CBJC members and musicians


And in Brooklyn the festivities are in full swing.

Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium hosted a free fundraiser at the striking Kalahari Gallery on Fulton Street on December 7th.  In addition to recruiting new members and soliciting donations from supporters, the jazz band hosted by Stanley Banks put the gathering in a truly festive mood for the holiday season.  Joining Stanley was Danny Mixon, Steve Kroon and Donald Smith.  The musicians entertained and reminisced with tales of gigs from yesterday.  Danny Mixon said that back in the day, musicians would be hired for 2 or 3 nights as versus 1 night stands nowadays.  Donald Smith informed the group that when he was coming of age, he had to learn to play every type of music to earn a living.  Stanley Banks remembered the time when he played at the 521 Club where the drinks were so expensive he had to go down the block to afford a drink!  He also mentioned his 42 years as George Benson’s bass player.  Vocalists Beareather Reddy, Arlee Leonard and “The Singing Chef” added their talents to the evening.  The festivities got a surprise when Eric Lemon and Ruby Mwongozi closed out the evening.

By the way, the food was great and a lot more than a “bite” as advertised when promoting the event.

On to Friday night, December 8th at Restoration “Toys for Tots” celebrated 31 years of making sure numerous children received a visit from “Santa Clause” in the form George Johnson, the benefactor.  In lieu of the $20 entrance fee, patrons were asked to bring a toy for a child.  George said, “While the majority of guests did bring nice toys, there were far too many who brought just junk that they could have picked up at a $.99 Store.  All I ask is that you don’t bring anything you wouldn’t give to your child.”  He also voiced his disappointment on the small number of patrons he thought would have shown appreciation for his past support of numerous events.

In spite of this bump, the evening was a tremendous success as usual.  After being sorted into age and gender groups, the toys collected were distributed to three locations of the Community Parents Headstart program.   For 25 years, Cynthia Cummings, executive director of Community Parents, has been essential in making this program run like clockwork.  In addition to these gifts, in keeping with the Christmas spirit, several disadvantaged families were invited to the event. Each family was given a $500 Macy’s gift certificate to help make their Christmas a little brighter.

A raffle was also held where wine coolers with cork screw and ten T-shirts were awarded to the winners.  George Johnson acknowledged the host, Ann Tripp, broadcast journalist and radio personality, for many years of service helping to make this event successful.  This is the type of event we hope will be around for many years to come.

The Nubian Conservatory of Music held its annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 10th at the historic Siloam Presbyterian Church.  The music students in their various stages of development displayed their vocal, violin and piano skills.  It was a delight to see what this young talent has achieved.  One performer in particular must be given special mention – 12-year-old Kayene Lelitte.  He did an outstanding job playing the 2nd Movement of Mozart’s Sonata #3 in CK 545.  Limited time between performers denied him a standing ovation, but he was that good.

Another outstanding performance was given by a relatively newcomer, Mezzo Soprano Shawn Farrar with her solo of G. Rossini’s Una voce poco fa from “Il Barbiere Siviglia” (Barber of Seville).  She gently pushed the microphone aside and was able to relay the meaning of this song with motions and gestures which greatly enhanced the presentation.  It was amazing. 

Shawn Farrar, Mezzo Soprano


The president of the Friends of the Nubian Conservatory addressed the audience and asked them to continue

supporting the Nubian Conservatory, and to consider giving one of the many forms of music offered as Christmas gifts, instead of toys that self-destruct Christmas day.  During the intermission she was approached by a potential student.

Keeping with the spirit of the season, the third part of the concert was Cantata 63, J.S. Bach (1685-1750) “Christen Atzet diesen Tag” (Christ on This Happy Day) performed by the Nubian Concert Choir with Dr. Howard Meltzer at the piano, and E. Harrison Gordon conducting for the Bach Cantata 63.

Many of the Nubian supporters eagerly look forward to this yearly December concert, and are never disappointed!


Contact the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium.org – (718) 773-2252

Email nubianconservatory1@verizon.net or website nubianconservatoryofmusic.com


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