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Phantom Waves: Brooklynites invited to experimental concerts at Green-Wood Cemetery


ForumDaily New York

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The new Phantom Waves concert series will take place at Green-Wood Cemetery. The event organizers were inspired by the acoustics of the catacombs and the historical cemetery chapel, reports BrooklynPaper.


Green-Wood is a cemetery in Brooklyn founded in 1838. In 2006, it received official status as a national historical monument. Prominent politicians, cultural figures, military personnel, members of Masonic lodges and other celebrities are buried there.

The concerts are curated by singer-songwriter and Broadway star Gelsey Bell. Experimental artists push the boundaries of music with unique approaches to composition, vocals and instrumentation during performances in cemetery spaces.

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When will the concerts take place?

The concert series begins with performances by ElSaffar on April 24 and 25. 2 concerts are planned monthly until July.

You can buy tickets here. They cost $40 for the general public and $35 for Green-Wood members for 2 performances each night of the event. One concert starts at 18:30 and the other at 20:30.

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“It was an absolute honor and joy for me to curate this event,” Bell said. “Green-Wood’s facilities contain a unique sonic and historical reverberation unlike anything else in New York City.” All artists are invited here not only because of their incredible creativity and virtuosic abilities, but also because of their deep attention in the creative process to the sonic, emotional and spiritual characteristics of each space they inhabit.”

Artists featured on the project include trumpeter and Iraqi maqamist Amir El-Saffar, Bell herself and saxophonist Erin Rogers, as well as composer and vocalist Odeya Nini. Bell will perform with Sander Ganglani, Aviva Jay and Paul Pinto, as well as vibraphonist Levi Lorenzo, in musician and composer Darius Jones' final Samesoul Maker concert.

Bell said she was inspired by the curation.

“I find creativity in these spaces incredibly enriching. I’m very excited to share my work and see what joys all these artists have in store for the soul,” she explained.

Leaders of the historic Brooklyn Cemetery promise to eventually host additional concerts and performances this year.

“We are thrilled to launch a new concert series celebrating the cemetery’s historic chapels,” said Harry Weil, vice president of education and community programs for Green-Wood. “You won’t be able to see these performers together and hear these works anywhere else except in Green-Wood.”

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