Rhythm, Bass And Place: Through the Lens
Rhythm, Bass And Place: Through the Lens
Rhythm, Bass & Place: Through the Lens features the works of photography documentarians, Joe Conzo Jr. & Malik Yusef Cumbo, who have captured the essence and elements of Black music as it has evolved between the 1970s–2000s.
Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
March 17, 2023 to June 24, 2023
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Exhibition Details

Through black and white photographs, Joe Conzo Jr. and Malik Yusef Cumbo captured multiple genres of music and have collectively helped us see how musical styles were created in New York City’s Diasporic communities. From portrait to photojournalism, Rhythm, Bass and Place: Through the Lens is a testament of a social movement, a cultural renaissance and a communally crafted sound experience that reverberates throughout the world.

This exhibition is organized during a special time, during the global celebration of Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary, a culture and genre born of reggae, jazz, salsa, merengue, soul, funk and disco. These photographers created a visual culture that amplifies the sounds our people make when gathered in neighborhoods across nations.

Artist Details

Born and raised in the Bronx, Joe Conzo Jr. acquired a passion for photography as a young boy attending the Agnes Russell School on the campus of Columbia University. He continued his formal artistic education at the School of Visual Arts (NYC) and in 2008, this entire collection of images became part of a permanent archive housed at Cornell University. The digitization of over 10,000 of Mr. Conzo’s film images has already begun — progress can be viewed at the Cornell University Library’s website. This collection is regarded by genre experts and academia as an important lens into the roots of Hip-Hop culture, the Urban NYC landscape of the 70s and 80s, and an integral source for any serious discourse on the movement.

Malik Yusef Cumbo is a photographer, artist, filmmaker, and producer. Surrounded by a multitude of creatives at this time, moving in the same party scene, Malik befriended and photographed many of them who happened to be recording artists, and great visual artists. He would start working with many noted record companies and publishing houses as an event photographer and shooting stills on music videos. Later, he moved into portraiture, magazine features, fashion spreads, album covers, and multimedia applications.


CCCADI Firehouse
120 East 125 Street
New York, NY 10035

Image: Dancing in the Streets South Bronx 1980 / photo by Joe Conzo Jr.