BAM’s ‘gift of gratitude’: Fall R&B concert series returns with fanfare to Fort Greene Park

BAM welcomes Fort Greene to the Myrtle Lawn for an evening of free music
BAM is welcoming all of Fort Greene to the Myrtle Lawn for free music this weekend — the second of two in the organization’s now-annual Fall Fest.
Photo courtesy of BAM

This weekend the Brooklyn Academy of Music brings back its free fall R&B concert series, hosted on the Myrtle Lawn at Fort Greene Park.

“The series continues BAM’s over two-decade-old tradition of celebrating R&B, soul, jazz, funk, pop, blues, rock, electronica, spoken word, and more,” a spokesperson for the multi-arts center said.

This weekend’s installment will feature performances by visionary artist and drummer Jack DeJohnette his quartet and a host of musical friends on Saturday, October 8 and Ivan Neville with special guests Anjelika ‘Jelly’ Joseph, and Eric Krasno on Sunday, October 9. 

Elizabeth Moreau, BAM’s vice president and senior producer, says this month’s showcase at Fort Greene Park is just one of the many free concert series hosted by the organization — whether it’s indoors at BAM’s Cafe Live shows or outdoors at weekly summer events.

“We wanted to really celebrate a wide range of music artists and our local Fort Greene community who have been coming to take part in our free music series for decades,” Moreau told Brooklyn Paper. 

Families are encouraged to bring food and drinks for a picnic on the land.
Families are encouraged to bring food and drinks for a picnic during the performances.Photo courtesy of BAM

While BAM’s shows in Fort Greene first started over 20 years ago, last year was the art program’s first time bringing the series back to the park. The outdoor venue reached capacity last year and this weekend BAM administration like Coco Killingsworth, vice president of creative social impact, is expecting the same turnout.

“This is only the second year of the series in Fort Greene park but last year we were still in the midst of a more fraught phase of the pandemic, so I know people were relieved and thrilled to be able to come out and enjoy music and each other again,” Killingsworth said in a statement to Brooklyn Paper. “Plus, Fort Greene Park is such a special place, and we are so grateful to partner with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy to present this series to folks in Brooklyn.”

Families are encouraged to bring food, picnic blankets and chairs to indulge in an evening of vibrant music with the Brooklyn community.

“It’s a great turnout and it’s really amazing to meet in a park,” said Moreau. “It’s a great way to spend the afternoon with family or friends.”

Shows will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9.
Shows will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 9.Photo courtesy of BAM

The heavy rainfall of last weekend may have dampened the first set of performances, however BAM officials are eager to invite locals back out for an evening of free music. Shows will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit the official event website

“BAM is a public institution for the people of Brooklyn and beyond,” said Killingsworth. “This series is our gift of gratitude and to show how deeply we care about our community.”

Corrections were made on Oct. 8, 2022 at 1:26 pm. We apologize for the error.