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Five Boroughs Music Festival to Open 15th Anniversary Season With Kinan Azmeh's CityBand


All guests aged 12 & up attending 5BMF's indoor, or indoor/outdoor hybrid, performances are required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 at time of entry.

Five Boroughs Music Festival's (5BMF) 15th anniversary season is celebrated in 2021-2022 with a return to live in-person concerts throughout New York City. The season opens with a special concert and celebration featuring Kinan Azmeh's CityBand in performance at Five Boroughs Brewing Co. in Sunset Park, Brooklyn on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 6:30pm.

The genre-blending ensemble, in the style of a jazz combo, will perform a set of recently-composed works by Azmeh that are at times through-composed, reflecting a more classical style, and at others open-ended, leaving room for improvisations with elements of Syrian folk styles. CityBand headlines the evening that will also seek to raise funds for 5BMF's upcoming Five Borough Songbook, Vol. III, the third installment of 5BMF's flagship commissioning project, which will include new works by Azmeh and 14 other composers. VIP ticket holders receive premium reserved seating and unlimited drinks. In addition to 5BMF's season-long COVID safety measures, Five Boroughs Brewing Co. is partially open to the street via warehouse garage doors that open up the wall completely.

Additional season events include: Tam Lin, a folk-rock cantata setting of the eponymous Scottish ballad, composed by Elliot Cole and Fiona Gillespie, and performed by members of ensembles including ACRONYM, Alkemie, and Oracle Hysterical; the Cramer Quartet's Seven Last Words Project, featuring Haydn's renowned work interspersed with seven companion pieces composed by Jessica Meyer, Colin Jacobsen, Nico Muhly, Tania León, Reena Esmail, Paola Prestini, and Caroline Shaw; Castle of Our Skins performs their NYC debut in a program featuring Florence Price's Piano Quintet and Undine Smith Moore's Soweto for piano trio, paired with a lecture by Dr. Samantha Ege, a musicologist and Price scholar based at Oxford University; and the triumphant return of 5BMF's flagship project, the Five Borough Songbook, Volume III, comprised of 15 new songs by 15 composers, and performed by vocalists from Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble.

Five Boroughs Music Festival is committed to the health and safety of patrons, artists, and staff, and continues to monitor and comply with current New York City COVID-19 guidelines and requirements. All guests aged 12 and up attending 5BMF's indoor, or indoor/outdoor hybrid, performances are required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 at time of entry. Proof of vaccination may be displayed via Excelsior Pass, NYC COVID Safe App (Android, iOS), or CDC Vaccination Card (or photo). Children under 12 may not attend 5BMF's season-opening event at Five Boroughs Brewing Co. Masks are required at all times except while eating and drinking at venues serving food and beverages. 5BMF's health and safety guidelines are subject to change as federal, state, and city recommendations evolve.

Concert Information

Kinan Azmeh's CityBand
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 6:30pm
Five Boroughs Brewing Co. | 215 47th St | Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $25 General Admission, $75 VIP Admission.
Songbook Sponsors at the Platinum, Gold or Silver levels receive two complimentary VIP tickets to this event. VIP Admission includes premium reserved indoor or outdoor seating and unlimited complimentary drinks from Five Boroughs Brewing Co. General Admission includes regular indoor or outdoor seating; drinks may be purchased à la carte.


Kinan Azmeh, clarinet
John Hadfield, percussion
Josh Myers, bass
Kyle Sanna, guitar

About Kinan Azmeh:

Syrian-born, Brooklyn-based genre-bending composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh has toured the globe to great acclaim as a soloist, composer and improviser. He has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, John McLaughlin, Aynur and Djivan Gasparian, among others, and leads two of his own bands, Hewar and the Kinan Azmeh CityBand. He is a member and Grammy Award-winner with Silkroad Ensemble and his recent orchestral album, Uneven Sky, with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin won Germany's OpusKlassik Award in 2019. Recent commissions include works for the Seattle Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Kinan is a graduate of The Juilliard School, the Damascus High Institute of Music, and Damascus University's School of Electrical Engineering, and holds a doctorate in music from the City University of New York.

About CityBand:

Formed in 2006 in New York City, the Kinan Azmeh CityBand has become known for their virtuosic and high energy performances. Blending influences from classical, jazz, and the music of Azmeh's homeland, Syria, they play in a style that is inspired by many traditions, but limited to none. Azmeh's expressive clarinet meets Kyle Sanna's rustic guitar, soaring over the dynamic and volatile backdrop of John Hadfield's drums and Josh Myers' double bass, each band member drawing from their own backgrounds and adding their personal flair to the ensemble. The quartet has toured the US, as well as to Canada, Taiwan, France, England, Germany, Holland, Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey, with notable performances at the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, Boston Celebrity Series, Berlin's Boulez Saal, and the Cologne Philharmonie, among others.

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