Archive for the Nature Category

Sakura Matsui Cherry Blossom Festival 2013 @ Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Posted in Events, Nature, New York City, Photography on May 7, 2013 by Jesse Zryb


click here for picture from last year’s festival. . . 









New York Botanical Garden’s 2013 Orchid Show

Posted in Art, Events, Nature, New York City, Photography on April 22, 2013 by Jesse Zryb

















Nemo in NYC

Posted in Nature, New York City, Photography on February 11, 2013 by Jesse Zryb

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Jazz & Colors Festival

Posted in Concerts, Events, Music, Nature, New York City, OurVinyl, Review on November 14, 2012 by Jesse Zryb

from . . . 
The sights of Central Park are amongst the most recognizable and stirring imagery that New York City has to offer. The winding paths, open meadows, and bodies of water that are contained within the 843 acres are opportunities for escape from the bustling city that surrounds it. This past Saturday, all of these sites were provided with one unified soundtrack – 30 different jazz groups spread throughout the park, each of them playing one setlist of 18 standards relating to time and place; that being Autumn and New York.

The Jazz & Colors Festival, which was conceived by Peter Shapiro (owner of Brooklyn Bowl and newly re-opened Capital Theater and former owner of famed Jam-band venue, Wetlands), presents us with a unique way to experience both music and Central Park itself. One of the major inspirations for this festival was The Gates, a public art project that placed over 7,500 brightly colored arches throughout the park that literally highlighted the serpentine paths and immersed spectators in their surroundings. Jazz & Colors replaced the visual stimuli from The Gates with jazz flowing from station to station. Within a few minutes, one could walk from the Merchants Gate at the Southeast corner of the park; just steps away from Broadway and the Time Warner Center, to the secluded Pinebank Arch with orange leaves on the ground and not a skyscraper in site. During this walk you could hear Thelonius Monk’s “Straight No Chaser,” first in a straightforward manner by the Wayne Escoffery Quartet and then a more funked up interpretation by Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad.

The text on the top of the map for Jazz & Colors read “CREATE YOUR OWN CONCERT EXPERIENCE,” which was most certainly the mantra for the day. With 30 bands spread across 6 miles of trails and a playlist of only 4 hours, it was a given that you would likely not be able to see all of the acts. Unlike most festivals where you view a schedule prior to the event and attempt to map out your course; here people were encouraged to just wander and go out their own pace. It was very much a self-guided tour where people could choose to take a seat for an entire set, or, if they had the energy, traverse the park for a number of hours.

Much like The Gates, Jazz & Colors was also truly a public event. It’s difficult to gauge how many people came specifically for the music since all the venues were spread across the park, but there were tons of people who were simply at the park to enjoy a pleasant day and happened to stumble upon world class musicians at every turn. Joggers and bikers were seen taking longer than usual to catch their breaths and generally seemed delighted when they took out their headphones and tuned in to the music being created around them. It was also a fine day for several of the bustlers who generally set-up shop in the park anyway as they found an even larger audience than usual of people willing to stop and listen.

The sites of course were of a great importance and this festival did a great job of educating you as your musical journey continued. Blurbs were written up for each of the 30 stations, telling you a little bit about their significance. The range of characteristics that each specific site had was one of the factors that made this day so enjoyable. This was an escape in it’s purest sense, with all of your senses being overwhelmed in the greatest possible way. To describe just one setting or one performance in depth almost does injustice to this festival as a whole. With so much to take in, we can only hope that the Jazz & Colors Festival returns next year for another chance.

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First Set (12:00 – 1:30)

  • “Straight No Chaser” – Thelonious Monk, 1951

  • “Take The A Train” – Billy Strayhorn, 1939

  • “Central Park West” – John Coltrane,

  • “Nature Boy” – Eden Ahbez, 1947

  • “Fall” – The Miles Davis Quartet, 1967

  • “Autumn Serenade” – Johnny Harman / John Coltrane, 1963

  • “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” – Charles Mingus, 1959

  • “Manhattan” – Rodgers and Hart, 1925

  • “Blue Train” – John Coltrane, 1957

    Intermission (1:30 – 2:30)

  • Featuring Jazz & Colors Rising Stars Soloist Contest Winners,

    Second Set (2:30 – 4:00)

  • “Scrapple From The Apple” – Charlie Parker, 1947

  • “The Blues Walk” – Clifford Brown and Max Roach, 1955

  • “Body and Soul” – Louis Armstrong, 1930

  • “Skating in Central Park” – John Lewis, 1959

  • “Rhythm-A-Ning” – Thelonious Monk, 1957

  • “Peace” – Ornette Coleman, 1959

  • “Nostalgia in Times Square” – Charles Mingus, 1960

  • “Autumn in New York” – Vernon Duke, 1934

  • “Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z & Alicia Keys, 2009


List Of Bands

Clockwise from 110th and Central Park West: Chris Dingman Quartet, Jason Marshall Quartet with Hilary Gardner, Kirk Knuffke/Jesse Stacken Duo with Bill Goodwin, Marika Hughes and Bottom Heavy, Kevin Hays Trio, JC Hopkins Quintet, Jamie Baum Quintet, Marc Cary Quartet, Roy Campbell Tazz Quartet, Sharel Cassity Quintet, Mingus Big Band, JD Allen Quartet, Jacques Schwartz-Bart Quartet with Stephanie McKay, Kahlil Kwame Bell, Bob Stewart Quintet, Kimberly Thompson Quartet, Wayne Escoffery Quartet with Carolyn Leonhart, Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad, Yes! Trio (Aaron Goldberg, Omer Avital, Ali Jackson), Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars, Doug Wamble Quartet, Joel Harrison Quintet, Mike Mo Quartet, Jason Kao Hwang Trio, ELEW, Claire Daly Quartet, Gregoire Maret, Yosvany Terry Quartet, The Klezmatics, Mitch Frohman’s Latin-Jazz Quartet.

The Design of Googa Mooga

Posted in Architecture, Concerts, Design, Events, Music, Nature, New York City, OurVinyl, Photography, Review on May 23, 2012 by Jesse Zryb

from . . .

When Frederick Law Olmstead designed Prospect Park in the 19th Century, it’s hard to imagine that he envisioned metallic flame-throwing pigs, 30’ tall wedding cakes, or a Big Gay Ice Cream Party; but alas, this was the sight at the first ever Great Googa Mooga this past weekend. Located in the rolling green meadows of the Nethermead in the center of the park, this festival offered an escape from the city unlike any other. It was produced by the very people who brought the entire landscape of music festivals to what we know today.

Superfly Presents is the team responsible for Bonnaroo and Outside Lands as well as the JazzFest late night shows in New Orleans, which propelled them forward and helped establish them in the music scene. They are in a large part responsible for the growth of music festivals as a platform to seeing all of your favorite artists.  With Googa Mooga, they are hoping to do to food and drink what they did with music – make it the star and main attraction. That’s not to say that music is being thrown to the curb here; the servings are just being reshuffled and offered in a new way.

To help bring this vision to life; Superfly turned to architecture and design firm Rockwell Group and their years of experience in the restaurant industry and other hospitality and entertainment ventures. Rockwell Group’s fascination with immersive environments and creating human connections made them the leading candidate for this kind of role with the green pastures of Olmstead ripe for a drastic makeover. In their 2006 publication Spectacle, Rockwell Group documented temporary gatherings of all kinds such as the Olympics, Worlds Fairs, Burning Man, and circuses identifying some of the major attributes (Big, Bold, Brief, Connections, Transformations, Immersion) which led to the lasting memories and impacts that such events have. With Googa Mooga, there was an opportunity to apply these principles to a new festival and to identify and establish the brand that is to be for years. Continue reading

Photos from the Great Googa Mooga

Posted in Concerts, Design, Events, Music, Nature, New York City, OurVinyl, Photography on May 21, 2012 by Jesse Zryb

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden Spring 2012

Posted in Nature, New York City, Photography on April 30, 2012 by Jesse Zryb

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