As a musician and missionary for the nostalgic charms of the Hammond B3 organ, young jazz man Cory Henry knows his history, and he knows the present of his organ is precarious.
“The Hammond itself is almost extinct, at least the old [analog] Hammonds are,” he says. The parts are expensive, he admits, and its reputation isn’t helped by the hokey old videos young people might find on YouTube.
“But the Hammond organ has made it through every type of genre since the 1940s," he says. "It’s been very influential through country, R&B, soul, hip-hop, classical. There’s no reason why people should want to kill it off. I’m going to spend my time getting it back.”
Henry, who grew up playing the organ with his mother in church, has had the same analog Hammond B3 since he was a child.
The Brooklyn native made a great case for the Hammond while winning a Best R&B Performance Grammy Award last year with the indie-jazz collective Snarky Puppy on the song “Something” with Lalah Hathaway. As the vocal lines weave through layers of throwback soulfulness, Henry's organ grounds the song in earthy warmth, before a remarkable solo reminds us what the Hammond is capable of in the right hands.
Henry's organ work -- which includes dalliances with the modern synthesizer -- is front and center in his new group, the Funk Apostles, which last year released a well-received album, “First Steps,” and who perform in Pompano Beach this weekend before starting a European tour.
Henry’s 8 p.m. Saturday performance will be a highlight of opening weekend at the new Ali Cultural Arts Center, a remodeled former boarding house at 353 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., in the emerging Pompano Creative Arts District.
“This weekend is the beginning of a dynamic new era for the historic Ali building,” says Drew Tucker, the venue’s cultural arts director, calling Henry “an absolute phenom.”
The building now home to the Ali Center -- named for its former owners, Frank and Florence Ali -- once was the place where black musicians including Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong stayed during segregation, a musical heritage not lost on Henry.
“That’s a lot of pressure,” he says, laughing. “But it’s important to have history protected and retold the right way. I would love to learn more when we get there.”
Henry says he’s also got another reason to look forward to playing in Pompano Beach, where MLK Boulevard has gone by another name: Hammondville Road.
“Man, that’s cool. I can’t wait to play Hammondville!” he says, laughing.
The Ali Cultural Arts Center has a weekend of tours, programming and activities planned beginning on Thursday. Tickets to Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles are $30 ($10 for Pompano Beach residents), $50 for VIP, which includes a champagne reception with Henry and a signed album. Info: AliArts.org.
As you may have smelled by now, Bacon Bash returns to Esplanade Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale 7-10 p.m. Friday, courtesy of Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale and Covenant House Florida. The 21-and-older event celebrates all manner of bacon-inspired things that go in your mouth from locals including American Social, BurgerFi, Dos Caminos, Grille 401, It’s A Cubano B, Himmarshee Public House, M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom, Miami Smokers, the Bacon Jams, the Downtowner, the Filling Station, Whole Foods, Frankey’s Sports Bar and Ten Palms. Tickets are $35 for unlimited food (with cash bar); the $75 VIP ticket adds access to the Biergarten, with unlimited tastings of product from Funky Buddha, Barrel of Monks, Wynwood Brewing and Florida Beer Co., along with bourbon samplings from Angel’s Envy, Michter’s, William Grant & Sons and Woodford Reserve. DJ Two Story Lori will provide the fat soundtrack. Get information and tickets at GoRiverwalk.com, YoungPros.net.
YOUR WEEKEND MOVIE(S)
The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival makes its red-carpet debut on Friday at Hard Rock Live with a slate of films that almost dares you to stay home: There’s the witty political humor of Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next” (beware the misleading title); the poignant senior moments of “The Boat Builder,” with Christopher Lloyd as the ancient mariner in the title; and “Jaco,” an emotionally turbulent look at the genius of Oakland Park’s Jaco Pastorius, produced by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, who will be on the red carpet along with Moore and Lloyd (the latter also attending the 8 p.m. world premiere of “The Boat Builder” at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale). I dare you to stay home. Info: FLIFF.com.
WHY WE LOVE WPB
Nothing against the obvious attributes of the bikini-palooza known as Palm Beach Swim Week, which enlivens parts of Clematis Street this weekend (including the Palm Beach Photographic Center, at 415 Clematis; info: FusionFashionAndArt.com), but it is the CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show that has us more excited. Parts of the downtown West Palm Beach arts district will be unrecognizable after more than 30 locations have been reimagined by top street artists working and exhibiting Nov. 8-22. CANVAS includes a variety of events to like, including the CANVAS Local Showdown on Nov. 13, where seven area painters will compete to be added to the show; CANVAS Kids Day on Nov. 15; Your Body is a CANVAS, a night of music, fashion, art and body painting on Nov. 20; CANVAS Secret Walls on Nov. 20, a live-art “fight club” of artists armed with black markers or acrylic paint; and the CANVAS Street Party on Nov. 21, a two-day affair on Fern Street. Info: Facebook.com/CANVASwpb.
Street artist? The nonprofit Miami art and culture organizers at PAXy.org want to see your ideas for three mural projects to be executed during Art Basel Dec. 3-6. As they say: “We have these three walls, aerosols, scaffolds and some money... We need your talent and ideas.” To be considered, send a sketch to them by Nov. 21. Info: PAXy.org/AnotherPaintintheWall.
FREE YOUR MIND
Local DJ-about-town Adam Foster classies up his resume 5–8 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 5) with the kickoff of NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s Free First Thursday Starry Nights series, which (thanks to PNC Bank) includes free museum admission on the first Thursday of every month. The evening includes two-for-one specials on wine and craft beer, light bites in the Museum Café, prize drawings and admission to the museum’s five current exhibitions, all set to Philly-native Foster’s soulful soundtrack. In: NSUArtMuseum.org.
BLACK IS BACK
As part of the 11th annual South Beach Comedy Festival, Lewis Black will bring his “Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth Tour” to the Fillmore Miami Beach on April 8, the first headliner revealed for the April 6-10 festival. Tickets for Black’s 8 p.m. show are $75, $55 and $39.50, and go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6, at the Fillmore box office, LiveNation.com and at 800-745-3000. More info: SouthBeachComedyFestival.com, FillmoreMB.com.
TURNING IT UP TO 11
South Florida’s gift to DJ culture, Diplo, will celebrate his 37th birthday on Nov. 10 at the 24-hour nightclub E11even Miami (a party the club points out will run into the wee hours of 11/11). Expect to hear hits from his latest album “Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü,” including the inescapable Justin Bieber track “Where Are Ü Now?” and “To Ü” (with AlunaGeorge). Tickets: $30 for women, $50 for non-women. Info: 11Miami.com.
Make that great. It’s a great weekend for live music of a indie stripe. Brazilian Girls (with irreverent locals Bluejay among the openers) play the North Beach Bandshell on Miami Beach Friday ($20, NorthBeachBandshell.com). Matt & Kim (with Deaf Poets) are at Fort Lauderdale’s Revolution Live on Saturday ($25, JoinTheRevolution.net). Sufjan Stevens is at the Olympia Theater in Miami’s Gusman Center on Saturday ($39.50-$49.50, OlympiaTheater.org). And Damien Rice plays the Olympia on Sunday ($39.50-$59.50).
EAT AND DRINK
That red circle around Nov. 11 on your calendar is meant to remind you when the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park is opening its new dining spot, Craft Food Counter & Kitchen, featuring “scratch-made pub fare with a crafty focus.” Built into a shipping container with 10-foot windows that look into the heart of the brewery, CFC will be run by Jeff Vincent, a South Carolina native formerly of the well-regarded Beauty & the Feast at the Atlantic Hotel on Fort Lauderdale beach. High on our list of must-tries is the Beer Cheese, a melding of Funky Buddha’s Fuhgeddaboudit Red Ale, aged cheddar and smoky gouda, served in a Floridian Hefeweizen-sourdough bread bowl. Oh, yeah. Info: FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com.
You have a little time to fill the cooler and get your s’more fixings ready, but Lake Worth beach bonfire season is just around the corner, with the first of these family-friendly Friday gatherings 6-9 p.m. Nov. 13 on the sand at 10 S. Ocean Blvd. Other confirmed dates are Nov. 27, Dec. 11 and 18, Jan. 8 and 22, and Feb. 12 and 26. More info: LakeWorth.org/events.
A fundraiser will be held 5-8 p.m. Sunday at the Quarterdeck at 1541 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale, for St. Thomas Aquinas student Sean Mahoney, one of the victims of a horrific Aug. 13 boat crash on Fort Lauderdale’s Middle River that claimed the life of one friend and injured four others. The tented party includes food, drink, an auction and music from local rockers Sippin’ Fire. Admission is a $50 donation, $20 for kids, with proceeds going help cover costs of rehabilitation and equipment needed to care for Mahoney, currently paralyzed from the chest down. For more information, go to SeanMahoneyFund.com.
Who said this: “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow.” Whoever emails me first with the answer (email@example.com) gets my ticket to Hollywood’s free screening of “The Empire Strikes Back” at 8 p.m. Friday in the ArtsPark at Young Circle. Info: VisitHollywoodFL.org.
The popular photography exhibition “The Summer of 68: Photographing the Black Panthers” will be in the spotlight during the Nov. 12 edition of Art After Dark at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. The evening of music and poetry will include a discussion by Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and the author of “Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers - 1840 to the Present.” Willis will be joined by her husband, Hank Thomas Sr., a former member of the Black Panthers’ Philadelphia chapter who helped establish its health clinic and children’s food program. Keyboard player George Tandy Sr. will perform jazz interpretations of classic songs from 1968, while local high school and college students present relevant poetry and spoken word performances. Art After Dark begins at 5 p.m., with a tour of “The Summer of ’68” (extended through Jan. 17) set for 5:30 p.m. Norton admission is $12, $5 students, 12 and younger free. Info: Norton.org.
The Fashion Project’s FP: Talks series on Monday at 7 p.m. offers “Fresh Kicks: The History of Sneakers from the Nineteenth Century to Today” at Books & Books at Bal Harbor Shops (9700 Collins Ave.). The talk will be led by Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator of Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, a job you thought was only in your dreams. Semmelhack, possibly her real name, recently curated “The Rise of Sneaker Culture” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and will attend an after-party at Addict, on Level 2 of Bal Harbour Shops. Wear a pair of conversation starters on your feet. Info: FashionProjectBHS.com.
Possibly as much therapy for the certain members of the audience as the guys onstage, the Addicts' Comedy Tour stops at the Palm Beach Improv at 8 p.m. Tuesday with Mark Lundholm and Kurtis Matthews, who have more than 50 years of stage experience and recovery between them. Each has been to some pretty dark places, but the evening is all about laughs. And whatever else you take from it. Tickets: $25. Info: PalmBeach.Improv.com.