Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Yorkers Made Music Like Crazy Yesterday

The minute you walked outside yesterday afternoon you heard them. More than a thousand free public concerts took place across the city for the annual Make Music New York celebration. (Yesterday was the longest day of the year so they squeezed in extra music.)

Musicians were everywhere: on the sidewalks, in parks and in nooks and plazas.

In Brooklyn Heights, a folk group called MELA -- combining sweet vocal harmonies with piano, guitar, flute, ukulele, bass and percussion -- played the dinner hours on Montague Street in front of the Grand Canyon restaurant.

Their sound was just right for dining and they attracted quite a crowd of onlookers. (Judging from the numbers, Grand Canyon may want to invite them back.)

If you were anywhere near Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn (and by anywhere we mean at least a half mile) you heard Manhattan Samba and their driving percussion. Manhattan Samba is a Brazilian samba drum ensemble.

The group is a traditional Brazilian "bateria," one of the drum groups that accompany the yearly carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro.

In DUMBO, in The Archway under the Manhattan Bridge, Nick Franglen (of Lemon Jelly) played a 24-hour piece on a Theremin. The PitchBlak Brass Band played jazz on Water Street.

The Soulfolk Experience entertained at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Dan Aiello performed pop on Flatbush Ave. In Carroll Gardens, MaDDan & NottyMinds played Jazz; Naomi Frank provided funk. The Birdhive Boys played on Smith Street.

18 different performances took place in and around Fort Greene! And 85 in Williamsburg!

Three shows took place at Grand Army Plaza -- including a choral performance by the Youth Choir of First United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge, TN.

Pop Up Pianos

While Make Music New York day has ended, there are still Sing for Hope Pop Up Pianos -- 88 of them -- scattered all over the city, just waiting for folks to sit down and play.

Sometimes there are pop up concerts as well. For example, on Thursday, June 23 Johnny Young, an award winning composer will perform original songs and improvise on the piano at Grand Army Plaza from 6 - 6:30 p.m.

At Brooklyn Bridge Park on June 24 from 1 - 1:30, Lois Berseth will play old standards – love songs from the 40s and 50s. These Foolish Things, Body & Soul, Because of You, When I Fall in Love, Deep Purple, etc.

The complete piano schedule and map is here.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

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