Whether you want to be transported to the past with big-band jazz tunes, get in touch with your spiritual side with gospel, get lost in the belting of a rising talent, or simply get funky on the dance floor, Harlem has a place for you. Culture Trip checks out five of the best music venues in the area.
Cozy enough for conversation but with plenty of room for dancing, Shrine has cemented itself as Harlem’s premier underground live music venue. Boasting a crowd of locals and visitors alike, the personality packed atmosphere and intimate stage give it the true New York feel. Stop by nightly to hear a range of musical talents – from pop-electro to American folk and from jazz to hip-hop and reggae. Be prepared to move your body after midnight, when rotating DJ’s spin tunes of soul, funk and hip-hop. If you are searching for a good place to party, Shrine delivers.
Harlem’s most prestigious stage and one of New York’s most esteemed cultural institutions – this is the place to be. Although having recently celebrated its 80th birthday, the iconic hall is aging gracefully. While the Apollo stays true to its roots, with Latin jazz, Afro and music of the like at the core of its programming, international acts such as Gorillaz and Lykke Li have graced the performance hall. Legendary Amateur Night at Apollo still reigns supreme – an enchanting evening of entertainment occurring on Wednesdays, this is a trademark occasion for the Apollo, where household icons like Michael Jackson and Lauryn Hill have performed. Watch as musical talents rub the tree of hope with prayers not to be ‘escorted’ off stage by the venue’s ‘Executioner’.