Harlem Happenings

At the historic Apollo Theater this weekend are 2 performances of Art Tatum: Piano Starts Here, starring the esteemed actor, Paul Butler. Butler, whose long list of credits spans stage, film, and television, portrays the character, “Doc Hanley,” a jazz impresario in an evening of remembrances of the life and work of Art Tatum. This one-man show, does however, have another character, a grand piano, which “re-performs” the playing of the master himself. Through the use of MIDI files, Zenph Studios has developed a process by which original musical recordings can be replicated and re-played as “live” performance. More than fifty years after his passing, Tatum’s music can be heard “live,” and in concert with one of theater’s finest thespians.

Just blocks away at the art space of the Countee Cullen Branch of the New York Public Library, are the works of artist/designer/writer/adventurer — and friend, PJ Cobbs. PJ takes photos or sometimes sketches directly the neighborhoods she finds interesting and recreates them in fluid silk paintings. (Through June 23)

Apollo, a recent work from PJ Cobbs.

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