Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you listening to jazz in a park, or hearing the calming sound of waves at the ocean, or crickets as you wrap up a night swim. I kinda like what I wrote this time last year, so here’s a lovin’ spoonful of that.

This has been a beautiful summer, with almost perfect weather, aside from a freak storm or two. And there have been some spectacular performances, which I’ll write about once the summer is officially over.

As the summer wraps up (and as predicted), I feel a little sad. But at the same time, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief. Truth is, I’m over-committed. Or as Chuck Berry puts it, “too pooped to pop.”

The imminent reductions of concerts I’ve decided I MUST see as well as the prospect of one less thing to check off my “to do” list is very welcome. (Yes, these are all First World problems and I recognize that I am an extremely lucky, privileged person to be doing what I love at all times.) That said, I’ll take the approach of last year, writing significantly less frequently during the year.

I’ll outline what I think are the best free cultural events every month or so on this site.  Now is the best time to follow me on social media because I’ll post real time events on Facebook and Twitter as I hear about them. Sign on!

 

 ***

 

Aight, here’s what I got:

 

Monday, August 25

 

Orquesta SCC (which stands for Salsa Con Conciencia or “salsa music with conscience”) performs; they’re excellent (Bronx)

The Metropolitan Opera presents an HD series at the end of the summer, with broadcasts of their operas outside in Lincoln Center. Tonight, they present Shostakovich’s The Nose (NYC)

 

Tuesday, August 26

 

A hot strings festival, with the likes of Jen Larson & Friends, Cynthia Sayer’s Joyride Quartet, Bruce Molsky, & The Andy Statman Trio (NYC)

Watch the old classic, On the Waterfront, on the waterfront (Brooklyn)

The Metropolitan Opera presents an HD series at the end of the summer, with broadcasts of their operas outside in Lincoln Center. Tonight, they present Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra with Placido Domingo (NYC)

 

Wednesday, August 27

 

A New York spin on the New Orleans Second Line: The Big Apple Brass Band (NYC)

If this is the same Black Bottom Revue as the one with Tamar-kali, you should definitely check this out (NYC)

Screenings of Vanishing Pearls and Deluge, two films that explore perspectives on the BP oil spill (Brooklyn)

The film, Sing Your Song, a documentary about the life of Harry Belafonte, screened in a community garden (Bronx)

You know what sounds magical? Dancing on the High Line. Join the Cuban guajiro musical rhythms of Cuba with Nu D’Lux (NYC)

Socrates Sculpture Park closes out its wonderful film series with a double feature: Umberto (1952) and Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013) (Queens)

The Metropolitan Opera presents an HD series at the end of the summer, with broadcasts of their operas outside in Lincoln Center. Tonight, they present Verdi’s Falstaff, conducted by James Levine (NYC)

 

Thursday, August 28

 

The Brass Tacks is part of a recent resurgence of interest in early jazz music including dixieland and brass band music from the early 20th century (NYC)

Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, featuring guitarist Vernon Reid of Living Colour and conductor Greg Tate, performs sets in tribute to James Brown and Steely Dan (Newark)

Shakespeare returns to Bryant Park this weekend. Boomerang Theater presents the comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost (NYC)

Nominated for two Academy Awards in 2003, watch the animated comedy film, The Triplets of Belleville (Queens)

 

Friday, August 29

 

The African Film Festival always shares good picks (Brooklyn)

Shakespeare returns to Bryant Park this weekend. Boomerang Theater presents the comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost (NYC)

The Metropolitan Opera presents an HD series at the end of the summer, with broadcasts of their operas outside in Lincoln Center. Tonight, they present Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore; (NYC)

 

Saturday, August 30

 

Celebrate the many cultural traditions that thrive in the city’s most diverse borough (Queens)

Leave it to the Brazilians: of course there is a day-long event to celebrate their culture. Get your samba/capoeira/forro on! (NYC)

Classical music with the NYC skyline as a backdrop (Brooklyn)

I saw Taj Mahal’s daughter, Deva Mahal perform earlier this year and was blown away – one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. Check her out with her band, Fredericks Brown (Queens)

West Coast Swing combines elements of Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, Salsa, and straight up booty-shakin’, with lots of room for improvisation and can be danced to pop, blues, rock, hip-hop, R&B, country, soul, and just about everything in between. Check this out (NYC)

Shakespeare returns to Bryant Park this weekend. Boomerang Theater presents the comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost (NYC)

 

Sunday, August 31

 

An all-female jazz ensemble with the frontwoman on a B3 Hammond – don’t think I’ve seen that before! Les Femmes Jazz (NYC)

 

Monday, September 1

 

The West Indian Carnival Day Parade is an “only in NYC” experience. It gets hectic but the costumes and energy are amazing (Brooklyn)

The Metropolitan Opera presents an HD series at the end of the summer, with broadcasts of their operas outside in Lincoln Center. Tonight, they present Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (NYC)

***

 

Aight, that’s what I got.

Thank you, loyal readers. You’re the reason I keep doing this. Thanks for your ongoing support. And enjoy the end of the summer, everyone!

 

All good things,

 

Ariana