Past weekend, the annual Restoration Rocks Concert took place in Brooklyn. The event boasted live performances by the Brooklyn Philharmonic by the likes of Yassin, aka Mos Def, Idle Warship, Pharoahe Monch and more. Taking place in the middle of Fulton Street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, the concert is the kick-off celebration of Bed-Stuy Alive’s week-long festival which promotes the culture, commerce and community of Bed-Stuy. Tracey Capers, Executive Vice President of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration explained:
“Bed-Stuy is a wonderful, historic, beautiful community with a rich culture and we really want everyone to celebrate everything that Bed-Stuy has to offer.
We have a variety of programs to improve Bed-Stuy and Central Brooklyn, but also uplift the people. We’re really trying to build community and celebrate community. By lifting up the artists, we’re building up the community as well.”
Since Yassin is from the neighborhood and recently partnered with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, both parties collaborated with Restoration Rocks. With a series of community concerts to be held this week, their set was a preview of what performances can be expected at the Restoration Plaza. Capers continues:
“We realized there is so much indigenous, amazing talent in the community and we wanted to promote local artists from the neighborhood. Every year, the concert has grown and evolved and what we always try to do is have a combination of main stage artists as well as emerging talent in the community to perform. The goal is that all the artists have a tie to Bed-Stuy or Brooklyn.”
Yassin offered a reading of the “Coming Together” text, a letter written by an Attica inmate a year before he was killed in the uprising. Just before starting the piece, Mos Def dedicated the performance to Troy Davis, the prisoner who was executed amid much controversy in Georgia last month. You can watch some clips from Saturday's event here.
The orchestra plays another preview concert, featuring works by Yassin and Frederic Rzewski amongst others, on Wednesday at the Winter Garden, World Financial Center, West Street, south of Vesey Street, Lower Manhattan; (646) 397-2765, bphil.org.
Source: The New York Times