Eyal Vilner’s Big Band gave an unexpected concert in Washington Square Park. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)
BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Conductor Eyal Vilner recently reunited the band members and compiled the charts for a “impromptu” and delightful concert in Washington Square Park, giving park visitors a brief sense of normalcy.
Washington Square Park is usually no shortage of musical entertainment as regulars set up drums and other instruments at the south end of the fountain, or ad hoc bands perform near the arch or along the east walkways. or west. The presence of musicians in the park has dimmed during the pandemic, but the band has helped bring soft sounds back to the green spaces.
Heading east from the Plaza, saxophonists sat on park benches and performed, backed by standing musicians playing trumpets and trombones. There was also bass, guitar and drums.
Eyal Vilner’s Big Band typically performs outdoors at Lincoln Center, Summer Stage and jazz clubs around the city. The pandemic has frustrated musicians across the city as festival concerts have been canceled with strict social distancing and capacity guidelines in place.
But Washington Square Park listeners showed a lot of appreciation, contributing to the case of “tipping the band” while these musicians do what they want to do – play.