Eliot Schoolyard Concerts Events

Schoolyard Concerts

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We had a great run in 2022. We're already planning for 2023 and look forward to seeing you then.

Live Music in the Schoolyard, June through September

We present great live music all summer by Boston's own, Sunday afternoons at the Eliot Schoolyardr.

Bring your own seats. All are welcome (no dogs, please).

Admission free. Donations gratefully accepted. Your donations make it possible for us to break even – pay the musicians, curators, and audio engineer.


2023 CURATORS:  Ana Colón • Dunamis X Meraki • Brian Friedland • Hoopla Productions

AUDIO by Carlito Blu

2022 Concert Schedule

Scroll down for details

June 5: Shaw Pong Liu & Brian Friedland (violin & keyboard, improvisation & new compositions)

June 12: Niu Raza (Malagasy singer-songwriter + band)

June 19: Dis N Dat Band (neo-reggae)

June 26: Schoolyard Quartet: Lihi Haruvi, Brian Friedland, Keala Keala Kaumeheiwa & Jorge Perez-Albela (globally-inspired jazz)

July 10: Ava Sophia (soulful grooves)

July 17: Nadia Washington & Brian Friedland (soul, R&B, jazz)

July 24: Akili Jamal Haynes (Positive African Images)

July 31: YBH Trio (jazz trumpet & more)

August 7: Naomi Westwater (folk, jazz, soul, electro-pop)

August 14: Miguel Landestoy Trio (jazz)

August 21: Phil Sargent & Brian Friedland (boundary-pushing jazz)

August 28: Trio Let's Vamos (Brazilian forró)

September 18: Shavonne Brown (classic soul vocals)

September 25: Stan Strickland Trio (jazz & soul)

October 2 (rescheduled): John Williams Jam Band (movie music with a funky twist)



Concert Details

June 5: Shaw Pong Liu & Brian Friedland  Two dynamic composers create an afternoon combining free improvisation and compositions by each. Shaw Pong Liu (violin) engages communities in conversations through musical collaboration. Her work has addressed birdsong and healing, sunlight and warmth, healing and homicide, racism, and the police. Brian Friedland (piano), initiator of the Eliot Schoolyard Concerts, writes music that reflects his love of collaboration and musical diversity. For the opening concert of the series, we'll offer ice cream by JP Licks.

June 12: Niu Raza  Malagasy award winner and Boston-based singer-songwriter Niu Raza is known for her unique sound, a perfect blend between her traditional heritage and modern music. From Madagascar to Boston and around the globe, she has shared the stage with multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier, saxophonist Tia Fuller, and South Africa’s Vusi Mahlasela, and as a voice for Unicef Madagascar and an ambassador for Berklee City Music.

June 19: Dis N Dat Band  Formed in 1999 by 4-time Grammy-nominated Black Uhuru drummer 'Rangotan and 6-time steel pan champion Sista D, Dis N Dat incorporates Roots Reggae, Dance Hall, and R&B. Sounds of Jamaica and Trinidad rock the sounds of foundation reggae and steel pan. It’s Neo-Reggae, taking reggae to a whole new level while maintaining the foundation sound that so many fans love. In honor of Juneteenth/Father's Day we will offer ice cream by FoMu.

June 26: The Schoolyard Quartet: Lihi Haruvi, Brian Friedland, Keala Kaumeheiwa & Jorge Perez-Albela  The debut concert from long-time musical friends Lihi Haruvi (sax), Keala Kaumeheiwa (bass), Brian Friedland (keyboard) and Jorge Perez-Albela (drums). Expect globally inspired jazz with lots of joyful spontaneity.

July 10: Ava Sophia  With laid back R&B feels and emotionally driven, honest lyrics influenced by neo-soul legends India.Arie, Jill Scott and Alicia Keys, Ava Sophia blends soulful grooves and acoustic pop.

July 17: Nadia Washington & Brian Friedland  Nadia Washington adds her soulful vocals to Brian Friedland’s jazz keyboard, blending jazz, soul, R&B, and world music. “Nadia Washington is among the prominent artists that connect the lines between music’s heart and soul.” -Coffee Talk Jazz Radio

July 24: Akili Jamal Haynes  Akili Jamal Haynes creates unfettered artistry of dreams, past lives, present life events, and future imaginings to heal with Positive African Images. A trombonist, composer, trumpeter, keyboardist, vocalist, tenor and alto saxophonist, bass clarinetist, acoustic bassist, and drummer, he began his career under the mentorship of Wynton Marsalis, and has also arranged music for Kimati Dinizulu and Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

July 31: YBH Trio  YBH leader Lemuel Marc studies jazz trumpet and composes for ensembles at New England Conservatory, where he is soaking up musical knowledge and relationships. You hear them here, you hear them first!

August 7: Naomi Westwater  Like a rose with many petals, singer-songwriter Naomi Westwater’s music is layered, striking, and tender, as they weave in and out of Americana music, flirting with jazz, soul, folk, and electro-pop. A 2021 Boston Music Award nominee and leader of the Boston chapter of Beats By Girlz, Naomi brings their queer, Black, multi-racial roots to their music.

August 14: Miguel Landestoy Trio  Jazz pianist Miguel Landestoy is part of a generation of Boston musicians whose aim is to strengthen the interconnectivity of music to the community. He is a music educator, arts administrator, and band leader.

August 21: Phil Sargent & Brian Friedland  Guitarist Phil Sargent joins pianist Brian Friedland for jazz improvisation with a “boundary-pushing,” “modernist” bent. Jazz Review says, "Sargent’s musicality is asymmetrical parts beauty and power. He also incorporates melodic hooks into the mix, where superior technique, cunning interactions, memorable song-forms and seething solo jaunts attain a near-flawless symmetrical presence.” Friedland's music has been described as "inspirationally crafted, an excellent and interesting mix of art works.”

August 28: Trio Let's Vamos  Trio Let’s Vamos is a unique Brazilian-American musical collaboration playing Forró Pé-de-Serra, featuring rhythms such as baião, xaxado and samba. Forró became famous in the 1940s and ‘50s with tunes steeped in the stories and culture of Brazil’s arid Northeast, the Sertão. Accordion, voice and percussion play melodies influenced by the vocal calls sung by cowboys herding cattle (aboios do vaqueiros). Trio Let’s Vamos is led by Tarciso Alves (zabumba and voice), along with Ken Hiatt (accordion) and Valeria Lima (triangle and backing vocals).

September 18: Shavonne Brown  If you have been dying to feel those musical goosebumps or want to take a journey down memory lane, you don’t want to miss this performance. Shavonne’s songs will bring you back to when you first fell in love with music and the love story that it is today.

CANCELED due to RAIN September 25: Stan Strickland Trio

RESCHEDULED to October 2: John Williams Jam Band  Boldly re-imagine John Williams’ classic movie themes with funky grooves, jazzy harmony, and epic solos. Picture Harry Potter wallowing in butterbeer-induced blues in New Orleans and Darth Vader busting out headspins at a dance party. This musically accomplished quintet draws upon their deep reservoir of musical skills to transform cinematic masterpieces through the prism of groovy, soulful funky-jazz fusion