When it comes to music, our corner of Brooklyn has so much to offer. From classical to jazz, country to electronic, there’s something for everyone. In my time working at Element in Carroll Gardens and living in Cobble Hill, I have been amazed at the number of places where you can see incredible live performances within walking distance, or just a couple stops away! Here is a short guide to some of neighborhood favorites:
An unassuming former coffee barge floats underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, docked to Pier 1. You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but from April through December, the barge is home to an extensive series of world-class chamber music performances. On Saturdays at 4pm, there is a series called “Music in Motion,” a free, family-friendly performance, with a surprise program. It could be anything from solo piano, to guitar and flute, to a string quartet. The regular, ticketed concerts only last about an hour, and, on the weekends they start as early at 6pm– the perfect way to begin a night out!
Public Records, which opened on Butler Street in Gowanus just a few months ago, is one of the most exciting new venues for experimental electronic music. Consisting of a sound room, a bar, and a vegan cafe, its aim is to be an all-day community space, not just a nightclub. It is well worth a visit during the day to sip a coffee and listen to records. Or go late at night to dance and enjoy the sounds from the world’s most interesting and daring DJs.
Speaking of daring and experimental — Pioneer Works in Red Hook has been supporting the work of the city’s most cutting-edge musicians since it opened its doors in 2012. To give you a sense, here’s a selection from the description of a show called “DECODER”, coming up in July: “broken media hallucinations, living text cutup, and full frequency psychedelia spun from mangled audio tape.” Well-worth a visit if you’re looking to experience something entirely new!
Jalopy Theater and School of Music
Jalopy Theater, nestled in a corner between Columbia St Waterfront District, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook, hosts a broad range of concerts from mostly local musicians and performers. A couple of upcoming shows include: “Cajun Dance Night,” “Dharma Bums,” and “An Exceedingly Good Song Night.” There are also open mic nights, where amateur musicians can share with the world. In this small and friendly venue, there’s a comforting sense of community.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! FestivalWhat better place to see live music in the summer than Prospect Park? BRIC’s “Celebrate Brooklyn!” festival is now in its 40th year of bringing top-notch free programming to the park. It’s an eclectic, appealing mix — jazz, classical, indie, hip-hop, rock, and more. Some of the upcoming July highlights are Mick Jenkins, Gaby Moreno, and Broken Social Scene.
Originally from upstate New York, Clara moved to Brooklyn in the spring of 2017 to finish her undergraduate degree and pursue her passions for architectural restoration, music composition, and visual art. She works as a receptionist at Element. In her free time, Clara likes to explore new neighborhoods, go to museums, and play the piano.