Great Voices in Harlem

Great Voices in Harlem with Danny Glover, Queen Esther, Randy Weston and other greatsHarlem Arts Salon at MIST Harlem 46 W 116 Street NYC

Sunday afternoon, March 8, 2015 from 2:00 – 6:00pm

Donate now!

$125 Donation

Danny Glover photo by Brian Bowen

Harlem, New York – The Harlem Arts Salon presents a jazzy, bluesy Sunday afternoon of music, poetry, an intimate chat with participating artists, food, art exhibition/silent auction on March 8, 2015, from 2:00 to 6:00pm at Harlem-MIST, 46 West 116 Street in Harlem. This event is a fundraiser for The Gloster Project, a free summer arts camp for kids in rural Southwestern Mississippi, an initiative of Margaret Porter Troupe Arts Projects. Donation: $125 per person. Donate now! Includes talk, performances, buffet luncheon, catered by the chefs at Madiba Restaurant, a special guest appearance by actor, Danny Glover, one of our biggest supporters, an art exhibition of paintings by Gloster native, Lana R. Porter,  and a silent auction.

Queen Esther

A dazzling list of musical greats are on the program, including Randy Weston, Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake, the versatile singer Queen Esther, and Grammy Award winning jazz singer and composer, Gregory PorterInterspersed in this dazzling afternoon are NYC bluesman Tomas Doncker with David Barnes, the incomparable singer/pianist, Donald Smith, a taste of poetry from  Rachel Eliza Griffiths and Quincy Troupe, a smattering of funk from deFunkt meister Kelvyn Bell, guitarist and musical director for the event. Mr. Bell has also compiled  a phenomenal house band of veteran musicians including the illustrious percussionist Will Calhoun of Living Colour fame, bassist Mark Peterson and  Kellis  “Kellindo” Parker, lead guitarist with Janelle Monae. Afro-futurist electronics music man Eric Douglas Porter, aka Afrikan Sciences, will  DJ and weave a spiritually uplifting musical vibe with his selection of jazz, soul, and roots music that is “sophisticated but also gut bucket gritty….” The afternoon pops off with an art exhibit, silent auction, and delicious buffet luncheon.

All proceeds for this event will benefit The Gloster Project and are deemed contributions to Margaret Porter Troupe Arts Projects. Proceeds from this event will help fund the second year of The Gloster Project, building on the success of its launch last July, when Margaret Porter Troupe brought six distinguished artists from New York City to Gloster, Mississippi and gave kids 7-17 years old a memorable three weeks of free arts instruction.

*Margaret Porter Troupe Arts Projects is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Margaret Porter Troupe Arts Projects must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only. The value of the March 8 event is $50. Any contribution above that amount  tax deductible to the extent permitted by the law.

About The Gloster Project

The Gloster Project Summer Arts Camp 2014

The Gloster Project Summer Arts Camp 2014

The Gloster Project was created out of the simple idea that kids do best when they have access to education, and we believe that the arts give children a bigger sense of the world, and ultimately, a bigger sense of themselves. The arts also teach reading, writing, editing, listening, speaking, performing and most of all – critical thinking. We firmly believe that exposure to the arts, culture, and history should be available to everyone, especially to kids in chronically underserved areas like Gloster, Mississippi.

Kelvyn Bell

Kelvyn Bell

Last summer Kelvyn Bell, Ebony Noelle Golden, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Nambi E. Kelley, Quincy Troupe, and Carlos Uribe gave 45 kids ages 7 to 17 years three weeks of learning fun with free instruction in the basics of poetry, guitar, drawing, painting and musical theater production.

About the Harlem Arts Salon

Reinvigorating a tradition that recalls the salons of A’Lelia Walker during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s, Margaret Porter Troupe and her husband poet, writer, and Miles Davis biographer, Quincy Troupe have been presenting programming in Harlem in the intimacy of their historic Graham Court apartments for ten years.

cropped-Quincy-me-in-gallery.jpgNotable recent guests have included: Toni Morrison, Randy Weston, Ishmael Reed, Amiri Baraka, former USA poet laureate Natasha Trethewey, new literary sensation, Marlon James, baritone saxophonist, Hamiet Bluiett, stunning new tenor sax James Brandon Lewis, basketball legend Earl “the Pearl” Monroe, and Caribbean novelist, Earl Lovelace, Elizabeth Nunez and a stellar list of other creative luminaries such as Ron Carter, John Edgar Wideman, Maryse Conde, Oliver Lake,  Mildred Howard, the list is so long….

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We’ve got the most perfect holiday gift for you…

Sunday, December 14, 2014 at the Harlem Arts Salon at 2:30pm

Marlon James and James Brandon Lewis: A Reading, Performance, and Conversation with Ifeona Fulani, Moderator


Marlon James

Marlon James

Two of the most exciting young artists working today Marlon James and James Brandon Lewis, are our special guests on December 14th at 2:30pm. Mr. James will read from his new book, Jr. Lewis will play some of the tunes on his new CD, and Ms. Fulani will talk to each about his artistry.

You don’t want to miss this one, I’m telling you!   I mean we always try to give you something great to chew on, but when I read The New York Times critic, Michiko Kakutani glowing review of James’s most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, I was like, “Whoa, let me get a hold of that right now!” And honestly, I have been nailed to my seat ever sense. Whew!

So then, on our way home after a furious road trip from the Furious Flower Literary ConferenceDivineTravels at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where Quincy got a Lifetime Achievement Award (yaaaayyyy, Quincy!)  we popped in Divine Travels, a new CD by the insanely soulful saxophonist, James Brandon Lewis. Honey, I’m telling you chills ran all over my body! I played that thing non-stop until we reached our lodgings in Bethlehem, PA, where we read our rengas at “Witness Downtown Rising Renga” Film Screening and Poetry Reading at Steel Stacks.

Interviewing these two immensely gifted human beings is the beautiful, brainy creative writer, Ifeona Fulani, who teaches in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. Her research interests include Caribbean literature and cultures and Black British literature.

Ifeona Fulani

Ifeona Fulani

Her novels include: Ten Days in Jamaica, published in 2012), and Seasons of Dust (1997), as well as stories published in the Beacon’s Best anthology series, in Small Axe, and in Black Renaissance Noire. Her scholarly articles and essays have been published in journals such as Small Axe, Anthurium and Frontiers: A journal of Women’s Studies.

Books and CDs by our guests will be on sale at this historic Sunday afternoon in Harlem. Bring your friends. You won’t find a better way to celebrate the holidays!

Proceeds from this event help fund The Gloster Project (
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Spring Art Show: Melvino Garretti

IMG_0036On the first weekend in May, from May 2nd to May 4th, we will open an exhibition of ceramics by LA artist, Melvino Garretti. Join us Friday, May 2nd from 7:00 to 9:00pm for a reception for the artist and on Saturday, May 3rd, for an artist talk at 3:00pm. Gallery hours on Saturday May 3rd and Sunday, May 4th, will be from 12:00 noon to 6:00pm. Thereafter, gallery hours are by appointment only. ALSO, please note that on Sunday from 3:00-6:00pm, distinguished Nuyorican poet, Willie Perdomo, and emerging poet and writer, Rich Villar, will read from and sign their new poetry books. (An admission price of $15 applies for this segment of the afternoon. Refreshments will be served.)

We have been collecting artworks by Melvino Garretti, since we met him in Los Angeles 30-some years ago, when our dear friends, Walter Gordon and Teresa Sanchez, took us to visit his studio. We’d admired their collection of Garretti’s works and were chomping at the bit to meet him. We came away from his studio that unforgettable Saturday afternoon with an armload of ceramics: platters, vases, and various other objets d’art. Over the years our collection has grown to include his paintings, works on paper, and of course, much more of his unique vases, jars, platters, and other pieces. IMG_0053

Melvino came of age as an artist in Los Angeles in the 1970s, during an especially prolific time particularly for African American artists, Alonzo Davis, David Hammons, and John Outterbridge, although it would take decades more before their works received the recognition it deserved from collectors and curators of “the mainstream” art world.

Garretti had an equally interesting background as a performer and set designer before honing in on the visual arts. He studied ceramics with Richard Bennett at Great Barrington Pottery in Housatonic, Massachusetts and was an apprentice under the renowned LA ceramics artist, Michael Frimkess. He received his MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1978.

According to New York’s Museum of Art and Design, “Michael Frimkess studied ceramics in California with Peter Voulkos, pursuing the abstract expressionist sculptural mode of his teacher. On a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, [Frimkess] was introduced to historic ceramics, specifically Greek and Chinese pottery. Frimkess began modeling his forms on what he had seen, decorating them with narrative imagery, often with satirical or humorous intent.” That influence is prevalent in Garretti’s work, although Melvino has forged his own distinctive style and signature.

IMG_0064The thing that struck me when I first met Melvino and his work was the sheer volume, variety and complexity of work he produces. While his paintings are amazing, his ceramics distinguish him as an innovative and exceptionally creative artist. His works have been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles Design Center, San José Museum of Art, numerous galleries and interior design showrooms in California and New York, as well as in Europe.


In those days when I first met Melvino, I’d never met an American black man with an Italian name, so I was curious. When I asked him how he came to be named Melvino Garretti, he said that in observing the art world and how it functioned, he noticed that the Italians were among the most revered artists in art history books and with the most commercial success, so he decided to add an “o” and an “i” to his own name, in order to bring some of that attention and success to his own career.

We are excited to present Melvino Garretti’s most recent works We look forward to introducing him and his art to you. Come hear him talk about his process, his background and history, and his take on contemporary art in both Los Angeles and in the world today.


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Harlem for Baraka 2014


rasbarakaHASIt was Amiri Baraka’s dream to see his son, Ras Baraka, elected Mayor of Newark, New Jersey in 2014. In homage to Amiri’s memory and because we too believe Newark needs a progressive, visionary thinker and community activist at its helm, we are pleased to host a fundraiser for Ras Baraka for Mayor of Newark in collaboration with Lisa Jones Brown at the Harlem Arts Salon on Sunday, February 16, 2014, from 2:30 to 5:30 pm. Harlem Arts Salon, 1925 Seventh Avenue 7L @ 116 Street, New York NY 10026 Tel: 212-749-7771. By invitation only. Limited Seating.  You can guarantee a seat at this event now by making your donation today.

senator Bill Perkins pic

State Sen. Bill Perkins

Danny GloverOur friends Danny Glover and New York State Senator Bill Perkins are on board too. They will join us for an afternoon of art & politics, food & wine. The great guitarist and funkmeister, Kelvyn Bell will open up the afternoon and original Last Poets poet and television journalist, Felipe Luciano will be our guest moderator. Special thanks also to Hon. William Allen, District Leader, 70th A.D., Harlem. Food provided by Spoonbread and Seabra Restaurants. Our goal is to raise $10,000 for the campaign; we need your help to make this happen.

You may also pay at the door. Suggested donation $125.00. Checks, cash, credit cards accepted. Please make checks payable to: The Committee to Elect Ras Baraka. Contributions or gifts to The Committee to Elect Ras Baraka are not tax-deductible. Paid for and authorized by The Committee to Elect Ras Baraka PO Box 912 Newark, NJ 07101

Can we count on you?!

Our events are private, by invitation only. We reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone.
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Will Calhoun and Marc Cary

Sunday, December 15, 2013, 2:30-5:30pm

Will Calhoun

Will Calhoun

Lucky for us, the phenomenal Will Calhoun‘s appearance has been re-scheduled for Sunday, December 15th and Will has invited the magnificent keyboardist Marc Cary to join him! We will talk to Will about his newest CD, Life in this World, and find out what he’s up in the coming year. We invite you to join us. Good conversation, superb music, and holiday cheer in abundance! Seating limited. Admission $25.
Will Calhoun, a Bronx native, is a two-time Grammy Award winner, a widely acclaimed, innovative drummer, an exceptional photographer, and a relentlessly curious musician and human being. Not many artists have the vision and artistic energy to contribute to so many genres: jazz, rock, hip-hop, ambient, et al, while concurrently producing, touring, creating new projects, working on films, traveling, researching and continually pushing the envelope.

Famous for his work with Living Colour, and voted by critics and fans alike as Best Drummer many times, Will has recorded and/or toured and performed with diverse artists including Living Colour, Mick Jagger, Mos Def, Oumou Sangare, Marcus Miller, and Wayne Shorter (on the Grammy-winning CD, High Life).

Marc Cary

Marc Cary

Composer and pianist, Marc Cary has his musical roots in Washington, D.C.’s go-go music scene, although that’s just one  element of the many other musical forms he explores. Cary’s interests run from Indian classical to Malian music to hip-hop. Beginning his career working with Betty Carter, Cary has also played with Roy Hargrove, Dizzy Gillespie, Erykah Badu, Shirley Horn, Stefon Harris, Q-Tip and – most influential of all – Abbey Lincoln, the inspiration for his newest album, For the Love of Abbey. The bottom line? We guarantee you a rollicking good time! Count on it.

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Coming soon…

This gallery contains 2 photos.

May 3 2015: Poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths with novelist LaShonda Barnett Harlem Arts Salon is celebrating the publication of Rachel Eliza Griffiths’ new book of poems, Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books, April 2015)and LaShonda Barnett’s new novel, Jam on … Continue reading

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Start the year off right!

Yusef Komunyaaka at the Harlem Arts Salon January 18th, 2015

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 1.57.20 PM

Yusef Komunyaaka

We are super excited to bring in the New Year with one of America’s finest poets, the luminary Yusef Komunyaaka! We’ll be listening to him talk about his newest venture, a blues CD. Seating is limited. Reserve your space now!

Yusef Komunyakaa’s seventeen books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular (for which he received the Pulitzer Prize), Warhorses, and most recently The Chameleon Couch and Testimony. His many honors include the William Faulkner Prize (Universite Rennes, France), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art and libretti have been performed internationally and include Saturnalia, Testimony, and Gilgamesh: A Verse Play. He teaches at New York University.

$30. per person, includes food, wine, and a memorable time!

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Elizabeth Nunez: Book Party & Talk

Elizabeth Nunez

Elizabeth Nunez

Come Sunday, April 6th, 3:00-6:00pm and celebrate with us the release of Not for Everyday Use (Akashic Books), the new memoir from one of our favorite authors, Elizabeth Nunez. We are equally excited and delighted to welcome novelist Tayari Jones (Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, Leaving Atlanta) who will engage Elizabeth in conversation about this new book and Nunez’s writing, in general. Of course, we will have prepared a delicious meal for you to enjoy afterwards.

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones

Admission is $25 per person and includes one copy of the Not for Everyday Use.

Seating is limited; so Not For Every day Useclaim your spot now!



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Farah Jasmine Griffin – Book Signing & Talk

HARLEM Nocturne Sunday, October 27, 2:00-5:00pm

Farah Jasmine Graffin

Farah Jasmine Griffin

As World War II raged overseas, Harlem witnessed a battle of its own. Brimming with creative and political energy, the neighborhood’s diverse array of artists and activists took advantage of a brief period of progressivism during the war years to launch a bold cultural offensive aimed at winning democracy for all Americans, regardless of race or gender. Ardent believers in America’s promise, these men andwomen helped to lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement before Cold War politics and anti-Communist fervor temporarily froze their dreams at the dawn of the postwar era.

In Harlem Nocturne, esteemed scholar Farah Jasmine Griffin tells the stories of three black female artists whose creative and political efforts fueled this historic movement for change: choreographer and dancer Pearl Primus, composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams, and novelist Ann Petry. Like many African Americans in the city at the time, these women weren’t native New Yorkers, but the metropolis and its vibrant cultural scene gave them the space to flourish and the freedom to express their political concerns.


Pearl Primus performed nightly at the legendary Café Society, the first racially integrated club in New York, where she débuted dances of social protest that drew on long-buried African traditions and the dances of former slaves in the South. Williams, meanwhile, was a major figure in the emergence of bebop, collaborating with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Bud Powell and premiering her groundbreaking Zodiac Suite at the legendary performance space Town Hall. And Ann Petry conveyed the struggles of working-class black women to a national audience with her acclaimed novel The Street, which sold over a million copies—a first for a female African American author.

A rich biography of three artists and the city that inspired them, Harlem Nocturne captures a period of unprecedented vitality and progress for African Americans and women, revealing a cultural movement and a historical moment whose influence endures today.


TELEPHONE (212) 749-7771. EMAIL:


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Meena Alexander and Robert Antoni with Elizabeth Nunez


Meena Alexander

Robert Antoni

Robert Antoni

We are pleased welcome poet Meena Alexander and novelist, Robert Antoni to the Harlem Arts Salon on Sunday, November 17, from 2:00 to 6:00pm for an afternoon of poetry and fiction in celebration of the publication of Alexander’s newest book of poems, Birthplace with Buried Stones  (TriQuarterly Books), and Robert Antoni’s newest novel, As Flies to Whatless Boys(Akashic Books). Esteemed novelist, noted scholar and distinguished professor, Elizabeth Nunez will interview the authors about their books, after the reading to be followed by a book signing. Food, wine, stimulating conversations follow. Admission $25. Authors’ books will be available for purchase at this event. Seating is limited. Email us to reserve your seats! (Please include the event name in the subject line of your email.)

ABOUT Birthplace with Buried Stones

“The poems in Birthplace with Buried Stones range widely over time and place, from her native India to New York City. We see traces of mythology, ritual, other languages. With their intense lyricism, Alexander’s poems convey the fragmented experience of the traveler, for whom home is both nowhere and everywhere. The landscapes she evokes, whether walking a city street or reading Basho in the Himalayas, hold echoes of otherness. Place  becomes a palimpsest, composed of layer upon layer of  memory, dream, and desire. There are poems of love and poems of war — we see the rippling effects of violence and dislocation, of love and its aftermath.  Uniquely attuned to life in a globalized world, Alexander’s poetry is an apt guide, bringing us face to face with the power of a single moment, its capacity to evoke the unseen and unheard.”

ABOUT As Flies to Whatless Boys

“William’s account of young love attests to Antoni’s fluency in the poetry of nostalgia. In words as vibrant as the personalities he creates, Antoni deftly captures unconquered territories and the risks we’re willing to take exploring them.”
Publishers Weekly

As Flies to Whatless Boys is an inventive, witty, comic romance that is as much about history and adventure as it is about language. With virtuosic attention to language, Robert Antoni delightfully explores the written word in all its forms—as letters, as e-mails, as reportage, as narration, as archives—to tell stories, to paint characters, to demonstrate the range and integrity of English and its dialects, and to edge us closer to ourselves as equally human beings.”
—Earl Lovelace, author of Is Just a Movie

ABOUT Elizabeth Nunez
Elizabeth Nunez

Elizabeth Nunez

Elizabeth Nunez is the author of eight novels. Her most recent novel, Boundaries (Akashic Books) was selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice and was nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award. An immigrant from Trinidad, Dr. Nunez received a PhD in English from New York University and is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, the City University of New York.Nunez was co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference, which she directed for eighteen years with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was executive producer for the 2004 New York Emmy nominated series, Black Writers in America.

Her recent awards include the 2011 Writers for Writers Award from Poets and Writers; a 2012 Lifetime Literary award from Trinidad and Tobago: and a 2013 Outstanding Trailblazer Award from the National Council for Research on Women. Nunez was among twelve writers, selected by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the PEN Faulkner Foundation.

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