FREE Kaissa concert, this Wednesday night!

 

As the sun goes down and the day begins to cool off on Wednesday, please join us out on the Plaza as Waterside turns into a joyous World Music Dance Party, starring the unique and electrifying music, vocals and dancing of Kaissa. 

Kaissa’s performances incorporate the sensibilities of African, reggae, jazz, R&B, makossa, and Brazilian traditions, and she comes by her international flavor honestly. Born in Cameroon, Kaissa  spent her teenage years in Paris, then toured all over Europe with multi-media artist Charlie Couture before coming to New York City in 1996. 

Since that time Kaissa has shared the stage and/or studio with the likes of Salif Keita, Manu Dibango, Kofi Olomide, Papa Wemba, Cesaria Evora, Martha Wash, Diana Ross, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Paul Simon. And if you were fortunate enough to catch the Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno tour a couple of summers ago, then you’ve seen Kaissa before, as she was one of the superb harmonizers (and dancers) that helped make those concerts the best of 2008. 

 

 

 

The free Kaissa concert is part of Waterside’s ongoing Music Under the Stars summer music festival, and will start at 7:00 this Wednesday, July 21, on the Plaza. Feel free to come early and bring food, beverages, family, friends, blankets, chairs, and, most important, a willingness to have a blast.  

Meet Danny Drexler, whose Funky Fritters play FREE this Wednesday night

Waterside’s ever-more-popular Music Under the Stars summertime music festival continues this Wednesday, July 14, with what’s certain to be a wild night, Mardis Gras style, when the Funky Fritters take to the Plaza for a lively night of NOLA-spiced blues, brass, funk, and jazz. The Funky Fritters are a jumping 11-piece band–including a full horn section–founded some seven years ago by Waterside’s own Danny Drexler. 

Needless to say, having done some time in the spirited, dreamy, and delicious city of New Orleans, we are more than a little excited about the Funky Fritters giving us all a free show on Wednesday night. The festivities begin at 7:00 p.m., and run a full two hours until 9:00, but get there early with family, friends, food, beverages, blankets, chairs and get ready to party! 

 

But before he gets us dancing on the Plaza, Danny was kind enough to answer a few questions about his music and the city that so inspires him and his band. The Funky Fritters CD, Deep Fried Live, is available for shipping or download at both Amazon and iTunes. For more information about all thins Funky Fritter, please see thwe ban’sd website, here. And now, Mr. Danny Drexler:  

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1. Your passion for the sounds and soul of New Orleans comes through loud and clear in the Funky Fritters music. Did you grow up in that (in our opinion, beautiful and amazing) city, or have you ever lived there?

No, I didn’t grow up there or live there. But a little over 15 years ago my sister’s boyfriend at the time insisted I join them for a trip down there to the Jazz Fest with his sister and friend. I had recalled that a bunch of coworkers went down about 5 years earlier for the Fest and raved about it. (I’m sorry i didn’t make it down there then!) Needles to say I instantly fell in love with New Orleans. Great music, food, culture. I love the French Quarter. The next year I went back again with some of my friends and within a few years I was leading a group of about friends people down there! I must have gone down to the Jazz Fest 9 years in a row. I even had a few job interviews and was open to the idea of moving there. it just never panned out.

2. It’s been a tough five-year run for New Orleans residents. Other than following the great NOLA chef Susan Spicer lead and suing BP for killing Gulf oysters and shrimps, any suggestions on how New Yorkers can help ease the pain a little down there?

Yeh, it’s been heartbreaking. I’ve recently been hooked on Treme, a great show on HBO about NOLA post Katrina. And I’m glad that you asked for my suggestions on ways we can help. For one thing, we can support the musicians down there by attending shows when they are in NYC. And buy their CD’s Supporting the music and the musicians is supporting New Orleans. Another way is to go back down there for a vacation. There are also many charities like the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund. We’ve personally been involved in a not-for-profit called Waterproof Soul, who is doing a lot of good work and dedicated to helping NOLA. They also work with another solid organization called Our school at Blair Grocery

 

 

3. Where do you go here in New York City when you need to get a taste–or, better yet, a feast!–of New Orleans, whether for food, drinks, music and/or fun?

Good question. And unfortunately, Scott, that reminds me of my two favorite places in NYC that are now long gone. Louisiana Community Bar & Grill & Tramps. But there are a few places that have some good NOLA food and music. For Music Sullivan Hall has NOLA Funk nights and a lot of NOLA acts on tour stop by there. Also BB Kings has both food and music. For food: Delta Grill Acme Bar & Grill and Dukes.

4. A free show on the Plaza is awesome (can’t wait, thank you very much), but we want more Funky Fritters! Where are you guys playing next? Any long-term recording and/or performing plans Fritter fans should know about?

Oh, you’re very welcome, Thanks for having us. We are looking forward to it. By the way, in case you didn’t know it I don’t have very far to travel to get down to the plaza for the show. I live in building 10! As for our next bunch of shows…you can catch us in Brooklyn in Park Slope at the Tea Lounge on Saturday July 24th. It a very cool spot and we play a good long show so we get to stretch out a bit. Then we are playing a party downtown at the Crash Mansion on August 6th. We’re taking a little summer break at that point to work on some new material and will be back at The Bitter End toward the end of September. We are in process of writing material which can be hear at our shows. Hopefully we’ll have recordings and a CD by early next year.

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See you on the Plaza, this Wednesday night, July 14, at 7:00, for Waterside’s free Funky Fritters show! 

Waterside’s Ultimate Golf Challenge II raises $100,000

If you looked out your window last Monday and saw golf balls soaring out over the river, that’d be Annika Sorenstam’s fault. And Briny Baird’s. And Don Vickery’s. Because in case you haven’t heard, this fun-loving, trick-shooting trio–an LPGA hall-of-famer, a PGA touring pro, and a PGA teaching pro/US veteran, respectively–were chipping from the 40-story rooftop of Waterside Plaza to a 30-foot bullseye out on the river. Yes, it was for charity, but they also had a blast.   

 

 

The full story: the family-friendly mega-chain of P.F. Chang’s China Bistros (there are none here in New York City, but millions everywhere else) sponsored this Ultimate Gold Challenge II, and Waterside supplied the venue, namely, our roof, and "our" river. From 40 stories up, Sorenstam (winner of an astonishing 72 LPGA events, including 10 majors), the sharp-shooting Baird (who nailed the target at P.F. Chang’s last Golf Challenge, at San Diego’s Petco Park), and Vickery (who, among his other accomplishments in life, was the first–and, so far, only–double-amputee awarded a Class A membership to the PGA) aimed at a bulls-eye bobbing in the river some 450 feet away. 

 

 

The results: amazingly, all three golfers hit the target, and so P.F. Chang’s will donate $100,000 to the intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a non-profit organization which supports the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families,  and the Annika Foundation, dedicated to teaching disadvantaged children how to live a healthy lifestyle. AND, if you’re so inclined, you and everyone else in America can get free lettuce wraps through the end of July. 

Anyway, this was a fun event that did some good and Waterside was pleased to play host to three such great golfers. To watch a video of the shots, please click through to YouTube here

Feel good, look great, SAVE 25%!

 

The offer is simple: buy one annual membership to Waterside’s terrific (and, of course, unbelievably convenient) Swim and Fitness Club, then get a second for a solid 25% off the regular price.

 

 

Your membership gives you total access, seven days a week, to the Swim and Fitness Club’s full array of prpgrams and equipment, including at least 20 weekly group classes (from the hardcore BodyPump to body/mind training of Yoga), a heated pool (with retractable roof!), and fully loaded Strength and Cardio rooms. 

 

For a full tour of the facilities and to get your Buy 1, Get 1 for 25% Off offer, simply stop by the Swim and Fitness Club anytime during the month of July, or call 212-340-4225 today! 

Coming up next Wednesday: Gregorio Uribe Big Band, free on the Plaza!

 

 

Gregorio Uribe plays what he knows… and what he knows is hot Latin beats, a passion for his native Colombia, a lifetime spent collecting bits of funk and jazz, and pure musical sabrosura, or tastiness. Add a fantastic 16-piece band–Uribe’s well-traveled crew of trumpets, trombones and saxes soaring over some truly first-rate percussion–and you have an excellent kick-off to Waterside Plaza’s free outdoor concert series, Music Under the Stars. 

 

 

The Gregorio Uribe Big Band goes on next Wednesday, July 7, at 7:00 (get there early, though, for free salsa lessons, starting at 6:00!), right in the Plaza. Uribe, his band, and his own, ever-present, accordion have played lots of high-profile gigs in the city, at the likes of Iridium, the Highline Ballroom, and the Zipper, as well as Boston’s great Regattabar, so we’re delighted that they’re coming to Waterside this summer, and for free!   

 

 

For a small sampling of the irresistible sounds of the Gregorio Uribe Big Band, check out their MySpace page, here. For a full head-bobbing, toe-tapping, get-up-and-DANCE feast, all you have to is show up at the Plaza next Wednesday night (bring a blanket, a chair, and all your friends and family!) and enjoy.