aficionados await word on the revival of legendary Harlem clubs such as
Minton’s Playhouse, Lenox Lounge and St Nick’s Pub, the music is going strong
at another uptown venue.
afternoons, in-the-know locals and tourists can be found ringing the buzzer for
Entertainment in a landmarked apartment
building on the northern edge of Manhattan’s historic Sugar Hill district.
For 21 years, Marjorie Eliot has opened her home for weekly jazz matinees,
taking turns on the piano with her son Rudel Drears and gigging with a variety
of musicians and singers.
arrive in time to claim one of the 50 or so seats – squeezed into the parlour,
foyer and kitchen – are treated to an intimate two-hour programme, with the
added bonus of granola bars and juice at intermission.
the concerts are a way to honour the memory of two of her sons who have passed
away. “I do it to celebrate my children,” she said. “It helps me in all kinds
busy schedule giving private lessons and performing
at schools and nursing homes, Eliot, who started playing the piano as a
child and grew up surrounded by jazz, delights in the steady stream of visitors
who turn up every week. As she puts it, she
is supporting the tradition of African American classical music. “It’s not
worth anything if it’s not shared,” she said.
summer, Parlor Entertainment will take the music outdoors and across the street
to the grounds of the 18th-century Morris-Jumel Mansion for the 21st
annual Jazz at the Mansion.
The free, two-day event runs from 2 pm to 6 pm on 17 and 18 August.
Sunday concerts start at 4 pm at 555 Edgecombe Avenue, apt 3F. Doors open at
3:30 pm. There’s no admission charge, but donations are accepted.
Amy Brader is the New York City Localite for