Dear Friends:

Start me up seems like an appropriate title. Yes, it’s fun to see Mick Jagger do calisthenic-like exercises. But more importantly, I’m starting up the list again for the summer. It has been a busy and exhausting year and  I haven’t had time for, well…much. I’m getting back to my list roots by focusing only on writing, primarily in the summer.

I sent my first email many years ago, inviting friends to join me on my semi-neurotic free, summer cultural itinerary. Back in the day, I had banker buds, grad school chums, non-profit pals, and unemployed friends. “Free” made arts available to all of us. I continue to stick to “free” because of my strong conviction that high-quality arts should be accessible to everyone.

And nothing compares to the sultry wonderfulness that are NYC summer evenings and the beautiful art we, the public, get to experience together. So…arts for all! Let’s hang out!

Some weeks I’ll share cool events I’ve been to and what made them so cool. If you’re a fan, spread the word! Don’t just forward this list. Tell your friends to sign up (in the right-hand corner of the webpage.) Also, I’ll be posting last minute events as well as quick reviews of things I attend on Twitter. Follow me here. Stars (***) indicate where I’ll most likely be.

Aight, let’s get this started in time for Memorial Day:

Saturday, May 23

 

Governors Island is open! Check out the work of 20 artists at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Open Studios event. On Sunday, May 24th as well.  (Governors Island) >>

Closest you’ll get to feeling like you’re in an African market (outside of Africa, of course.) Through the weekend. (Brooklyn) >>

Not only is Ljova the nicest guy, he’s one hell of a musician! Join Ljova and the Kontraband and their genre-smashing blend of music influenced by classical, klezmer, tango, and gypsy jazz. Part of Carnegie Hall’s great Neighborhood Concert series. (Queens) >>

Every Saturday afternoon, Bargemusic, a great presenter of classical music (and also a cool location: an old floating barge on the East River with amazing views of the city) has free concerts, including a Q&A with the musicians. (Brooklyn) >>

As part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s open studios, choreographer Yanira Castro / A Canary Torsi presents a work-in-progress. (Governors Island) >>

A Bengali New Year Celebration. Celebrate New Year 1422 with traditional Bangladeshi dance and music presented by Udichi School of Performing Arts. (Queens) >>

I will always know Jump N Funk as the original NYC Afrobeat party. Dance hard! (Brooklyn) >>

Riis Park concessions have been empty for awhile. Now, the Brooklyn Bazaar is coming to Rockaway. I’m on the fence about this: happy for the concessions; a bit concerned about the crowd it’ll draw. I’ll give it a chance. Particularly intrigued by Avan Lava on this line-up. (Queens) >>

 

Sunday, May 24

 

***Celebrate the once heavily Puerto Rican LES with the Loisaida Festival, the largest ethnic community pride festival in the Lower East Side. This day begins with a parade and carnival procession at Avenue C and 11th Street at 11am and continues with some amazing music from 12 – 5pm. Highlights include Chicano Batman (2:15), Papote Jimenez and His Orquesta (3:15), and Johnny Olivo y Herencia de Plena (4:15.) (NYC) >>

Governors Island is open! Check out the work of 20 artists at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Open Studios event. See Saturday, May 23rd.  (Governors Island) >>

Closest you’ll get to feeling like you’re in an African market (outside of Africa, of course.) Through the weekend. (Brooklyn) >>

 

Monday, May 25

Closest you’ll get to feeling like you’re in an African market (outside of Africa, of course.) Through the weekend. (Brooklyn) >>

Check out a concert in one of NY’s iconic cemetery. Music played will be that of their eternal residents (the likes of Leonard Bernstein and Fred Ebb.) I went last year and it was very pleasant. (Brooklyn) >>

***The New York Philharmonic presents a gift of free music to New York in one of its most beautiful churches, Saint John the Divine. (NYC) >>

 

Wednesday, May 27

 

***I’m excited to be programming 1 Penn Plaza again. From May through October, on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6 – 7:30, you will always be able to find great brass, soul, blues, and funk bands. This public space is across the street from Penn Station, between 33rd/34th Sts and 7th/8th Aves. This Wednesday, we have the funk and soul sound of SugarBad, whose uplifting sound is spearheaded by the velveteen voice of Lisa Ramey. They’re so good. Join me! >>


Samba the night away in Bryant Park with Mistura Perfeita Band. (NYC) >>

 

Thursday, May 28

 

Take a Swing and Lindy Hop class and then dance! George Gee Swing Orchestra, a classic big band  for over 30 years plays live to your dancing. (NYC) >>

***Celebrate Brooklyn’s Brooklyn Bridge Park Dance Parties are the symbol of the beginning of the free concert summer season. The venue is one of the best in the city. Even if you’re not a fan of the music, the space is just beautiful to be in. Check out my shot from this past Thursday:

A photo posted by @arianaslist on

 

 

This week, Latin jazz musician Poncho Sanchez performs with a salsa lesson and a dance party. (Brooklyn) >>

 

Friday, May 29

 

Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool was named 1994’s record of the year by TIME Magazine, bringing together jazz greats like Herbie Hancock and Donald Byrd with hip-hop artists like The Roots and The Pharcyde. This two-night celebration revisits a landmark piece of cultural history with many of the musicians who made it immortal. Saxophonist Jay Rodriguez joins the Groove Collective and special guests to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the touchstone album and documentary. Also on Saturday, May 30th. (Brooklyn) >>

 

Saturday, May 30

 

I love Elastic City‘s mission of “making its audience active participants in an ongoing poetic exchange with the places we live in and visit.” They’re holding a walk in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx as part of No Longer Empty’s current exhibition in the old Bronx courthouse, When You Cut Into the Present the Future Leaks Out. This should be really interesting. One tour is at 1, the other at 3:30. Be sure to RSVP. (Bronx) >> >>

The monthly Oye Corona series celebrates the diversity of cultures of Queens with live music and dance of local and global talent. This month includes Mexican dance group Danza Azteca Chichimeca, a dance class, artmaking workshops, and Underground Drum & Dance Ensemble. (Queens) >>

Every Saturday afternoon, Bargemusic, a great presenter of classical music (and also a cool location: an old floating barge on the East River with amazing views of the city) has free concerts, including a Q&A with the musicians. (Brooklyn) >>

Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool was named 1994’s record of the year by TIME Magazine, bringing together jazz greats like Herbie Hancock and Donald Byrd with hip-hop artists like The Roots and The Pharcyde. This two-night celebration revisits a landmark piece of cultural history with many of the musicians who made it immortal. Saxophonist Jay Rodriguez joins the Groove Collective and special guests to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the touchstone album and documentary. Also on Friday, May 29th. (Brooklyn) >>

 ***

 

Aight friends, that’s what I got. Have a great launch to summer and a good week!

 

All good things,

 

Ariana