After a short soft-launch period, La Bodega 47 Social Club at 161 Lenox Avenue on the corner of 118th street is open and ready to shine. Formerly NATIVE Restaurant, this cozy bar and late night eatery is Brian Washington-Palmer‘s new venture, and the joint was jumpin’ last Friday when the space was turned into an indoor-outdoor Birthday party for recent NAACP Image Award Winner Sidra Smith, twin sister of actress Tasha Smith, who celebrated her 43rd birthday with an impressive guest list of friends from the entertainment world such as actor and playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson and actress S. Erpatha Merkerson, as well as TV news personalities Tamron Hall- MSNBC, Jacque Reid- NBC New York Live, and Mara Schiavocampo- ABC News. Harlem based Chef Alexander Smalls of The Cecil & Minton’s, and Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster were also in the house, and we spotted Bravo TV’s Chef Roblé and a few of the ladies from Bravo’s “Blood, Sweat & Heels” enjoying the festivities as well.
Tickets are still available for the Apollo Club Harlem show which will run this February 20th, 21st and 22nd. Host, Director, and Choreographer Maurice Hines will be joined by “Boardwalk Empire” star Margot B., Kevin Mahogany, The Manzari Brothers, The Wondertwins, dance acts, a swingin’ 16-piece big band and a chorus line of Red Hot Steppers as they all bring a 1930s and 40s Jazz vibe to the Apollo theater during this 90-minute nightclub revue. The video below features more about Apollo Club Harlem, as the Apollo Theater celebrates its 80th year.
“Put on your best suit or break out your silk gloves and come experience the pizzazz and allure of the Jazz Age at the world-famous Apollo Theater!”
Single event sales at full price: $150 (nightclub, orchestra seating), $65, $55, $45
In person or by phone at the Apollo Theater Box Office: 212.531.5305
at Ticketmaster.com or 800.745.3000
Harlem Park to Park has announced the next dates for Restaurant and Retail Week in Harlem. The 5th annual Harlem Restaurant and Retail Week Spring promotion kicks off on Friday, February 15th with participation from some of the finest restaurants and retail businesses uptown, as noted on these flyers. In celebration of 2014, 27 of HP2P‘s restaurants and retail and service members will offer customers prix fixe menus and items priced from $10.14 – $30.14 from February 15th to February 28th during Harlem Restaurant and Retail Week. We’ll see you there!
Hot Spot restaurants and venues around Harlem have begun to announce their Super Bowl party and event plans, joining the previously announced Super Bowl Week events that are going on at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, and the 2014 Harlem Fine Arts Show that will be held at Riverside Church later this week.
It will be crazy cold outside this week as New York and New Jersey welcomes thousands of visitors to join in on all of the festivities surrounding the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII game, but those who don’t have tickets to Superbowl 48 at MetLife Stadium this Sunday can always come to Harlem and get in on the fun. Check out some of the Super Bowl themed events set to take place uptown on the flyers below. We will add more events as they are announced!
When I heard the news that Pete “DJ” Jones had passed away last Wednesday, January 15th at age 79, I was instantly taken back to my youth in the 1970′s. I just knew I would see a bunch of websites and blogs paying respect to this man, but here we are days later and I’ve only seen a few quick notices of his passing. Well I’m not gonna let him go out like that.
You see, before Hip-Hop was Hip-Hop, there were New York DJs Like Pete DJ Jones, Grandmaster Flowers from Brooklyn, DJ Kool Herc from the Bronx and other innovators laying the groundwork that would go on to inspire many of those who were experiencing a new vibe from the streets. Ask DJ Grand Master Flash, rapper Kurtis Blow, and Lovebug Starski who put them on and inspired them, and they will tell you that Pete DJ Jones played a vital role in guiding and advising them. In fact, both Kurtis Blow and Grandmaster Flash have both said that Pete was the first DJ they ever saw play on two turntables with two copies of the same record. These were not the only protégés of Pete DJ Jones at that time.
In the late 1970′s, after years of casual drawing at home and later getting hooked on the unique street and graffiti art that broke out across New York City at that time, I presented my portfolio and was accepted to attend the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. Some of my classmates included artist Chris “Daze” Ellis, whose works are currently showing at TT Underground and The Museum of the City of New York. East Harlem was my main stomping ground back then, but I became friends with some Art & Design students from the Bronx including one who was good friends with Pete DJ Jones. He would help Pete transport his massive mobile DJ sound system to shows around the city and I would eventually tag along to help, and get to know Pete, who was a gentle giant that stood at about 6 foot 7-inches tall. When Pete had a party to DJ, I would hop on the subway and head up to 161st street Yankee Stadium stop in the Bronx and walk over to meet up with our crew at his bar “Pete’s Lounge” on 164th Street and Ogden Avenue, while trying hard to avoid all the Angel Dust heads and stick-up kids that were around back then. We’d load up his sound system into his flat-fronted Volkswagon bus and head out to set up at either a restaurant space, club, community center, outdoor block party in the parks, or other unique venues in the Bronx, midtown -Manhattan, and Harlem. When I say unique, I mean places like The Audubon Ballroom, where Malcolm X was assassinated (now The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Center ) and the historic “Renny” Renaissance Ballroom, both in Harlem, where we would unload the sound system and the many crates of records and proudly bring it all into the venue and set it up.
Pete DJ Jones was known for having one of the top mobile DJ sound systems of the day. I’m talking about floor-thumping Cerwin Vega bass cabinets, Bose mid-range speakers, Klipsch horns and an essential array of tweeters for the high end, all powered by some powerful McIntosh amps. I also remember Pete’s huge GLI mixer that I was able to touch now and then while setting up or breaking down the sound system. His sound equipment was so top-quality that other DJs who have tried and knew how hard it was to put together a quality mobile sound system, looked forward to stepping in and playing on Pete’s system. I was fortunate to experience these ground breaking DJs and parties first-hand at age 17, along with all of the artistic forms of expression that came out of the inner-city that would eventually come to be collectively known as Hip-Hop culture. These were around the days when DJ Grandmaster Flash was king of the wheels of steel, Lovebug Starski was the first to include the phrase “Hip-Hop” in his raps, and Afrika Bambaataa described the elements of DJing, rap, graffiti, and B-boy break dancing as Hip-Hop culture – Peace, Unity, Love and having FUN!
So here’s to you Pete DJ Jones. Hip-Hop and dance music emerged from those days when people like you set the stage and helped to inspire a new vibrant scene influenced by a wide spectrum of music in clubs and on the streets of New York City! You are a pioneer in the DJ world and a true inspiration for DJ and Hip-Hop culture. Rest in peace.
This is history ya’ll, watch these videos below for more on Pete DJ Jones and other unsung pioneers from that era! - Tony E
The History of Rap – Pete DJ Jones
more Hip Hop History
The 2nd Annual Black Comic Book Festival is on today and tomorrow at the Schomburg Center at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard on the corner of 135th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem. This FREE two-day event celebrates the best in black comics with special events, panel discussions, film screenings, hands-on workshops and exhibit tables featuring comic artists from across the country.
As you probably know, the 2014 Super Bowl is coming to New York / New Jersey on February 2nd at MetLife stadium, and since Super Bowl Week will lead right into Black History Month, Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theater will be hosting a few epic shows that will celebrate both events with Jazz, Gospel, and RnB music.
Thursday January 30th – 7:00PM
Black History Month & Super Bowl 2014
“Salute To Gospel & Spiritual Music”
“Let the Music Say Amen”
Friday January 31st – 7:00PM
Black History Month & Super Bowl 2014
“Salute To Swing Jazz”
“Friday Night in Harlem – Let’s Swing Uptown”
At The Apollo Theater – West 125th Street
For Info Ticket Master 800-745-3000
Apollo Box Office 212-531-5305