The other side of the tracks

Living in the City of Yonkers, located north of New York City (two stops past the northern Bronx commuter station of the Metro North Railroad also known as Riverdale), it is a large urban community that is a cross between city and suburban. In other words, there are both trees and tenements…

Anyway, not writing here to knock my domain (I can always save that for later), I reside in a building that fronts the Hudson River. Across  the water I can see the high cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades. Below my windows is the Yonkers Pier, a small island that serves as a mini  parking lot/waiting area for valet service (for Peter Kelly’s X2O restaurant over the pier), another newly opened seafood restaurant, and the  Yonkers amphitheatre.

Sitting beside the waters of the Hudson, this spot, along with the promenade that stretches between a sculpture garden on the southern end  to the Yonkers boat club on the north, is a welcome respite to the city streets only a few steps away on the other side of the commuter  railroad tracks. Mostly, this is a serene and tranquil panorama, but, on hot summer nights this can turn into a noisy pain…

But also on the Friday evenings of the summer, there is a series of musical events that have been well attended over the years, given the location on the water and the size of the amphitheatre. Yonkers offers the Jazz and Blues (& more) @ Dusk summer series on the pier every Friday night from 6:30 to 8:00. Running from July through early September, there have been an abundance of talent performing for the crowds – some well known artists and some not so well known. Several are born in Yonkers, and see this as a way to expand their fan base as well as giving something back to their community.

The opening series of the music fest featured the jazz flute of Yonkers’ own Carlos Jimenez and his Latin Jazz Band. Accompanied by Pete Nader on trumpet, George Martinez on congas, Lloyd Nilsen and others, these guys rocked the waterfront for ninety minutes with smooth jazz and latin beats. It was enough for several in the crowd to get up on their feet and spin on the promenade to their music..

Carlos Jimenez & the Latin Jazz Band kicks off the first performance of 2010 Jazz & Blues on the Hudson Summer Series at the Yonkers Waterfront.

Last Friday the Yonkers faithful were graced with the sultry sounds of Annette St. John and her band for week two of the summer series on the waterfront. A grand time was had by all, and despite the oppressive heat suffered by all during the week when temperatures in the region set record highs, we were pretty much relieved by the smetimes soft, sometimes brassy, vocal sounds coming from Ms. St. John as she and her band played beyond the scheduled 90 minutes as the sun went down behind the cliffs of the Jersey Palisades.

Sultry singer Annette St. John performs during week two the the Jazz & Blues @ Dusk on the Hudson River at the Yonkers Amphitheatre

Another summery Friday night on the other side of the tracks…