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Spend some time outdoors in nature with cool cats, jitterbugs and bird lovers.

The jazz-heavy Clifton Anderson Quintet will present swinging originals, high-energy calypso, funk and standards from the American songbook in Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park on Thursday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m.

Anderson has been making music since his uncle, legendary tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, gave him a trombone for his seventh birthday. Known for his rich sound, unique interpretations, and dedication to many genres, the Harlem native has shared the stage with such diverse luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder and Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones.

The night will kick off one of the public green space’s sweetest-sounding summer programs, Jazz in the Park, which offers free concerts on the events stage near the East River on second the Thursdays of each month during summer, always with a 6:30 p.m. starting time.

Saxophonist Eric Wyatt headlines the next gig on July 12. Known as “The Mayor of Brooklyn,” Wyatt is also a seasoned, world-traveling musician who has performed with countless legends, just like Anderson. He also has a link to Sonny Rollins, who is his godfather.

Joey “Hot Lips” Morant will run the show on Aug. 9. This trumpeter, who prefers rollicking blends of Dixieland, jazz, R&B and soul, leaves audiences in awe with his playing technique, scat singing and hilarious anecdotes. Part homage, the concert will also celebrate Louis Armstrong’s birthday.

Co-presented by the Jazz Foundation of America with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the NYS Council on the Arts, all these shows are free and no RSVP is required. The park’s entrance is at 32-01 Vernon Blvd.

Editor’s note: It’s a busy summer at Socrates. The schedule includes the following events: a Summer Solstice celebration on June 21; the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series on June 29; the Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Nueva York’s Guelaguetza Festival on July 29; the INSITU Dance Festival on Aug. 4 and Aug. 5; Hip to Hip Theatre Company’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” on Aug. 12 and “King Lear” (plays by William Shakespeare) on Aug. 19; and Circus Amok on Sept. 1. There’s also an ongoing film series.

Images from Socrates Sculpture Center


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