I’m still smiling as I recap Overtown Music Project’s first event held at AE District this past Saturday. It was nothing short of amazing and I am thrilled to be a part of this movement. Amy Rosenberg, founder of the project, envisioned an event that would celebrate the music, history and spirit of Overtown in its heyday. Check mark.
Legendary jazz saxophonist Charles Austin wowed the crowed with his searing renditions of some classic tunes. Legendary nightlife impresario and owner of the Vagabond, Carmel Ophir, tore up the turntables and had us moving like we thought we were on Soul Train. And Vivian Dunn made everybody real happy with the best soul food sweets you’ve ever tasted. Normally, I give away leftovers to deserving causes, however, my greedy butt brought some tinfoil and stuck it in the back of Max Pierre’s office. Max is the really cool guy who owns the AE gallery space and who kept rubbing it in my face about how hot his b-day party was featuring Talib Kweli. I missed it a few weeks earlier when I opted to throw on my snuggie instead of my skinny jeans that night. Bad decision. Anyway, I thought I’d wrap up some red velvet cake to go at the end of the event. Too bad everything was gone even though Vivian prepared food for hundreds. It really tasted that good, especially alongside Cîroq.
The goal of Amy’s project is to bring back some of Overtown’s historic luster with a series of multisensory concerts in historic area landmarks as well as in venues all over the City. There was an exhibit on Overtown curated by The Black Archives, original photographs of jazz musicians from the exclusive collection of the Barbara Gillman Gallery, and words of wisdom and poignant stories by Dr. Dorothy Fields, Dr. Philip Wright, Charles Austin and Commissioner Richard Dunn.
The most beautiful thing about the event was to witness music transcend boundaries. On Saturday night, residents of Overtown were dancing with residents of Fisher Island. The young danced with the old. And me and my hubby danced to “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” by Nina Simone like it was nobody’s business.
P.S. Thanks to Carmel Ophir for hosting us at the Vagabond afterwards – an unforgettable night (and morning) of partying! See you again very soon. And on another note, thanks to John Kozyak, my beloved mentor, for teaching me the importance of giving back to one’s community.
Nathalie Cadet-James of Luxe Fête and legendary jazz saxophonist Charles Austin
[Click here] to see more pictures from gallery featured on NBC6.
More great pics from Gesi Schilling, that’s the fabulous Amy Rosenberg below:
More great pics from Laura Coppelman [here]. There are many wonderful events lined up, so be sure to check the Overtown Music Project website for updates.