Man it was hot Thursday! All of a sudden it was 94 F from evening sweater weather just two days before. In typical New York fashion, the Universe flipped the weather switch precisely on the 20th and it was Hello Summer! The solstice and celebration of all genres, styles and musical approaches took place June 21 presented by Make Music New York, a festival that facilitates what is arguably the largest event of it’s kind. Running interference with New York City’s police precints to secure sound permits for over 1100 plus in all five boroughs is already impressive. During MMNY you can walk in any neighborhood and find a show ranging from classical to hip hop outdoors. I remember the first “Fete de la Musique” in Paris 1989. I witnessed INXS as the headliner at the Place de la Republique. Looking at the sprawl of the crowd with the column in the background I wondered why it made any sense to have a one day only music festival. Now I know it’s fun, is probably great for tourism and boosts access and appreciation of all musical styles regardless of social status, attire and such giving vent to creative expression. So here “we were” a part of the MMNY with the compositions of Parisian house music producer Tom Glide as my cushion. Cercle complet.
Ganesha blessed this event
The proof was there he stood in the entranceway of SWING with beautiful crystals at his feet. I was delighted to see him. Ganesha is the remover of all obstacles on the path of bhakti yoga having taken the continual dictation by Vyasadeva of the Vedas. It was bhakti that I was there to offer in danceable groovy form from our album Yoga on the Dance Floor and Sanskrit Mantras.The week before I wasn’t so sure it was going to happen as my usual sound person couldn’t make it. Ethan Joseph worried that the $45 sound permit and listing would go up in smoke and the effort that Aaron had made to squeeze us into the guide would be for naught. I then reasoned that Krsna may have just wanted to give someone else the chance to set up and serve Sound. The world is full of infinite possibilities . I decided to a be flexible in mind and allow something different to happen. Besides, I was “going on safari” to SWING a boutique that features fashionable clothes and items from Helena Greene’s world travels so the spirit of adventure was best.
Like The Paradise Garage
Perched on a high wooden stool, and blessed with a sound guy who graciously came from the land of Bed Stuy, the party was on! During the course of 2 hours there was dancing in the streets, at the island crosswalk and head bobbing from motorists including the bus driver going round a second time on his route . Tom Glide’s beats reminded one lady (who pulled over in her car ) “of the Paradise Garage”. Stopping traffic! She wanted to get the set. Alas, these mixes are exclusive due to “policy”. While we agree that dj sets should be sold legally for the benefit of the artists featured, we may still be far way from a solution based on the discussion heard at the Amsterdam Dance Event in 2008 on just this issue of stymying creativity and cash flow. Will SESAC, ASCAP,BMI ,SACEM, BUMA, et al come to a consensus? We can only hope.
A Moment of Thanks
Thanks to Quinn the in house supermodel, all the school kids, drivers, and the lady with the cane who all stomped,clapped or smiled their approval. Thanks Pascale, Sarah and Amelia for stopping by and Rohin for telling them to. Felix James said;
”You know they don’t like that junk music up here. People are feeling it!”
Maybe we weren’t at The Apollo but when the people of Harlem start running across the street to tell you how much they like your music you feel good about being on the right track especially when you are singing in Bengali and Sanskrit!
Blessings in the the Old Hood
From my own family perspective, standing there seeing the street sign for 7th Avenue aka Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulelarvd and with Lena Horne’s portrait smiling from on high the shop wall everything was swinging! Those two personalities were both buddies of my grandfather “Cuba” who raised his family in Harlem just a bit further uptown at 145th and Saint Nicholas Avenue. We all know Harlem starts at 110th Street and come to think of it Tom Glide’s remix of Ali Coleman’s version of Womack’s ” 110 Street” would have been perfect to have had on hand! Namaste to Chris Black America, O’Hara, the staff at MMNY, Time Out NY all the media partners like Metro and especially all the neighborhood residents who dug the message of Paha Dui Jana. Post show I headed down to the Cornelia Street Cafe in the west west village to hear the concerto written by Provkiev only recently discovered. All in a day. Success!
Ekayani and the Tom Glide Space Free in Store performance as part of Make Music New York (1000 + free concerts citywide all day long)
Date: Thursday June 21, 2012
Time: 3 -5 pm
Where: SWING a Concept Shop , 1960 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (West 118 Street)