The Hunt for Live Music in Brooklyn

September 19, 2020

Leaving Prospect Park, you might choose to stroll along tree-lined President Street, among the beautiful Brooklyn brownstones. Suddenly you hear live music—and as you approach 7th Avenue, the volume increases. You notice a harpist, a crooner or perhaps an entire band. Ah ha, you’ve found Stoop Music Brooklyn!

Though concert venues across New York City have closed due to Covid-19 (you can support them by contacting your representatives), NYC musicians have been coming together all across the city, including here in Brooklyn, to continue performing via pandemic pop-up concerts or what some have dubbed quarantunes.

Brooklyn Street Performances

In Park Slope you can find musicians performing on President Street, in Prospect Park, near Third Street and Sixth Avenue…pretty much anywhere there’s enough room for an artist—or full band—to make a stage. We recently caught a performance by the West 4th Jazz Trio in Prospect Park and loved it.

Orchestra & Celebrity Pop-Ups

Professional organizations have gotten creative with how they perform live in NYC and you can catch live performances by Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra or the NY Phil Bandwagon, which involves outdoor surprise “pull-up” concerts by orchestra members across all five boroughs. And even celebrities like Alicia Keys have taken part in drive-in concerts.

Virtual NYC Concerts

Meanwhile, the Jazz at Lincoln Center website is updateded with new content daily and you can catch a ton of performances via Zoom, Facebook Live or YouTube. Brooklyn Vegan of course also keeps a list of livestream concerts on their site. National Sawdust provides plenty of virtual performances. You can watch this year’s BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival online. And, while not necessarily in NYC, the Billboard website regularly updates their list of upcoming quarantine concerts, which you can watch from your Brooklyn couch.

Though this is such an unfortunate time for all of us and we are saddened that many classic NYC venues are closing and music industry folks are out of work, we are very grateful for the New York music community’s ability to unite and spread joy through their heartfelt performances.

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