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The National Jazz Museum in Harlem announces its 2024 Jazz is Now! Curatorial Fellows: Liany Mateo and Luther Allison

Liany Mateo
Audrey Matuz
Liany Mateo

For over twenty years, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem has been dedicated to preserving jazz history and culture. Yearly, the organization produces over 100 free events, including exhibitions, performances, and educational workshops. With community engagement and amplifying diverse voices in jazz at its core, the museum has been a leader in producing innovative jazz programming.

One such program is The Jazz is Now! Curatorial Fellowship, developed by one of the museum's artistic directors, Jon Batiste, and made possible through a grant from the New York Community Trust. The fellowship gives two world-class emerging artists the opportunity to curate, headline, and direct six museum events each. Past fellows include Endea Owens, Joel Ross, Genghis Don, and Cleo Reed. Now entering its third year, the 2024 fellows have been announced: Bassist Liany Mateo and multi-instrumentalist Luther Allison.

Luther Allison
John Sturino
Luther Allison

Sekou McMiller, the curator of special projects for the museum, oversees the fellowship and functions as a mentor; he shared the value of this initiative for the museum, fellows, and community at large. He says, “Offering new voices into the space, I think, is imperative

in the continuum of jazz, or just in general in any art, and the museum, since its founding, has engaged in this.” Community plays an important role in McMiller’s work at the museum and proves to be an important aspect of the plans Allison and Mateo have for their projects.

Both fellows are young powerhouse musicians. Mateo is a bassist who has performed across the globe with several artists, including Regina Carter, Geoffrey Keezer, Matthew Whitaker, and Carl Allen. Allison, a multi-instrumentalist specializing in both piano and drum set, leads several of his own bands and has performed with the likes of Samara Joy, Jazzmeia Horn, and Rodney Whitaker.

Mateo and Allison will curate six events each for the museum. Two will focus on their bands, another pair will focus on artists they would like to showcase at the museum, and the final set will be non-musical events. Mateo is slated to make her curatorial debut at the museum with the quintet on March 21st at 7 pm, and Allison will debut his voice with his quarter on April 2nd at 7 pm. Both events are free and open to the public. Find more information about all upcoming events, and the Jazz is now! Curatorial Fellowship visit the National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s website.

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Emily Springer is a rising senior at Hunter College studying Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino studies while pursuing a certificate in arts management.