The Art Is All Around Lunchtime Concert Series: Fall 2022 Recap

11/04/2022 in
The Art Is All Around Lunchtime Concert Series: Fall 2022 Recap

This fall, the Downtown Alliance launched a free concert series that delivered six weeks of live music to 28 Liberty’s Fosun Plaza, 140 Broadway and the North Oculus Plaza at the World Trade Center. The concept was created to celebrate the neighborhood’s expansive public art collection while offering the community a moment of musical delight. And it delivered.

Each week, live performances of swing, soul and jazz stopped pedestrians in their tracks at the lunchtime hour. Families danced, couples embraced and grinning office workers paused for a diversionary moment or two before returning to their cubicles.

The series was an expansion of the Alliance’s Art Is All Around campaign — featuring public art that can be enjoyed throughout the neighborhood. Programmed by New York-based musician Matt Munisteri, the series of performances captured the neighborhood’s energy and delighted several lunchtime crowds with a scooby-doo-bop mixture of jazz and soul as well as a world-renowned son Cubano ensemble.

See below for a recap of the performances.

September 15: Tamar Korn and Dennis Lichtman @ 28 Liberty’s Fosun Plaza

Tamar Korn and Dennis Lichtman have been pivotal members of New York’s percolating swing music scene for well over a decade. Dennis is a compelling multi-instrumentalist who’s a virtuoso in Jazz, Bluegrass and Western Swing: Tamar inhabits a song with every part of her being, and given that she’s as likely to break into a dance during a song as she is to recite visionary poetry, the term “vocalist” really sells her short! Dennis and Tamar create a vision of early-to-mid 20th century American music that shimmers with all the vibrant and shifting currents of 21st century New York City.

September 29: The EarRegulars featuring Mike Davis @ WTC’s North Oculus Plaza

For over 15 years the “(T)Rad Jazz” group The EarRegulars have had a steady gig at a fabled downtown watering hole, from which they’ve taken their name. Every Sunday night is a scene where visiting jazz musicians, fans, and students of the music all know they will get to hear exciting collective improvisation played by the most creative musicians practicing the art form.

October 6: Aurora Nealand and The Royal Roses (North!) @ WTC’s North Oculus Plaza

Saxophonist, singer and composer Aurora Nealand arrived in New Orleans nearly 20 years ago with a background in classical composition and theater, and has since managed to excel as improvisor, performance artist and gut-bucket New Orleans musician. Aurora has assembled a crack NYC-based version of The Royal Roses, the band that serves as her homage to the bluesy swagger of New Orleans pioneers like Sidney Bechet.

October 13: The Traveling Guitars of Brad Brose and Albanie Falletta @ 28 Liberty’s Fosun Plaza

Guitarist/banjoist Brad Brose originally hails from Los Angeles, but has become a true citizen of the world — as he moved between Paris, Montreal, Brussels, Berlin and Brooklyn to take advantage of opportunities with European masters of Gypsy Jazz guitar everywhere he went. Likewise, the excellent guitarist and Texas native Albanie Falletta had just decamped from New Orleans to Brooklyn in the fall of 2019, but Covid sent her on an odyssey across America, playing music wherever she’d land. Both guitarists share an affinity for the great guitarist Django Reinhardt, but while Albanie is also anchored by blues and ragtime, Brad is liable to switch from a gypsy waltz to a Trinidadian calypso. Together they are a rare combination.

October 20: The Sean Mason Quartet @ 140 Broadway

Although he’s a recent graduate of the Juilliard School, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that’s heard him that pianist Sean Mason originally taught himself to play by ear; from Gospel to Soul and R&B. He’s already toured with jazz icons like Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis and Herlin Riley, who picked up on his unique ability to seamlessly access different eras and idioms in his improvisations. Sean’s a musician who can effortlessly shift from 1930’s stride piano into, well, tomorrow! 

October 27: Los Soneros de Oriente @ 140 Broadway

From nightclubs in the Bronx to Gracie Mansion and The Kennedy Center — and for more decades that anyone can agree on — Los Soneros de Oriente has kept the spirit of the “Son cubano” alive in New York City and beyond. They can trace their lineage back to a member of the Sexteto Habanero, the legendary Cuban band who first brought this music of Spanish and African origin to prominence when they recorded for RCA in the 1920’s! Taking their name from the eastern highland region of Cuba that birthed the Son tradition, the nine members of Los Soneros de Oriente have a devoted following of dancers and listeners through their authentic blend of son, boleros, guaracha, rumba and Cuban salsa. 

Tags: art is all around

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