In celebration of Black History Month, the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) will present a trolley tour of music history in the Morrisania neighborhood of the South Bronx, with a focus on sites where African American music legends lived and performed.
Tour guide Dr. Mark Naison, founder and principal investigator of the Bronx African American History Project and professor at Fordham University, will illuminate the borough's rich and often forgotten music history. Through compelling stories and musical accompaniment, the tour will explore the wide range of music born in the borough, including jazz, Latin jazz, rhythm and blues, doo wop, and hip hop.
LAST STOP: After the tour, guests are invited to stay at the BMHC Lab for a pop-up bazaar of local vendors, refreshments, a presentation by Bronx River Sankofa's Morgan Powell about African American history and culture along the Bronx River, and a musical performance by Malang Djobateh, a Bronx-based Gambian Kora player.
WHEN: Saturday, February 23 at 4:00 pm. Registration and boarding begin at 3:30 pm. The trolley will return by 5:30 pm. The events at the Lab will begin at 5:30 pm.
WHERE: The tour begins and ends at the BMHC Lab at 1303 Louis Niñé Blvd. Take the #2 or #5 train or BX 19 bus to Freeman Street.
RESERVATIONS: Events are free but reservations for the trolley tour are required. Call 718-839-1134 or email info(at)bronxmusic(dot)org to reserve your seat.
Trolley tour stops will include:
•Sites of renowned music venues: Club 845, The Dixie Club, Freddy's, Goodison's, The Tropicana Club, Royal Mansion, The McKinley Theater, R and B Club, and Sylvia's Blue Morocco.
•Former homes and hangouts of Bronx music stars, including jazz pianists Thelonious Monk and Elmo Hope, jazz singers Maxine Sullivan and Nancy Wilson, and members of the doo wop group The Chords.
•PS 99, where Grandmaster Flash held schoolyard jams in the late 1970's, and the site of legendary talent shows in the 1950's.
•Outdoor venues 63 Park and 23 Park, where doo wop groups harmonized in the 1950's and later became well-known as hip hop scenes.
•St. Anthony of Padua elementary school, where The Chantels recorded their hit song "Maybe" as 8th graders.
•Casa Amadeo, New York City's longest continuously run Latin music store.
About the Bronx Music Heritage Center: The BMHC is committed to preserving and promoting Bronx music, cultivating Bronx artists, spurring neighborhood revival, and providing free cultural programs for the community.