July 9, 2013 By Bill Parry
Live at the Gantries, a free summer music series at Gantry Plaza State Park, begins tonight.
The series runs for six straight Tuesday nights with shows beginning at 7:00pm.
Trombonist John Yao kicks things off with his 17 piece contemporary jazz band. Next Tuesday, Live at the Gantries will feature an evening of Brazilian pop with an all-star rhythm section.
In subsequent weeks the series will feature Irish flute & fiddle music, a Middle Eastern performance and an evening of Cuban salsa music.
You can’t ask for a more beautiful and dramatic venue with the sunset behind the skyline,” said Scott Walsh, the director of sales at TF Cornerstone, which is the lead sponsor. He said the aim of the music series is to entertain residents who live near the waterfront — however, if it draws people outside LIC, it would be a bonus.
“This is all about community building,” Walsh said. “This is not a marketing ploy—-we won’t have a table set up with brochures.”
Walsh added that the music series extends TF Cornerstone’s reach into the local art scene.
One group that will be handing out literature tonight is the Friends of Gantry, a non-profit group that cleans up and beautifies the 11 acre waterfront park. It always looks forward to the series to try and gain new members.
“We love to see the park used in this fashion,” said Friends of Gantry President Bill Bylewski. “The more people who are exposed to the park the better.”
Bylewski said his group tries to beautify the waterfront park since there isn’t enough state funding to maintain it.
“Once people learn how much their help is needed they’ll want to get involved,” said Bylewski. “It doesn’t matter if they want to pull weeds or write us a check!”