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HARLEM, Manhattan — The music of Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday drew people again to the corner of Lenox Avenue and West 120th Street.

The Soapbox Presents was created by Artist Marija Abney during the pandemic to celebrate artists and Black and brown communities.

“Find your voice to motivate the community, any way you can,” she said before hosting the event.

She says during quarantine, many artists were looking for ways to perform and lift the community.

They have held activations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and at other Harlem locations. Check The Soapbox Presents Instagram for future dates.

Each one honors artists and the sounds of the area. They also work with local businesses.

Endea Owens brought her bass to the jam session Friday in Harlem. She met Marija Abney and the group last year. She was also looking to connect and showcase artists, having worked on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

“People feel good when they go home for the night,” she said.

She also has partnered with The Soapbox Presents to share 100 meals during the performance.
Her group, called The Community Cookout, was also created during the quarantine. Her next popup concert will be in Bushwick during Mother’s Day weekend.