Art + Culture

Piano Play

Picnic tables, free Wifi … a piano? Our newest addition to the Archway invites you to tickle the ivories, courtesy of Sing for Hope, a New York City-based arts nonprofit that’s placing 50 artist-designed pianos in public spaces across the five boroughs through June 21. The goal? Encourage artists from all walks of life to create daily spontaneous concerts that unite neighborhoods around the shared gift of music and art.

Our beautiful piano, titled “Reflection/Transformation,” is Dreamscapes Ink creation by artist Jessica Browne-White. Of her piano, Jessica says “it is my hope that the piano will capture some of the fluidity, joy and strangeness of reflection and transformation: of seeing ourselves and our surroundings in another context.”

To celebrate our baby grand, the DUMBO Improvement District is hosting a series of casual concerts on weekdays at 1pm:

  • Monday, June 8 at 1pm: Jazz improvisations with Dan Edinberg of The Stepkids
  • Wednesday, June 10 at 1pm: “Love Songs to Summer in the City” with Deidre Rodman Struck. Struck has performed on Roy Nathanson’s Fire at Keaton’s Bar and Grill, featuring vocalists Elvis Costello and Debbie Harry. Costello, with whom Struck appeared on The Conan O’Brien Show, deemed her “a wonderful pianist and delicate composer with a truly unique voice”. Currently a Teaching Artist for Carnegie Hall, she has worked with Natalie Merchant, The Bacon Brothers, Nancy King, and has three jazz records on the Sunnyside label.
  • Thursday, June 11 at 1pm: Bach, Chopin, and classical works by Mexican and South American composers with Ana Alfonsina Mora Flores. Flores came to New York from Mexico in 2012 to pursue graduate studios in piano performance at Brooklyn college, and is the recipient of the Seymour and Sylvia Rothchild Memorial Scholarship for outstanding achievements. She has studied with Esperanza Sanchez, Misa Ito, Giuseppe Lupis, Violetta Zabbi and Jeffrey Biegel. In 2013, she began a collaboration with the Latin American Piano and Song Festival, and is currently on staff at Distinguished Concerts International New York.
  • Saturday, June 13 at 1pm: Solo piano by Brandon Sturiale. Inspired by artists like Jim Brickman and David Lanz, Brandon’s solo piano compositions are melodic and evocative.
  • Monday, June 15 at 1pm: Solo piano by highly praised, and award-winning pianist, Jason Stoll. Jason has performed solo in Manhattan, Toronto, Aspen, California, and Dublin. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School and has recently received an Artist Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
  • Tuesday, June 16 at 1pm: Classical rock hits & tunes from your favorite movies with Heather Briere. Briere is an avid music and arts education activist who creates and produces innovative, interactive, and intergenerational performances. She has designed educational programs of all musical genres for Carnegie Hall that have been performed all over the world with such greats as: the New York Pops with The Muppets and John Tartaglia, Falu with John Popper, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Natalie Merchant, Regina Carter, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and many others. A pianist and composer, Briere is attempting to play all 50 Sing for Hope pianos in NYC! Check out her daily updates on Twitter at @HeatherBriere.
  • Wednesday, June 17 at 1pm: Free, ten minute piano lessons provided by DUMBO’s Absolute Piano. Stop by and sit in! All skill levels are welcome.
  • Thursday, June 18 at 1pm: Free, ten minute piano lessons provided by DUMBO’s Absolute Piano. Stop by and sit in! All skill levels are welcome.

Plus, our Live at the Archway performers on June 11 (Cuban mother-son duo) and June 18 (salsa lessons + práctica) will make use of the baby grand as well!

Don’t be shy, DUMBO! Tap into your inner Beethoven and play the piano any time you want! Despite the rumbling overhead trains, Archway acoustics are pretty stellar.

PS – You can also find Sing for Hope pianos nearby in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Fort Greene Park. Click here for a map of piano locations across the five boroughs.