Jazz and Colors brings Central Park a swinging soundtrack

Jazz and Colors
This coming Thursday, in addition to the beautiful changing leaves and the crisp feeling of autumn, Central Park goers will be treated to music by thirty different ensembles spread out throughout the park. They’ve all been given the same set list with songs by Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Billy Strayhorn, Dizzy Gillespie and more. The idea being that as you move throughout the park you’ll experience a seamlessly shifting soundtrack. This beautiful idea is called Jazz and Colors and it’s sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The music starts at noon on Thursday, November 7th and goes all the way to 4pm. It just so happens, we’re giving a park tour during the concert… bonus! But even if you don’t join us, head over to the park. It’s going to be magical.

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Bethesda Terrace musicians asked to quiet down

Bethesda Fountain
Bethesda Terrace in Central Park

Central Park has always been home to musicians and street performers but New York City’s Parks Department recently designated one of the park’s most popular spots for performers a Quiet Zone which makes it against the law to play a musical instrument or amplified sound. Police have already issued tickets and some performers feel their first amendment rights are being violated.

Vicki Karp, a spokeswoman for the Parks Department, explains that musicians can use other parts of the park but that they should get used to sharing the space.

“Parks are one of the few places you can come and hear the soothing sounds of nature — bird songs, falling water, the wind in the leaves, human conversation,” she wrote in an e-mail. “It is not that we are not allowing music or loud sound. It is that we are also allowing quiet, which isn’t automatic in this city.”

There have been some speculations that Central Park may soon have a dining area below Bethesda Terrace and that this is the reason for the sound regulation.

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John Lennon’s 70th Birthday Celebrated in Central Park

Strawberry Fields in Central Park
Lennon Tribute in Central Park

Thousands of fans from all over the world gathered Saturday in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields to sing Beatles songs on John Lennon’s 70th birthday.

“His music speaks to people of any nation, any age, and that’s why I think so many young people now who never would have known him still find him so appealing,” said Karen Kriendler Nelson, 69, who lives nearby and often visits the mosaic that spells out Lennon’s song “Imagine.”

Police put up barracades to contain the fans as they layed down flowers, sang and shared a message of peace.

“The values Lennon defended are still alive,” said Joan Acarin, a 41-year-old attorney from Barcelona. “It’s the idea that we do not have to fight wars.”

Lennon was shot across the street from Central Park in 1980. Strawberry Fields was subsequently named for and dedicated to him.

Quotes courtesy of the Associated Press.

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