Bloomingdale School of Music Celebrates 52nd Birthday with Free Community Concert and Honors Manhattan Borough President GALE BREWER for Arts Education Advocacy & Support
November 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm @ Broadway Presbyterian Church
New York, NY — Bloomingdale School of Music (BSM) is celebrating its founding in 1964 with a Birthday concert on November 11th at 7:00 pm at the Broadway Presbyterian Church, 601 West 114th Street. FREE Admission. In addition to a festive birthday concert representing the incredible diversity of the school’s musical community, BSM will honor Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for her enduring support for music education and her strongly held belief in the value of the arts to engage community and contribute directly to quality of life and pride of place.
Established in 1964 amidst a period of great social change, BSM was founded with the simple premise that music is for everyone who is interested regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status. 52 years later and under the current direction of Executive Director Erika Floreska, BSM upholds it’s deep belief that the study of music and performance in a community setting can be a force for positive change in the world. By building a common language and experiences with others across differences we can model a more humane and just world. BSM is an active, and beloved participant in the Upper Westside Community, through partnerships, performances, programs, and concerts that engage and demonstrate the school’s generosity of spirit. “We really believe music is for everyone and you don’t have to have a special talent to do it,” said Erika Floreska. “We’re really here to create a lifelong love of music that is part of your life forever, whether it becomes a career or avocation.”
BSM Birthday Concert The first half of the concert will feature BSM voice faculty member Jocelyn Medina and her group in works from her latest recording, Common Ground, music from Africa and Brazil. Listeners will be taken through a cross-cultural musical journey where the boundaries of vocal jazz are extended to include the rhythms, improvisations and instrumentation of diverse world-music traditions. The second half will feature BSM Assistant Director and trumpeter Brandon Vazquez with a faculty jazz ensemble in a performance titled Happiness Is Now. They will showcase various musical genres such as Dixieland, Bebop, Fusion, Bossa Nova, and Funk. BSM Birthday Concert Featured Artists -Common Ground: Music by the Jocelyn Medina Group, featuring: Jocelyn Medina, voice, Art Hiraharam, piano, Evan Gregor, bass. Mark Ferber, drums, and Steve Gorn, bansuri flutes. Happiness is Now: Brandon Vazquez, trumpet, Daniel Bennett, saxophone, Michael Cochrane, piano, Kevin Farrell, bass, and Jeremy Noller, drums.
About Gale Brewer
Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Manhattan Borough President. Ms. Brewer previously served on the City Council for 12 years. As Councilmember, she successfully passed legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, compelling landlords to fix repeat violations, requiring all City data to be published online, and the nation’s first law protecting domestic workers. She was the founding chair of the City Council’s Technology Committee in 2002.
Immediately prior to her election to the City Council, Brewer served as Project Manager for the NYC Nonprofits Project at CUNY’s Graduate Center, and before that worked for the Telesis Corporation, a private firm that builds affordable housing in New York City.
Prior to that non-profit and private-sector experience, Brewer served in City government in various roles, including as…
- New York City Deputy Public Advocate
- Director of Mayor Dinkins’ Federal Office in New York City
- Executive Director of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women
- Chief of Staff to West Side Councilmember Ruth W. Messinger
Brewer has an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and she did her undergraduate work at Columbia University and Bennington College.
About Brandon Vazquez
Brandon Vazquez, a native New Yorker, is both a classical and jazz musician. Mr. Vazquez, who began playing the trumpet at age twelve, attended LaGuardia High School of Music and Art; he also studied at the Juilliard School, Bloomingdale School of Music, and at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. His primary teachers include Mark Niehaus, Mary Hastings, Michael Phillip Mossman, and Bud Burridge. As a freelance trumpeter, Brandon has performed with a number of jazz and classical ensembles throughout New York City, including Regal Brass, the Hunter Symphony, Ron Carter Jazztet, and Man Bite Dog. Along with his brass quintet Regal Brass, Brandon has performed the National Anthem twice at both Madison Square Garden and at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Hunter College. A former instructor at the Grand Street Campus High Schools in Brooklyn, Brandon is currently on the faculty of the Bloomingdale School of Music.
About Jocelyn Medina
The sounds and styles of vocalist/composer Jocelyn Medina cross cultures, creeds and continents. Her original music fuses elements of Brazil, Spain, Africa and India with jazz harmonies, neo-soul/funk grooves and adventurous improvisations. Born into a family of singers, Jocelyn determined her identity as a musician at the tender age of five through choirs and piano lessons. She later pursued opera work at Stanford University, earned a Bachelors from Berklee College of Music, and a Masters in Vocal Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Between her formal studies, Jocelyn spent 4 years living and performing in Madrid, Spain, where she recorded her first full-length CD of original compositions, “The Journey Begun.” Further musical explorations brought Jocelyn to Ghana, West Africa, as well as to Salvador, Brazil. In 2005 she returned to the United States to pursue her Masters studies, and in 2011 released her second album of original work, “We Are Water,” combining her jazz and Latin heritage with the rhythms and flavors of African and Brazilian music. Her most recent travels brought Jocelyn to Mumbai, India, where she was exposed to new vocal and instrumental aesthetics, elements that resonate throughout the material on her newly recorded album “Common Ground,” due out for anticipated release this winter, 2016.
About Bloomingdale School of Music
Now in its 52nd year, BSM has served more than 80,000 children and adults through group classes, private instruction, and performance opportunities in classical, jazz, and rock music. Each week, over 650 students of all ages participate in a wide range of music-making, including early childhood classes, a comprehensive pre-college program, free community concerts, and internet-based music programs. With accessibility central to its mission, more than 20% of Bloomingdale’s student body receives financial aid and scholarship assistance annually. For more information on Bloomingdale School of Music’s programs and concerts, visit www.bsmny.org, call the office at 212-663-6021, or email email@example.com.
The Bloomingdale School of Music is a proud member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and is made possible with support from: Foundations: Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, New York Community Trust, Pinkerton Foundation, Hyde and Watson Foundation, Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, Brenner Family Foundation, Lotos Foundation, Columbia Community Service, Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, Exploring the Metropolis Con Edison Composers’ Residency Program, Libby Holman Foundation, D’Addario Foundation, Bernstein Family Foundation, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation; Public: Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, New York State Assembly Member Daniel J. O’Donnell; Corporations: Colgate-Palmolive, and generous individual donors.