A Sunday afternoon performance (3:00 pm – 5:00 pm) at Astah’s Fine Art Gallery (1897 Springfield Avenue) by acclaimed saxophonist Bradford Hayes on February 24th will be a highlight of the month-long series of events and activities celebrating Black History Month in February being presented again this year by local businesses in Maplewood’s Springfield Avenue Business District. The Springfield Avenue Partnership also wants people to remember there is still time to enter the online promotion at SpringfieldAvenue.com for a chance to win an IPad2 donated by Every L'il Thing Florist (1573 Springfield Avenue) and Inc Pics (1608 Springfield Avenue). The contest is free to enter and the winner will be drawn from all entrants received by February 28, 2013.
The annual program is presented by the Partnership, representing local business and commercial property owners, who invite community residents and visitors to celebrate Black History Month on the Avenue by participating in both fun and educational activities and events for children, families and adults. The Partnership provided grants of $100 as a supporting sponsor to any district business or community institution in the special improvement district that scheduled an event as part of the Black History Month celebration.
Saxophonist Bradford Hayes has performed at some of New York City’s most famed jazz clubs and musical venues including Birdland, the Beacon Theater and Tavern on the Green. The Virginia native has performed or recorded with Yusef Lateef, Ted Curson, Michael Cochrane, Joe Lee Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Al Grey, Cecil Payne, Rufus Reid, Ray Bryant, Ben Riley, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Cecil Brooks III, Jerry Butler and The Dells. A career highlight was his performance with Babatunde Olatunji’s Drums Of Passion Band at Yankee Stadium during Nelson Mandela’s historic first trip to the United States after his release from a South African prison. While accomplishing so much in the music performance world, Mr. Hayes has also been a successful music educator in the Newark, New Jersey Public Schools for 29 years.
Sean Walker, the owner of Inc Pics, one of the Avenue’s newest businesses offering a wide range of professional and personal photographic services, said he learned about the Black History Month celebration on the Avenue from Horace Kinard, owner of Top Hat & Tails (1856 Springfield Avenue). He decided to sponsor the iPad promotion because as an African –American business owner he wanted to be a part of a celebration with such historical and cultural significance. “My involvement with the Partnership’s efforts was motivated by my desire to support Black History Month and join with other local business owners to promote the wonderful things we have to offer in the Springfield Avenue District,” added Marie Champagnie, the owner of Every L’il Thing Florist.
The Partnership also announced another new business participant in the Black History Month celebration. Soul Terrific Restaurant (1553 Springfield Avenue) will be offering 10% off of your bill for dine-in or take-out lunches from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Monday thru Friday throughout the month of February.
For a complete calendar of Black History Month events, to enter the IPad2 promotion or for more information about programs and services provided by Springfield Avenue Partnership, visit SpringfieldAvenue.com or follow the Partnership on Facebook.