Dear Friends,

With the end of Basement Bhangra + the big Bollywood event at Lincoln Center and then with the start of Brasil Summerfest, I pretty much have only listened to music from India and Brazil in the past week. There were two add-ons last night:

1) the Epichorus Ensemble performing contemporary songs based in ancient sounds from India (as well as Egypt, Greece and Syria) at my new favorite concert venue, the Eldridge Street Synagogue (this place is gorgeous and important to the history of the Lower East Side – you must visit!)

A post shared by Ariana Hellerman (@arianaslist) on

A post shared by Ariana Hellerman (@arianaslist) on

2) a late-night forro dance stop (a dance from the Northeast of Brazil) to catch some friends + hear amazing live music at Nublu, also an NYC, late-night institution.

While I maniacally look forward to all of the outdoor concerts every summer, last night gave me perhaps the only reason to look forward to cooler weather, when we get to return indoors to some of the special spaces we have in the city.

 

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Here’s what I got:

 

Friday, August 11

 

Music: El Godfather de la Salsa, Puerto Rican bolero singer/songwriter legend, Andy Montañez, NYC

Music: Longtime mentee of George Clinton and a co-writer of D’Angelo’s Grammy Award–winning album Black Messiah, Kendra Foster gives us her smoky vocals, NYC

Film: The 40th Asian American International Film Festival returns to Flushing for two nights with the best, most recent achievements in Asian/Asian American cinema. Night 1 of 2, Queens

 

Saturday, August 12

 

Music: Summer Streets is a wonderful event where NYC shuts down a long stretch of an avenue for pedestrian traffic only for three consecutive weeks. There are stations along the route for free things (I went to a weird food meditation event but got a free breakfast out of it!), waterslides(!), and lots of other happenings. At a music station, street band connoisseurs, HONK NYC present Brazilian maracatu with Maracatu NY this week, NYC

Festival: Celebrate the 27th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival with two days of music and lots of activities, Queens

Music: Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 21 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Part of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, Governors Island

💁 Music: Lincoln Center’s Americanafest NYC includes Flaco Jimenez, six-time Grammy-winning accordionist and conjunto pioneer, amongst others, NYC

Music: It’s SummerStage’s family day but it includes They Might Be Giants. So much fun, NYC

Dancing: A Bhangra Dance Party along the Hudson, NYC

💁 Music: The great Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour visits Brooklyn, along with one of my favorite NYC-based kora players, Yacouba Sissoko, Brooklyn

Film: The 40th Asian American International Film Festival returns to Flushing for two nights with the best, most recent achievements in Asian/Asian American cinema, Queens

 

Sunday, August 13

 

💁 Tour: Bronx’s Main Street: Walking the Grand Concourse. I’ve heard this is a great tour. Bronx native Sam Goodman, an urban planner in the Office of the Bronx Borough President, leads this exploration of the “Bronx’s Champs-Élysées,” Bronx

Festival: Celebrate the 27th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival with the second day of music and lots of activities, Queens

Festival: Brasil Summer Fest ends their week at the Hester Street Fair with Brazilian music and food, including Batala New York, NYC

Music: Ernest “Chico” Alvarez Peraza is a Cuban-American vocalist and has been a bandleader for the past 50 years. He performs with Chico Alvarez & The Palomonte Orchestra, NYC

Art/Music: Second Sundays at Pioneer Works. Open studios with current artists in residence, live music, exhibitions and participatory programs. The space is reason enough to check it out, Brooklyn

💁 Music: A collaboration between two generations of blues giants, Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ merge masterful talents, rich vocals and guitar styles to create an historic night of music, NYC

💁 Music: Let’s give em something to talk about… Bonnie Raitt is in NYC!

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

 

Monday, August 14

 

💁 Exhibit: Capturing the Lower East Side’s Storefronts Opening Reception. This photo exhibit is the result of two  workshops with acclaimed photographers and award-winning authors Karla and James Murray who taught participants how to use photography and oral history to raise public awareness, build community, and encourage advocacy in the East Village. Exhibition open through September 18, NYC

Dance: Many companies perform in the Battery Dance Festival in Lower Manhattan. Companies today include the Dominican Republic’s National Company of Contemporary Dance and Compania Elias Aguirre from Spain, amongst others. (Festival is thru 8/19), NYC

Film: All That Jazz. A semi-autobiographical fantasy based on aspects of Bob Fosse’s life and career as dancer, choreographer and director. Bryant Park is always a fun place to watch movies alongside the rest of New York, NYC

💁 Film/Art: A hand-animated, silent film: NYsferatu: Symphony of a Century by Andrea Mastrovito. This whole project sounds fascinating: “Resetting Friedrich W. Murnau’s classic 1922 film Nosferatu in contemporary New York City, Mastrovito and his team of 12 artists have created over 35,000 original drawings to replicate the beautifully eerie flickering shutter effect of early cinema. This is the first of two screenings; the other is on 8/17 (see below), NYC

 

Tuesday, August 15

 

Music: Brianna Thomas, one of my favorite jazz vocalists sings “stories of love” with Brandon Bain, Queens

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

Music: High and Mighty Brass Band plays against the idyllic NYC skyline, Queens

Music: Stew and The Negro Problem presents an irreverent homage to the “original black-punk-novelist” James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Song is a spirited “rock and roll song-cycle” from the creators of the Tony Award-winning musical Passing Strange, Stew and his longtime collaborator Heidi Rodewald, NYC

Music: Jazzmobile returns with fabulous trombonist Houston Person and other special guests, Brooklyn

 

Wednesday, August 16

 

Music: Tucker Park invites Music Under New York (i.e. subway buskers) above ground in this daytime series. Today Colombian group Parranda Vallenatta! and funky trio, Recreta Secreta perform, NYC

Dance: Many companies perform in the Battery Dance Festival in Lower Manhattan, including Buglisi Dance Theatre and Ballet Inc., amongst others (festival is thru 8/19), NYC

Music: Davina & the Vagabonds’ influences range from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits. I like their sound, NYC

💁 Music/Film: Romance & Cigarettes (USA), A film by John Turturro (who will be in attendance), the down-and-dirty musical love-hate story film features James Gandolfini as Nick Murder, a Queens construction worker and family man, who lusts after an oversexed lingerie clerk (Kate Winslet) as his seething wife (Susan Sarandon) goes on the warpath, enlisting the aid of her Elvis-wannabe cousin (Christopher Walken). Steve Buscemi plays his best friend – with cameos by Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, Bobby Cannavale, Eddie Izzard, and Elaine Stritch. It sounds like a purely New York type of film. Preceded by experimental rock music from Pat Irwin & J. Walter Hawkes, Queens

 

Thursday, August 17

 

Music: An old skool hip hop night with Black Sheep and Das EFX, Newark

💁 Story-Telling: Immigrants Telling Their Stories is an inaugural seminar aiming to change the perceptions of immigrants and refugees in the United States and throughout the world. This platform aims to empower immigrants and refugees through the narration of their own tales. I love this concept and want to support them! NYC

Music: I saw Kat Wright at Montreal Jazz Fest earlier this summer and was blown away by her smooth funk chops, Brooklyn

Circus: Big Sky Works brings its interactive circus show and workshop, STARSHIP HOOPERS, to DUMBO, Brooklyn

Dance: Battery Dance Company and Mophato Dance Theatre from Botswana perform in the Battery Dance Festival in Lower Manhattan (thru 8/19), NYC

Film/Art: A hand-animated, silent film: NYsferatu: Symphony of a Century by Andrea Mastrovito. This whole project sounds fascinating: “Resetting Friedrich W. Murnau’s classic 1922 film Nosferatu in contemporary New York City, Mastrovito and his team of 12 artists have created over 35,000 original drawings to replicate the beautifully eerie flickering shutter effect of early cinema. The reimagined storyline and title-cards of NYsferatu were made in collaboration with members of the Queens Museum’s New New Yorkers Program during film studies workshops in the spring of 2017. The original musical score for the film was composed by Simone Giuliani.” Go support this artist and the community who helped inform it, Queens

Music: Latin jazz conguero Ray Mantilla plays at the Louis Armstrong House Museum, Queens

Dance: Step Afrika! is the world’s first professional company dedicated to high energy percussive stepping, NYC

 

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: 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, 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: 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

 

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

All good things,

Ariana