Jazz Under the Stars: A Benefit Concert for ArtsWestchester to Restart the Arts

Above photo: City Square Park (courtesy of Ginsburg Development Companies), Right photo: Ravi Coltrane (photo source: ravicoltrane.com)

[Editor’s Note: This article was initially written and published with the event’s September 9 date, which was postponed. The article now reflects the new date of the event, October 7.]

For the full JazzFest White Plains lineup, visit artsw.org/jazzfest and follow #WPjazzfest.

City Square, a cameo-toned cluster of buildings in downtown White Plains, is home to both businesses and residences. This month, it will also be the outdoor locale for jazz great Ravi Coltrane as he plays a JazzFest White Plains benefit concert for ArtsWestchester.

Guests to the October 7 Jazz’n ARTSBASH event will see Coltrane play under the stars from the private two-acre rooftop park at the center of the City Square complex. The event, in addition to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, will include two sets of music by the musician and his quartet. Coltrane, a Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist, bandleader and composer, has released six albums as a leader and founded independent record label RKM. He also presides over important reissues of recordings by his parents, John and Alice Coltrane.

Music lovers who step out to experience Coltrane’s master jazz improvisations will also find that City Square is a destination for a well-orchestrated collection of contemporary artworks by regional artists. Tours of this art collection, which is a collaboration between ArtsWestchester and Ginsburg Development Companies, will also be available for benefit concert ticketholders.

Before even entering the event space, guests are greeted by Fragment of Something Bigger, a monumental sculpture by Georgi Minchev. The structure is located by the entrance of 50 Main Street, one of three buildings – along with 1 Martine Avenue and 11 Martine Avenue – that comprise the City Square property, which is owned by Ginsburg Development Companies. The 18-foot teardrop sculpture sits slightly askew, as if caught in motion. It features a highly polished stainless steel surface that is constantly changing in response to its surrounding. Time of day, weather and passersby will make each encounter feel different from the one before.

Inside on the second floor, visitors can view a diverse installation of works by artists Stefan Radtke, Paul Greco, Raymond Saa, Eric David Laxman, Steve Rossi, Susan Manspeizer, Peri Schwartz, Morgan McAllister, Kiyoshi Otsuka and Carrie Belk. Many of the pieces, either in form or subject, offer a nod to the concept of construction. For instance, White Plains artist Susan Manspeizer revisited old paintings, shredding them into thin, colorful strips of paper and reconstructing them into kinetic, multidimensional forms.

Raymond Saa’s bold paintings are layered abstract forms, built from cut canvas shapes, that are stitched together into unified compositions.

Steve Rossi’s Reciprocal Ladder for Three adds a moment of whimsy: finished in bright joyful shades of teal, the assemblage of ladders stands on its own, going nowhere but offering the promise of reaching new heights.

Nearby is a pair of jewel-toned encaustic works by Carrie Belk. The surface pulls away to reveal layers of built pigment and fabric revealing the artist’s process.

The recreation room is enlivened with a series of paintings by Paul Greco that have a musical quality to them. Organic shapes reference biology and celestial forms. These shapes are arranged in compositions that evoke the experimental yet structured quality of a jazz improvisation – the perfect fit for a night of Ravi Coltrane, who was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of “Best Improvised Jazz Solo Performance.”

Ravi Coltrane (photo credit: Michael Weintrob)


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A version of this article first appeared in the September issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support, to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations, and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue.

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