Shrine World Music Venue, on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard (7th Avenue), just below 134th Street in Harlem, is a welcoming place, “a multimedia arts and culture venue, founded in 2007 by musicians and music lovers in the music capital of Harlem, USA. . . . dedicated to art and culture in all mediums: film, theater, dance, and live music. Shrine World Music Venue’s mission is to establish a positive creative atmosphere for both artists and audiences from all backgrounds.”
I haven’t been there often, but admire their commitment to independent artists. Late last October, I read that the pianist / composer Michael Bank, someone I’ve followed for fifteen years now, would be leading a small group there, and I eagerly went “uptown” for a brief but memorable gig. Michael had with him the venerable drummer Steve Little (Steve would have me tell you that he, once again, was playing on a drum set not his own), bassist Ben Rubens, trumpeter Charlie Caranicas, and alto saxophonist John Ludlow. Here are some of the highlights of their late afternoon swing exploration.
But first: Shrine is deceptive: its somewhat muted exterior conceals an interior mixing science-fiction and disco. My phone pictures do not do it justice. To their credit, the musicians ignored the lighting and just played — splendidly.
Michael and Charlie:
HAVE YOU MET MISS JONES?
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS:
DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS?
I wait for my next summons to the Shrine, where good music is allowed to grow, and does.
May your happiness increase!