Become a Latin Music Master

At the
Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts “The Home of Latin Music”
SPRING SEMESTER – February 2, 2011 – June 11, 1011
Registration on NOW

Our faculty comprises exceptionally talented artists and educators who bring a blend of musical skill and performance experience to the classroom and who have all performed with world-famous bandleaders Tito Puente, Machito, Tito Rodriguez, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto, and more. Students can study almost any instrument in the Latin style and drummers may choose to specialize in conga, timbales, or bongo. Harbor Conservatory, a division of Boys & Girls Harbor is the first New York City member school of the Berklee City Music Network of the Berklee College of Music.
Harbor Conservatory is proud of its long-term history of celebrating the rich musical legacy of the Caribbean through individual and group instruction, special ensembles, public performances, master classes, and faculty and guest artists. Instruction is available for students as young as five years old as well as teens and adults, and the curriculum serves both novice as well as those with professional aspirations.
Harbor Conservatory conducts an array of Latin music workshops and ensembles preparing students with professional level challenges. Latin rhythm sectionals, Salsa workshops and a 21-piece Latin Big Band offer students the opportunity to advance as quickly as their talent, skill and commitment will allow.
To learn more about the Harbor Conservatory’s Latin Music Program you may visit us on-line at  For more information you may call us at 212/427-2244 ext. 573.


David Ushery to Host Boys & Girls Harbor Black History Month Celebration



February 28, 2011 6:00 pm

Hosted by David Ushery, Anchor, WNBC News 4

Featuring GESTURES Dance Ensemble

East Harlem,  New York –  Boys & Girls  Harbor is pleased to present “Our Stories, Our Voices 2011” a program of music, dance and theater performed by Harbor students on February 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm in celebration of Black History with notable honorees such as Terrie Williams and special guests. Serving as the evening’s host is David Ushery, Anchor, WNBC News 4.

Inspired by heroes of the past, by teachers and leaders of the present, and by their own dreams of the future, students will rejoice in the triumphs of the African American experience. The event will be held in the Teatro Heckscher located at  1230 Fifth Avenue, between 104th street and 105th Street on Fifth Avenue at 6:00 pm.  Admission to the performance is $25 if prepaid, and $35 at the door.  Following the performance there will be a reception at El Café.  Admission to the performance and reception is $100.

To purchase tickets for the program, the reception, or both, or if you just wish to make a donation to  Boys & Girls  Harbor, you may go to, and search by the name/date of this program or by our organization’s name.  For further information, contact Nina Olson, Development, 212-427-2244, ext. 577 or

“Our Stories, Our Voices” is a historical reflection of African American life in America . Through the eyes of school children, this 50-minute performance piece traces the journey of heroes and every day people through time and pivotal historic moments. Incorporating music, dance and theater, the performance showcases the talents of Boys & Girls Harbor students and will feature the renowned GESTURES Dance Ensemble as they represent the historic, creative and human spirit that helped define the accomplishments of African Americans.

“Our Stories, Our Voices 2011” conceived by Nina Klyvert-Lawson, Artistic Director of Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, is written and directed by the Conservatory’s Theater Arts Coordinator, Michael Awusie. This work is supported by the Conservatory’s gifted teaching artists Maureen Brown (Vocal Instructor), accompanist/arranger Katsuko Tanaka, Latisha Cunningham (Dance Instructor/Choreographer), Junior Education After School teacher, Raymond Frazer (STEP Instructor) and Ramon Rodriguez’s Conservatory Ensemble.


Dear Friends:

HARBOR CONSERVATORY FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is pleased to announces the Twenty First Annual competition for the CHARLIE PALMIERI MEMORIAL PIANO SCHOLARSHIP established by Tito Puente.  The competition is scheduled for Saturday, February 19, 2011 from 12:00 pm until 2:00 pm at the Harbor Conservatory located at One East 104th Street in Manhattan .  For applications and guidelines and to schedule an audition, call (212) 427-2244 Ext. 557.

Serving as competition jurors are pianists Sonny Bravo, Pablo Mayor , and Gustavo Casenave.

The Charlie Palmieri Memorial Piano Scholarship is awarded to intermediate and advanced pianists ages 12-25 for the study of Latin style piano.  Applicants must demonstrate their talents in Classical and/or Popular Latin styles. The winner will receive one year’s training free of charge at Harbor Conservatory with one of our specialists in the field of Latin piano. The Scholarship in memory of Charlie Palmieri was established by Tito Puente to further the inspirational musicianship of the great pianist.  In style, versatility and instrumental virtuosity, bandleader/pianist/arranger Charlie Palmieri had few equals. In addition to recording, arranging and performing he taught music and Puerto Rican history in the CUNY system.  The late great Tito Puente, the “King of Latin music”, master timbalero, arranger, composer, and bandleader, also cared deeply about education for young students and the need for youngsters to continue and/or begin their musical studies, as well as to reaffirm pride in Hispanic culture.

At the Conservatory students enjoy the unique opportunity to learn while playing classic music made popular by artists such as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco and others.  Profiled in People Magazine, New York Times, Daily News and on Channel 13 in the documentary, “Mi Mambo!”; the Conservatory’s Latin Music program has been a recipient of the Tito Puente Scholarship Fund, Celia Cruz Foundation, Johnny Pacheco Scholarship Fund, Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation, Phish Fan’s Mockingbird Foundation, D’Addario Music Foundation and the NAMM Foundation.

Hope to See You There!

Book Signing for “Mambo Diablo My Journey with Tito Puente” by Joe Conzo & David A. Perez

Dear Friends:

Harbor Conservatory and the Raices Latin Music Museum are pleased to host a book signing on February 14th a 7:00 pm celebrating the historic release of “Mambo Diablo My Journey with Tito Puente, written by Joe Conzo with David A. Perez.  The event will be held at the Harbor, the “Home of Latin Music” located at One East 104th Street and Fifth Avenue in Fifth Avenue , Third Floor Theater.  Here’s an opportunity to purchase this in depth look at the genius of East Harlem’s most famous son—Tito Puente, and have it signed by the man who knew the King best—Joe Conzo.

Adding to the excitement, will be the performance of several noted Puente tunes presented by the Harbor Latin Big Band under the direction of Louis Bauzo, one time member of the Tito Puente Orchestra.  In recognition of the Harbor Conservatory’s commitment to maintain Tito’s legacy through its Tito Puente Scholarship Fund, Latin Percussion will present the school with a set of Tito Puente signature timbales.

Joe Conzo and David A. Perez luminously recreate the life of widely acclaimed Afro-Cuban and jazz musician Tito Puente in the biography “Mambo Diablo – My Journey with Tito Puente.” The authors chronicle the life of the popular and combative New York Puerto Rican multi talented musician and entertainer who climbed from his poor environment in East Harlem (El Barrio), New York to international fame and recognition.Mambo Diablo My Journey with Tito Puente Cover Image.

Countless stories have been written about Tito Puente’s percussive musical abilities, but rarely has the talent, intuition, mishaps and controversies been presented in a vivid and personal biography. Joe Conzo was Tito’s close friend, confidant and chronicler for nearly 40 years – no one was closer to Tito or knew him better, not even his family. Joe tells the story of a man and his music the way it has never been told. David A. Perez sets down Joe’s personal recollections and fits them into the context of the social milieu and revolving world.Joe Conzo was Tito Puente’s publicist, confidant and archivist for close to 40 years. He maintains perhaps one of the largest recorded and non-recorded music collections that include works of Tito Puente and many others. From 1980 – 2002, he was the Chairman for the Tito Puente Scholarship Fund, producing numerous fundraising concerts and dances featuring such artists as Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Charlie and Eddie Palmieri, Art Blakely, Max Roach and others. He is a much in demand lecturer on the History of Latin Music and is considered the foremost expert on the life and music of Tito Puente, having spoken at Yale University , SUNY at Buffalo , New School for Social Research, among other institutions of Higher Learning. He served as a consultant on such projects as the Latin Tinge on WNET, with Beverly Sills, the naming of a US postage stamp honoring Tito Puente and served as compilation producer and writer of liner notes for countless recordings and CDs.  He is currently the Director of the Tito Puente Legacy Project at Hostos Community College .

DAVID A. PEREZ – is a former political and sports writer of the San Juan STAR in Puerto Rico . He also worked as a journalist in Washington , DC . David is a retired lottery industry executive. He is a published author and is an historical researcher of Cuban charanga music (violins, flutes and rhythm) and the “habanera” the foundation of Cuban danzón, ragtime, Argentine tango, Puerto Rican danza and other South, Central American and Caribbean music. He has an extensive collection of music – Afro-Cuban, jazz, theater and classical. He plays the flute (including the wooden unadorned six-hole, five key flute used by authentic charanga orchestras).

Mambo Diablo – My Journey with Tito Puente is now available at Borders, Barnes & Nobles and  For additional information please contact Joe Conzo at 845/313-3621

Free Jazz Concert

Dear Friends:
Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, is pleased to present the Harbor Jazz Composers Concert featuring the members of the Jazz Composition Ensemble on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm, at our home site at One East 104th Street in the Third Floor Theater, as part of the city-wide Composers Now Festival.  Admission is FREE. The concert will feature works by student composers enrolled in the Conservatory’s Jazz Program, under the direction of Gustavo Casenave.  The Jazz Composition Ensemble performs student compositions in the Jazz idiom. The repertory includes blues, ballads, contemporary post bebop, and avant-garde works.

COMPOSERS NOW, presently in its second year,  puts a public face on the vitality, diversity, and innovations that composers bring to our communities, and was established by composer, conductor Tania Leόn and composer Laura Kaminsky, Artistic Director at Symphony Space and Coordinator of Composers Now.  Believing that music pervades our world, yet the men and women who create the sounds we hear are often unsung.  The Harbor Jazz Composers Concert is a part of Composers Now, a festival celebrating the music of our time at venues throughout the city February 21-27, 2011

The Harbor Conservatory Jazz Program, under the direction of pianist/composer Gustavo Casenave is designed to develop skilled performers, composers, and arrangers in preparation for advanced college level study and future professional careers. Focusing on all aspects of Jazz education, this program offers an innovative curriculum, comprised of not only traditional Jazz studies, but a broader world – vision of Jazz and the art of improvisation. Master classes and concerts by major Jazz artists, are offered in addition to the arranging, composition, ear training, and performance courses and opportunities.

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts is the first New York City member of the Berklee City Music Network of the Berklee College of Music and is a recipient of support from the NAMM Foundation, D’Addario Music Foundation and Mockingbird Foundation.

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