There is always something going on at Bryant Park, especially in the summer months, but on a Thursday, a surprising music festival has parkgoers smiling and applauding. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
There is no instrument like the accordion, accordin' to a group of accordion players who meet at Bryant Park every week.
"I love the accordion, first of all," said Art Now, an accordionist. "I feel like a little kid when I'm playing it. It breathes. You wear it next to your heart. You don't have to plug it in. You can walk around with it. You can play almost any style of music on it, and if you play something that people don't expect, it's all that much cooler."
It is surprisingly cool. And now, every Thursday, you can find the sounds of the accordion throughout the park.
It started with just one accordion player three years ago. That was such a big hit that this year, Bryant Park is presenting a new summer long festival called "Accordions Around the World."
"Each week, we have six accordionists who perform in different pockets of the park from all different styles from around the world," said Ariana Hellerman, the organizer of Accordions Around the World.
"On the third Thursday, we have 20 accordions, plus a band," said Ethan Lercher, events director for Bryant Park. "So it's taking over the park."
You can hear everything from tango to klezmer, a waltz, and even pop.
"It's very satisfying," said Maria Dessena, an accordionist. "It's just a physical instrument. It has a wonderful full sound. It's got bass, treble."
The accordion is a free reed instrument, which means there are reeds inside that make sounds as air goes through as the instrument is compressed and expanded. The keys are on one side and the chords, or base notes, are on the other.
They let me join in with the rhythm egg, but the truth is, the reason they love the accordion is because it's really a one-man band.
The music is on Thursdays, usually from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., but on the third Thursday of each month, it goes much later. So plan your visit accordion-ly.
For more information, go to www.bryantpark.org.