Nite Life by Martine Syms

April 2015

Miami's Design District
Gramps Bar, Wynwood

Artist Martine Syms presents an original performance based on the history of Overtown.

On January 12, 1963, Sam Cooke played an energetic and memorable concert in Miami, FL at Overtown’s Harlem Square Club. Despite being professionally recorded by his label RCA, the album that resulted, “Live at the Harlem Square Club”, wasn’t released until 1985.

Syms has created two responses to the album

1. A text piece that is displayed on fences in Miami’s Design District in April 2015 that uses the dialogue between Cooke and the crowd as a found poem.

2. A “one-night only” performance at Gramps Bar in Wynwood called Nite Life, a guided tour of Sam Cooke’s legendary performance. This two-person lecture interprets the history of a black vernacular through the personal experiences of Cooke, local performers, concert-goers, and other scenesters. Using archival materials, oral history, memoir, and fiction, Nite Life enacts the intergenerational dialogue produced by the music itself. Admission is free.

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