Brooklyn Boro

Make Music NY solstice festival plays in “hot” Brooklyn music scene

June 23, 2014 By Meghan McDonald Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Similar to the previous eight years, the summer solstice was marked with not only the expected increased temperatures and sunburns, but also with Make Music New York (MMNY), a music festival organized by a nonprofit that takes place during the summer and winter solstices in select cities worldwide — including Brooklyn.

While concerts of various sizes and genres took place in all corners of New York, Brooklyn sites such as Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fort Greene’s flea market, Brooklyn Sweet Spot and more hosted bands — some concerts even featuring local Brooklyn-based bands.

Brooklyn band Conrad Y Skordalia played at Brooklyn Flea as part of MMNY Saturday from 12 to 1 p.m. as fellow Brooklynites shopped and listened to their “folksy and Americana” sound.

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The band features artists Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, violin and vocals, and David Conrad, guitar and vocals, seasoned independent musicians who have been playing together now for about two years. This year was their first MMNY performance.

“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” said Conrad, who said he has played the bass for other bands for many years. “I much more recently began writing songs and singing.”

He described their sound as melodic and musical.

Conrad’s music partner Tompkins had previously played with artists such as NYC singer/songwriter Patti Smith and more.

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“Everyone uses singer-songwriter as kind of a catch-all phrase, but I think that we use a lot of influences of roots, Americana, a little gospel-y, a little pop-rock-y,” she said.

As for the music scene in Brooklyn, the duo said they were pleased.

“The music scene is hot, hot, hot — as is Brooklyn right now,” Tompkins said.

Venues that the band plays in normally include Freddy’s, Rock Shop, The Way Station and more.

“We’re still at the stage of recording at home and putting it online and eventually we will do a real presentable recording,” Conrad said.

Tompkins said they played their acoustic set for the MMNY festival.

“This was very family friendly,” she said. “Kids like the music more than the grownups.”

Attendee Ben Lockeretz said he enjoyed the festival.

“It’s nice to hear live music out here on a beautiful day,” he said as his son Leo, age 2, swayed to the music.

Other Brooklyn-artist performances included in the MMNY festival included Aviva Jaye, Larry Simon Ensemble and more. The Winter Solstice MMNY will take place this year on Dec. 21.


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