Plattsburgh waterfront drive-in music series kicks off Saturday
Organizers of a new summer music series on Plattsburgh's waterfront say the show must go on. The mobile stage is out at Harborside and "Curbside at Harborside," a drive-in styled concert series is set to kick off Saturday and run through the summer.
"I know it's unconventional format and I just want people to say look were going to give it a chance," said Benjamin Pomerance, the project's organizer.
The 10-acre parcel near the city marina that's been called "the million dollar parking lot" is silent for now, but come Saturday Jazz will bring the lot to life. The Adirondack Jazz Orchestra is getting the band back together to kick off the summer live music series and celebrate America's 244th birthday.
"I love jazz in the fact that it's a melting pot of music culture and that kind of, to me, is what America stands for -- freedom to do whatever in whatever culture," said Michael Lewandoski, AJO's drummer.
He says there is nothing quite like playing in front of a live audience, even if they are in their cars. "Once you get that beat going and people just start moving, you can watch it in their seat. You can watch it in the way they bob their heads. If your doing it right, people are going to be moving," Lewandoski said. "See them bopping heads, dancing in chairs, you know you're doing something right."
The series is a grass roots effort and all bands booked for the series are local. Pomerance says they can fit 60 to 100 cars on the lot and they are asking for $20 donations a carload. "it's used to offset the cost for the artist and for the sound, technical work to make certain that the audio is first rate," he said.
State health officials say concertgoers must stay in their parked cars to practice social-distancing with the tunes flowing in through car speakers. But Pomerance says there is a perk to that. "You're going to hear good sound no matter where your seat is," he said.
He says they hope that bringing the music back to life in the Lake City can help heal the community after the last several months in quarantine. "Music is a healing force and this is a time when healing in needed," Pomerance said.
Curbside at Harborside Schedule:
• 7/4 Adirondack Jazz Orchestra
• 7/11 Pianist Rose Chancler, saxophonist Daniel Gordon, violinist
Marilyn Reynolds, and percussionist Jane Boxall
• 7/18 North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame inductee Gretchen
Koehler and award-winning pianist Daniel Kelly
• 7/25 Plattsburgh Blues and Jazz presents the iconic four-time
Blues Music Award winner and Blues Hall of Fame member Joe
• 8/1 Singer-songwriter Dan Berggren
• 8/15 Beartracks
• 8/22 Wickmoore Jazz Trio
• 8/29 High Peaks Opera Studio