Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Uptown Funk and an Exquisite Corpse

Funk, jazz, and soul throughout Harlem and beyond

Photo: Jemal Countess, Getty Images
Photo: Jemal Countess, Getty Images

Uptown Funk
Uptown Funk is a special project for Make Music New York’s 10th year that will feature funk, jazz, and soul concerts at venues throughout Harlem. MMNY is partnering with Harlem Arts Festival and several neighborhood establishments to bring out local talent in a celebration of Harlem’s American musical heritage and to create a lively, walkable route full of diverse interpretations of “funk.”

As much as Uptown Funk will function as an opportunity to showcase the musicians of Northern Manhattan, the full day of programming will also spotlight community clubs, restaurants, and outdoor spaces that appeal to a wide range of New Yorkers. Some, like Silvana and The Shrine, have become institutions in Harlem over the last decade, and others like MIST and Corner Social are a bit newer but have made important additions to the landscape all the same.

This year promises to be the first of many Uptown Funk celebrations of the music and culture of Harlem.

Uptown Funk Locations (click below for schedule):

Angel of Harlem
Billie’s Black
The Cecil
Corner Social
Harlem Tavern
The Shrine
Urban Garden Center
Walls-Ortiz Gallery and Center







Exquisite Corpses
 First Shearith Israel Graveyard
4:00 PM

This year MMNY brings back Exquisite Corpses, based on a Surrealist concept, with music to enliven the First Shearith Israel Graveyard — the oldest cemetery from the oldest Jewish congregation in North America, and the only surviving 17th-century structure in Manhattan. Jeremiah Lockwood (grandson of cantorial legend Rabbi Jacob Konigsberg, and himself a virtuosic musical iconoclast) will host a gathering at the cemetery, directing participants in a series of improvised duets.

Anyone can take part, either by RSVPing to to reserve a spot, or showing up on June 21st and stepping in. An Exquisite Corpse improvisation is transient, unrecorded, a memento mori. But through the chain of players, overlapping and succeeding each other, the music will go on and on.


Son of composer Larry Lockwood and the grandson of the legendary Cantor Jacob Konigsberg, Jeremiah Lockwood began his musical career playing on the streets and subways of Manhattan performing with Piedmont Blues master Carolina Slim.

Jeremiah is the front man for The Sway Machinery, a band with a unique focus on mining atavisms and cultural memory to create new and exciting music. In 2010 The Sway Machinery performed at the legendary Festival of the Desert in Mali and recorded an album, The House of Friendly Ghosts Vol. 1, which features collaborations with legendary Malian artists like Khaira Arby and Djelimady Tounkara. In the years since, The Sway Machinery has performed internationally, debuting in 2012 in Australia, Israel, Warsaw and at the Roskilde and Montreal Jazz Festivals.

In 2007, Jeremiah was awarded the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists to develop his unique concept for a concert-event to celebrate Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, through a re-interpretation of the liturgical music of the holiday. In 2010 Jeremiah was artist-in-residence at the Jewish Daily Forward, creating a series of recordings based on historic Chassidic nigunim. Jeremiah was a 2011 composer fellow for the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and created new pieces of music for the orchestra.

In addition to his work performing and recording, Jeremiah is a composer for film and theater, notably scoring numerous award-winning shorts for director Paul Andrejco’s Puppet Heap production company. Jeremiah has also toured the world extensively with Balkan Beat Box.

Jeremiah Lockwood lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Shasta and their sons Moses Lion and Jacob Ulysses.