It’s summer here in NYC. The weather has yet to become oppressive so it’s a good time to reflect on one of the coolest things about NYC in the summer: the number of great free (or dirt cheap) concerts that are held in NYC parks. In the next few posts I am going to talk about some of the great artists I discovered by seeing them live in a concert in a park.
But first a work from our sponsor (namely me). I will once again be participating in the MakeMusicNY festival. MMNY is a organization that every June 21 (the summer solstice) sponsors concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks across the five boroughs. This year I am hosting one of the events and as host, I get to program it. So of course I put in my own band, The New Jazz Spasms (it’s good to be king). I am learning that with the decreasing number of of small scale venues for live jazz in the city, one must not only find gigs but make them as well.
In the course of getting players together for this gig, I was reminded of the saying “the best laid plans . . “. The original plan for the gig was a group comprising of myself on the Chapman Stick guitar with bass, percussion and an alto sax sitting in for several tunes. Then the sax player had to drop out. Then our percussionist. Then the Parks Dept. denied our Sound Device permit which rendered the use of the Stick guitar impossible. So now we will be playing as The New Jazz Spasms: The Acoustic Guitar Duet Edition. Playing as an acoustic guitar duet is a format that I imagine to be familiar to most guitarists. I’ve spent many an hour jamming on acoustic guitars with my best friend. There is a definite sense of coming full circle since my duet partner for the gig is the son of that best friend.
So if by some chance you’re in the vicinity of Stuyvesant Square in Manhattan at Second Avenue and 17th Street (Dvorak Place), the Acoustic Guitar Duet Edition of The New Jazz Spasms will be playing from 6 to 7 PM. Hope it doesn’t get rain out.