Harlem Focus Docs. by Jaime Marcelo

Beginning in spring 2015 at City College of New York, the BFA in Film and Video program worked in tandem with the Sonic Arts Program to begin production of a number of short character documentaries detailing the lives of the many different people living in Harlem: artists, shop owners, dancers, and more. Each yearly season of the series features six documentaries, with two seasons currently completed. The documentaries are featured on the website of The Amsterdam News, a legendary newspaper that featured notable African American leaders such as W.E.B. Dubois, Malcolm X, and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

These films highlight overlooked and under-reported aspects of the rich past and vibrant present of Harlem. Moving beyond mainstream “television style” reporting that is driven by on-camera talent and sound bites from politicians and civic leaders, these short films are visually inventive narrative portraits utilizing the voices of Harlemites. Each character embodies the resilient artistic and cultural spirit that has given Harlem its identity through good times and bad, and now must inform the community in this time of transition.
— HarlemFocusDocs Website

Each film begins with a title animation of "Harlem Focus" styled after the iconic Apollo Theater sign, and my sound design was selected to introduce each film. I worked to create a sonic representation of classic Harlem - the natural sounds of the crackling neon sign, morphed into an old radio dial taking us back to the era of Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, and Bessie Smith, all artists who helped shape the sound and character of the early Harlem music scene.

New site for a new year and a new era. by Jaime Marcelo

As it is 2016 and clunky Wordpress websites have gone quite out of vogue, I've decided to migrate my website onto a new, more functional iteration with Squarespace. Expect consistent updates across the board in regards to video game and film projects (there are many ongoing), as well as complete reels for music and sound design.

The last year has been a formidable trial in balancing my many hats of performance, composition, and sound design. Since completing my final semester at CCNY last fall, my focus immediately turned toward music performance as I spent most of my time gigging and touring throughout the spring, playing guitar for Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda. From April-May, we burst through 16 cities before ending back in NYC, then landed a weekly, immensely popular summer residence at Sidewalk Cafe. Hosting guests such as Janeane Garofalo, Melissa Harris-Perry, Mychal Denzel Smith and more, the unpredictable performances blended politics, musical improv, and comedy. It's been a blast, and there's more still to come.

Last year, my performances primarily took shape through supporting Atarah Valentine on guitar as we played a number of notable shows. In August, we drove out to the midwest to perform at Lollapalooza 2015 on the BMI stage. Nothing like having a major performance, then spending the other two days of the festival seeing Paul McCartney, TV On The Radio, and a stellar set from Metallica. In the fall, we played a packed Marlin Room at Webster Hall for CMJ 2015, as well as a busy residence at Piano's. These shows were a blast as well.

As I find myself midway through the summer, I am feeling fortunate to have taken part in so many stellar shows and I look forward to the next year. There are some phenomenal projects that I am currently working on, in film and video games, music and sound design. Stay tuned for more on these projects over coming months.