Harlem Stride was created to honor the musical legacy and future of Harlem. It takes its name from the distinguished group of musical geniuses, "The Professors", who defined the Stride movement in Harlem in the 1920's. Harlem Stride will offer an exciting point of departure and overview of the musical history and traditions that have emanated from, or have been influenced by trends in, Harlem (e.g. Stride, Big Band, Be Bop, Afro-Cuban), as well as traditions that have made important inroads to the creative legacy and ongoing innovations of Harlem's musical life. The series will not only focus on the music but also, and importantly, its impact on culture from its place of origin and in general. What was the impact of the Stride movement on musicians and how they made music? How did it speak to the tenor of the day and address what was happening in communities and in the field? How does that work in today's world? How did, and are, musicians reaching across ever-shifting and shrinking boundaries to synthesize new forms and what is the impact on local and global culture?
The series launched in 200 With Randy Weston and his tribute to James Reese Europe. Since then, Harlem Stride has supported and presented work by Cecil Taylor, Hank Jones, Jason Moran, Pedro Martinez, Osmane Parades, Yosvany Terry, Gerri Allen, Gerald Clayton, Roy Hargrove, Robert Glasper, Ben Williams, Vijay Iyer, to name a few.