There’s nothing that’s more indicative of summer’s arrival than late sunsets, warm weather, barbecues and the sweet sounds of music performed outdoors.
For the second consecutive summer, the Mount Kisco Arts Council is supplying the music with an eclectic lineup of eight concerts featuring local and regional artists.
The first concert of the 2019 season featuring A Nordic Sound Jazz Orchestra, an 18-member ensemble, kicks off this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Fountain Park, the space between the Mount Kisco Public Library and Village Hall. It will continue every other Wednesday through Sept. 18.
“It was great just to have people walking by with strollers or on their way back from work or wherever and hear music wafting out into the streets and stop by and sit down,” Daniel Blake, the music director for the Arts Council who curates the series said of the initial run of concerts last summer.
Blake said 2019 promises to be even better. He said the focus was to bring to the public Westchester-based artists representing a wide variety of genres. He also aimed to feature a strong mix between male and female artists. Strong preference was given to musicians who perform original music, although there is the Sun Kings, a popular Beatles tribute band scheduled for Aug. 7.
Organizers will set up about 50 folding chairs in the courtyard, but many residents who stop by bring their own or a blanket to lie in the grass and have a picnic.
“What the music does, it creates that vibe of joy and celebration, especially for an outdoor concert and just kind of encourages people to be there instead of just doing their shopping or whatever they’re going to do and going off on their way,” Blake said. “Maybe they stay and hang out in another shop or maybe they just sit down and enjoy the environment that we’re creating with the music.”
Deputy Mayor Jean Farber, who co-founded the Mount Kisco Arts Council and currently serves as its treasurer, said one goal is to bring people to downtown Mount Kisco and entice them to have dinner before or after the concert or just to bring a picnic basket and have them return throughout the summer.
“We trying to provide something that’s really artistic and interesting,” Farber said. “Some of our concerts are more interesting than the others but people just wandered in (last year) and said ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’ and they kept coming back. It’s very exciting to see people that had no idea this was going on and as they’re walking the dog, they see how casual and meaningful this is.”
The opening concert is followed on June 26 by the Asaran Earth Trio, which performs stories and songs from around the world; the Carmel-based punk band Guilty Giraffe on July 10; Silver Steel, a steel drum group, on July 24; the Sun Kings two weeks later; Blake will be performing with Leo Genovese on Aug. 21; Rose and the Nightingale, chamber music with a cello and violin, is scheduled for Sept. 4; and the Sept. 18 season finale features Frank Enea and the Crooked Hearts.
The opening of a pop-up art gallery at the old Segal Bros. location in the promenade off of South Moger Avenue will coincide with this week’s concert, Blake said.
He said that there is no alternate venue in case of rain. She there be inclement weather for any of the concerts, there are two rain dates – Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 – at the end of the season.
Each concert is expected to last 60 to 90 minutes.
If there is a question about the weather, residents are asked to visit the Mount Kisco Arts Council’s Facebook page or Instagram account.