At a glance
A look at the “Look Up!” series:
Location: 433 State St. Time: Mondays, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Aug. 4: Brian Patneaude Quartet
Aug. 11: No Hands
Aug. 18: Dylan Perrillo Orchestra
Aug. 25: The Chronicles
Look up in the sky on State Street in Schenectady on Aug. 4. No, it won’t be a bird, or a plane. Superman? Sorry, not Superman.
The balcony above Johnny’s will be the temporary home of a new summer concert series, which will feature local bands every Monday evening in August.
The event is called “Look Up!” because people will have to look up from the street, free of charge, to watch the bands perform from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Lecco Morris and Jeff Nania organized the program, with a total of $500 provided by Schenectady County Community College. The college leases the second floor of Center City, which includes the balcony, from the Galesi Group.
Both Morris and Nania took music classes at SCCC and live in Schenectady. Morris, who is the son of Proctors CEO Philip Morris, said the concert series would highlight SCCC’s talented musicians.
“There are all of these fantastic players who graduated from SCCC’s jazz program and have stuck around,” Morris, 25, said. “It is an incredible institution right down the road and I wanted to draw some attention to it. Each band that will play has an SCCC alum or several.”
Morris said he was approached by SCCC’s acting president Martha Asselin about the possibility of hosting live concerts at the college’s Center City extension site.
“I was having lunch with Philip Morris and we were talking about how vibrant downtown Schenectady is and that we have that second floor space outside at Center City,” Asselin said. “I want to be more creative with that space. Then we figured, why not do a concert series?”
Asselin said she is exploring the possibility of extending the music series through September, if the concerts do not conflict with classes being held at the building during that time.
Bands participating in the event are Brian Patneaude Quartet, No Hands, Dylan Perrillo Orchestra and The Chronicles.
Morris said all of the bands are jazz/rock bands. He will perform with his band No Hands during the second week of the series.
“Hopefully it convinces people to stick around and stay outside and grab a drink,” Morris said. “Music outside changes spaces and it makes spaces feel more alive. That’s part of why I want to do this. This is really for the community.”
Downtown Schenectady is no stranger to outdoor concert series. “Jazz on Jay,” which is held on Jay Street around the corner from State Street, runs from June through September each year.
As part of that series, several bands will play outside from 12 to 1:30 p.m. every Thursday in August including Mike Lawrence Trio (Aug. 7), Arch Stanton Quartet (Aug. 14), Dylan Canterbury Quartet (Aug. 21) and Keith Pray’s Soul Jazz Revival (Aug. 28).
“I feel that Schenectady is in the process of reinventing itself and I want to be a part of that and give more tools to promote the community and the arts,” Morris said.