World-Renowned Jazz Pianist Valerie Capers Headlines Bronx Rising! Series at BMHC Lab


Event Details

Music: World-renowned Jazz pianist and Bronx Living Legend Valerie Capers
Thursday, October 17, 8:00pm
Dr. Valerie Capers is a Bronx-born acclaimed jazz pianist and educator.  She obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard, and served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and as chair of the Department of Music and Art at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York.  Dr. Capers has headlined at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival and at venues internationally, including the Grande Parade du Jazz (Nice), Les Rendez-vous de l’Erdre (Nantes), and the Blue Note in Athens.  She has performed with jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria, Paquito d’Rivera, Ray Brown, and Tito Puente.  She was honored by the BMHC last year as a Bronx Living Legend, and has received awards and commissions from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Smithsonian.

Film: If These Knishes Could Talk: The Story of the New York Accent with a Q&A by director Heather Quinlan
Friday, October 18, 8:00pm
From Atlantic Ave. to Zerega Ave., word on the street is the New York accent is disappearing — a casualty of a city that’s evolved into a vast expanse of banks, H&Ms and glass-blown high-rises. But even though you may not hear “toity-toid and toid” in Manhattan, you can still hear strains in Bensonhurst, Whitestone, or Tottenville. If These Knishes Could Talk: The Story of the New York Accent brings together accent experts, official and non-official, to weigh in on what it means to tawk the talk in a city that may be slowly trying to quiet the noise. Bronx native and independent filmmaker Heather Quinlan will conduct an audience Q&A following the screening of the film, which premiered at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival in May.

Palabras/Words: ¡DESPIERTA!: Puerto Rican Revolutionary Poetry
Saturday, October 19, 7:30pm
Poets Sery Colón, Chilo Cajigas, and Veronica Verdad will perform from the revolutionary works of Julia de Burgos, Juan Antonio Corretjer, Lola Rodríguez de Tió, and others in this event commemorating the nationalist uprising in Jayuya, Puerto Rico in October of 1950.  Multi-Grammy nominated musician Bobby Sanabria will accompany the poets on percussion and the performance will be followed by the screening of a clip from the film Isabel Rosado: Nationalist and a Q&A with director Melissa Montero. A poetry open mic will conclude the program.

There is a suggested donation of $5 for each performance. The BMHC Lab is located at 1303 Louis Niñé Blvd. in the Bronx. Take the 2 or 5 train to Freeman Street.

“The Bronx has a long history of musical, artistic, and literary talent emerging from here,” says Martinez, the co-producer of the ALMA-award-winning film, From Mambo to Hip Hop, about the creative life of the South Bronx. Sanabria adds, “Bronx Rising! looks to our roots and our future; it has made the BMHC Lab an epicenter for some of the always-swirling creative juices of the Bronx.”

Bronx Rising! is co-sponsored by City Lore. BMHC programming is made possible with support from The Kresge Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund.

About the Bronx Music Heritage Center
The Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) celebrates the rich history and creative spirit that defines Bronx music, from jazz, salsa, R&B and hip hop to new sounds coming to life across the borough. Founded by the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), the BMHC is committed to preserving and promoting Bronx music, cultivating Bronx artists, spurring neighborhood revival, and providing free cultural programs for the community. The BMHC presents performances and other events at the storefront BMHC Lab in Crotona Park East, and at venues across the Bronx. For more information about the BMHC, please contact or visit  

About WHEDco
The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) has worked for over twenty years to build a more beautiful, equitable and economically vibrant Bronx. WHEDco reaches over 35,000 people annually through energy-efficient, healthy and affordable homes; early childhood education and youth development; home-based childcare microenterprise and food business incubation; family support services; and arts programming. To learn more, visit

About City Lore
City Lore was founded in 1986 and its mission is to foster New York City’s – and America’s – living cultural heritage through education and public programs. The mission is to document, present, and advocate for New York City’s grassroots cultures to ensure their living legacy in stories and histories, places and traditions. City Lore’s programs include the People’s Hall of Fame, the Place Matters Awards, Arts in Education programs in the schools, and an interactive story map of New York.

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