A Jamaican’s Guide To The Best Things To Do In New York in May 2024

The month of May is calling locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in its rich offerings of events in New York. At the illustrious Met Fifth Avenue, journey back in time to the Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism exhibition, a captivating exploration of how Black artists reshaped the canvas of everyday life through their evocative works. The Braata Singers are marking their 15th Anniversary with “Still Standing” at the IRT Theater to the uproarious laughter guaranteed at the Apollo Theater’s “Strength of A Woman Presents: Tiffany Haddish,” curated by none other than Mary J. Blige. And for those seeking to groove to the nostalgic beats of reggae and dub music, ReggeLova and Bring Back The Vibes promise unforgettable nights of rhythm, soul, and camaraderie. Let’s look at what May holds for entertainment seekers in the Big Apple!

Feb. 25-Jul. 28

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism 

The Met

1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism exhibition, currently on view at The Met Fifth Avenue, delves into the comprehensive and far-reaching ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday modern life. Through approximately 160 works encompassing painting, sculpture, photography, film, and ephemera, the exhibition explores the emergence of new Black cities during the 1920s–40s, particularly in New York City’s Harlem and across the nation during the early decades of the Great Migration. This migration saw millions of African Americans moving away from the segregated rural South.

Notably, this exhibition is the first art museum survey of its kind in New York City since 1987. It establishes the Harlem Renaissance and its groundbreaking development of the modern Black subject as central to the evolution of international modern art. A significant portion of the exhibited pieces comes from the extensive collections of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including institutions like Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, Fisk University Galleries, Hampton University Art Museum, and Howard University Gallery of Art.

The Braata Singers

May 6-19

“The Braata Singers: Still Standing”

IRT Theater

154 Christopher St. (bet. Washington & Greenwich Sts) West Village, New York, NY 10001

Shows: Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays at 7 pm & Sundays at 5 pm

The Braata Singers mark their 15th Anniversary with the Off-Broadway production “Still Standing,” blending tradition and innovation in a concert that showcases both classic favorites and new arrangements. The show pays tribute to the group’s milestone and the independence anniversaries of Caribbean islands like Grenada (50 years), St. Lucia (45 years), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (45 years), and Haiti (220 years). Through music, the concert celebrates the cultural richness of the Caribbean, featuring cherished favorites with new harmonies and vocals that capture the spirit of resilience and joy. 

Tiffany Haddish

May 10

Strength of a Woman Presents: Tiffany Haddish

Apollo’s Historic Theate

253 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

Showtime: 8:00 pm

The Apollo Theater in New York City is set to host an exciting event titled Strength of A Woman Presents: Tiffany Haddish. This comedy show is part of the third annual Strength of A Woman Festival and Summit, which is organized by Mary J. Blige and Live Nation. The festival’s goal is to empower, educate, and uplift women through a range of activities. Tiffany Haddish will be the headline act, supported by Don’t Call me White Girl and Paris Sashay. If you’re in Brooklyn, you can also attend the Strength of a Woman Festival & Summit 2024 at the Barclays Center on Saturday, May 11, featuring performances by Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Jill Scott, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Muni Long, Lola Brooke, and Funk Flex, with Tiffany Haddish as the host.

Barrington Levy
Maxi Priest

May 12

ReggeLova featuring Barrington Levy and Maxi Priest                                        

Amazura Concert Hall

91-12 144th Place, Queens, NY 11435

Showtime: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm 

Experience the electrifying ReggaeLova Concert featuring renowned artists Barrington Levy and Maxi Priest! Come treat your mother at this LIVE event which guarantees an unforgettable evening of delicious food, drinks, and skilled DJs with Barrington Levy and Maxi Priest, delivering iconic melodies that will have you dancing all night. Whether you’re a dedicated reggae enthusiast or simply seeking a lively night out with loved ones, this concert is a must-attend. 

ReggaeLova Concert

May 25

Bring Back The Vibes

K&L Manor

4501 Glenwood Road, Brooklyn, NY 11203

Juggling Starts: 10:00 pm

Rewind Selecta Promotion is hosting a Rub-a-Dub Night that promises to Bring Back the Vibes! This iconic musical juggling affair featuring The Legendary Saxon Sound System from England, Bass Odyssey from Jamaica and Downbeat The Ruler from New York, three sound systems that will whisk you away to the cherished golden era of reggae and dub music. Be prepared to be swept up in a night brimming with positive energy as you sway to the captivating rhythms and resonant basslines that defined an era.

About the Author

Lyndon Taylor is the Founder and CEO of Lyndon Taylor & Associates, a boutique media and public relations consulting agency in New York City. With an illustrious career as an award-winning journalist and public relations consultant, he has been a contributor to various community and Diaspora publications. With a passion for sports, youth, the performing arts, music, travel, fashion and lifestyle, he is deeply engaged in narrative shaping and storytelling, focused on individuals, brands and current affairs. His professional focus extends to the meticulous planning, promotion, facilitation and execution of numerous passion projects. Taylor is a qualified journalist, having earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism and an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Westminster in London. He also holds an MBA in Media Management from Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY).

Photo – David Katzive