Nocturnal X Harlem
Just a year after its debut, Melbourne Museum’s monthly Nocturnal series has become the rarest of jewels: both an adult-friendly showcase for the museum, featuring cocktails and after-hours access to exhibits, as well as an important slot on Melbourne’s live-music and culture calendar.
On Friday August 3 it will share the love with another vibrant music hub: New York City. Part of the wider MEL&NYC experience – a city-wide celebration of New York and Melbourne as seen through the eyes of both New Yorkers and Melburnians – this special collaborative edition of Nocturnal will see the entire museum transformed to reflect the cultural melting pot of Harlem's city streets.
The celebration will be led by Harlem’s own Rakiem Walker Project. The long-running seven-piece band led by alto saxophonist Rakeim Walker generates the sounds of New York, spanning jazz, R‘n’B, neo-soul, live hip-hop, reggae, gospel, blues, latin and more. Playing weekly at the iconic Red Rooster on Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York, The Rakiem Walker Project will grant Melburnians the opportunity to experience an authentic slice of Harlem on their own turf.
The evening is no standalone gig – the night has been co-created by Melbourne’s MzRizk to highlight some of Melbourne’s most exciting emerging artists.
This includes local hip-hop artist ⅙, nu-soul sister duo Tatafu, and solo act Kalala, who will each collaborate with the Rakiem Walker Project on the night. Tatufu and Kalala will also play their own sets elsewhere on the bill, as will DJ MzRizk, and the Glitter and Snatch dance duo. Other acts on the night include percussionist Airileke, Indigenous producer Neil Morris (drmngnow), and poets Hawiine, Lay the Mystic and Idil Ali.
There will also be a Harlem-inspired menu inside the building and Gumbo Kitchen food truck on the outdoor plaza; talks centered on shared themes of community, suburb and cultural identity and transformation; and images from iconic Harlem photographer Camilo Vergara projected across the building’s spaces. The freewheeling tone of celebration will be set at 6pm, with a dance off outside the museum before doors at 7pm.
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