Manhattan Beach

On Stage at Kingsborough sets summer concert series

Shows to feature jazz, swing, ragtime music

June 17, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Sam Miller & the Congregation will perform on July 18. Photo courtesy On Stage at Kingsborough
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Summer is almost here and On Stage at Kingsborough, the performing arts program at Kingsborough Community College, has put together a warm weather concert series featuring jazz, swing, and ragtime music that is sure to get your fingers snapping and your toes tapping.

And it’s free!

On Stage at Kingsborough recently announced the line-up of exclusive Brooklyn engagements for its annual free outdoor concert series. The concerts will take place every Saturday night in July at the Kingsborough Bandshell on the campus of Kingsborough Community College at 2001 Oriental Boulevard in Manhattan Beach.

“Our summer concert schedule will have audiences jumpin’ and jivin’ to the beat every Saturday evening in July,” said Anna Becker, executive director of On Stage at Kingsborough. “We’ll hear the sounds of Swing, Ragtime, Hot Jazz, and Big Band music while taking in the nearby ocean breeze in the shadow of Kingsborough’s lighthouse by the sea.”

All of the concerts take place at Kingsborough’s Bandshell. Kingsborough’s gates open at 7 p.m. and the concerts begin at 8 p.m. 

Reservations are not necessary. 

The first concert, scheduled to take place on July 4, will star the George Gee Swing Orchestra featuring singers Hilary Gardner and John Dokes with a guest appearance by Lindy Hoppers.

The George Gee Swing Orchestra has been together for over 30 years. George Gee leads the house band at Swing 46 in Manhattan and made weekly appearances at the Rainbow Room and Edison Ballroom. The group has performed everywhere from Boston to Beverly Hills and from Zurich to Tokyo, including gigs at the “I Love Jazz” festival in Brazil and Lincoln Center’s “Midsummer Night’s Swing” festival.

Ragtime music will be on tap at the concert on July 11, as Waldo’s Gotham City Band performs.

Pianist and bandleader Terry Waldo led a recent sell out at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center. His band plays the music of such ragtime and jazz pioneers as Scott Joplin (“The Maple Leaf Rag”), Jelly Roll Morton (“Wolverine Blues”), Fats Waller (“Ain’t Misbehavin’”) and Louis Armstrong (“What a Wonderful World”). Waldo has made over 50 highly acclaimed albums of ragtime and early jazz.

On July 18, there’s going to be a Big Band party at Kingsborough, courtesy of Sammy Miller & the Congregation.

Sammy Miller recently led numerous sell-out engagements at Jazz at Lincoln Center.  Miller’s 17-piece jazz orchestra has earned a reputation as one of the swinging-est bands in the country.

Miller has performed and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Christian Scott, Bobby Watson, Johnny O’Neal, David Benoit, and many others at venues ranging from the Bern Jazz Festival to the Hollywood Bowl to the White House. He is also the recipient of the Los Angeles Jazz Society’s Shelly Manne Award, the Dolo Coker Scholarship and the Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Award.

The Bria Skonberg Quintet performs on July 25.

Trumpet trailblazer and vocalist Bria Skonberg will bring her quintet to On Stage at Kingsborough in a concert honoring “Ambassador Satch: The Music of Louis Armstrong.”

Skonberg was introduced to the music of Armstrong and the Big Easy through a jazz festival in her hometown of Chilliwack in British Columbia.  Bria, who has lived in New York for the past five years, is the co-producer of the Hot Jazz Festival, which was named one of the Top Ten Events by Jazz Times in 2014.  She also received the New York Bistro Award for “Outstanding Jazz Artist” and swept the 2014 Hot House Jazz Magazine Awards.

A limited number of seats are available in the bandshell area, but Kingsborough officials said concert-goers can bring blankets and folding chairs and sit on the grassy areas. Picnicking is welcomed, according to Kingsborough officials, who said dumplings, egg rolls, ice cream, and beverages will be available for sale.

In the event of inclement weather, the concerts will be relocated to the Leon M. Goldstein Performing Arts Center, which is also located on the campus. Updated location information will be available at the On Stage at Kingsborough box office line starting at 4 p.m. on concert days. The box office phone number is 718-368-5596.

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