Public Library concerts tap local talent

Public Library concerts tap local talent

By Kiri Coakley, news correspondent

The Boston Public Library continues its 10-year tradition of free Concerts in the Courtyard this summer, curated by Adult Programs Librarian Rebecca Campbell. The McKim Courtyard, an outdoor space centered around a fountain and surrounded by Roman-style columns, will host the series of one-hour concerts.

“As acoustic artists, there’s something very special about intimate shows where everyone is sharing the experience and are very in-the-moment with you,” vocalist, guitarist and banjo player Holly McGarry of progressive folk group, Honeysuckle, said. “We love the [Boston Public Library], and it seemed like an exciting way to become more a part of the community surrounding the place. It’s such a beautiful courtyard, and we had a feeling that our music would fit well in that environment.”

The trio came together during the band’s time at Berklee College of Music and has gone on to play at venues around the country, including the 2015 Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. The musicians’ enthusiasm for Concerts in the Courtyard is bringing them back to perform in Boston on August 24, almost a month after their Lollapalooza 2016 performance.

“The goal of Concerts in the Courtyard is to provide free access to art and culture through a diverse range of music appealing to patrons of all ages and interests,” Campbell said. “The series also serves as a platform for both independent artists and local music organizations.”

The musical acts come from a variety of backgrounds and include genres including folk, jazz, rock and roll and blues. Campbell said musicians submit proposals in January to allow time for a selection process that curates a diversity of deserving talent

“I established a partnership with the Berklee College of Music for the Wednesday evening concerts,” Campbell said. “Friday afternoon concerts are reserved for independent artists and other local music organizations.”

Singer-songwriter Kristin Corpuz, who has played venues as far north as Maine and as far south as Philadelphia, plans on bringing a mix of originals and pop songs rearranged and mashed up to fit her personal style to her performance on August 29.

“The courtyard is so beautiful, and I feel like the environment is going to lend itself to a really different performance from my band and me,” Corpuz said. “I’m used to playing loud venues where people are ready to party, so getting to dial it back a little and just really enjoy being outside in the summertime is going to be the best part for me.”

Concerts will be held throughout the summer Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Fridays at 12:30 p.m. until Aug. 31. The Concerts in the Courtyard series will wrap up on Saturday, Oct. 1 with a performance by Castle of our Skins, a group aiming to celebrate Black artistry and empower citizens with cultural pride through and beyond music.

The full performance schedule can be found here.

Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library.

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