On Stage at Kingsborough is swingin’ in the summer with style with its annual Hot Summer Nights Free Outdoor Concert Series.
This free, month-long series that begins on Saturday, July 1 features a free outdoor concert on the first four Saturdays of the month that highlights the beauty and joy of swing music, performed in a scenic area, and boasting a family-friendly atmosphere that audiences of all ages will enjoy.
Seated at Kingsborough’s famous Lighthouse Bandshell, attendees will be able to experience each show in a unique way.
“This series is what we call our musical gift to the community,” said Anna Becker, executive director of On Stage at Kingsborough. “It’s really a beautiful breezy evening of great music.”
According to Becker, the series always draws a big crowd. “We get upwards of 1,300 people each concert,” she said. “If it rains, we use our indoor theater, the Leon M. Goldstein Performing Arts Center, so we go on rain or shine.”
This summer’s lineup is a special one for On Stage at Kingsborough thanks to the talent. “I’m really excited about this summer because it’s such a fun and joyful concert lineup,” Becker said. “We have four straight evenings of swing beginning on July 1.”
First off is the Rob Stoneback Big Band presenting “Swing Out America.”
“It’s going to be our Independence Day tribute so the Rob Stoneback Big Band with guest vocalists Kathy Jenkins and Rob Kevlin will be performing some patriotic music with a swinging flair,” Becker said. “They’ll be doing their rendition of ‘America the Beautiful’ and ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’ They’ll also play good, old-fashioned American swing music. “
On Saturday, July 8, jazz great Wycliffe Gordon and His International All Stars will take the stage.
“He and his all-star band will be playing the music of Louis Armstrong,” Becker said. “He’s won the Downbeat Magazine Best Trombone Award five times. He’s won the Jazz Journalist Association Trombonist of the year award nine times. He’s just incredible. He has played with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and he’s just something to behold. When you hear him sing the Louis Armstrong tunes, it’s really special moment.”
Dan Levinson’s Gotham Sophisticats will perform on Saturday, July 15.
“Here, we are taking swing to Hollywood and presenting Swinging On a Star…Under the Stars. Dan Levinson and his band along with vocalist Molly Ryan will perform the swinging tunes that you’ve seen in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. He’ll do Bing Crosby tunes. This will be a glamorous and starry evening of Hollywood swing.”
Swingadelic Featuring Swing Dancers from the Rhythm Stompers will play the fourth and final show of the month on Saturday, July 22.
“They are a great swing band that plays every week at Swing 46 Supper Club in Manhattan,” she said. “They are bringing dancers from the Rhythm Stompers whoo will dance on-the-stage dancing to some of the tunes. It’s an exciting waay to close out the season.”
Becker says that the series gives attendees a chance to see high-quality talent for free right here in their community. “What’s really wonderful is we are able to keep up this tradition of presenting world class musicians completely free and open to the public,” she said. “We’re really delighted that every year we can continue to offer that. Specifically, people are thrilled this is going to be such a joyful lineup. It’s going to be one swinging band after another for four Saturdays.”
Audiences are ready to embrace the fun, Becker added. “We clear a space as a dance floor so quite a lot of people jump up and dance,” she said, “and everyone ages three to 103 are up there dancing and enjoying the evening so that also is what makes the evening so special.”
The first concert for the Hot Summer Nights Free Outdoor Concert Series at On Stage at Kingsborough, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, will take place on Saturday, July 1 at 8 p.m. at The Lighthouse Bandshell. Attendees will be able to show up at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.onstageatkingsborough.org.