Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Make Music New York: Setting the Tone for Summer

Make Music New York hit town on the first official day of summer (June 21), enticing the city's musical desires for a third year in a row. Nearly 900 concerts created the day of nonstop music from 11 a.m. till 10 p.m. and beyond. Genres like reggae, classical, jazz, rock music and more each spiced up the dreary day -- and of course, plenty of women rocked the streets and the stages.

The Brooklyn Historical Society, for example, showcased its very own rockin' chicks, hosting the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls show in downtown Brooklyn. This Brooklyn-based organzation has been a part of this MMC for the past two years.

“It's such a fun festival to be a part of,” said Sady Sullivan, a volunteer and staff member at the Brooklyn Historical Society, for whom the festival was a great way for her to combine her volunteer job and her regular job. The concert included young girls and WMRC volunteers playing in their own bands. Twilight at the Idle kicked off the day with its jazzy yet rocker feel -- with a drummer and a singer on keyboard. Rickie Gal, pianist of the group and piano instructor of the camp, said sie loves contributing to the camp. “I think Willie Mae does a great job,” sie said. Another band, The Crinolines possessed both skill and swagger that got the crowd going. Singer Leu Chekowsky, who said she didn't know she would like playing music when she first got started, thought Make Music New York was awesome in that it allows many people to play music together at the same time.

Women for sure spoke up and played hard at Punk Island. Governor's Island was scattered with stages where bands spewed out various types punk rock all day long and the women definitely rocked among the loudest of them. Bands like S.M.U.T., Vagiant, and the Percocettes were a few standouts showcasing their kick-ass groves.

Fan Pat Mitchell said he really liked ShiraGirl, a Brooklyn-based group. “They were poppy, but punk enough,” Mitchell said. And Athenia Henderson, singer of a six-piece Caribbean/ R&B/pop-infused band, said women in rock provide a nice change in the male-dominated genre. Her set at the Brouwerij Lane bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, was filled with a variety of covers from rockers like Gwen Stefani to R&B divas like Alicia Keys. The singer writes her own songs, too, including a pop-rock oriented song called “Always.”

The influence of women rockers was spread out in the city that day, proving New York knows how to make its music fly and New York girls definitely know how to rock!


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