Coming Up: The Next Summer Jazz and Blues Concert with Pat Loomis in Library Park on Tuesday, August 2, at 6:30 PM, Themed “Heritage: A Celebration of the Great American Songbook”
After the fantastic opening concert by jazz and blues group Pat Loomis and Friends on July 12 in Library Park, you may be ready for the second in the series of four. It will take place Tuesday, August 2 at 6:30 PM, with Pat Loomis, alto sax; Scott Aruda on trumpet; Antonio Loomis, guitar; Steven Higgs, piano; Dave Zox, bass; and Dave Fox on drums. The theme is Heritage: A Celebration of the Great American Songbook. FOSEL has ordered the same perfect weather. And fresh watermelon will be sliced for the thirsty.
The final two concerts, titled Grits ‘N Gravy: A Soulful Evening of Jazz and Blues (August 9) and Let’s Groove Tonight: A funky Jazz Party with Ivory Jones and White Chocolate (August 23), will showcase the Loomis musicians with Rusty
Scott, organ and Benny Benson, drums playing on August 9. On August 23, we will hear the Loomises and vocalist Sara Soulchild, as well as two other vocalists who are also instrumentalists, Ivory Jones, alto-sax, and Jimmy Dow-Dow, keyboard. They will be accompanied by Stevie Q, bass; Tommy Bounce, drums; Thunderfoot, percussion; AND…special surprise guests…
Concerts in Library Park are free and sponsored by The Friends of the South End Library (that means you!) and the BPL’s South End branch. We thank the Ann H. Symington Foundation for their generous grant to FOSEL to bring music to Library Park. There will be limited seating so bring your own chair if you can. We serve fresh sliced watermelon. Restrooms are available inside the library. The South End branch is fully handicapped accessible. We thank the Boston Parks Department for their continued efforts to make the park shine.
The First of Four Themed Summer Jazz and Blues Concerts With Pat Loomis and His Friends Is Scheduled For Tuesday, July 12, at 6:30 PM in Library Park, With Music Inspired By “Chameleon: The Many Musical Moods of Herbie Hancock”
Yes, it must be summer because the first of four themed jazz-and-blues concerts with Pat Loomis and his ever-changing band of stellar musicians will happen on Tuesday, July 12 at 6:30 PM in Library Park. The evening’s theme is Chameleon: The Many Musical Moods of Herbie Hancock. Pat Loomis alto sax will take over the park with, on his side, his son Antonio Loomis on guitar. In addition, there are the fabulous drummer, Zeke Martin; Joshua Sutherland of the Berklee City Music Network on keys; and Berklee student Daniel Day on bass.
The next three performances are scheduled for Tuesdays in August, namely the second, the ninth and the twenty-third, with between seven and nine musicians for the final night, including three vocalists. The specifics are:
Heritage: A Celebration of the Great American Songbook, with Pat Loomis on alto sax; Scott Aruda on trumpet; Antonio Loomis, guitar; Steven Higgs, piano; Dave Zox, bass; and Dave Fox on drums. Tuesday, August 2.
Let’s Groove Tonight: A Funky Dance Party With Ivory Jones and White Chocolate, featuring Ivory Jones, alto saxophone and vocals; Antonio Tha Great, guitar; Sarah Soulchild, vocals; Jimmy Dow-Dow, keyboard and vocals; Stevie Q, bass; Tommy Bounce, drums; Thunderfoot, percussion; AND…special surprise guests…Tuesday, August 23rd.
The concerts are free and sponsored by The Friends of the South End Library (that means you!) and the BPL’s South End branch. We thank the Ann H. Symington Foundation for their generous grant to FOSEL to bring music to Library Park. There will be limited seating so bring your own chair if you can. We serve fresh sliced watermelon. Restrooms are available inside the library. The South End branch is fully handicapped accessible.
South End Library’s Window Project Initiative Is On Its Fourth Installation, Now Featuring an Illustration of Library Park’s Award-winning LightWells, Recently Beautified by the UrbGardens Landscape Firm As A Gift to the Neighborhood
The FOSEL initiative to use the windows of the library window as a showcase for local artists, non-profits and creative entrepreneurs currently features an illustration and explanation of the two groundwater/filtration LightWells that became part of Library Park last year. Michelle Laboy, assistant professor of architecture and urban planning at Northeastern, created the LightWell project with her associates Seth Wiseman and Joshua Fiedler. It was one of the winners of the Walsh administration’s 2014 Public Space Invitational competition.
For Laboy, a Chester Square resident, the solar-powered LightWells inspire several interpretations: as an art object, a seat, a planter, a light fixture, and a vegetated dry well for storm-water infiltration. The LightWells light up at night as a softly glowing art object with the energy collected by solar receptors installed on the library’s roofs during the day. The window installation also shows an LED-lit version of the LightWells, which were enthusiastically approved for Library Park by the South End’s Landmark Commission. Two weeks ago, local landscape company UrbGardens generously planted and landscaped around their two locations in the park as a gift to the library and the neighborhood. A previous, and equally generous donation of plantings and landscaping by Mahoney’s Garden Center fell victim to a harsh winter followed by a summer of drought.
Since it was initiated by FOSEL board member Karen Watson, an interior designer by profession, the Window Take-over project has brightened one of the many attractive window spaces in the library’s building that was originally designed in the late 1960s by the prominent architectural firm, Mitchell Giurgola. The first installation was a whimsical one of kites made of newspapers and construction tape, called Throwing Caution to the Wind. A local artist specializing in wire sculptures, Will Corcoran, took over the library windows in April and May with creations based on the tales of the Grimm Brothers and Edgar Allan Poe.
The wire sculptures were followed by a cheerful and spring-like display of summer dresses and books put together by local entrepreneur Caroline Leed. Her on-line business, Smiling Button, features girls’ garb based on what is worn by characters in children’s books. Leed donated a percentage of her dresses’ June sales to the Reading Is Fundamental charitable foundation.
FOSEL is currently finalizing the guidelines for the project, working closely with head librarian, Anne Smart. The key element is that the exhibits are informative about the library, its mission, and the community it serves. FOSEL board members are working on several potential installations of various themes, including the subject of urban birding, and how children acquire foreign language skills, among other things. All inquiries are most welcome and should be directed to Anne Smart at the South End library. Copies of the guidelines will be available at the circulation desk as soon as they are completed.
Bucking a Less-than-stellar Performance by Search Firm Spencer Stuart, the Library Board Chose Interim President David Leonard as the BPL’s New Head, Serendipitously Picking Someone Who May Have Been the Best Candidate to Begin With
After a public process that included about a dozen citywide “listening sessions” and many hours of work spent by the well-connected 14-member search committee appointed by Mayor Marty Walsh, the Spencer Stuart executive search firm tasked with finding the best new BPL president can factually claim it delivered. Never mind that David Leonard already was the interim president who nimbly had taken over a year ago from the tilting leadership boat captained by Amy Ryan and her stubborn defender, former Library Board chair, Jeff Rudman. Never mind that one of the two other candidates selected from more than a hundred applications, Andrea Sáenz, first deputy commissioner at the Chicago Public Library, dropped out on the eve of her public interview “for personal reasons.” Or that Spencer Stuart did not vet the other finalist, Jill Bourne, the city librarian of the San Jose (CA) Public Library, well enough to find out that actually moving to Boston would create “personal problems” preventing her from relocating. Or that, after Bourne was unanimously chosen for the job by the nine BPL trustees over Leonard, the city of San Jose would do all it could to keep their popular library director in town, including giving her a salary increase that could not be matched by Boston’s wage rules. Apparently, Spencer Stuart’s contract with the BPL was not paid for by taxpayers’ funds. Martha Stewart would have called that “a good thing.”
Leonard, a longtime South End resident who took on the interim presidency at one of the lowest points in the BPL’s relationships with its branches, staff and Friends groups, has by many accounts been “a breath of fresh air.” He’s been more accessible than the previous leadership, and was already well-versed in the operations side of the BPL, where he started as chief technology officer in 2009. He has overseen the $78 million renovation of the Johnson Building, due to open on Saturday, July 9, as well as branch improvement projects, including the ongoing construction of the Jamaica Plain branch, expected to be completed in 2017. Reports from the BPL fundraising scene hold that he seems comfortable and effective in that setting, having recently obtained several private grants for library projects. He mentioned during his candidate’s interview that his partner works in the philanthropic arena, as well. Leonard’s reports to the public meetings of BPL trustees in the last year have been informative, comprehensive and well organized (FOSEL attends most of them). In his seven years at the BPL, Leonard has also served as both the acting director of administration & finance and separately as acting chief financial officer. He recently began a PhD program in Library Information Science at Simmons College.
During his presentation to the Library Board in May, Leonard described himself as an immigrant from Dublin, Ireland, an only child and the first one among his cousins to attend college. As a young gay man, before Ireland’s Reconciliation and economic boom, he experienced firsthand the power a library’s safe space holds for someone like him who is “trying to work out who you are.” Developing non-municipal funding sources for the BPL and collaborating productively with the community, staff and various other public groups are among his top goals, he said. In response to Library Board members’ questions, Leonard cited the lack of appropriate processes at the BPL and inattention to environmental concerns as contributing to the calamitous events of 2015. He said he learned, especially in regard to procedures, how little had actually been written down. This does not lend itself to accountability or knowledge transfer and is “ironic” in a library, he commented. Diversity in programming and in staffing was another subject the trustees broached: Leonard said that issues of race, diversity and inclusion had not been tackled “systematically” at the BPL but that “conversations and corrective measures around diversity will soon begin.”
It must have been awkward for the Library Board to have to ask a candidate they did not vote for as their first choice to please take the job after all, but Leonard was as gracious in defeat as in victory. When the trustees selected Jill Bourne over him, he called it “a great choice.” When they turned to him after Bourne declined to accept the top post, Leonard said he was “thrilled, humbled and honored” to become the library’s new president.
Summer Arrived in Library Park for Pre-schoolers, With Musician David Polansky Entertaining a Happy Crowd of Kids, Nannies, Parents and Daycare Providers and Singing Songs about Spiders, Rabbits and Buses Going ‘Round and ‘Round
The South End has only six percent open space which may be why its parks are so treasured, even when the pavement is cracked and the weeds at times more prominent than plantings. Summer arrived in Library Park today when the first of a series of children’s events planned by the South End library staff kicked off with a much-appreciated return by musician David Polansky. The performance, one of the many sponsored by the Friends of the South End Library, was attended by some forty children accompanied by parents, nannies and teachers, and elicited enthusiastic sing-along responses and curious investigations by young Southenders of instruments, stuffed animals used to illustrate songs, and other props.
Other programs for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers coming up are:
*Sing and Dance Along with Little Groove, a Boston-based Music and Art Enrichment group, Mondays, June 20, July 18 and August 15 at 10:30 AM
*English-Spanish Story Time with Pine Village Preschool, a Boston Parents Paper Family Favorite Language Immersion program with songs, stories and crafts, Wednesdays June 15, August 17, September 21 at 10:30 AM.
*Jouvet Shortell and Spanish in Motion for pre-schoolers, Wednesdays, July 13, July 20 and July 27 at 10:30 AM
*A Music Concert for Pre-schoolers with the Community Music Center of Boston in Library Park, Wednesday, August 10 at 10:30 AM
All events are free. For further information, contact the South End library at 617 536-8241 or check their web site, linked here.