The Esplanade Association (esplanadeassociation.org) is thrilled to announce the second season of “GroundBeat: The Esplanade’s Free Riverfront Music Series,” which showcases a wide range of musical styles from local nonprofits in an effort to promote local arts in the park and attract audiences from throughout Greater Boston. All events in the series will feature food trucks, games, and new seating.
GroundBeat Kicked off with AfroDesiaCity on June 17 celebrating Juneteenth’s commemoration of African American freedom and emphasize education and achievement. ADC highlighted some aspiring artists who are locally based such as Ashley-Rose, an Haitian-American educator, organizer, actress and award-winning poet from Boston, accompanied by musician Akili Haynes (Horns), and Melissa Alexis, an actress and performing artist.
The series continues on Monday, July 17 with GroundBeat: Kadence Arts at 6 p.m. Attendees can experience a night of live dance and upbeat music by Kadence Ensemble, the premiere percussion-focused music group of New England. Kadence Ensemble is directed by international touring artist, Maria Finkelmeier, who has previously been named a “one-woman dynamo” by the Boston Globe.
On the evening of Monday, Aug. 19, GroundBeat: BAMSFest returns with a celebration of youth and women empowerment through upbeat and high-energy performances from OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center and Bostons’ First Female All Mariachi Band: Veronica Robles Mariachi. OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center will begin the night with an unforgettable performance dancing to original works of both contemporary and traditional styles from the African diaspora. Veronica Robles Mariachi will close out the show performing a variety of original songs that will enlighten audience members. The show will begin at 6 p.m.
“We are ecstatic to bring back GroundBeat this summer and offer a collection of vibrant musical performances at the Hatch Shell,” said Lisa LeBlanc, special programs manager at the Esplanade Association. “GroundBeat was a great success for the Esplanade last summer. We are so happy to see it return and support local artists who put on an incredible show.”
Said Maria Finkelmeier, founder and director of Kadence Arts: “The opportunity to perform at the Hatch Shell is such a thrill! I love the energy of the park meshing with the calm of the Charles and beauty of the skyline.”
In addition to the three performances above, the Esplanade Association has partnered with two local fitness studios to celebrate music from around the world through active movement and dance. First, on Monday, September 16, ‘Froca Fitness will showcase the sounds of traditional and contemporary music from different countries across Africa and the Caribbean. Then, on Wednesday, Sept. 18, Afrobeat Fit will host a mobile Sweat Sessions where music and movement derive from West Africa.
“GroundBeat: the Esplanade’s Free Riverfront Music Series” is supported through a grant of The Boston Foundation, awarded in late 2018 to allow the Esplanade Association to increase opportunities for live arts and culture events at the Hatch Shell. All performances in the GroundBeat Series are free to the public.
The Charles River Esplanade is already one of the largest outdoor concert venues in the United States. Each year, roughly half-a-million people gather to see the beloved Boston Pops 4th of July concert as fireworks burst over the Charles River. Additionally, on Wednesday nights in the summer, Landmarks Orchestra delights hundreds of picnic-goers on the restored Hatch Shell Oval Lawn.