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June 2017

The Soul Rebels with Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch and Kirk Knight at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

The Soul Rebels with Pharaohe Monch - BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn - Feast of Music Jun 24  2017  9-12 PM Jun 24  2017  9-015Rounding off a stellar weekend of music at the Prospect Park Bandshell, New Orleans brass ensemble The Soul Rebels blew into BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Saturday night with a high energy set that blended funk, rock and R&B. Eschewing the traditional sounds of the Preservation Hall or Dirty Dozen Brass Bands, the Soul Rebels have made a name for themselves by collaborating with everyone from Metallica to The String Cheese Incident, along with dozens of hip hop and R&B artists.

On Saturday, the Soul Rebels were joined onstage by a trio of MC's, including Talib Kweli, Kirk Knight, and the mesmerizing Pharoahe Monch, who exhorted everyone to "Get the Fuck up!" and shout at the sky for the recently deceased MC ProdigyGoapele opened with a sunny set of soul and R&B, followed by a DJ set from Natasha Diggs. 

More pics on the photo page

Preview: Rite of Summer Music Festival Performs John Cage on Governor's Island

Now that the remnants of tropical storm Cindy seem to have sailed out to sea, the remainder of the weekend looks ripe for spending some quality time outdoors. And, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather spend a summer afternoon than Governor's Island, the former military installation a 10 minute ferry ride away from the Battery, where you can stroll and bike along tree-lined paths with stunning vistas of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. 

For the past seven years, the Rite of Summer music festival has offered a gentle soundtrack for these daytrippers with free outdoor performances of contemporary/new music.  Concerts take place in Nolan Park – a shaded grassy field near Officer's Row where listeners can sprawl out with some some food and BYOB.

Tomorrow's show (which was rain delayed from today) features pianists Phyllis Chen, Anthony De Mare, Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg performing John Cage's "Sonatas and Interludes" for prepared-piano, alongside four companion pieces commissioned for the occasion by Angélica Negrón, Daniel Felsenfeld, Justin Hines, and Eleonor Sandresky. Shows at 1pm and 3pm; more info on the Rite of Summer website

Pharoah Sanders at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

Pharoah Sanders - Celebrate Brooklyn - Feast of Music Jun 23  2017  9-025The rain came down hard last night in Prospect Park, but that wasn't enough to deter a few thousand devoted fans from sticking around to see tenor legend Pharoah Sanders at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Taking the stage just a few minutes past his scheduled start time of 9pm, Sanders, a six-decade veteran of everyone from John Coltrane to Sun Ra, played with the energy and deep feeling of a man half his age, bouncing between hard-blowing free jazz and mainstream lyricism. Throughout his 90 minute set, there was an overwhelming reverence to his playing that was completely transfixing, presenting himself like some form of oracle. And, yet, he was also down-to-earth, dancing around the stage while his all-star band (trumpeter Nicholas Payton, pianist William Henderson, bassist Nathaniel Reese and drummer Savion Blake) took their solos. Sanders even engaged the crowd in a bit of playful call-and-response, ending with a reminder that "All is Love." Which felt like nothing short of a commandment.   

More pics on the photo page.