News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
January 20, 2021
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Music @ Brooklyn Bridge Park

By Lisa M. Collins
Saxophonist Maceo Parker at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Thursday concert series.
Photo by Joshua Kristal

Update: The Thursday, May 19 free concert at Brooklyn Bridge Park, salsa big band La Excelencia and DJs Uproot Andy and Geko Jones, has been relocated to the Tobacco Warehouse in Dumbo, due to the rain. The historic, beautiful Tobacco Warehouse, on the edge of the waterfront park at Dumbo, is soon to get renovated and developed. But now, it’s mostly an empty brick shell, and a lovely one at that. Should be nice place to salsa dance with the kiddos.


The sunny season is starting well. This past Thursday, photographer Joshua Kristal and I, and my little one and hubby, wandered on a gorgeous cool sunny evening down Clinton Street toward Brooklyn Bridge Park. We walked down the promenade, checking out the boats, helicopters and skyline. Much to take in. If we’d left earlier, we could have hit the Pier 6 or promenade playground on our way.

At the bottom of the steep hill heading toward Dumbo (next to the dog park) we took a hard left, and entered Brooklyn Bridge Park. Maceo Parker, a famous funk saxophone player who’s performed with Prince, George Clinton and more, was to start playing on at 7 p.m.

We hit the concession stand, grabbing two mediocre hamburgers and two plastic cups of red wine.

We brought the stroller so the 4-year-old could pass out, which she did, after dancing like mad for 45 minutes.

The music was not mind-blowing. It seemed a bit old-fasioned. Maceo’s a legend; he’s been playing for years, and his brand of funk hasn’t changed much since the 90s. BUT, the music was good, and the scenery was golden. Heart-stoppingly beautiful.

The crowd was great. There were plenty of people there, a good mix of young and not-so-young, but it wasn’t slammed packed. We didn’t have trouble finding a place to lay our picnic blanket on the grass lawn overlooking the stage.

As dusk fell, the city lit up, the Brooklyn Bridge lit up, sparkling on the mouth of the East River.

This really is something you must do if you live around here. It’s magical, just terribly lovely.

For the next two Thursdays at 7 p.m., the park is putting on free concerts. Movies and other activities will take place throughout the summer. The concerts are put on by BRIC Arts|Media|Brklyn.

After about 6:30, the food offerings were limited to hot dogs and burgers. The bathrooms are clean and accessible. Lines for the bathroom were OK, they were longer for drinks and food.

Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m.: A tropical dance party, featuring Salsa Dura Revolutionaries La Excelencia and DJ Uproot Andy & Gekko Jones. Some big salsa dancing and Latin brass will be going on. Check out the band on YouTube.

Thursday, May 26, 7 p.m.:  Bhangra Masters Red Baraat and DJ Rekha: Red Baraat is a Brooklyn-based  world/jazz/funk band with strong influence from the wedding band sounds of India. The band is led by  percussionist and dhol drummer Sunny Jain, with eight other members comprising  a brass section of soprano and tenor sax, trumpet, bass trumpet, trombone and sousaphone.


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