Upper West Side Love Story by Freddie Bryant
About Upper West Side Love Story
“A love story is about beginnings, about excitement and nurturing growth – love through joy and adversity over many years. And sometimes it’s about growing distant, rejection and the search for the magic that seems to fade into distant memories. Either way, change is ceaseless and forever and love hopes to survive. This piece is a love story dedicated to the neighborhood that raised me from birth to where I am now.”
Upper West Side Love Story (music and lyrics by Freddie Bryant), a work for chamber- jazz ensemble, is a musical journey through the iconic neighborhood made famous by Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. It is a personal history of memories from Bryant’s youth and upbringing as well as a commentary on development and gentrification that is happening world-wide. He lived in the neighborhood for fifty-four years, from birth until 2019 when he moved to the Bronx. It covers children’s playground rhymes, the world-renowned musicians and artists who have there, the culture and joys of community as well as the challenges of homelessness and crime throughout the 70s/80s until today. It also contextualizes the development and gentrification that has been underway since the early 60s when Lincoln Center was built, discussing issues of race and class.
Featuring Carla Cook on voice; Gwen Laster on viola; Akua Dixon on cello; Steve Wilson on alto/soprano sax and flute/alto-flute; Donny McCaslin on tenor/soprano sax; John Benitez on bass; Alvester Garnett on Drums; Nick Revel on viola and Freddie Bryant on arch-top, Telecaster, nylon and 12 string guitars.