If you are looking for a relaxing way to spend a summer afternoon with the family – and something a bit different from the norm – you may be in luck. Bryant Park Presents, an outdoor performing arts series, has announced the series Accordions Around the World to kick off June 29, free of cost.
Accordions Around the World will feature more than 75 accordionists over its nine-week period as well as bandoneon, bayan, concertina, and harmonium-players – something for every music-lover of multiple genres. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of accordion music, the cultural aspect and overall atmosphere may sway you.
Accordion Picnic, a new feature to the series, jumpstarts Accordions Around the World on Wednesday, June 29 from 6-8pm. The event will feature 24 accordionists at six different stations throughout the park. Here, the cultural aspect of the series really comes into play with the representation of music from Argentina to Italy to Louisiana and everything in between.
The series will then continue featuring six musicians each Wednesday from July 6 to Aug. 24 from 6-8pm. Accordions Around the World culminates on Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 5-10pm. with the second-annual Accordion Band Festival. Here, six New York-based bands will perform, as well as soloists in between each act.
Ariana Hellerman, founder of Ariana’s List, a guide to free cultural events in the New York metro area, worked with Bryant Park Presents in producing the series. “We Americans can think of the accordion as a symbol of the yesteryear kitsch of polka, when in actuality it is one of the most important instruments in many cultures around the world,” Hellerman said, according to a press release. “With this series, audiences and passers-by are invited each week to roam the park to get a taste of these different musical traditions and share in something that they may never have experienced before, all in an accessible and intimate manner.”
“Bryant Park has become the place throughout the United States to see an extremely diverse representation of accordion music by very talented accordionists,” Ethan Lercher, executive producer of Bryant Park Presents, said. “This summer, Ariana Hellerman has brought together many favorite players from the last three years and several new performers to highlight, plus an amazing schedule for Accordion Band Festival, which was attended by over 3,500 people last August.”
So bring your picnic blankets, grab some food and drinks from nearby vendors, take advantage of a few free games, and prepare to hear some music.
Visit bryantpark.org/bryantparkpresents for more information or to view the lineup.
Main image: Accordion players at Bryant Park
Photo credit: Bryant Park Corporation
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