New concert series kicks off in Sunnyside

By Bill Parry

A new concert series kicks off in Sunnyside Thursday with a live performance by the Street Beat Brass Band, under the No. 7 subway station at 46th Street on Bliss Plaza from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The performance series, “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza” brings free concerts to the new public space on the third Thursday each month through October.

Sunnyside Shines, the local Business Improvement District, and ReCreate Queens partnered to curate the series by launching a public call for artists in March which received over 50 submissions. Each are professional Queens-based musicians and performers. The Sunnyside-based Street Beat Brass Bands will present a multicultural program of brass music.

On July 17, Ali Bello & The Sweet Wire Band will present Latin Jazz fusion invigorated by different Afro-Carribean music styles. Future performances by Dilmeastronauta, McManus Irish Dance and the Afro Latineers round out the series.

“We are really looking forward to programming this great new public space,” Sunnyside Shines Executive Director Rachel Thieme said. “Bringing arts programming to Bliss Plaza helps create a dynamic place and generates foot traffic and activity in the neighborhood, which benefits businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

The performance series received initial funding from the Queens Council on the Arts and a crowdfunding campaign which raised money from community members. ReCreate Queens is a coalition of community-based organizations committed to building more spaces for creativity in Sunnyside and Woodside.

“As a coalition of neighbors and creative professionals who want to ensure that the arts thrive in the area, it’s critical to us to showcase local artists and make their work accessible to everyone,” ReCreate Queens founding member Nancy Kleaver said. ““With support from the community we are able to pay our artists what they deserve and establish an annual series that will grow over time. We can’t wait to launch this new tradition.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr[email protected]local.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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