Reflections on L.E.S. Bands 11 from 2019

The live, free, music concert known as LES Bands 11: Lower East Side Showtime presented by LES Creative People In Action, Inc. (LESCPIA) took place for the last time at the Amphitheater in East River Park on September 7, 2019. The artists again represented a wonderful variety of talent from LES favorites Chazz, to teenager Joseph McBain, hip hop singers McGruff & Patrick, guest rapper Troubled Mal, former LESCPIA intern turned artist RickySmithNow, seasoned pop band Nfinity and for a return play, hot R&B band The Mighty Kamm.

Special moments included presenting plaques to well-deserved recipients. LESCPIA dedicated a segment called “Salute to the LES DJ Legends” awarding pioneering DJs Ice and Spanky, DJ Hank, DJ Sammy Sam and posthumously DJ Apache and DJ Lenny Patterson. Apache’s wife Cathy and Lenny’s brother Clifford accepted on their behalf. As part of the presentation, the Boogie Down Boys, a dancing troupe known in Times Square, choreographed routines to classic jams known to be played by these veterans decades ago.

In addition to awarding the DJs, a welcome surprise came when legendary recording artists and New York City heartthrobs BLACK IVORY [!] stopped by to introduce The Mighty Kamm Band, who back them up during their live shows. Unknown to them, with much help from LES own Eric Young from the band, requested the surprise for Black Ivory’s 50th Anniversary and LESCPIA obliged happily! It was an honor to recognize the important contributions by the trio of Leroy Burgess, Russell Patterson and Stuart Bascombe for their classic 70s Romantic Soul songs. “Don’t Turn Around,” “You & I,” “Spinning Around,” “Baby Won’t You Change Your Mind,” and even a smash disco anthem “Mainline,” will always be part of our musical, cultural history. Hopefully they can grace our stage at a future “LES Bands” concert.