This year was the 50th anniversary of the Washington Square Music Festival. Outdoor music festivals are one of the great summer pleasures and we are privileged in New York City to have such stable of talented musicians who are willing to participate.
The annual concert series is free and typically takes place over four Tuesday evenings in July. This year's was five concerts culminating in last night's concert with a jazz program - the Charles Mingus Orchestra playing the jazz of Charles Mingus.
Seating is provided on a first come basis, but the music can be easily enjoyed standing or sitting in nearby benches. The atmosphere is informal.
Of course there are distractions with many other people and activities nearby, but that is the remarkable thing in this city - how great things can coexist and people can selectively enjoy a particular activity. Tuning out and tuning in is a necessary and acquired skill. Outdoor and street activities are not for pampered individuals who want their culture in a more controlled environment - for those, we have wonderful concert halls and performance venues. So here is to the streets and parks of NYC - tune out, tune up and tune in ...