30 in 30 at Love Jones NYC

Dear Comix,

On day 12 of my #30in30 you created a space for J-Harris to come into the new venue of Love Jones NYC and give the experience of love to every person who walked through the door. Love Jones NYC is an opportunity to feel that love in the strength of your own heart as well as in the dynamic intermingling of all those who were in attendance.  I like to think Love Jones NYC was on fire because it was my #30in30 and everything is at its best for my birthday celebration but in keeping it real (and in realizing it’s not ACTUALLY all about me) I know the same thing everyone else does, this critically-acclaimed live arts monthly show of entertainment just keeps growing in the impact it has upon every person who attends.

A couple weeks before the show J-Harris released a video reel of the last show and one of the comments on it perfectly sums up the experience:

I had an Amazing time at this event. This video is a great representation of the quality and talent of the performers…however it does not begin to speak to the vibe…the energy…the building effect…and the highs that I experienced. If you can Sang a little…this wil make you want to Sang a LOT. I am a absolute fan of the event…RESERVE MY VIP TICKET TOO!!! ~Al Simmons

Sunday night was definitely my VIP night. I walked the red carpet, posed as the photographers Qlick and Taj Washington snapped my picture, waved at familiar faces like I was the star and then I settled in. I spread my holiday cheer by making small talk with the people around me and, as they always do, someone asked what brings me to this show. So I bat my eyes, drop my demure smile and slowly reply,

J-Harris. (Yes, I want that period there, I mean is there really anything more that needs to be said?)

He nods and goes on to tell me he’s there to see his cousin Qwanell Anthony perform and gestures to what I think says Guitar Hero on stage but what Cousin quickly corrects me to let me know actually says “Guitar Her“. I shrug and the small talk continues until J-Harris begins announcing the show. The anticipation is unbelievable in the beginning of the show because I can hear J-Harris but I can’t see him and it’s like the slow winding on a Jack-in-the-Box because I know he’ll explode out any minute and I can barely contain my excitement while I’m waiting.

The show starts with Nicole Lyricc delivering her spoken word, followed by the introduction of Jayms Madison as the co-host and then they brought out The Professional Dance Crew. Y’all know how I feel about kids, they have cute actions but few are actually as cute as my nephew, thus I reserve that label for the few and far between kiddo. These kids? They were cute! The lead singer couldn’t have been more than seven or eight and he monopolized that stage as if he’d been on it for the last forty years.

The theme of this Love Jones NYC show was Holidays (which so nicely includes my #30in30) and Devin Snow and Cory Robinson performed a beautiful rendition of The Christmas Song. It was moving not just in their talent for  singing but in the way they captured and captivated the audience with their presence over the stage. They sang it like a love song and truly set the tone for the love that would continue to permeate the event throughout the rest of the night.

J-Harris’ Love Jones dancer danced a ballet number to Gaby singing Ava Maria followed by the Poet Josiah who hit the audience with stanzas like: You can camouflage hate but can’t hide love. Love is birth without abortion. Love is the power in you. Don’t confuse this with just another love poem, use this when the road is rough and bumpy.

Danni Ai and Tito Pink rocked out to my all time favorite Christmas song, Santa Baby. They did their thing with this version and they draw you right in with the way their singing goes beyond just the words and the melody into a performance that tells a story. Which is so indicative of the way a finely oiled machine can have the same oil that starts at the top flowing all the way down and flows through every gear until each disjointed part is working exactly the same and operates with the most polished rhythm and succinct movements.  J-Harris has taken Love Jones NYC to the point of being a well-oiled, perfectly connected entertainment operation.

After Marshall Davis tapped his way into the audience’s heart J-Harris and his Love Jones Dancers took the stage and did all the favorites. Taj Washington then stepped out from behind the camera and onto the stage to get the laughter started. Even though he did crack a joke about LA I still love him and can’t wait until he polishes his skill and gets to the point where I get to shout “I know him!” as he steps out on the Comedy Central stage for his very own show. It’s no surprise Concrete Loop signed on to sponsor this month’s Love Jones. Angel Laws is no fool.

Finally the night ended with my comeuppance for thinking I was so much smarter than Cousin. I told you about the small talk right? Well when Que from Day 26 steps onto stage I turn back to Cousin because he’s the closest to me and squeal out my excitement. To which he eyes me skeptically and reminds me that a moment ago I didn’t even know who he was. I put the dots together and realized that earlier when he was talking about his cousin and asking me questions  he actually thought I was the dumb one for clearly not having a clue as to whom he was referring to.  All I can do is shrug. I am notorious for not knowing the actual person but loving their music as an expression of who they are. I guess I would make a terrible groupie. Don’t you worry though, by the end of the night, Que/Qwanell Anthony and I had worked through that small minor confusion and were buddied up. I do make a fantastic friend. Que came out onto stage wearing dark shades with the tattoo’d lips on the side of his neck clearly visible as he performed his first single, Medicine Man, from his new Mixtape Guitar HER. He then pulled the mic close to his face, stepped to the side and began to sing A Song for You by Donny Hathaway. It was a phenomenal capstone to the night as we filed out into the afterparty led by DJ Zeke.

The afterparty was a perfect segue because we did not want to leave and this time we didn’t have to. We got an opportunity to celebrate and continue to bask in the good energy from the show. Folks got on the mic and did all the various renditions of the Love Jones NYC theme song and the paintings by Fernando Mora and Nathan Jalani Taylor were auctioned off. I got the one Nathan Jalani Taylor painted which is a perfect representation of My Life. The painting depicted the way when you love as hard and as often as I have you may get your heart broken but there’s also a love that has flown from the depths of those cracks that drifts purposefully into the lives of others creating peace, love and happiness in a way they did not have before our lives became intertwined. His painting leaves me speechless and emotional every time I look at it and reminds me that loving someone is so much bigger than me, loving someone does not happen until I’m overflowing with love for myself and able to pour out the remaining love onto others. No matter how heartbroken I may have become after times I so openly, freely and assiduously gave my heart away I still have enough love to know it won’t be long before I’m once again singing,

Love Jones…I Gotta Love Jones…I Gotta Love Jones…For Yooooou.

Love Always,

Sunny

Any song really, that’s why it was so amazing to celebrate 30 in 30 with 30 songs at Love Jones NYC at its new location Comix (14th street and 9th Avenue).
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  1. […] we want to in the moment and only a letter can capture what we wish we could have said. « 30 in 30 at Love Jones NYC I Gotta Love Jones for You December 19, 2010 Image via […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by J-Harris, Sunny Dee. Sunny Dee said: This was my favorite night of #30in30 so far! Join the reliving of it with me! Love Jones NYC « Sealed with A Kiss – http://goo.gl/DKDtB […]



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