WHDC Updates

WHDC & Partners Host Successful 1st Annual Harlem Jazz & Music Festival

September 3, 2019

COVID-19 UPDATE:  In the summer of 2019, WHDC, in partnership with HARLEM WEEK and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ), launched the first Annual Harlem Jazz and Music Festival. The series of musical performances at community parks, churches, colleges, restaurants, and nightclubs captivated more than 5,000 attendees.

WHDC looks forward to making this an annual event, but we shall observe a precautionary pause in 2020 as New York prohibits assembly of large public gatherings & events.

What a way to wind down the 2019 Harlem summer!

West Harlem Development Corporation and its partners (Harlem Week and Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone) launched the first Annual Harlem Jazz & Music Festival (HJMF). This much anticipated, music and cultural festival, celebrated 17 genres of music, all which are embedded in the fabled Harlem music and cultural experiences, ranging from its Southern, Caribbean, Latin, Cuban, European, African, Asian and South American roots.

HJMF also aligned itself with one of WHDC’s core focus areas – economic development. The festival gave opportunities for a variety of local vendors to offer their products to attendees – often selling out! We anticipate seeing more vendors in the coming years. Participating restaurants and nightclubs had much to celebrate beyond music.


It truly turned out to be a first-class experience and successful launch of what is to be a famed brand of a music festival. Standing room only crowds and events packed out indoor and outdoor concert venues, gospel services at select houses of worship, jazz brunches, nightclub events at famous venues and much more – all in the world-renowned cultural capital of Black and Hispanic America- Harlem.

Here is just a sample of the wonderful moments captured during the ten-day Harlem take-over. Special thanks to all of the attendees, venues, artists, and volunteers who made the event better than we anticipated. The Annual Harlem Jazz & Music Festival will see you in 2020!