All right!! Harlem Times … Let’s Get This Party Started…
No Wind…No Rain…No Summer storm could stop this
wonderful Wednesday, July 3rd celebration in the beautifully
designed open-air ballroom at MSNS! The crew
carefully removed all precipitation from the dance floor as
the “real” party people waited patiently to get their party
The MSNS emcee introduced the Urban Guerilla Orchestra
(UGO) to the dance hungry crowd! Costumed in all
white, UGO performed Soul, Motown and R&B compositions.
Despite high temperatures and humidity, UGO lit the
audience up as people boogied to UGO’s beats. The mix
of the Damrosch Park setting , UGO’s sounds filling the
mid-summer night air and folks dancing all over the park
created a “you gotta’ see it…. to believe it” atmosphere…
Urban Guerilla Orchestra is comprised of two female
vocalists, a male vocalist, and a seven piece band with
piano-synthesizer, trumpet, trombone, sax, guitar, bass and
trap drums. UGO performed an evening of musical fireworks;
much to the delight of HT, folks new to the venue
& all returning MSNS guests! UGO demonstrated just how
well their synergistic style works during this performance!
For the opening, UGO dropped “I’m a Soul Man” and
everyone headed for the dance floor! Some serious
partying was goin’ on….. folk were putting down tight
moves— line dancing, hand dancing or just plain old
bootay shakin’! UGO’s concert was a pre-holiday event
filled with the kind of music that get folks to movin’ and
judging from the crowd’s reaction, HT is happy to report
UGO delivered BIG!!!
After opening with Sam and Dave’s “I’m a Soul Man”,
UGO hyped up the crowd, shouting; “We’re Just Getting
Started…We’re Gonna Light You Up”! Journey’s “Don’t
Stop Believing” followed and then UGO took us to North
Jersey for a fresh rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Living on a
Prayer”. OK…… no stopping this party, now!!! Everyone,
myself included, continued movin’and shakin’to UGO’s
interpretation of “Does Anybody Really Know What Time
It Is” by Chicago! And then…then OMG…UGO continued
pumpin’ up the first set with Patti’s “Voulez Vous Coucher
Avec Moi, Ce Soir?”! Bodies were free styling and flowing
at MSNS under the guidance of Urban Guerilla Orchestra’s
sizzling arrangements! This pre-holiday performance was
truly a marriage of music and movement! These seasoned
musicians also performed two Ohio Players tunes; “Skintight”
and “Fire” featuring Brian Williams on keyboard !
And… then..baby…the dance moves were
As UGO ‘s gifted vocalist, Patricia Holloway slowed down
the first set with a scat-infused rendition of Etta James’ “At
Last”, MSNS’s globe lights also transitioned to an ambient
soft blue. Trombonist, Don Collins, followed with his own
crowd-pleasing solo, too! Perfect time for a slow jam!
While the vocalists exited stage right, UGO’s brass brought
back more funk with the AWB’s
“Pick Up the Pieces”! Now…. Folks were partying all over
On this hot July 3rd evening, UGO brought the best of old
school and new music during their entertaining second set!
The musicians continued to captivate us with a Four Tops
tribute including, “I’ll be There, “It’s the Same Old Song”
and “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”. But, HT’s personal favorites
were Rick James’ “You and I” and Cee Lo’s “Forget You”!
Midsummer Night Swing’s celebrated its 25th anniversary
by providing superior talent and a magnificent venue! The
Harlem Times would like to acknowledge Lincoln Center’s
long standing contribution of music and dance alfresco !
July 3rd was another example of an outstanding evening of
music and the opportunity to get your dance on! The most
beautiful skyline in the world combined with UGO’s funky
sounds and MSNS’s dance-performance space provided
New Yorkers another splendid summer evening!