By Alex Rush
Here’s a good reason to go back to school this summer.
Kingsborough Community College is hosting free outdoor concerts at its campus band shell on four Saturday nights in July. The “Hot Summer Nights” live music series will feature seasoned musicians that will play Broadway show tunes one week, South American-style jazz the next.
“I’m a huge fan of Brazilian stuff but we cross-pollinate all kinds of South American rhythms,” said Tommy Igoe, director and drummer of the Birdland Big Band, which plays on July 23. “We’re committed to pushing the big band format into the 21st century.”
The Birdland Big Band isn’t the only swinging group showing off their improvisational prowess. On July 9, the Danny Repole Swing Band will take the stage, performing classic tunes like “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” which may make audience members feel as if they’re in a club on New York’s Swing Street in the 1940s.
In addition to the dance-worthy songs of swing and jazz bands, the series will also feature the Brooklyn Community Wind Ensemble and Concert Band on July 2 and the Chestnut Brass Band, which specializes in both American pop standards and Civil War era marches, on July 16. The ensemble will even play 19th century antique instruments like keyed bugles.
“We’ll be putting them on display so people can see them up close,” said band member Larry Zimmerman.
“Hot Summer Nights” at Kingsborough Community College [2001 Oriental Blvd. at Decatur Avenue in Manhattan Beach, (718) 368-5596], July 2, 9, 16 and 23 at 8 pm. Free. For info, visit www.kcckpac.org.