrid Ninja of the Legendary House of Ninja, afrobeat house and hip hop band Ayoinmotion, neo soul/jazz/fusion band Freelance, poets from Urban Word NYC, blues, funk and soul band Keith “The Captain” Gamble and Brooklyn United Marching Band with music spun by DJ Raydar Ellis including a special Prince DJ tribute and will take place on Saturday, June 18, 12-5pm on the plaza of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building (163 W 125th St) in Harlem. A public program hosted by the Studio Museum in Harlem, who will offer free admission to Black Joy attendees, will complement the outdoor event.
Friday, June 17 at 7pm, Harlem Stage and Jooksi will present a participant driven listening session exploring the singular and intersecting themes of blackness, joy and chaos found in Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos. Listening session participants include vocalist Kimberly Nichole, Dr. Aja Burrell Wood, DJ OP! (I Love Vinyl), Ayoinmotion and writer, educator and social justice worker Piper Anderson. Music spun by DJ Raydar Ellis. The listening session will be complemented by food and drink and guided by ethnomusicologist and visiting associate professor of Jazz Studies at Oberlin College, Dr. Fredara M. Hadley. Uptown Nights Listening Session: Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos will take place at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse (150 Convent Avenue, Manhattan). Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 212.281.9240 ext. 19 or 20 or online at harlemstage.org.
Saturday, June 18, from 2-3pm, The Studio Museum in Harlem will host guided tours of Ebony G. Patterson’s site specific installation, …when they grow up…, and Rashaad Newsome’s solo exhibition, THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SEE. Drawing inspiration from Rashaad Newsome: THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SEE, the tours will then be followed by a series of informal art-making workshops presented in collaboration with Harlem Pride and the Harlem Arts Festival in its courtyard from 3-5 pm, aimed at highlighting vogue as a “performance of identity, power, beauty and acceptance.” In conjunction with the lineup of performances across the street at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building, visitors are invited to explore blackness, chaos and joy through drop-in vogue tutorials and frame-embellishment workshops using Newsome's opulent collages as inspiration. This program is free and open to the public. Guided tours will take place from 2-3pm and are limited to 50 people. Click here for more information and to RSVP! For more information, please visit www.studiomuseum.org.
Saturday, June 18 at 8pm, Harlem Stage will host an evening of dance with Stormin’ Norman of Sundae Sermon and pop-up performances by Black Joy performers at the after party following the five hour outdoor performance of Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos. Dancing shoes and joy are required. Uptown Nights: Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos After party will take place at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse (150 Convent Avenue, Manhattan). Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 212.281.9240 ext. 19 or 20 or online at harlemstage.org.
Marc Bamuthi Joseph is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, poet, curator and educator, whose body of work focuses on social action and community revitalization. Drawing inspiration from hip-hop, slam poetry, and contemporary movement, Joseph is known for using these art forms to create performative works that invite dialogue around broad social issues cultivate a collective voice for under-represented communities, and facilitate self-determined social change. Joseph is the founding Program Director of the exemplary non-profit Youth Speaks, which mentors teenagers in writing, and is a co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one-day festivals designed to activate under-resourced public parks, with the intention of promoting peaceful urban life through hip-hop, the arts, and focused environmental action. Joseph is currently completing new works for the Philadelphia Opera, Chatauqua Symphony, and South Coast Repertory Theater. He is the Chief of Program and Pedagogy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
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