Commuters in Sunnyside will be enjoying the sound of live music this summer and fall thanks to a new concert series under the 7-train bridge.
The sounds of jazz filled Bliss Plaza in Sunnyside Thursday, as commuters got a taste of what's to come.
“Summer is here,” said Rachel Thieme, the Executive Director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District. “People are using the plaza, as you can see, and we're really excited to intentionally make this a public space that's open to everyone."
Next Thursday is the first in a series of free outdoor concerts called "Third Thursdays." They will take place during the afternoon commute on the third Thursday of each month through October. The Sunnyside Shines BID teamed up with local arts coalition ReCreate Queens to host the concerts.
"We want people to feel comfortable coming here, eating their lunch, knowing they can catch some good music sometimes, and really make this the center of town,” Thieme said.
"It's a great place to linger and meet some neighbors and say hello to friends, and the arts just bring people together,” said Amanda Keil with ReCreate Queens. “We're so excited to highlight Sunnyside-based artists like Street Beat Brass."
Street Beat is the first band to be featured in the concert series. Organizers say the local brass group was chosen from more than fifty submissions.
"We're just excited to represent our backyard,” said Jeff Fairbanks, the group’s trombonist. “I live a two-minute walk from here. It's great. It's rare to be able to perform right here."
"Any chance to perform for our neighbors in Queens, we embrace it,” added trumpeter Jason Wiseman. “We know a lot of great musicians that live right in this neighborhood. So if we could see more arts in Queens, we'd be very happy."
Jason and Jeff are just two of the five members of Street Beat. Even so, passers-by were already tapping their toes Thursday as the band gave a preview performance at Bliss Plaza.
"When the weather is nice, you know, the wind gets a nice breeze and you complement that with nice music, it makes the day brighter,” said Samuel Gyamfi of The Bronx.
The Third Thursdays concert series begins on June 18th. For a complete schedule or more information, go to sunnysideshines.org or go to Facebook and search "ReCreate Queens."