A 15-piece band brought concertgoers on a musical journey back to the 1940s, the era of Big Bands and Swing Music, at the fifth concert of the popular Marine Park Summer Concert Series, sponsored by Assemblywoman Jaime Williams, held on Wednesday, August 9th, on the lawn near the bocce courts in Marine Park.
This is the first time the M.A.S. Swing Band, led by Marie-Annette Stack (hence the name “M.A.S.”), has performed in Marine Park. Before the band took the stage, special guest, Shea Rubenstein, co-founder and executive vice president of the JCC of Marine Park, sang a handful of beautiful Jewish songs. Rubenstein dedicated a song about peace to Assemblywoman Williams and Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse, stating that regardless of anyone’s background, we all want world peace.
The M.A.S. Swing Band kicked off their concert with some bossa nova music, popular in the 1950s, with the well-known song, “The Girl From Ipanema.”
Stack asked the audience, “Who remembers big band?” and with that, the band transported the crowd back to the Swing era, with songs like Glenn Miller’s “A String of Pearls,” Tommy Dorsey’s “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and Count Basie’s “April in Paris.” Other popular tunes included “Tea for Two” and “In the Mood.”
The talented band consists of five saxophonists, three trombonists, three trumpeters, an upright bass player, a pianist, a drummer and one singer, Eddie Gentile, a native of Canarsie, who entertained the crowd with Frank Sinatra favorites like “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Summer Wind,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “My Way.”
Gentile ended the concert with “New York, New York” while some members of the audience danced to a kick line. The song was dedicated to Stack’s late husband, Dick Bennett, a former drummer in the band who sadly passed away from COVID three years ago.
The Marine Park concerts are sponsored by Kings Plaza and Nick’s Lobster House, among others, in coordination with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse and District Leader Frank Seddio, and in partnership with Millennium Development, NYC Parks, Marine Park Alliance and Marine Park Community Association.
The free concerts take place on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. through August 23rd. Bring a blanket or a chair.