By Derrick Salters
Saturday night was the kick-off Mix and Mingle event for the Apollo’s Salon Series: An innovative month long program of contemporary performances beginning April 3rd.
This wonderful night of discussion, performance and mingling was hosted by Derek Lee McPhatter, Harlem resident and co-author of the performance piece It Goes Unsaid. The event began with an engaging conversation with three of the Salon Series artists: the legendary Melvin Van Peebles creator of Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song, dynamic spoken-word artist Jessica Care Moore and electro-jazz cellist/composer Dana Leong. Greg Tate, founding member of the Black Rock Coalition and staff writer at the Village Voice, did great job guiding the conversation as the moderator.
The artists talked about their upcoming performances in the Salon Series, the meaning of being an artist in today’s climate, balancing their creative spirit with entrepreneurial endeavors and dealing with being asked to compromise. Dana Leong explained how he was asked to dress as a woman to get a part in an all female string section. As much as he was interested in the money, Dana said, “you gotta draw the line somewhere. “
After the discussion, the audience was treated to a taste of each artist’s creative genius. The Apollo is the perfect place to house this series and bring this level of talent to the community.
For more information about the Apollo’s Salon Series log on to www.apollotheater.org/SALON_SERIES.html
For more images from this event check out the harlem world magazine gallery.