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BPL Summer Concerts in the Courtyard Each Wednesday and Friday

Tonight’s free series event features Berklee student Safiya Leslie


The Boston Public Library’s central branch, in Copley Square, is one of the city’s most important civic buildings. In addition to its lending library and extensive collection of rare books and manuscripts, the library hosts numerous programs and classes for all ages. It’s also a favorite summer destination for music lovers, drawn to the BPL’s popular Concerts in the Courtyard series, which offers free concerts by local artists from June through August.

A partnership between the BPL and Berklee College of Music, the series features a mix of musical genres, from jazz and world music to opera, folk, and classical music. The hour-long concerts are held each Wednesday night at 6 pm and Friday at 12:30 pm in the  McKim Building’s stunning outdoor Italianate courtyard.

Tonight’s concert performer is Safiya Leslie, a Berklee student and a founding member of the soca band Riddim Symphony. A Bronx native, Leslie attended the Professional Performing Arts School and trained with the National Chorale for four years before enrolling in the New York Jazz Workshop. Her music is influenced by her Afro-Caribbean roots and passion for jazz. If you want to hear more from her, keep an eye out for her debut album—it’s set for release later this summer. Listen to her perform two songs, “Mr. Prez,” and “Babylon Tings” here.

Upcoming performances include fellow Berklee students Jose Pablo Soto on July 25 and Autumn Jones on August 22. Soto is a Guatemalan singer-songwriter whose music is a blend of Latin, pop, and jazz. Jones, also a singer-songwriter, is known for her emotional lyrics and strong voice.

Also on the roster are a Bob Marley tribute scheduled for Wednesday, July 18, and a special Saturday concert featuring the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, July 21, at 12:30 pm. Find a complete list of concerts here.

Safiya Leslie performs tonight at 6 pm at the Boston Public Library McKim Courtyard, 700 Boylston St., Copley Square. Admission is free and open to the public. Concerts in the Courtyard are held on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 pm and on Fridays from 12:30 to 1:30 pm from June through August. In the event of inclement weather, concerts are moved to the BPL’s Rabb Hall. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Copley Square. 

Sara Frazier can be reached at smfrazie@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter @Sara_Frazier.

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