Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips for socially distant art experiences. Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to hear Matthew Kurzman created of Front Porch Concerts, share his tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala.
Matthew Kurzman missed live music. He REALLY missed it.
When COVID-19 shuttered music venues throughout North Texas last spring, Kurzman, who books bands for Braindead Brewery in Deep Ellum, did the only thing he could do to hear local music–he created his own music venue — in the front yard of his Parkdale neighborhood.
The mini neighborhood concerts came about because of a completed home improvement project.
“I’d been renovating a new house for myself and when I finished, I decided to book two bands to celebrate,” said Kurzman. “I realized that if I had it in my backyard it would put people at risk of gathering too close to one another, so I decided to have it my front yard so all of my neighbors could sit in their own yards and we can all spread out be socially distanced while enjoying the music.”
What began as a one-time party in June for Kurzman’s friends and nearby neighbors has grown into weekly entertainment for the Southeast neighborhood. Kurzman has been very pleased with the reception and for the shows.
“All of my neighbors loved the first show and asked me if I would please do more of them,” said Kurzman. “At first, it was just neighbors and friends, but now people from outside the neighborhood are coming to hear the music.”
The music is an eclectic mix. Everything from jazz to funk, to hip-hop to classical, selected from the local talent Kurzman used to book pre-pandemic.
This week’s Friday show features The Grays, a trio of siblings best known for performing jazz/soul arrangements of Disney movies. On deck for Sunday is Trusko, a Dallas-based-project that blends elements Jazz, R&B, and Hip-Hop. A schedule of weekly concerts can be found on the Front Yard Concerts Facebook page. Kurzman gives directions to the show via the page’s Facebook Messenger.
Kurzman has been financing the concerts through donations and has been pleased by the community support.
“The musicians need to play and are hurting financially, my neighbors and the public in general is in need of entertainment and for some semblance of normalcy, and I greatly have missed curating my favorite local musicians. So you know, it’s a win win win.”
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