Registration for the 2011 summer semester for Music is now open.  Classes begin July 5th and will continue until August 18th.  Private lessons are available in piano, violin, guitar, bass, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, drums, Latin percussion and voice. Workshops and Ensembles will also be in session. Harbor Conservatory is located at One East 104th Street, corner of Fifth Avenue and is a division of Boys & Girls Harbor. To register go to the Conservatory’s main office in Room 573. For more information please call 212/427-2244 Ext. 573 or 557.
Harbor Conservatory is a member of the Berklee City Music Network, established by the Berklee College of Music. Our Music Program takes pride in its commitment to serving children, teenagers and adults in a diverse range of styles from Classical and Jazz to Folkloric and Latin. Our program includes both vocal and instrumental music and instruction is available through individual and group classes. The Conservatory offers exciting, innovative and challenging classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced students from ages 3 through adults.
The two main pillars of the music program are a strong theory foundation as well as an active performance calendar with monthly “in-house” student recitals, three major outside recitals and a guest artist series which hosts a variety of well-known performing artists and master teachers to work with our students.  A large number of ensembles and workshops in all styles and levels are offered to our young performers as an important part of their musical development.
The Harbor’s world-renowned Latin Music Program spans a curriculum that ranges from Contemporary Salsa and Latin Jazz to traditional Afro-Caribbean folkloric music, and a faculty of “who’s who in Latin music”.  Students study a variety of musical forms such as danzon, son, cha cha cha and mambo, as they learn music illustrating different periods and artists in Latin music history.
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. The Conservatory has been a recipient of the Tito Puente Scholarship Fund, Celia Cruz Foundation, Johnny Pacheco Scholarship Fund, Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation and Phish Fan’s Mockingbird Foundation.


Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Premieres New Comissioned Composition by Pablo Mayor

Dear Friends,

Harbor Conservatory is pleased to announce that the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra under the direction of pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill will be premiering a newly commissioned composition by long time Harbor Conservatory faculty member pianist/composer/bandleader Pablo Mayor, as part of the Wall to Wall Sonidos festival at Symphony Space. The free event is part of Wall to Wall Sonidos, the culmination of a yearlong multi-disciplinary programming initiative focusing on Latino arts and culture at Symphony Space, located at 95th Street and Broadway.

The marathon’s closing segment, “Si Cuba,” …will feature the world premiere of O’Farrill’s “A Still Small Voice,” a New York State Council on the Arts commission that explores the central beliefs and tales of many religions and philosophies. O’Farrill describes “A Still Small Voice” as “a hybrid of classical, jazz, and Latin elements focused on the idea of a conscience, a voice inside of us that knows right from wrong.”

The work will feature the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with the 115-voice LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts Senior Chorus, under the direction of Ms. Jana Ballard. The concert will also feature other new works and guest artist/composers, reflecting the future of jazz across the Americas, including Afro Peruvian vocalist Corina Bartra, Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato with famed accordionist Victor Prieto, In addition, pianist Vijay Iyer’s “Mad Hatter,” his first work for big band, will be performed.

Pablo Mayor – Composer, arranger, pianist, Pablo Mayor was born in Palmira, Colombia, and holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in Jazz Arranging from the University of North Texas.  Mr. Mayor began his personal investigation of the native music of Colombia while Professor of Jazz at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1998.   He has taken his knowledge of Colombian folklore and has combined it with an extensive knowledge of jazz harmonies and arranging which can be heard in the work of his popular group Folklore Urbano. Beginning in 2003, he founded the annual “Encounter of Colombian Musicians in New York,” an annual event uniting Colombian musicians. A pianist and arranger for Orquesta Broadway, Mr. Mayor is an active pianist in the Afro-Cuban music scene. He wrote and produced the music for “A Clear Midnight,” “El Patio,” and “El Pesebre,” three live theatre productions by the ID Studio performed throughout the New York area. In Spring 2006, he wrote and produced music for the popular theatre production, “Allende,” that had its opening run at the Theater for the New City.  Mr. Mayor has produced and arranged for musicians, such as Toto La Momposina and Armando Manzanero, in Dallas, New York, Colombia, and Mexico. For more info go to

The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance and Symphony Space present

Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra as Part of Wall to Wall Sonidos

FREE! No tickets required.

May 14, 2011, 9:30 PM

Symphony Space
95th Street and Broadway, NYC

Updates and News

Dear Friends,

The fall semester is quickly approaching, with registration taking place September 7th and classes beginning September 20th.  As always, there has been lots of activity at the Conservatory, and much exciting news to report.

We are proud to announce Conservatory Director Ramon Rodriguez has been awarded a 2010 Bobby Capo Lifetime Achievement Award. The Bobby Capó Lifetime Achievement Award was created by Battery Park City Authority in 1997 in honor of ‘Hispanic Heritage Month’.  There will be an awards ceremony on September 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm  followed by a concert at 7:00 pm featuring the California based Central American group, Opa Opa. The ceremony and concert will be held at the Battery Park City, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, and are free and open to the general public.

The award honors Hispanics within the State of New York who have distinguished themselves in the public, cultural, social sectors and in the arts. Joining Mr. Rodriguez in receiving this prestigious award are Susana Tubert, Co- Founder and Executive Director of the Latino International Theater Festival of New York, Shirley Rodriguez Remeneski, Founder and Executive Director of 100 Hispanic Women and Inspector David Colon, Community Affairs, New York City Police Department.

Serving as a testament to Rodriguez’ gifts as an educator, the Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble has been invited by Jazz at Lincoln Center to participate in their October 22nd and 23rd Afro-Cuban Jazz Celebration entitled, “Jazz Meets Clave.” The weekend celebration features Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the Rose Theater, and Chucho Valdes performing in The Allen Room.  This is an exciting opportunity for Harbor students to share billing with such major figures in the world of Jazz.

Keeping the music playing, on November 6th, the New York Historical Society will present the Harbor Conservatory Latin Big Band under the musical direction of Louis Bauzo in a tribute concert honoring the great King of Latin Music – Tito Puente. Produced by Puente’s right hand man—Joe Conzo, and featuring Ronnie Puente, the concert is part of the society’s programming in conjunction with the historic exhibition, Nueva York which opens this fall at El Museo del Barrio and examines Spanish speaking New York from the 1600s to 1940s.

The year ends with the December 26th Kwanza Celebration at the Museum of Natural History produced by Communityworks featuring Harbor Conservatory’s GESTURES Dance Ensemble. Joining GESTURES for this program is the world renowned Dance Theater of Harlem and other outstanding New York arts groups.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs

Late October Events!

Hello Friends,

The semester is in full swing here at the conservatory!  Beyond the daily excitement of students perfecting their performing art, there are several upcoming events that are sure to pique your interest.

G Pic 1Harbor Conservatory has been invited to participate in a very special event, the Cross Cultural Youth Festival scheduled for October 27, 2009 from 10 am to 12pm at the 168th Street Armory. The event will be headlined by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland, a 130 piece children’s orchestra from the North and South of Ireland. CBOI is returning to NY (4 years ago they sold out Carnegie Hall) to perform at Lincoln Center.

The Conservatory’s GESTURES Dance Ensemble and Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble will be joining the following outstanding NYC arts organizations: Harlem School of the Arts, Dance Theater of Harlem, Pierre Dulaine’s Mad Hot Ballroom, The Keltic Dreams, and The Wendy Hilliard Foundation.

Group with Singer

On Thursday, October 29th Conservatory Director Ramon Rodriguez and Conservatory Artistic Director Nina Klyvert-Lawson will be featured on WHCR 90.3 FM Harlem Radio as a part of “Black Beat New York“, hosted by Flo Whiley at 6:15 PM. This popular arts and entertainment talk show airs on Thursdays from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. WHCR is a community station providing informative, educational and cultural programming that speaks to the diverse populations of Harlem, Upper Manhattan, and some sections of the Bronx, Queens and New Jersey.

Ramon PicNina headshot

Early October Newsletter

Dear Friends,

It’s beginning to cool off outside, and it appears summer is finally over.  The action is still hot here at the Conservatory however, with lots of exciting events coming up.

The Harbor Conservatory is pleased to announce the establishment of a new theater initiative, The Young Aspiring Artists Program designed for young adults ages 18-21 with professional theater aspirations.  Interested students may participate on Saturdays, in either MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTION or THEATER REPERTORY PRODUCTION COMPANY.   All classes are taught by vitally active theater professionals, whose resumes include having performed in such leading Broadway productions as Fosse, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Chita Rivera’s: A Dancer’s Life, The Producers, Aida, Hairspray, Bombay Dreams, The Color Purple, The Little Mermaid, and Billy Elliot.

Tuition for a 16 week semester is $200 with an additional $50 annual registration fee.  For additional program information and an interview, please call Michael Awusie at 212-427-2244 ext. 558


On October 14th at 7:00 PM the Harbor Conservatory will present a special lecture/demonstration featuring Cuban composer and educator, Yosvanny Terry, produced by Jazzmobile.  In this FREE lecture/demonstration, Mr. Terry, joined by five musicians will engage audiences in thinking about and understanding the shared traditions found in today’s music and explore the enduring legacy of the culture that came from West Africa and continues to thrive in Cuba and throughout the Caribbean.  He will demonstrate how these influences are also felt in the United States, as its folkloric traditions trickled into the early music of New Orleans, which eventually developed into Jazz.

Born in Cuba, saxophonist, composer, arranger Yosvany Terry received his early musical training from his father, Eladio “Don Pancho” Terry. He is a graduate of the National School of Art and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Cuba. He has performed with Chucho Valdes, Sylvio Rodriguez, Jesus Alemany y Cubanismo, Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana, Dafnis Prieto, Avishai Cohen, the International Vamp Band, Eric Revis, Steve Coleman, Los Terry and Columna B. Since his arrival in New York in 1999, Terry has been absorbing American jazz traditions and combining them with his Afro-Cuban roots to produce compositions and solo work that flow from sweet sounding lyricism to wild-eyed avant garde. He is part of a new generation of musicians who is redefining the way jazz is perceived.

yosvanny terry flyer pdf

Lastly, on Saturday, October 17th the Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble will be performing at 3:00 pm in El Museo del Barrio’s Teatro Heckscher as part of the museum’s re-opening celebration.  The all-day open house festivities celebrating El Museo’s 40th anniversary year will be packed with fun events taking place throughout its whole beautifully renovated building, Latin music shows by children and adults in the brand-new courtyard and the theater, children book readings and art-making workshops at El Taller, a preview of Soledad O’Brien‘s upcoming documentary Latinos in America, and walking tours around el Barrio will be only part of the fun.

Activities will run from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm and admission is free.  El Museo del Barrio is located at 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, downstairs from Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts. Admission is FREE.

The Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble, under the direction of Conservatory director Ramon Rodriguez, is comprised of the most advanced students ages 12-19 enrolled in the Harbor Conservatory’s Pre-Professional Latin Music Program.  In addition to ensemble work, students study theory, harmony and sight-reading along with private instruction in their instrument.  These young musicians study a variety of musical forms such as danzon, son, cha cha cha and mambo, as they learn music illustrating different periods and artists in Latin music history. 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.

In 2006, the ensemble was the subject of the PBS documentary, “Mi Mambo”, which aired nationally during Hispanic Heritage month as part of Cantos Latinos programming. The ensemble was also featured in a special video on Latino arts and culture in New York filmed specifically for the 2006 Latin GRAMMYs held at Madison Square Garden. In 2007, the Ensemble appeared as special guests for the Columbia University Harlem Jazz Project’s, “Here Comes the Latin Sun,” Eddie Palmieri and his Afro-Caribbean Jazz Septet featuring the great Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch. The Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble has performed at the Americas Society, Museum Mile Festival, El Museo del Barrio with Jimmy Bosch, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Celebrate Brooklyn.  The ensemble has been featured on Univision’s Despierta America as well as in People Magazine.

Check back for more updates on all of our exciting programs and events in the coming months!

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