Dear Friends,

Yesterday evening was perfect. I took a bike ride through the LES, Chinatown, and the Financial District, swung around to Battery Park to watch the mesmerizing Mophato Dance Theatre from Botswana as part of the Battery Dance Festival (who wins for best artist backdrops in NYC, with sight lines of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty). They were really good a pushed notions on “what is African Dance?” In addition, it’s a huge company – there were about 20 dancers and musicians! I really enjoyed myself. After, I biked alongside a party boat on the East River for most of the way home, managing to dance while biking, easily making new friends along the way (there were a few of us on bikes, following the music!) The icing on the cake (or in this case, “ice cream on the cone”) was an evening treat at my favorite, long-time soft serve joint (since 1974!), Ray’s Candy Store, on Avenue A. I like to chew the fat with Ray and love the old school offerings readily available. I usually get the soft serve but he has egg creams, ice cream sodas, lime rickeys, etc. It reminds me of the New York I grew up in. Ray is in his 80s. Go support him.

Two NYC recommendations:

    1. If you have the chance, check out the final days of the Battery Dance Festival. I knew about this series for quite awhile but went for the first time this week. I saw Erasing Borders first, which focused on many different Indian dance forms. I was blown away, so much so, I went back. It’s a great festival of local and international dance. And as I said earlier, the sight lines are phenomenal. You can catch the final night of the festival at Battery Park tonight or the phenomenal Mophato Dance Theatre + others tomorow at the Schimmel Center. Both are free but sure to RSVP for tomorrow.

 

You can find other pictures and videos I took at the Battery Dance Festival on my Instagram page.

2. I went to the opening night of “Capturing the Lower East Side’s Storefronts Oral History & Photo Exhibition” this week. What a show! The photos and stories came from a series of workshops done with neighborhood residents. The result is beautiful, personal, and relevant, especially since we lost two of the featured businesses, in the last month. I also love that it’s at Theater for the New City, a community arts institution to the East Village. These are the businesses and organizations we must support. Don’t miss this. You have until 9/18.

A post shared by Ariana Hellerman (@arianaslist) on

 

 

And now…this is what I got for the week:

 

Friday, August 18

 

💁 Music: Bryant Park’s Emerging Music Festival goes all evening tonight (and all day on Saturday) and launches with Landlady who I’ve been meaning to check out forever, NYC

Music: Hot Jazz outfit, The Hot Club of Bushwick goes to the beach, Queens

Music: Young blues guitarist virtuoso, King Solomon Hicks plays in Harlem, NYC

Dance: Many companies perform in the Battery Dance Festival in Lower Manhattan (thru 8/19), NYC

 

Saturday, August 19

 

💁  Tour: Explore Wallabout, the historic Brooklyn district that has a beautiful mix of pre-Civil War homes and late 19th century industrial buildings, Brooklyn

Music/Dance/Parade: Caribbean Carnival is coming to Rockaway, Queens

Music: The Mi Gente festival is home-grown and celebrates culture in the Boogie Down, Bronx

Music: Hudson River Park’s annual Blues BBQ always features good food and music, right on the water. This year, it features some high-profile acts including The Campbell Brothers and Dumstaphunk, NYC

Music: Bryant Park’s Emerging Music Festival continues with a bunch of up-and-coming (and arrived!) bands, including Super Yamba, “classic Afro-funk, Afrobeat and psychedelic dance music,” NYC

Dance: Beach Sessions Dance Series featuring  Jodi Melnick/Jon Kinzel & Anonymous. A two-day dance series against the backdrop of Rockaway Beach with some of the best NYC-based choreographers of today. Repeats on 8/20 with different choreographers, Queens

Music: Enjoy flamenco on the river with Los Hermanos Cintron, NYC

Dance: Many companies perform in the Battery Dance Festival in Lower Manhattan, NYC

 

Sunday, August 20

 

Music: Old School salsa outfit Tipica 73 plays at the popular Orchard Beach series. Get your beach in with music too, Bronx

Music: 1970s lo-fi pop-rock sounds with contemporary soul and blues sound of Hannah Gill and The Hours, Queens

Music: Dr. Mambo and the Experience Ensemble is a Caribbean jazz band featuring rhythms from around the world. Alex Blake, one of my favorite NYC bassists is part of the band; they must be good, NYC

Spoken Word: A Def Poetry Jam reunion, NYC

Dance: Beach Sessions Dance Series featuring Madeline Hollander. Day Two of a dance series against the backdrop of Rockaway Beach, Queens

💁 Music: A not-to-be-missed bill of the summer: Mulatu Astatke, father of Ethio-Jazz with support from compelling female vocalists from Tunisia and Sudan by way of New York, Emel Mathlouthi and Alsarah & the Nubatones, NYC

 

Monday, August 21

 

Film: Dirty Dancing. One of my all-time favorites. Bryant Park is always a fun place to watch movies alongside the rest of New York. Plus it’s their final film of the season, NYC

 

Tuesday, August 22

 

Opera: The New York City Opera performs a preview of La Fanciulla del West by Puccini, NYC

Dancing/Music: Celebrate the solar eclipse with a high-tech experimental dance party and soundscape with accompanying drums. This evening event features two performances by award-winning Staten Island based electronic multimedia composers, performers, and sound artists: Izzi Ramkissoon (featuring Eric Cooper (cello), Patrice Ramkissoon (vocals), and Udachi (electronics)) and AJ Pantaleo (featuring Mike DiBenedetto), Staten Island

Theater: New York Classical Theatre creates experiences out of Shakespeare, this time, with Macbeth (thru August 27th), Brooklyn

 

Wednesday, August 23

 

Music: Tucker Park invites Music Under New York (i.e. subway buskers) above ground in this daytime series. Today brass bands Underground Horns and High & Mighty Brass Band perform, NYC

Theater: New York Classical Theatre creates experiences out of Shakespeare, this time, with Macbeth (thru August 27th), Brooklyn

Film: Bad Hair (Pelo Malo) (Venezuela/Peru), BAD HAIR chronicles the life of nine-year-old Junior, living in a bustling Caracas tenement with his widowed mother, who fears he has pelo malo – bad hair. For his school photo, he wants to iron his stubbornly curly mane to resemble his pop star idols. His mother has serious misgivings; she suspects her son is gay. Rondón grounds her film in the cultural realities of working-class Venezuela – and, by dint of two remarkable performances, finds warmth and humor between mother and son, even as the uncertainties of pre-adolescence threaten to pull them apart. Sounds amazing. Queens

💁 Film: Kids. This movie came out when I was a kid (15ish, as is the definition in this film.) It opened my eyes to a lot and was vaguely reminiscent of life at the time, Brooklyn

 

Thursday, August 24

 

Music/Dance: Pier 42 is a temporary park site is on the south side of FDR Drive that housed a community-informed park for a number of years. This afternoon/evening, it gives Lower Manhattan a salsa party, featuring one of my favorite son/salsa bands, Los Hacheros, NYC

Music: Get by (quite well) with Talib Kweli, Newark

💁 Music: Day 1: Jazz in the Garden with Art Baron. This year, I’m partnering with SummerStage and the Jazz Foundation of America to deepen the community focus of their Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. We’ll have community garden concerts in the neighborhoods where Charlie Parker lived, featuring jazz artists from the respective communities. Today is the East Village and we have trombonist Art Baron in 6BC Botanical Garden. Space extremely limited! NYC

Music/Dancing: Tango the night away with Los Chantas, Brooklyn

Music/Dancing: More tango, this time with the West Village Quartet along the Hudson, NYC

Dance: The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival has tap dancer, Jason Samuels Smith’s Chasin’ The Bird Remixed, NYC

💁 Music: Emilsen Pacheco Blanco is considered one of the bullerengue (a African drum tradition in Colombia) greats. He’ll be joined by the 13-person New York–based bullerengue collective Bulla en el Barrio, NYC

 

Friday, August 25

 

💁 Music: Day 2: Jazz in the Garden with Bill Saxton. This year, I’m partnering with SummerStage and the Jazz Foundation of America to deepen the community focus of their Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. We’ll have community garden concerts in the neighborhoods where Charlie Parker lived, featuring jazz artists from the respective communities. Today is Harlem and we have organist, Bill Saxton in the Harlem Rose Garden, preceding CPJF’s main event for the evening, Anat Cohen Tentet. Space extremely limited! NYC

Music: The Ancient Jazz Quartet includes members who have played with Keith Richards, The Skatalites, Steel Pulse, Monty Alexander’s Kingston Express, and Levon Helm, Queens

💁 Music: World-renowned clarinet player, Anat Cohen leads her Tentet as a part of Day 2 (of 4) of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, NYC

Theater: New York Classical Theatre creates experiences out of Shakespeare, this time, with Macbeth (thru August 27th), Brooklyn

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. First up: Mozart’s Magic Flute, NYC

 

Saturday, August 26

 

Music: Jazz Age Lawn Party. A Prohibition era-inspired gathering, “the biggest (not to mention the cleanest and most family-oriented) regular event in the ‘Retro Noveau’ movement,” (The Wall Street Journal.) Dressing up and picnicking is highly recommended for this magical opportunity to travel back in time. Note that you must pay to get into the small performance space but you can also easily enjoy the event from outside the gates, Governors Island

Music: Jazz veterans Lee Konitz Quartet and Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science along with Louis Hayes and Charenee Wade pay tribute to innovator and Bebop master, Charlie “Bird” Parker in Day 3 (of 4) of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, NYC

Music: Lady Moon & The Eclipse, influenced by R&B and afrobeat rhythms, create inspirational music that explores the cosmic soul, Bronx

Music: Trombonist Papo Vazquez and his Pirates Troubadours play on the beach, Queens

Theater: New York Classical Theatre creates experiences out of Shakespeare, this time, with Macbeth (thru August 27th), Brooklyn

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Up today: Verdi’s Rigoletto, NYC

 

Sunday, August 27

 

Led by the former lead singer of the internationally known Harlem Gospel Choir, the Anthony Morgan Gospel Ensemble performs in Harlem, NYC

Music: Joshua Redman Quartet, Lou Donaldson, Tia Fuller, and Alicia Olatuja play the final day of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Tompkins Square Park, NYC

Music: The Jefferson Market Garden might be one of the most beautiful in New York. Tonight they have jazz with the Miki Yamanaka Quartet featuring lauded saxophonist Melissa Aldana, NYC

Music: Valerie June’s voice is singularly unique that blurs the lines between genres and eras, resulting in an eclectic blend of folk, soul, country, R&B and blues. She’s amazing, NYC

Theater: New York Classical Theatre creates experiences out of Shakespeare, this time, with Macbeth, Brooklyn

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Up today: The Barber of Seville, NYC

***

Aight, that’s what I got. Have a great weekend everyone!

All good things,

Ariana