Tag Archives: Queensbridge Park

VIDEO & PHOTOS: George Clinton gets funky at Queensbridge Park performance


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

With the Queensboro Bridge as the backdrop, the “godfather of funk” took the stage at Queensbridge Park Wednesday during a night filled with laughter and dancing.

About a thousand people flocked to the Long Island City waterfront park, located along Vernon Boulevard, to catch George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic during a free performance as part of SummerStage’s 30th anniversary summer festival.

The group, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, performed classics such as “Give Up The Funk,” “Not Just Knee Deep,” “Maggot Brain,” “One Nation Under A Groove,” “Flashlight,” “Aquaboogie,” “P.Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)” and many more.

Fans danced and sang along with the songs as Clinton jumped on stage with other group members.

Clinton has been referred to as one of the trendsetters of funk music and known for revolutionizing R&B during the ’70s. Parliament Funkadelic recorded three platinum albums and had over 40 R&B hit singles. Through the ’80s the group recorded as the P-Funk All Stars.


Wednesday night’s concert is part of a six-day festival taking place at eight local parks. The night before, Queensbridge Park presented the musical group Chi-Lites and on Thursday night it will host Large Professor (LP), a hip-hop songwriter, producer and DJ from Flushing, together with Marley Mark.

The performance was not Clinton’s first visit to Queens, as he came to the borough last October during a discussion and book signing event, for his memoir “Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You? : A Memoir,” at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.


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George Clinton to perform as part of free summer festival at Queensbridge Park


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of City Parks Foundation

SummerStage, the city’s largest performing arts festival, is marking its 30th anniversary with six-day mini festivals at eight local parks, including one on the Long Island City waterfront.

Queensbridge Park, located along Vernon Boulevard adjacent to the Queensboro Bridge, will host the event from July 14 to 19, featuring the “godfather of funk” George Clinton, local musicians, dance, theater and more.

“As an organization we are dedicated to working in traditionally underserved neighborhoods across the city,” said Heather Lubov, executive director of City Parks Foundation, which produces SummerStage. “By presenting artists and genres that reflect the cultures and communities in these parks, introducing disciplines such as dance or theater alongside musical performances, and providing all of this fantastic art free of charge, we are building new audiences and fostering a broader interest in the arts here in New York City.”

The musical group Chi-Lites will be kicking off the Queensbridge Park festival at 7 p.m. on July 14. The group originated from the ’70s Chicago R&B scene, and in 2000 were inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

The following night, at 7 p.m., George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, will perform.

Large Professor

Large Professor

 

Local flavor will come to the park on July 16 with Large Professor (LP) a hip-hop songwriter, producer and DJ who comes from Flushing. Also performing that night is Marley Marl, a producer and DJ hailing from Queensbridge who has made a mark on the hip-hop world.

On July 17 and 18, the festival will shift gears to theater on Friday night and dance the following evening, featuring several collaborative and creative performers.

The final day of the festival will start with family-friendly programming from 4 to 7 p.m., including award-winning and critically-acclaimed jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, B-Love’s Hip Hop Jazzy Groove, and Karisma Jay and AbunDance.

Wycliffe Gordon

Wycliffe Gordon

That night the festival will close with a performance by hip-hop artist Pete Rock and a screening of “Time Is Illmatic.” The feature-length documentary examines the making of rapper Nas’ 1994 debut album “Illmatic” and his development as an artist and his influences — including a visit to his childhood home in Queensbridge.

SummerStage is also expanding its season to commemorate its 30th anniversary, from May 18 through Oct. 4, when it will offer more than 140 free music, dance, comedy, family and theater programs in 16 parks across all five boroughs.

In Queens, there will also be SummerStage events at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Socrates Sculpture Park.

As part of the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival at Flushing Meadows on June 7, starting at 4 p.m. there will be three musical performances as part of SummerStage by singer Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Hollis Brown, a rock ‘n’ roll band formed by two Queens natives, and another Queens native, violinist Damien Escobar.

Later in that month, on June 24, The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series featuring Kiri Deonarine, Ginger Costa-Jackson, John Moore and pianist Dan Saunders will come to Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City.

For more information about SummerStage events, visit www.summerstage.org.

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Mobb Deep to return to Queensbridge for free concert


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of City Parks Foundation

A Queens-bred rap duo is performing a free concert in their native neighborhood Thursday night.

Mobb Deep, who recently reunited for “The Infamous Mobb Deep,” their eighth album, will be appearing at 7 p.m. in Queensbridge Park, as part of SummerStage, the city’s largest free performing arts festival.

The famed pair, Havoc and Prodigy, grew up in the Queensbridge area of the borough, but met in Manhattan, where they were students at Graphic Arts High School, according to a biography on their website.

After bonding through their love of hip hop, they built a successful career with 20 years of music industry experience, and appearances on records that have sold over 40 million copies.

Queensbridge Park is located near the Queensboro Bridge at 41st Road and 40th Avenue between The East River, Vernon Boulevard and 21st Street.

 

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City cuts ribbon on $6.65M Queensbridge Park project, seawall reconstruction


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

The Long Island City waterfront has just received a much needed facelift.

Officials cut the ribbon on Tuesday on the $6.65 million project in Queensbridge Park which included the restoration and improvement of the seawall, and the creation of a six-foot-wide waterfront promenade with benches and plants as well as a small pier at the north end.

“The completion of the Queensbridge Park Seawall restores access to the waterfront, access that has been denied for far too long,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “No longer do Queensbridge residents need to look at the seawall as it crumbles into the East River. Instead, residents will be able to enjoy a park and waterfront just as lovely as any in New York City.”

The seawall protects the park from high tides and covers some of the mechanisms and underwater cables that keep a number of subway lines in order. It was previously blocked off by a chain-link fence due to decades of deterioration.

This project, managed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, included the reconstruction of the seawall using rip-rap revetment. Rip-rap, made up of large rocks, was used to protect the shoreline by absorbing and deflecting waves and also decreasing the effects of erosion.

“New York City’s 520 miles of shoreline is one of its greatest assets, and we are proud to continue reconnecting New Yorkers to their waterfront,” said Dmitri Konon, NYCEDC executive vice president for capital programs.

 

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LIC ‘s Queensbridge Park gets $2.5 million for renovations


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer

A Long Island City park is getting much needed help to restore it back to being the jewel of western Queens.

On Monday, August 26 Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer announced he secured $2.5 million in funding to fully renovate and restore the park house at Queensbridge Park.

The Parks Department hopes to construct a new facility that will feature a modern comfort station, storage space for sports teams using the playfields and an office for Parks Department staff.

The appointed staff will offer different programming for adults and children in the future.

“It is extremely important that every single senior and child who lives in Queensbridge know that our city has allocated every single cent we could to make sure that western Queens has a park that rivals Central Park in Manhattan and any other park in the City of New York,” said Van Bramer.

In May, local officials, community groups and residents gathered to break ground on the restoration and improvement of the Queensbridge Park Seawall. The $6.65 million project will include a six-foot wide waterfront promenade with benches and plants as well as a small pier at the north end.

The seawall restoration and improvement was funded through allocations from Van Bramer, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Borough President Helen Marshall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the MTA.

According to Van Bramer, once the restoration of the seawall is completed by next summer, Queensbridge residents and parkgoers will be reconnected to the East River waterfront after a decade of deterioration.

“I look forward to working with him [Van Bramer] and the community on creating a scope of work and design for this project,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski.

 

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Free concerts, performing arts events in Queens this summer


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

SummerStage, New York’s largest free performing arts festival, runs in Queens from July 17 until August 9. It features musical performances, from pop and hip-hop to R&B and gospel music, as well as dance, theater film and family programming. For more festival information, visit www.SummerStage.org.

 

Tuesday July 17, 7:00 p.m.
Queensbridge Park (concert)
Chi-Lites / Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue

Wednesday July 18, 7:00 p.m.
Queensbridge Park  (concert)
Big Daddy Kane / Marley Marl

Thursday July 19, 7:00 p.m.
Queensbridge Park  (concert)
WAR / Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue

Friday July 20, 7:00 p.m.
Queensbridge Park (dance)
Liberation Dance Theater/Jamal Jackson Dance Company
(Master Class, All Levels Open Dance, 7 pm; Performance, 8 p.m.)

Saturday July 21, 7:00 p.m.
Queensbridge Park (dance)
Malcolm Low Formal Structure Inc. / VON USSAR danceworks / Jamel Gaines, Creative Outlet Dance Theatre
(Master Class, All Levels Open Dance, 7 pm; Performance, 8 p.m.)

Tuesday July 24, 7:00 p.m.
Springfield Park (concert)
Full Force / Force MD’s Johnny Kemp / Jeff Redd / Meli’sa Morgan

Wednesday July 25, 7:00  p.m.
Springfield Park (concert)
Le’Andria Johnson / Trin-I-Tee 5:7 / Brian Courtney Wilson / Amber Bullock

Thursday July 26, 7:00 p.m.
Springfield Park (concert)
Tamia

Friday July 27 – Saturday July 28, 8:00 PM
Springfield Park (theater)
Power of the Trinity

Sunday July 29, 4:00 p.m.
Springfield Park (family programming / concert)
SummerStage Kids Queens Family Day featuring Randolph Matthews/ LuckyBob: Magic Juggling Comedy/ Little Club Heads

Sunday July 29, 7:00 p.m.
Springfield Park (concert/film)
Taj Weekes & Adowa / Shine & The Moonbeams / Randolph Matthews Screening: Africa United

Thursday August 9, 7:00 p.m.
Socrates Sculpture Park (concert)
The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series

 

League ends season by hitting it out of the park


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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Like all good things, the Long Island City YMCA Youth Baseball League’s season has come to an end.

To mark its completion, a ceremony was held at Queensbridge Park on Saturday, September 17.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer attended the event and distributed awards to the league’s young sluggers. Van Bramer, a supporter of youth athletics and an avid baseball fan, has allocated over $100,000 to the Long Island City YMCA.

“I am proud to be able to support the Long Island City YMCA’s Youth Baseball League at Queensbridge,” said Van Bramer. “I remember hours of enjoyment as a kid playing baseball right here in Long Island City on Bryant High School’s field. Team sports, like baseball, give young people something fun and active to do, while teaching valuable lessons like sportsmanship, teamwork and the importance of practice.”

Each year, hundreds of kids from the community participate in the Youth Baseball League, which lasts from July to September. The YMCA also organizes football, basketball and bowling leagues at no cost to members.