Carlos Jimenez Kicks Off Yonkers Downtown BID’s Free Jazz and Blues

Carlos Jimenez, the next generation of great Puerto Rican flute players and a native of Yonkers, and The Latin Jazz Band kicked off the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District's fourth annual free "Jazz and Blues at Dusk" Summer Concert Series last Friday evening. The concert was the first of 10 that will be staged weekly every Friday through September 3 at the Yonkers Waterfront Amphitheatre from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. If rain, the concerts will be staged at the Yonkers Pier.

The series—made possible by the Yonkers BID with special thanks to its sponsor, Domino Sugar of Yonkers— will provide musical entertainment free of charge by some of the New York metropolitan area's top jazz and blues artists. The schedule is:

July 9: Annette St. John takes the microphone and captivates with subtle shades of Sarah, a hint of Ella, but with a style and sparkle that's uniquely her own with an extensive repertoire including jazz standards, ballads and the blues.

July 16: Annette A. Aguilar & Stringbeans combines superb musicianship with unique string and percussion arrangements of Latin Brazilian jazz, contemporary jazz, classical and world music. Annette is the band's talented and versatile percussionist and musical director.

July 23: Blues Buddha's Tom Dudley has picked up stylistic influences from people he admires, especially R&B and Rock N' Roll giants, and mixes them into his own musical style that brings down the house.

July 30: Mike Squillante is a pop rock artist (vocal, guitar, keyboard) who writes and performs his own songs influenced by the likes of the Beatles, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin and others.

Aug 6: Funkasaurus Rex, a nine-piece band based in Yonkers, combines rhythm 'n blues and jazz with well-known NYC players.

Aug 13: Joan Crowe & The Jesters of Jive combine the talents of a versatile jazz singer who earned a MAC Award for Female Musical Comedy and a 1940's Revival swing band with killer brass, dancers, celebrity impersonators and toe tappin' grooves.

Aug 20: Kaissa sings a unique blend of African, reggae, Jazz, R&B and Brazilian fusion. As part of her electrifying performing style, she incorporates elements of traditional African music and dance, mixed with contemporary style.

Aug 27: Roxy Perry, award-winning singer, songwriter, harmonica player, recording artist and producer known as the "New York Blues Queen, " and recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame as Ambassador to New York and Great Musician of New York, will entertain with her original songwriting and vocals.

Sept 3: The Maciek Schlejbal Quartet is led by Maciek Schejbal, a classically trained drummer who was born and educated in Cracow, Poland and became part of the music scene in South Africa where he lived for more than a decade. His ensemble will feature his original compositions and jazz standards.

Other signature free outdoor events that the Downtown BID will be presenting through the fall are:

Evolution Arts, an afternoon of free exhibits of art by emerging artists from Yonkers and beyond—as well as music entertainment—will return to Ella Park, on the third Sunday of every month, continuing July 18, August 15, September 19 and October 17, from 1 to 4 PM.

The Main Street Film Series at Dusk will be presented every Tuesday evening in August at 8 PM when a free and popular family entertainment motion picture will be projected on a large outdoor screen. As in prior years, the popcorn will also be free.

The 18th Annual Yonkers Riverfest, an all-day extravaganza of free, fun events will be presented Saturday, September 11 from noon to 8 PM. Music, face painting, jugglers, classic cars, great food and more will be featured—clearly one of Westchester's most popular outdoor celebrations that attracts about 25, 000 visitors. Riverfest will also observe Patriot Day, the 9th anniversary of 9/11.

Music in the Square provides shoppers with free concerts by talented musicians on the first Friday afternoon of every month in the heart of Getty Square from noon to 1:30 PM. It complements the many bargains that the district's extensive range of retailers and specialty shops offer on these days. Music in the Square will be held on Fridays, July 2, August 6, September 3 and October 1.

The Half Moon Festival will feature the replica of the famous ship that Henry Hudson navigated 401 years ago on the river that takes his name. The Downtown BID will organize a series of events planned for two weekends in October (dates to be announced) when the Half Moon is docked at Yonkers Waterfront.

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