Summertime in the city!
On Stage at Kingsborough is bringing back its decade long, fan favorite series, the “Hot Summer Nights!”
The yearly tradition consists of free concerts throughout July and promises top notch and unique jazz artists at a location that screams summer.
“We like to call it our musical gift to the community,” said Anna Becker, executive director for On Stage at Kingsborough. “It is free to the community and we attract people from all over Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, nearby Long Island and Jersey. And those numbers are really growing because people have learned about the evening.”
Although there are numerous outdoor activities in Brooklyn, On Stage at Kingsborough manages to put on a unique experience. “What I think makes it a special evening is that we’re not only outdoors, we’re in the shadow of our truly stunning lighthouse by the sea with the breeze and we put out an area for dancing,” Becker said. “People can bring food for a picnic or buy food there, come an hour before the concert and enjoy the evening.”
The shows also offer a reunion vibe. “Then when the concerts get going, people just have a whole lot of fun and a lot of community people who know each other gather. It’s a great summer tradition,” said Becker, adding that there’s something for every age. “We’re attracting a young crowd because there’s been a resurgence in swing music, particularly swing dancing, so we’ll see 20 and 30-year-olds out on the dance floor knowing all the moves, and it is really exciting to see the form so alive. We also get a large group of families with young children that come out for a picnic and the kids play while the parents enjoy the music.”
Besides the exceptional ambiance, the music is the main attraction. “What we look forward to is that every concert the music is really joyful and you get to dance to music so that people know when they come out to the Hot Summer Nights Concert Series that they’re listening to world class musicians,” she said.
Each week features a jazz act, but will stand out from each other. On Saturday, July 2, the Glenn Crytzer Orchestra will lead off the series and celebrate Independence Day with swing-era classics, patriotic songs and lesser known gems from artists like Glenn Miller.
“I moved out here two years ago and I really love living here,” said Crytzer, who plays guitar and banjo, and is lead vocalist. “There are so many great talented musicians and more opportunities that don’t exist anywhere else.”
The group is on the rise. “Our audience is a mix. We get a lot of younger swing dancers,” he added. “There’s a resurgence of vintage music in New York. We also get folks interested in really good jazz who gravitate to what we do.”
“He’s quite a find and has been living in New York only for the last couple of years so we’re thrilled to get him here early,” Becker said.
On Saturday, July 9, Davina and the Vagabonds will take the stage to the delight of On Stage at Kingsborough. “I saw the band perform at B.B. Kings and she is an incredibly unique talent,” Becker said. “She has been described of a cross between Aretha Franklin and Adele. She has a remarkable voice, incredible joy for the music and she’s just one of the most unique performers I’ve seen. Her concert is going to be an outrageous party. She’s not going to stand for anybody not having a fantastic time.”
“Hot Summer Nights!” takes place every Saturday now through July 23 at On Stage at Kingsborough, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, with each concert beginning at 8 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to come early. For a full list of talent and additional information, visit www.onstageatkingsborough.org.