Harlem Meer Summer Festival: Music on the Inside (MOTI)

Music on the Inside (MOTI) presents: Oscar Feldman's Latin Jazz Machine featuring jazz singer Marion Cowings and musician Dawud Rahman (Latin Jazz)

Music on the Inside will bring together leading jazz artists and formerly incarcerated musicians for the kick off the Harlem Meer Summer Festival on July 16th.


Music on the Inside connects youth and adults impacted by incarceration with professional musicians to bring hope and healing through the transformative power of music. MOTI mentorships match individuals in reentry with top musicians on their instrument as teachers, mentors, and friends.

Image Oscar Feldman

Oscar Feldman is an esteemed professional musician and band leader. Born and raised in Córdoba, Argentina, he was a founding member of Los Músicos del Centro with two of South America’s most influential artists, Hermeto Pascoal and Dino Saluzzi. He became a highly in-demand studio musician in Buenos Aires, where he recorded more than 40 albums as a sideman and touring with outstanding artists such as Litto Nebbia, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Fito Páez, Dino Saluzzi, among others. He obtained the Berklee College of Music Achievement

Scholarship Award and graduated cum laude in Professional Music. Feldman won the Outstanding Performance Award for Best Soloist in Fusion Music in 1986. Permanently based in New York since 1991, Feldman demonstrates superb skills on alto, tenor, and soprano saxophones and has recorded and toured internationally with guitar legend Al Di Meola, Dino Saluzzi, Grammy winner and producer/arranger Eumir Deodato, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Avantango, Paquito D'Rivera and the United Nations Orchestra, Mingus Big Band, and Alex Acuña at prestigious venues such as the Vienna Opera House, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall in New York City, Parc La Villette in Paris, the Blue Note in NYC. In 1999, Oscar recorded on the album "Tropicana Nights" with a big band conducted by Paquito D'Rivera, which received the Latin Grammy Award in 2000 for "Best Latin Jazz Album."

Image Marion Cowlings

Marion Cowings

Jazz singer Marion Cowings is a native New Yorker and master of scat and vocal technique. Marion attended the High School of Music & Art, now known as LaGuardia High School, where he was chosen to perform as a solo vocalist with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Bernstein.

While still in high school, his first professional engagement was at the Randall’s Island Jazz Festival with “Little Pony” Poindexter and the Ike Isaacs Trio. During this time Marion began to understudy with Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert, and Annie Ross. Eventually Marion became Lambert’s original replacement and was mentored by Jon Hendricks.

In 1984, after leading rhythm and blues and rock bands, Cowings teamed up with jazz vocalist Kim Kalesti. Together they performed hundreds of concerts and recorded several albums. They also founded the Vocal Jazz Department at New York University and were adjunct professors for eleven years. Marion’s smooth baritone voice and considerable range have been delighting audiences around the world for decades. He has performed at the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Blue Note, Village Vanguard, and many prestigious venues abroad. He is also the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Clio Award.

Image Dawud Rahman

Dawud Rahman

We’re so proud that MOTI mentorship participant and member of Oscar Feldman’s Ensemble Dawud Rahman will be featured with Oscar Feldman’s Latin Jazz Machine. Dawud was recommended to MOTI by John Runowicz of the Fortune Society. Dawud’s talent was recognized by acclaimed saxophonist Don Braden who became his first MOTI mentor. In Rahman’s own words: “After being released in 2019, I was fortunate enough to involve myself in music programs at the Fortune Society and was introduced to MOTI, which sought and still seeks to foster music in the prisons. I received valued instruction which had been lacking through my previous experience. I am grateful to study with the master saxophonist Don Braden and the virtuosic flute instructor, Barbara Siesel.

workshop ensemble of Oscar Feldman, and I continue to grow musically under his tutelage. I was born in La Ceiba, raised from age three to 9 in what was then British Honduras (now Belize) where music of many styles fostered my eclectic tastes. In the United States, I reveled in the music of the ’60s and began playing trumpet in a high school band. After being incarcerated in 1973, I maintained sporadic connection with musical involvement. I played trumpet and sax in various facility bands, mostly in the late ’70s and early ’80s, after which music involvement in prisons suffered a drastic decline.”

MOTI Horizonal Logo

The festival is free, and all ages are welcome. Check out our Event Q&As for more information.

Join our mailing list to receive event updates, information, and more.