Learn to Swing This Summer with Free Jazz Concerts on Grand Army Plaza

By Rachel Holliday Smith on June 9, 2014 4:35pm 

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 Free jazz and swing dancing lessons and concerts will take place every Wednesday in June and July outside of the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
Plaza Swing Series
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PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Get on your dancing shoes to beat those weekday blues.

Dance lessons and live swing and jazz performances are coming to Grand Army Plaza this week as the annual “Plaza Swing Series” kicks off at the Brooklyn Public Library. Every Wednesday night through the end of July, the library will host a different live musical act, for free, on the plaza in front of the Central Branch of the library.

The series will begin this Wednesday with a performance by Tara O’Grady, an Irish-American jazz singer raised in New York who plans to perform original songs “that sound like they were written during the swing era,” as well as jazz standards and traditional Irish songs made to sound “like Billie Holiday,” she said in an email.

“Jazz and swing bring people back to another era,” O’Grady said. “The music always makes people happy. They can't help but move to it, even if they don't know how to swing. There's nothing better than live music outside on a summer night.”

Eight musicians and bands will take part in the series, including the bluegrass string band Ebony Hillbillies, the Afro-Caribbean percussion and vocal group Nu D’Lux, and the Harlem Blues and Jazz Ensemble, a group that’s been playing swing and jazz together since the 1970s.

All of the events in the series will begin on Wednesday nights with dance lessons at 6:30 p.m. and music starting at 7 p.m. outside of 10 Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. The events are free and open to the public. For information on rain dates and specific acts, visit the BPL’s website.

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