Welcome home to Harlem! Home- evocation of an immediate sense of peace and belonging; which is exactly the feeling you have when stepping foot here. As you likely know, Harlem is a comeback tale of the ages, which has resulted in a surge in visitors in recent years. This tale, coupled with all the exciting and meaningful adventures to be had, is the inspiration for this post…the first in a series of posts dedicated to Harlem’s greatness and the best things to do in Harlem. Let’s start this week with What To Visit in Harlem!
There’s virtually a rooftop bar in New York City for each taste: do you prefer classic or trendy? Sophisticated or edgy? Manhattan or Brooklyn? Here are our favorite rooftop bars that you can find throughout the city. So get out there, and get your drink on!
1- 230 Fifth(230 5th Ave, corner of 27th street New York, NY, 10001)
As a city defined by its culture, New York City has long been a muse to inspiring artists of all kind. A city this cool really deserves several amazing songs named after it. In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, we’ve gathered our picks of the top 5 Jazz songs about NY and theses tunes will make you want to take a bite out of the Big Apple.
By the way, you can experience the golden days of Jazz in Harlem on our Soul Food and Jazz night out, a guided visit focusing on the past and present of New York’s Jazz nightlife. This outing infuses a visit of the historic neighborhood of Harlem; it also includes the opportunity to get a taste of authentic American soul food at Sylvia’s —a restaurant known by many as the “true icon of Harlem”. Highlight of the visit is the fun-filled time you’ll spend in a Harlem local jazz club to listen to live band and dance the night away. The Soul Food & Jazz Tour is also available for private groups, please contact Harlem Spirituals at email@example.com for more information.
Now, here are our Top 5 Jazz songs about NYC:
1- Manhattan – Dinah Washington
This song “Manhattan” was so well received that it made it to the Great American Songbook which highlights the most important and influential American songs and jazz standards from the early 20th century. While The Supremes, Lee Wiley, Oscar Peterson, Blossom Dearie, Tony Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others have all recorded the song “Manhattan”; Dinah Washington’s version from 1959 seems to be the most popular to this day.
We at Harlem Spirituals/New York Visions are huge fans of Jazz! Decades ago, we pioneered the development of tourism to Harlem with the creation of our famous Soul Food and Jazz tours, allowing us to share with you our passion for Jazz and for its birthplace: Harlem! Our guided tours showcase the neighborhoods’ most iconic jazz venues such as the Apollo Theater and the Cotton Club, as well as its most famous landmarks. And if you are interested in the history of Harlem, the Soul Food and Jazz tour is definitely a must-do: our guide will share with you everything there is to know about the neighborhood’s storied past and its ongoing renaissance, as well as some good tips if you ever want to come back on your own. Because there are always new things to do and see in the exciting neighborhood of Harlem!
This month, in appreciation of Women’s History Month, we are re-visiting the music of famous NYC female jazz artists whose compositions are still topping the charts as classics in this genre. These are our favorite NYC female jazz artists who not only strive for greatness, but also made and continue to produce music that inspires us in many ways. Here are our top 5:
1- Adelaide Hall
This native of Brooklyn started her career on Broadway in 1921 before working with Jazz heavy weights like Duke Ellington. Hall was also a major figure during the Harlem Renaissance before moving to Britain, where she had a well-known career. One of her biggest moment in Harlem was her performance in a 1934 show named Chocolate Soldiers, which opened at the Apollo Theater. The show received so much attention and praise that it helped brand the newly opened Apollo Theater get recognized as Harlem’s premier theater! In 1934 (again), her opening at the Cotton Club during the Cotton Club Parade was the largest grossing show there up to that moment. This was also the night when nitrogen smoke was used for the very first time to cover the floor of the stage. Needless to say that this was quite sensational at the time.
Songs to hear: “Ill Wind” – “Primitive Prima Donna” – “Creole Love Call” with Duke Ellington
You don’t have to be a constant night owl to appreciate NYC’s nightlife. The Big Apple for the most part is one of the few cities in America where the last call, also known as the time they are required by the law to stop serving alcohol, is 4AM. Let us fill you in on all the best night activities available to you in the Big Apple.