Up and Comer Breanna Barbara’s Strong Set at the Emerging Music Festival (video)

Brooklyn's Breanna Barbara kicked off the second day of the Emerging Music Festival in Bryant Park with a raucous bluesy set.

The 3rd Annual Emerging Music Festival took place in collaboration with Paste Magazine, who were livestreaming the show. With the first day of the two day fest nearly rained out (a set or two was spared from the deluge), the EMF was aided by terrific weather on the second day which drew a lot of people to Bryant Park‘s lawn for the music, food and activities, like hula hooping, juggling, and bubble blowing.

Breanna Barbara was first up on the stage, and she offered up a strong blues-rock mix under the warmth of the sun. She invited the audience to howl along during “Mirage Dreams” (the title track of her most recent album) even though “she knew it was a little early” in the day. I’m not sure how many people took her up on that, but her shrieks did draw more attention to the stage as she performed a lively set.

The rising-artist festival continued to showcase local performers throughout the day, including the Afrobeat dance group Super Yamba Band, Cassandra Jenkins, RIPS and more. The existence of the EMF goes to show that the Midtown space has a lot to offer, even in the shadow of the larger music series held in Central Park or in Prospect Park. Other Bryant Park events during the summer include regular film screenings, opera, and dance performances. I captured one dance set from the SA Dance Company a few days before the EMF. Pictures from that performance are below those of Barbara and Super Yamba Band plus catch a couple of bands’ archived live streams beneath the photos.

Breanna Barbara (Emerging Music Fest)

Super Yamba Band (Emerging Music Fest)

SA Dance Company (8/14/17)