Free summer concerts highlight diverse cultures of Queens

Free summer concerts highlight diverse cultures of Queens
Live at the Gantries aims to highlight local and diverse talents that represent the communities and cultures in Queens.
Photo courtesy Sage Music
By Julia Moro

A culturally diverse series of free summer concerts will take place at Long Island City’s Live at the Gantries, hosted by Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College beginning July 10. It is important to Live at the Gantries to showcase local and diverse talents to accurately represent Queens’ culture.

Kupferberg Center has extended this years line up due to increased interest and attendance. The programs include acclaimed performers from a variety of musical backgrounds including jazz, rock, hip-hop, folk and pop.

Lady and the Vamps performed a range of genres from jazz standards July 10 and Lindsay Lou, who was named one of NPR Music’s 12 best live performance sessions of 2015, delivered a soulful performance.

FDR Drive took the stage July 24, culling its setlist from a wide variety of genres, including current dance hits, Motown, R&B, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, rock, pop, hits and swing.

Dance Entropy, an eight-member dance troupe that will perform modern dances with a twist performs July 31. Founded in 1998 by Artistic Director Valerie Green, it is a professional, not-for-profit modern dance company.

Indian musician Maestro Khan will blend Indian classical and folk music, flamenco and jazz with the sitar, keyboard and guitar, among other instruments, to reach a broad audience Aug. 7. The multi-instrumentalist has performed alongside Ray Charles in Germany and with Stevie Wonder at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

On Aug. 14, The Bartlett Band with The Next Generation Sound will perform “From Bebop to Hip-Hop,” with the music of Frank Sinatra, Justin Timberlake, Madonna and more artists incorporated.

Chuck Braman has performed at jazz clubs like Birdland, The Cornelia Street Cafe, the 55 Bar and almost every summer concert organization in New York City. He will also hit the Live at the Gantries stage Aug. 21 with his group, Chuck Braman Quintet. This group draws inspiration from the compositions of trumpeter Kenny Dorham, saxophonist Joe Henderson and others from classic Blue Note recordings of the 1960’s.

Grammy-nominated percussionist Felipe Fournier will pay tribute to the late New Yorker Tito Puente, a massive figure of Latin jazz percussion on Aug. 28.

Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone said, “It is one of the highlights of summer, and we are happy to be part of it once again. It is nice for us to get out of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park and head down to the waterfront with our friends at the Kupferberg Center. And there is just something nice about the mix of people who come out to see the shows or discover them on their way home. The concerts are a great opportunity for discovery.”

Reach reporter Julia Moro by e-mail at jmoro@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4574.

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