It’s in Queens
#InTheLoop | Live at the Gantries Streams Eight Diverse Concerts this Summer
Traditionally, Kupferberg Center for the Arts (KCA) at Queens College presents a diverse lineup of concerts at Gantry Plaza State Park every summer. Life has changed drastically during the COVID crisis, but the shows must go on – even if they’re online instead on the Long Island City shoreline with the Midtown Manhattan skyline in the background.
Entitled “2020 Live at the Gantries Online” for this year, the series will stream shows every Tuesday in July and August on KCA’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Q&A sessions with the artists will follow.
All eight performances will go live at 7 pm and last roughly 90 minutes. The fun kicks off with Nixtaband on July 7. Consisting of Queens College alumni and musicians based in NYC and Mexico, this fun band fuses Afro-Cuban, South American, Afro-American, and Mexican rhythms to deliver a contemporary jazz-folk fusion.
Here’s the rest of the schedule.
July 14: Kalunga, The Duo Sessions will blend of Afro-Latin and chamber music to create a truly unique sound. Award-winning percussionist Javier Diaz and world-class oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz will perform and then offer a short class on Batá percussion.
July 21: The Salt Cracker Crazies will crank out bone-rattling, floor-shaking, gut-thumping jug music. They’ll sing about unicorns, fireworks, and all sorts of party-related themes. Expect audiences to dance in their living rooms.
July 28: Brooklyn Raga Massive will showcase a wide range of sounds inspired by jazz and Classical Indian “Raga,” which can mean “color” or “passion.” This centuries-old, highly improvisational genre features melodic songs based on a scale with a given set of notes that can be ascendant or descendant. By using the notes, the musician creates a unique mood.
Aug. 4: Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Fernandito Ferrer will share his personal take on Nueva Canción, a beautiful, thought-provoking genre which basically adds music to poetry.
Aug. 11: The Chivalrous Crickets will mix Appalachian, Old Time, traditional English and Celtic, and early European art music.
Aug. 18: Mexican songstress Claudia Valentina will croon boleros, rancheras, son jarocho, cumbias, and indigenous pieces.
Aug. 25: Grammy-winning Dan Zanes and Haitian-American jazz vocalist Claudia Zanes, who are married, will perform ditties from their songbook “Dan Zanes’ House Party!: A Family Roots Music Treasury.”
KCA was created with a $10 million gift from Max Kupferberg to Queens College, his alma mater, in 2006. Located on campus, KCA runs the LeFrak Concert Hall, Colden Auditorium, Irving and Susan Wallack Goldstein Theater, and Godwin-Ternbach Museum.
Images: Nixtaband (above); The Chivalrous Crickets (below)