My Secret Bandshell By The Sea at KBCC

Occidental Band at Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach

Imagine this: the open air, cool summer breezes, sun setting into darkness, great music, space to kick up my feet and dance, and a chairs to sit on for some rest. But it doesn’t end there, there was refreshment available for just a couple of dollars and parking for free!

Now, imagine, you have the venue practically to yourself and there is excellent music playing in the background. Who are you, some music executive on a palatial estate? Well, not exactly.

Instead, you’re just an average joe, like lil’ old me, who took the effort to go to Kingsborough Community College for one of the summer concerts that was threatened by rain.

I wasn’t going to tell anyone that I went to the concert, simply because I was hoping to make the Kingsborough Community College bandshell my own private concert venue during future events — but it is utterly selfish of me and the couple of hundred others who enjoyed  music under the stars to keep it to ourselves.

The night I went, the Occidental Brothers, known as “Dance Band International”, played their hearts out. With their energetic Central and Western African tunes and very danceable beats, the unassuming band from Chicago entertained the small crowd as if there were thousands in the audience.

It was truly a beautiful experience listening to music under the stars and near the ocean, and although the threat of rain was what kept the throngs away, it didn’t show up in time for the concert.

Kingsborough is having its final summer concert this Saturday, and although I got lured away from swinging with The Danny Repole Swing Band and doing the two-step with The Red Stick Ramblers at this past weekend’s concerts,  I am definitely not going to miss the rousing klezmer and Gypsy music.

On Saturday, July 25th, Gadji-Gadjo will be playing the fanciful music that the Jewish World of New York described as “Jewish music without the Jews”. Check out the Quebecers’ website and their myspace page for a sample of this fun music.  Then, start practicing your steps and plan to show them off at my secret bandshell by the sea.

If there is a threat of rain, it’s even better, because there’ll be room to spread out on the dance floor. Plus, you’ll be glad I didn’t keep this my little secret.


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