Strictly Smokin’ Big Band: Harlem ’58

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Harlem ’58 tours the music of a host of iconic New York City jazz artists as depicted in Art Kane’s infamous image – delving into their intricate personalities and the exciting world of jazz in 1950s New York City.

The story begins with Count Basie, an iconic big band leader, whose musical career began only a few blocks away from the photo location watching master pianist Fats Waller perform at the old Lincon Theatre, NYC. Each musician links to the next as members of Strictly Smokin’ tell their stories, drawing tales from the exciting world of the New York jazz scene and bring their relationships to life through live performances.

Mary Lou Williams, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Hank Jones, Gene Krupa, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver and many more are all featured. Through the stories of these noted musicians, Harlem 58′ explores not only jazz history, but race and gender equality in their musical era. The show is accompanied by a projection, which not only brings the musicians to life in stills, but also contains rare video footage from the photo day itself.

Harlem ’58 is the perfect blend of musical concert, theatrical storytelling and documentary theatre all rolled into one production.

“What many would claim to be the UKs number one big band”–Strictly Smokin’ is a full 18-piece big band including vocalist, Alice Grace.

Strictly Smokin’ has been an established for over 15 years and is a well-respected ensemble throughout the UK. It draws its members from the most talented jazz musicians in the North of England, and travels the country performing in theatres, jazz clubs and festivals.

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