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The Brooklyn Phil Presents: Yasiin Bey, Lena Horne and the Bed-Stuy Tradition

Actress and Activist Lena Horne is celebrated in her native Bed-Stuy at a free concert presented by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra

This entire year, the Brooklyn Philharmonic has been on a mission—a mission to reimagine the way we, as Brooklynites, view modern orchestra.

And aren’t we so lucky?

So far this season, under the artistic direction of Alan Pierson, we’ve gotten the opportunity to witness some of the most innovative programming culled from Brooklyn’s most salient cultural influences to bring us Beethoven’s Third Symphony, The Eroica, in the context of who we are as Brooklynites today.

“Our goal in reinventing the Brooklyn Phil is to make it Brooklyn’s orchestra, to connect deeply with all of the borough’s people through events that celebrate and reflect its communities,” said Pierson. “Given the depth and variety of culture in those communities, that goals is one that opens the door to the most exciting music making.”

That excitement definitely has been shared with Bed-Stuy this season: A unique partnership with the has helped bring to life a remix competition for the Third Symphony’s finale movement and also a concert of  “Spirituals, Rags and Strings,” celebrating the works of H.T. Burleigh, a famous singer of negro spirituals and also one of the first African-American students admitted into the National Conservatory of Music in New York City.

On Saturday, June 9, the Brooklyn Phil’s season will conclude in Bed-Stuy at Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton Street, with a special free performance by actor, emcee and Bed-Stuy native Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) along with actress Leslie Uggams. Together they will present a tribute to Bed-Stuy’s legendary singer and civil rights activist Lena Horne.

A profound and authentic lover of language, Yasiin Bey is one of the most influential hip hop stars of all time. He joins Pearson and the Brooklyn Phil in bringing together the aggressive energy of hip hop, the revolutionary music of Beethoven and the classic ballads of Lena Horne, including Honeysuckle Rose and Stormy Weather, to name a few.

Bed-Stuy, come out and experience the rebirth and artistic glory of one of this country’s most forward-thinking classical orchestras, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, as it concludes its season… not only in the Bed-Stuy tradition, but in the Brooklyn way!

For free tickets, visit bphil.org or restorationplaza.org or call 646-397-2765.

VIDEO: See Yasiin Bey performing with the Brooklyn Phil at the 7th Annual Bed-Stuy Alive concert in 2011

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