You can cross that bridge later — for now, stay underneath it!
Brooklyn’s only music series located beneath an active subway line will return for its fifth fantastic year of tunes on June 13. The Live at the Archway series sets the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge echoing with music each summer and gets people dancing on its cobblestone street. The architect of the free weekly arts event says that she loves the challenge of working with the cavernous tunnel beneath the Bridge.
“It’s an honor, and a lot of fun, to curate this series — to experiment with this epic space, to play off its history, its physicality, its acoustics, and to collaborate with its community,” said Clara Schumacher.
For the series, the events director for Dumbo’s Business Improvement District looks for unique musical acts that can fill a tunnel big enough to feel like the outdoors.
“The Archway is a unique space, even for New York,” said Schumacher. “I’m looking for acts that have an unexpected element, that are joyous, that can hold their own in the Archway — that feel very Dumbo.”
She also looks for acts that reflect the diversity of the neighborhood.
“It’s very important to me that Live at the Archway is inclusive, welcoming. Collectively, the series is eclectic, pulling in a diversity of musical genres and performative elements,” she said.
This year’s lineup includes artists from a wide variety of genres, opening with Live at the Archway’s first Congolese band, Nkumu Katalay and the Life Long Project, and featuring Afro-Brazilian dance band Caique Vidal and Batuque, and 1920s-style jazz from Dandy Wellington, and local indie-rocker Eli “Paperboy” Reed — a familiar face who will add a new twist this year, said Schumacher.
“It’s always fun to hear Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed live. I’m particularly stoked he is bringing his group of super-talented kids, the Harlem Gospel Travelers, out to open,” she said.
Another new aspect to the fifth annual summer series is the Family Jam — opening acts that will appeal to kids and families, including puppets shows, circus acts, and ballet dancers.
Last year’s Archway innovation will also continue — a weekly celebration of visual art at the pop-up Gallery Cubed, which offers 32 square feet for a different creator to fill with art each week.
“[It] gives our audiences unprecedented access to world class visual artists,” said Schumacher. “Where else can you get this intimate with a piece of art?”
All performances at the Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge (155 Water St. between Adams and Pearl streets in Dumbo, www.dumbo.is). All shows start at 5:30 pm, unless otherwise noted. Free.
June 13: Nkumu Katalay and the Life-Long Project Band, with Fogo Azul NYC, plus students from PS 307 and Dock Street School.
June 20: Archway 10th Anniversary Party! Celebrate 10 years of the Archway, with performances from Brown Rice Family, the Maybelles, Young Soon’s White Wave Dance Company, hula-hoop troupe Big Sky Works, and more. Starts at 5 pm.
June 27: Avenida B, with an opening performance of “Rainbow” by Puppetsburg.
July 4: No show this week! Go enjoy the fireworks!
July 11: Eli “Paperboy” Reed, with opening act Harlem Gospel Travelers.
July 18: Kombilesa Mi, with an opening performance of “Pop Music,” by Puppetsburg.
July 25: Caique Vidal and Batuque, with opening act Trio Rasteirinho. Presented in collaboration with Brasil Summerfest.
Aug. 1: Yunior Terry and Son de Altura, preceded by a fashion show presented by the Center for Cuban Studies.
Aug. 8: Dandy Wellington, with opening act Miss Saturn.
Aug. 15: Alsarah and the Nubatones, with opening act Konverjdans.
Aug. 22: Say She She, with an opening performance of “Splendid Elephant” by Puppetsburg.