Swingtown! Big band kicks off BPL’s outdoor dance series at Central branch

Happy feet: The outdoor event started with a dance lesson before a swing band played for two hours.
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Summer is in full swing at this library!

Dozens of Kings County jitterbugs cut a rug as a swing band played tunes outside of Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch on Wednesday at the first of five boogies the book lender is hosting this season.

The inaugural, al-fresco groove session kicked off at 6:30 pm with a 30-minute dance lesson, before couples put their skills to the test on the Prospect Heights reading room’s plaza, jumping, jiving, and wailing to the sounds of the 20-piece Swingtime Big Band, which played a two-hour set featuring tunes from the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s.

And those who missed the fun can still get down at the library’s four upcoming Plaza Swing Series performances at the Central branch, which include:

• Brooklyn band Strings N Skins, which mixes violin harmonics with West African djembe beats, on July 18.

• Conductor Orlando Marin, whom the library bills as the only still-performing orchestra leader from the city’s golden age of mambo, on July 25.

• Guitar virtuoso Matt Munisteri, who will lead his jazz band in some ragtime tunes on Aug. 1.

• New Orleans–Brazilian fusion band Nation Beat, whose sounds combine funk, rock, and bluegrass with drum beats from the South American nation, on Aug. 8.

All events start with dance how-tos at 6:30 pm, and conclude at 9 pm. Should bad weather force any to be cancelled, day-after rain dates are scheduled for each.

And the outdoor balls aren’t the only way to catch a tune at the library — youngsters can still participate in its music-themed summer-reading initiative, and patrons of all ages can tap their inner Mozart by borrowing instruments through a lending program that kicked off in May.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Perfect pair: Locals danced the night away outside the the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch at the first of its five Plaza Swing Series events on Wednesday.
Updated 12:16 pm, July 18, 2018
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