If you have read some of my previous reviews on BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn than you know I love this little Prospect Bandshell music series. It stole my heart and MADE my summer. Thus, to see it end is also a major realization that the summer is leaving, and with a very nice time in my life.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Series has to be one of the best concert series NYC has to offer because it was fantastic and graceful. It was not a high spectacle of a set beyond the picturesque Prospect Park. Yet, the caliber of artists it chose from Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings to The Lumineers never failed. Moreover, the series’ attraction of millennials and families readying to hear genuinely good music made their final closing act a perfect choice: Andra Day.
I do not know why I have seen Andra Day perform so much, but I swear it has not been planned. Yet, what I have learned from her fellow performances at Webster Hall and OZY Fusion Fest is that she does not falter. She always provides a magnificent, heartfelt performance. Her live performance elevates her recorded one to an a space of cosmic power. No matter what time or space, she is universally a vocal queen. In seeing her give another wondrous rendition of Nina Simone as she always does or manage to make Rise Up sound vocally unique to this particular night sky, I realized Andra Day represented everything that BRIC stands for: soul.
Whether it was Gregory Porter or Jon Batiste, each BRIC artist was unique not simple fro each other from most of the music industry because their lyrics and performance were strictly from their heart. It makes sense that BRIC would choose singers and musicians that feel music like it were their own heartbeat. This non-profit runs free cultural programming in Brooklyn with the idea that the arts should be spread amongst humanity to spread more humanity. It is a beautiful notion that made me understand the lineups of it concerts. Andra Day was opened by Son Little and Gates, two other rising musicians that have embodied music is an art, and for that reason it must come from and further culture.
While Andra Day covered songs and did her originals, I was struck by her artistry and how my summer had moved me to encounter many artists that saw music as spiritual awakener. She, like those before her, represented a youthfulness that was timeless because it was based in virtue. Whether she sang for justice, peace, understanding, unity, and happiness, it all culminated into the essence of what music should be and what BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn had shown me; music is love.