August 4 – 13

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Dear Friends,

Last night for me was one of South Asian culture. It began at Lincoln Center Out of Doors with Bollywood Boulevard, a celebration of the Bollywood film industry throughout the ages with live music and dance.

The night continued at Basement Bhangra in Tribeca for the final night of DJ Rekha’s party at SOBs. This amazing monthly event has been going for about 20 years. Attending this event, wasn’t even a question; I was determined to be there. Basement Bhangra was a regular hang in high school and college. It was the first club party that I actually enjoyed. And everyone in my inner circle has Basement Bhangra stories. (Ask me about the time a man flew himself across the dance floor and I caught him.)  It’s truly the end of an era. And last night did not disappoint. Thank you DJ Rekha for all the joy and stories you’ve brought me and my friends throughout the years and by introducing a lot of New York to bhangra.

But you have one more chance to experience Basement Bhangra and say goodbye this Sunday. DJ Rekha and Summerstage have a killer line-up with Panjabi MC, Apache Indian, Madame Gandhi +. See you out there!

***

Here’s what I got for the coming week:

 

Friday, August 4

 

Music: Beareather Reddy pays particular attention to the women of the blues, keeping alive the songs and styles of singers as varied as Bessie Smith and Dinah Washington, Queens

Music/Dancing: A night of house music in a library, NYC

💁 Music: Bryant Park’s IN/TER/SECT series is back, this time in festival format. Blurring the lines of jazz and classical music, each day of the two day event, has a focus on a prominent composer who has created significant work in both classical and jazz genres. Day 1 is Grammy-winning pianist Billy Child, NYC

Dance: Choreographer-dancers Chloe and Maud Arnold are the sizzling sister act behind viral videos that spike Beyoncé and Prince songs with advanced tap dance technique. Experience their fierce footwork and passionate artistry that places tapat the heart of pop culture, NYC

💁 Music: Eleven years after the untimely death of American hip-hop producer J Dilla, L.A. multi-instrumentalist and producer Miguel Atwood-Ferguson reimagines Dilla’s music as contemporary chamber music, bridging orchestral textures with elements of soul, jazz, hip-hop, improvisation, and world music, NYC

Film/Music:Wordless Music Orchestra, conducted onstage by the score’s composer, Ludwig Goransson, provides the live score for Creed, a story of underdogs and redemption, Brooklyn

 

Saturday, August 5

 

Tour/Art-Making: Learn history while drawing the beautiful buildings of MacDougal-Sullivan Gardens in Greenwich Village, NYC

Poetry/Music: Through poetry, music, and stories, a group of artist activists give voice to the movements working to uphold and extend LGBTQ, women’s, civil, immigrant, and human rights. This two day program begins at Lincoln Center, NYC

Music: Bryant Park’s IN/TER/SECT series is back, this time in festival format. Blurring the lines of jazz and classical music, each day of the two day event, has a focus on a prominent composer who has created significant work in both classical and jazz genres. Day 2 is Derek Bermel, multi-award winning composer and clarinetist, NYC

Cultural: Hindu Lamp Ceremony. Release a lamp you make into the East River as part of the traditional Aarti ceremony for peace and harmony, Brooklyn

Music: Great Jazz on the Great Hill.Jimmy Heath Big Band, Allan Harris, Matthew Whitaker all play in Central Park, NYC

Art/Music/Dance Party/Talks/Film: First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum. One of the best monthly events we have in the city. This is one of my favorite events. You can run around the museum, go on tours, listen to music or stories, make art, dance your booty off, watch a movie, be mesmerized by the fountains outside the museum, be mesmerized by the children who are mesmerized by the fountains, or in general, people-watch. A diverse crowd, and so interesting and fun, Brooklyn

Dance/Music: As part of the Met Breuer’s “Theater of the Resist” series, Stew from The Negro Problem and Passing Strange fame performs alongside comedian Gina Yashere. I went a few weeks back and really enjoyed the line-up. The Met is donation based and you can easily enter for some coins, NYC

💁 Music: Brazil’s iconic samba singer, provocative persona and signature vocalist, Elza Soares performs with Liniker e os Caramelows, who brings a unique perspective to Brazilian soul. I heard Elza was amazing last month. Can’t wait to check this out, NYC

Music: A night of jazz with Nels Cline and folk artist Sam Amidon, Brooklyn

 

Sunday, August 6

 

Film: The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema aims to spread awareness of cinematic creativity throughout Kew Gardens, Queens and neighboring communities, Queens

💁 Dance/Music: Traditional Eastern European and Central Asian folk music and dance performed by the Cheres Folk Orchestra, representing the Carpathian region of Western Ukraine; the acrobatic Georgian music and dance troupe Dancing Crane; the “Queen of Tajik Dance” Malika Kalontarova; and Albanian vocal star Merita Halili, with an orchestra led by the Republic of Kosova’s Raif Hyseni, NYC

Music: Reuben Wilson was a soul-jazz organist to emerge in the late 1960s. His records have been sampled by artists in the newly emerging acid jazz and jazz-rap genres, NYC

Poetry/Music: Through poetry, music, and stories, a group of artist activists give voice to the movements working to uphold and extend LGBTQ, women’s, civil, immigrant, and human rights. The second day of this two-day program is in the Bronx

💁 Music/Dancing: Celebrate NYC’s legendary Basement Bhangra with Bhangra royalty and explosive sounds and dance from the South Asian diaspora. This is really good! The line-up: Apache Indian / Panjabi MC / DJ Rekha / Madame Gandhi / Anik Khan / Horsepowar / Sikh Knowledge / DJ Petra / DJ Shilpa, NYC

Music/Dance: A full display of drumming by an array of celebrated activist-artists representing Caribbean, Japanese, African, and Native American musical traditions, NYC

 

Monday, August 7

 

Music: In the spirit of Schubert’s famous musical soirées, artists from New York’s eclectic music scene present an evening of radical responses to Schubert’s songs, NYC

 

Tuesday, August 8

 

Music: Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from São Paulo, Rodrigo Campos performs his own blend of catchy samba with funk riffs and experimental grooves, NYC

 

Wednesday, August 9

 

💁 Talk: As part of the all-Cuba program (see directly below), SummerStage invites moderator Ned Sublette (author of Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo, longtime producer for Afropop Worldwide, and co-founder of the Qbadisc record label) for a pre-show talk with panelists Dayme Arocena, Nickodemus, and Yesenia Fernandez-Selier about Cuba as a space for music and dance, how Cuban music and dance transform when they are exported, and how they fit into the mix in the United States. RSVP required, RSVP@CityParksFoundation.org, NYC

💁 Music/Dance: An all-Cuba program with Malpaso Dance Company and Afro-Cuban jazz and neo-soul singer Daymé Arocena, NYC

Music/Dancing: Forro in the Dark brings Northeastern Brazil to Brooklyn (the public library, to be exact!) for this dance party, Brooklyn

Music: Alto-saxophonist Kenny Garrett played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra as well as with Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, and Miles Davis. He’s a legend, NYC

Music: The two-time Grammy Award–winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra play their salsa dura. Colombian jazz harpist and “musical marvel” Edmar Castañeda (NPR) opens the show with the signature blend of jazz and South American folk music – he is amazing, NYC

💁 Spoken Word: Famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe presents performances by a trio of celebrated women wordsmiths: Staceyann Chin, Ntozake Shange (author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow Is Enuf), and Sarah Kay, NYC

Film/Dance: The Silence Before Bach (Spain). Surrealist docu- drama with indelible imagery; “the screen is filled with a subway car of passionate cello-playing musicians; then we’re accompanying a guide who gives tours of Leipzig dressed in full Bach regalia; followed by Mendelssohn’s discovery of sheet music for the “St. Matthew Passion” used as wrapping paper for a chunk of raw meat. Preceded by flamenco dance, music and poetry from Numina Dance Theater, Queens

 

Thursday, August 10

 

Art/Music/Dance: Neighboring museums, the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo del Barrio team up for a Latin disco-based block party, NYC

Music: A master batuqueiro (Brazilian percussionist), Lan Lanh’s solo percussion is joined by melodic arrangements of acoustic guitar, viola caipira and cavaquinho under the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn

Film: An evening of short films and video art, curated by Jay Weichun a Staten Island-based artist focusing on issues surrounding ecology, social justice and spatial relationships, Staten Island

💁 Dance/Music: Company SBB with Burnt Sugar Arkestra. This NYC-based dance company partners with the futuristic jazz ensemble to perform the interdisciplinary work Patient(ce), NYC

💁 Music/Dance: OkayAfrica—the digital hub of the African New Wave—gives us Nigerian dancehall king Timaya and Jamaican-born reggae star of the ’80s Sister Nancy alongside eclectic London Afrobeats band The Compozers. Live dancers turn the stage into a mash-up of African and Caribbean cultures. Sister Nancy! I love her! NYC

Music: São Paulo based trio, O Terno draws inspiration from tropicalia, rock and soul and is the new face of Brazil’s DIY culture, NYC

Film/Music: MacArthur “genius” and jazz luminary Jason Moran joins Wordless Music Orchestra to provide an original live score for the movie Selma, Brooklyn

Film: Part of the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema, the documentary Off the Rails, Queens

 

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

 

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

 

***

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

All good things,

Ariana

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