Lee Rocker - photo by Michael Sherer
Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) is one of my favorite music based event series to come around every early January. Held at NYC’s flagship Hilton Hotel on 6th Avenue at 54th Street, it consists of loads of eclectic showcases of musical artists/groups, workshops, luncheons, discussions and more. This includes many tribute bands/artists and original artists performing. This year I was most interested in guitarist Larry Carlton and John Pizzarelli playing together, the Branford Marsalis Quartet, Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats, (featured in photo) Peaches & Herb, Terence Blanchard, Chicago Brass, which is a tribute to Chicago and Heart To Heart, which is a tribute to Heart that features two former members, those being bassist Steve Fossen and drummer Michael Derosier. There were tons more.
Most of the action is in intimate ballrooms at the Hilton, but some of the concerts are at other venues. For examples, the Branford Marsalis Quartet was at the Highline Ballroom on West 16th Street, Larry Carton and John Pizzarelli were at Funky Joe’s on West 56th Street and Terence Blanchard was at Ginny’s Supper Club in the heart of West Harlem, that being Lenox Avenue at 126th Street. This is down the street from the famous Apollo Theater.
There’s also two floors of exhibitors held within the Hilton featuring hundreds of tables of booking agencies, artists, managers and presenters. Many contacts can be made and networking opportunities abound here.
Based in Washington D.C., APAP treks here to NYC every year and spreads joy just after Christmas. They’re in their 60th year, making them quite the long standing institution. They’re a non-profit, national service, advocacy and membership organization for presenters of the performing arts. They do much good and warm the souls of many. Check them out at http://www.apap365.org and http://www.APAPNYC.org